A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
The first time I saw “Watch What Happens Live”, I thought it was one of the most bizarre TV programs ever, and I say that as a fan of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”. My friend, Dale, a regular viewer of the talk show, told me Ralph Fiennes was scheduled to be a guest, so naturally, I tuned in. The wacky games, the alcohol consumption, the interview questions that were a bit too personal. All of it presided over by Andy Cohen, an enthusiastic, gossipy and amusing host.
And that is much what his second memoir is too. Sparked by his rereading The Andy Warhol Diaries, he kept a journal for more than a year and turned it into this book. His life is filled with meetings, parties, fancy restaurants, award shows and long sessions at the gym. He flies back and forth across the US as often as you or I might go to the grocery store. Amid all of this are celebrities, some of whom he has become genuine friends with. I was pleased to see that Ralph Fiennes is one of them and loved the peek into their informal get-togethers. Some of the celebs are referred to only by their initials, which I couldn’t always figure out. That was one of the minor irritants and one he admitted to, saying we would know who they were from his first book, which some of us haven’t read yet.
Another annoyance was his attitude towards his dog, a rescue hound named Wacha, after a favorite baseball player. When he first gets Wacha, he talks constantly about him, but the mentions grow fewer as the months pass and towards the end of the book, there is an incident where Cohen is angry at Wacha for his reaction at a special event, where Wacha is behaving like a dog and not a human. Evidently the novelty had worn off, something that should never happen to someone with a pet of any kind.
There are times when this diary is less like Andy Warhol and more like Bridget Jones, as the author tries to meet a weight loss goal. Some of the activities grow a bit repetitious, but that is common with any sort of journal.
I’ll agree that this book is fluffy, but for me it was a surprising look into a lifestyle so different I couldn’t have imagined it. And the amount of energy it takes to cram everything into his days, while still mostly enjoying it was remarkable to me. It’s a pleasant book when you need a break from serious topics or something that doesn’t need a lot of concentration, a step up from “Hello” or “People” magazine, a frothy dessert.
Henry Holt and Co. 2014 352 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1627792288