Celebrity book deals practically exist to piss us off. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule (such as the recent, glowingly reviewed tomes by Jay-Z and Steve Martin, as well as Patti Smith’s National Book Award-winning memoir), most stars just aren’t writers. And few things are more annoying — especially for those of us who write for a living, or have aspirations of doing so — than the news that a functionally illiterate reality TV star is preparing to “write” a memoir, children’s book, or novel. After the jump, we take a look at the year’s most irritating examples, from the Salahis to Snooki.
Curious about what Boyle, who rose to fame as the frumpy 47-year-old virgin with a beautiful voice, has been doing all her life? We aren’t, but that didn’t stop British publisher Transworld from handing the singer a deal to write the memoir The Woman I Was Born to Be about the making of an unlikely diva. As she said in a statement, “When I strutted on to the stage for that audition, I was a scared wee lassie, still grieving for my mother, not caring how I looked. I think I’ve grown up a lot in the last year, become more of a lady, and I’m not so frightened anymore.” Okay, we stopped reading after “wee lassie,” but — “wee lassie”! There is someone in the world who actually talks like this! Sold.
Because she thinks she’s Oprah, Tyra Banks is trying to conquer all spheres of media as quickly as possible. So, back in May, she signed a deal with Random House to write a trilogy of YA books, beginning with Modelland, about “a fantastical place you’ve never seen, or heard about, or read about before … Where dreams come true and life can change in the blink of a smoky eye.” This sounds like it’s going to be really great for teen girls’ self esteem!
Michaele and Tareq Salahi
Apparently, being stupid enough to crash a state dinner at the White House will now win you a book deal. In June, we learned that the pair would be writing a memoir about the stunt — because that will surely provide hundreds of pages worth of material — with the help of investigative reporter Diane Diamond. The resulting book, Cirque du Salahi , came out in September and was credited solely to Dimond. It currently has a whopping 1.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
You might ask, “How is it possible to write a book when you’ve never read a book?” It’s a good question, and one that Sitch’s “co-author” Chris Millis might be in the best position to answer. Back in July, we learned about the book deal, and less than four months later, publisher Gotham crapped out Here’s the Situation: A Guide to Creeping on Chicks, Avoiding Grenades, and Getting in Your GTL on the Jersey Shore . If nothing else, it would make a good Christmas present for someone you secretly hate.
Paul the Octopus
Yes, the octopus who accurately predicted the outcome of every single German World Cup game landed a book deal for his trouble. Unfortunately, the two-and-a-half-year-old sea creature died back in October. Perhaps he’ll be releasing material posthumously, like Biggie and Tupac?
Not only is TV’s favorite pickle-loving Oompah-Loompah the second Jersey Shore cast member to break into publishing, but she’s writing what she might call “a friggin’ novel.” Titled A Shore Thing, the book, which was announced in September, is supposedly coming out in January and “will revolve around a girl looking for love on the boardwalk (one full of big hair, dark tans, and fights galore).” Hey, write what you know, right?
The year’s final insult is one of its worst: instead of disappearing forever after losing the election, the tea party Senate candidate from Delaware is going to write a book. According to Politico, the book will recount her experience in the 2010 election — because, you know, we didn’t hear enough about it while it was happening. “I plan on making my book one of the revolution’s catalysts,” O’Donnell said. So… goody. Look for it in August of next year. Or, you know, don’t.