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My Life So Far

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  3,046 ratings  ·  270 reviews
“In the process of writing this book I discovered there were clear, broad, even universal themes that ran through my life, a coherent arc to my journey that, if I could be truthful in the telling, might provide a road map for other women as they face the challenges of relationships, self-image, and forgiveness. What I did not anticipate was how my journey would also resona ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2005)
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Maybe you didn't have an opinion about Jane Fonda. Many did, and they were often critical: of her anti-war activism, of her Barbarella image, of her choice in marital partners, and the failure of those marriages, of her cosmetic surgery, or of her apparently "cashing in" on the fitness craze (and making us all look bad. Well, put all that "projection" aside, and read her autobiography. In a personal letter to readers on the Amazon site, she says, "I decided to write it because I felt that if I c ...more
Freakin' Hanoi Jane. Love her or hate her, she's never dull.

A disclaimer of sorts: Jane Fonda was a huge part of my upbringing. Huge. My dad hated her and cursed her name whenever "On Golden Pond" appeared on HBO (which seemed to be all the damn time), and my mother and I did her exercise videos every single day with a frenetic passion that eventually devolved into complete zombified apathy. And then I spent about a year in college watching "Coming Home" over and over again.

So I approached this
David Jay
I love celebrity autobiographies.. they are an addiction with me. This one was terrific--intense, preachy, smart, fascinating, very Jane Fonda. Great anecdotes but I think this is more than just a bio; its a bit of a self help book.
Julie Barrett
What I thought about Jane Fonda prior to reading this memoir: "She's been in some movies I've enjoyed. Isn't she married to that CNN guy?" What I think about Jane Fonda after reading this memoir: "OMG, I love Jane Fonda SO MUCH! She's my new imaginary best friend/mentor/godmother."

The hundreds of memoirs I've read over the years have led me to develop certain criteria about what constitutes a great memoir. First, the memoirist must have led an interesting life. Of course, this describes most mem
Keith Craig
Being in the military I had heard a lot of nasty things said about Jane Fonda because of her activity during Vietnam. I thought it was important to hear her side of the story and to understand it you need to know her past so what better way than her autobiography.

I gave her book three stars because I thought the first 3rd was very slow and the book did not pick up until she hit 30. I will not spend much time on whether or not I agree with what she did or all of her opinions but once the book pi
Nancy Rossman
I have followed Jane Fonda for years. She is a complex and complicated female (that could be redundant) and one who has just fascinated me. There have been bad choices in men, there was such speculation about the horrible relationship with Henry (and much gossiped about especially during the filming ON GOLDEN POND), and then her infamous Hanoi Jane period. Ugh. And still, I read reviews about anything new, her estranged absence from theater and film....but I did know about her education and some ...more
Phyllis Harrison
Apr 05, 2010 Phyllis Harrison rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women, historians, film buffs
For those of you who missed it the first time around (or weren't born yet), at last Jane Fonda explains what all the fuss was about. She was demonized in the 1960s and 1970s and it's surprising that today she lives in the heart of the American south, considering that she has lived most of her life in places that were considered more "liberal", like France and California.
She is forthcoming in this book about her horrendous early life and the pictures are very telling of their own stories. I meant
Interesting autobiography. A look at growing up Fonda...what it was like with Tom Joad as a father. Jane also delves into her early acting career, followed by her time as an anti-war (NOT anti-solder) activist. Along the way she marries 3 very different men (and finds herself changing for each of them). I think all young women should read this book...not because Jane is a saint by any means. But because of the truths she discovered in her life, about learning to love oneself and not put yourself ...more
Angeline Boulley
Surprisingly intimate look. It would be a mistake to define Jane Fonda as the sum total of the one-dimensional icons she embodied: daughter of, actress, sex symbol, wife of, activist, producer, fitness industry pioneer. When nearing 60 - which she calls the beginning of her third act - she began a Life Review of acts I & II. She began with a timeline of her life and journaling what happened. Then delving into how she felt at the time and what still resonated years later. She became aware of ...more
I definitely recommend this autobiography because not only was it well-written, but it was captivating right from the start. I didn't know much about Jane Fonda, her life, albeit that she was married to Ted Turner, had seen a few of her more recent movies, but I knew nothing of her upbringing, her 2 other marriages, nor her activism. I listened to the audiobook and she reads her book and that was the way to go. She reveals a lot about her mother, as that relationship (or lack thereof) resonates ...more
I hadn't given much thought to the controversary that surrounded Jane Fonda for years but I know that many people hate/hated her for her outrageous behavior in Vietnam, if for no other reason. I had no feelings for her one way or the other, except that I thought she made some very good movies and was a good actress. So, I approached this book with a very open mind.

As I listened to this book on Audio, read by Jane Fonda herself, I came to dislike her tremendously, however, and I got very tired of
Sharon Raphael
I enjoyed reading Jane Fonda's new memoir titled My Life So Far. The book really does cover most of her life. In the end of the book she is single and living in Atlanta which is not quite up to date. Well, she is not married but I think I read she is living at least part time in Hollywood now and has a boyfriend there Richard Perry. This is not in the book but I got the book by seeing Jane interviewed on Oprah. Jane is now 72. I think I got that from the Oprah show too.

In her latest memoir, Jan
I had to ponder the rating. I love Jane Fonda, the actress. Barefoot In The Park, several times watched. Klute, overall one of her best performances and On Golden Pond the best. Actually On Golden Pond was the heavy hitter for me.

What can I say about Jane's life so far.

Her story reflects her journey and growth. We tend to think privilege overcomes all, however, her reflections give insight as to how this can be the "beginning of masking problems. Here, father Henry, whom I consider one of early
Kyle Henderson
This is probably the most amazing autobiographical memoir I have ever read, second to maybe "Living History" by Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is so sophisticated and organized. Her thoughts are deep and profound. Jane Fonda has lived a large life and she knows it and is unashamed of it. She knows she was born into Hollywood Royalty, but she would rather be in the trenches with the "real" people of America and the world. She lived in New York City, Paris, Los Angeles and finally built her homes in h ...more
Donna Jones
I'd never thought much of Jane Fonda, but having now read her biography and her autobiography in a week, I admire many things about her and see myself in many of her experiences ... many of which I think are common to many women. I related to her experiences in transforming herself depending on the man she was with, and in her "third act" in which she is growing into herself and into her spirituality. I really relate to her dislike of traditional Christian dogma and its often patriarchal structu ...more
I don't care whether this is well written or not. I don't care how self- absorbed she is. I love Jane Fonda. I have always loved Jane Fonda. I'm too young to care about what she did in Vietnam and many of us had 'interesting' political convictions when we were young. As soon as I finished this book, I went straight out and bought the DVD of On Golden Pond which I had watched at least three times already and wept over the scene with her and her fictional and real life father, Henry Fonda. I'll ne ...more
Susan Davis
I "met" Jane Fonda at a book signing in Pasadena, CA. I was immediately taken with her graciousness. She appeared beautifully poised, content and unpretentious, before a packed gathering. She was irreverent, intelligent, insightful and candid. As she sat at the signing table, she immediately commented that she thought my blouse was gorgeous. While this may seem like a very minor thing, having been to countless events of this type, I was a bit taken aback by her focus on me. This was supposed to ...more
Maureen Moriarty
I have a connection to Jane, I have many things in common. A strong father to try to "live up to", strong men I have been attracted to which are not always easy to be in relationship with, her love of Montana where I grew up and having run a teenage pregnancy prevention program--my shared interest in trying to help young women with reproductive choice. The book resonated with me on many levels, wish I knew Jane personally but this book made me feel at times like I did.
Jun 26, 2007 Karen is currently reading it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Karen by: John. Plus I got to meet and talk to Jane Fonda!
So far this is a great book, a real insight into a woman so many of us know...yet don't really know. Who would have thought that Jane Fonda would be so insecure. Certainly not me, I've always looked up to her. My god, she's Barbarella--she's been married to some incredible men! Jane is one of the people I've wanted to meet for most of my life and not long ago that wish came true. What a wonderful, funny, loving and intelligent woman.
Great book, one of my favourites - persuaded me biographies could be interesting. This of course is an auto-biography.

It really comes across that she does everything whole-heartedly and with a touching innocence. She has had some hard times and some difficult ones, but you are left with the impression of a strong survivor type character
Courtney Wolstoncroft
Great narration by Jane of the audiobook. Highly recommend listening! Such interesting insight into her childhood and her relationship with each of her parents. Many great stories of her interactions with greats like Katherine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and of course more intimate details of her more substantial relationships with her own father, Henry Fonda as well as former husbands Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner. Some absolutely fascinating tales! She also goes into the Vietnam years and it ...more
Those of us old enough to have come of age in the crucible of the Vietnam War know the name Jane Fonda.
It was her life after the war (outside her film career) that was almost completely unknown to me.
This is a brave and naked biography in which she spares others more than herself, but after reading you understand how Fonda works from a place of compassion and empathy bone deep. That is not to say she doesn't mete out a well deserved jab or two when required.
Jane Fonda is constantly on a voyage
Magi Stoudt
I really enjoyed reading this memoir. Jane has lived an incredible life (so far) and I am grateful that she has shared this revealing account of it. She included highly personal stories within this book and although she and I have almost nothing in common, I find that much of her experiences and lessons learned resonated within me as I read this book. So many sentences or whole passages were so meaningful to me that I wanted to highlight, underline, or memorize them to ponder at a later date. I ...more
I love biographies so I enjoyed this one. There is more to Jane than meets the eye and I found we had some things in common. Who knew. What you think you think about Jane Fonda may change after reading this book.
I heard Jane Fonda speak at ALA this year (2014). After the session, I spoke with her briefly while she signed one of her books for me. She was so nice and friendly and seemed genuinely interested in talking with me. I've had this book on my shelf for quite a while and when I got home, I began listening to it. She talked about each of the 3 phases of her life so far. Birth to 30, 30 to 60, and her plans for 60 plus. She seems so open and honest in her writing. She does the narration of this audi ...more
Wendell Hennan
An insightful look back over the three stages of her life, beginning with her childhood, a mother remote by virtue of her depression which led to her suicide when Jane was 10, and a father she adored, but was seldom allowed into his world emotionally. Three marriages, each unique, and providing her with growth and strength as she moved on into the final stage of enriched enlightenment and peace. An amazing woman, who took up causes from the Viet Nam War to environmental to the education or young ...more
For my summer reading, I had selected three biographies of women in show biz. I read Carol King's and Sissy Spacek's bios and I had originally planned to read Diane Keeton's bio Then Again, but after reading the reviews I decided instead to read Jane's bio, My Life So Far. Wow, it really fed my spirit. I found it to be well written, deeply introspective, honest, insightful with great social commentary and historical context for her life experiences. As a sixties kid myself who had some friends i ...more
gurpreet kaur

I have always found Jane Fonda very unique and intriguing. How many Hollywood actresses go all the way round the globe to living rooms to give fitness lessons? She actually shrunk the world and brought together one large family of those doing aerobics or 'doing Jane' as she calls it. At 73 she still looks so fit and amazing,I just had to read her book.
' My Life So Far' is not just a journal of factual events, it is more about her feelings at every stage. She has recalled and reflected on what sh
Every once in a while a person comes along and tells a story about their life that makes you reflect on your own. I caught her on UCTV one morning while getting ready for work. She was speaking at UCSB and her lecture was nothing less than inspiring and motivating. Her name in my house growing up was a bad word. I never quite understood why she was such a hated figure until now. Misconceptions, apologies, this woman walked the trenches of Vietnam and reported the horrors she witnessed. While she ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this frank and (thanks no doubt to years of therapy) insightful autobiography by a woman who has always come across to me as a bit brittle. That quality certainly hasn't impeded her success, nor her passion for her current causes. And it sheds some interesting light on both her support of the recent "Toronto Declaration" (protesting TIFF's decision to do a Tel Aviv spotlight this year) and her subsequent partial recantation on her website - both of these now seem entirely in ...more
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Jane Fonda is an American two-time Academy Award-winning actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou and has appeared in films ever since. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other awards and nominations. She initially announced her retirement from acting in 1991, and said for ...more
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“I think most of us have many personas inside us at the outset, but over time we lean to the one that is dominant and the others atrophy for lack of use. The difference with actors is that we are paid to become all the people inside us and to bring into us all the people we may have met along the way. Thus we remain instinctively aware of, unsettled by, curious about, empathetic toward, and eager to display all those potential beings we carry. Of all these, the empathy part is the most important and is, I believe, why actors—the good ones—tend to be open, progressive creatures: We are asked to get inside the skin of “other,” to feel with “other,” to understand “other.” Being able to see from this “other” point of view gives actors compassion.” 3 likes
“I needed to pay attention, to be ready to step through and descend into it, whatever it was. It felt archetypal. Something in me was being slain in the fires of pain so that some new thing could be born. I knew it and went with it, and in the alchemy of my pain, like flowers whose seeds open only in the presence of fire, tendrils of something new began to sprout. Pain for me was a Trojan horse, penetrating the protective walls I’d erected around my heart, bearing within it hints of a future I might never have awakened to had I tried to numb myself with busyness.” 3 likes
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