Sightseeing in Europe? Going on a road trip? Bring a friend.

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The Elephant to Hollywood | Michael Caine

Summary: There’s a generous helping of curses throughout this work so be wary around the kids/public. – Caine shares the spectacular story of his life, from his humble upbringing in London’s poverty-stricken Elephant and Castle to his military service and lively adventures to legendary meetings with fellow stars and his glittering five-decade career.

Recommendation: Caine has no issues with ‘spilling the tea’ (gossiping) and he makes very clear when he admires a quality or an individual even if he’s telling a sordid or darker story about them. How he manages to do so in a gentlemanly manner is beyond me, but I appreciate his film career comeback and he’s a favorite actor to turn to for so much – drama, history, humor, elegance, etc.


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My Lucky Life in and out of Show Business | Dick Van Dyke

Summary: Acclaimed actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke chronicles his amazing career. From movies, such as Mary Poppins, to television programs, such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and Diagnosis: Murder, Van Dyke’s journey in show biz has made him a household name. Here, he shares that journey with listeners.

Recommendation: Van Dyke may think of himself as a simply ‘song-and-dance-man’ but he is authentic and humble and shares so much from behind his initial presentation, you wonder how deeply the well goes. It’s a marvelous work discussing entertainment and humanity.


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If you Ask Me (And of Course you Won’t) | Betty White

Summary: A personal account by the popular actress who shares stories from her decades in Hollywood while offering her lighthearted perspectives on topics ranging from sex and aging to animal welfare and television.

Recommendation: Here at the Smithton PLD, we love Betty so much, we designed a poster to be signed by fans and intended to send it to her assistant before her one-hundredth birthday this January. She did not wait around for it and it remains stored away to be displayed for the anniversary of her birth next year. I suppose I should call her Ms. White to remain professional, but she wouldn’t have cared about the assumption of familiarity – she’d have said “Call me Betty”. Listening to her voice tell her story is a delight and you’ll likely fall in love with her humor all over again.


About the author

Smithton Public Library

The Smithton Public Library District is located in southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO. The library serves nearly 5,000 residents. We hope you visit us soon!