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Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty

2.86 of 5 stars 2.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,345 ratings  ·  273 reviews
From Academy Award winner and bestselling author Diane Keaton comes a candid, hilarious, and deeply affecting look at beauty, aging, and the importance of staying true to yourself—no matter what anyone else thinks.

Diane Keaton has spent a lifetime coloring outside the lines of the conventional notion of beauty. In Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, she shares the wisdom she
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Random House (first published January 1st 2014)
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13th out of 21 books — 4 voters
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Carly Drake
Oh Diane, I wish you hadn't written with this book. I wish you'd left off with Then Again, which was actually a touching four-star read that cemented my support for your work. I wish you'd given this book a different title because now I can actually use those exact words to describe my reading experience. Let's just say it wasn't pretty... because it read like a stream-of-consciousness first draft that couldn't hold my interest or drum up any sort of enthusiasm. Great concept. Awkward, flustered ...more
Elly Sands
I always looked forward to seeing Diane Keaton on the red carpet at the Oscars. Her outfits were so refreshing and unique! She never fell into that herd mentality of beaded gowns and slits up to the waist. She was all style and class. I admire her and love her movies but this book just didn't do it for me. It was like reading someone's diary and almost fell into the category of "gibberish". But if she writes another one I'll read that one too.
Loved this - will review soon!

I've been a big fan of Diane Keaton for as long as I can remember. I loved her early Woody Allen films (especially "Love and Death", "Manhattan" and "Annie Hall" which I own on DVD) and she continues to make movies I want to see. I haven't read her first memoir yet called Then Again but I really enjoyed this one.

The thing that is great about Diane is she is so true to herself, doesn't follow trends and is unique and funny. She writes well and I highly recommend this
"Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" lives up to it's title. For me, let's just say it was a waste of time. Too much introspection, too many complaints about getting older and too much name dropping. I read about half this book before giving up and just skimming to the end.
Elaina Vitale
This was only published because of the author's name. I love Diane Keaton as much as the next human but this is a truly boring, messy, naval-gazy book.
Denise Larkin
First of all, I have always liked Diane Keaton as an actress. She seems real and funny, and her characters, for the most part, are entertaining and worth the price of admission. But as a writer she sucks. This book contains nothing but a bunch of drivel. How can she make claims about being "true to yourself" when everything she writes to support that is just one long, boring overused cliche? Who are you, really, Diane? I almost had to laugh at the stuff she proffers as her "wisdom of being a wif ...more
It Was Pretty Awful, May 2, 2014
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Have you ever watched the Oscars and wondered how these "stars" were capable of reciting their lines in the movies when they flub a two-line introduction or list of nominees? It certainly has brought me to reality about their talent and their possible lack of intellect. Not so at the Tony Awards where the presenters perform on
This memoir rambled a little but since it was written by Diane Keaton that just made her voice more apparent. I could easily picture her speaking the words as I read them. How does a quirky academy award winning actress cope with the aging process? The same as we all do apparently. It's DIANE KEATON! She wears her insecurities as accessories and we love her for it. We can relate. her privileged lifestyle seems balanced by the cruelty of public and reviewers who constantly judge actresses for eve ...more
Courtney Wolstoncroft
I WISH I could say that I loved this book because I do love Diane Keaton. I had such high hopes for it and was pulling for myself to like it even after I had been struggling through for quite a while. I actually listened to the audiobook and there was no issue with her delivery necessarily. The content however is all over the place. I think she tried to make the same point multiple times. Which might have been okay if her thoughts were strung together in some way and if they were presented as ev ...more
I walk away from this memoir with two conflicting feelings. First, I think Diane Keaton is a pretty genuine person. The whole book read in her voice, with nary a ghostwriter to be found. It was rambly and kooky and full of the kinds of thoughts everyone has in quiet moments but usually only shares with the people we're closest to. And I like how genuine she is. I think I'd like to have coffee with her.


This book is not great. It's genuine, but it's not cohesive. I'm not entirely sure why she
I liked this book. Although Diane does ramble on, her rambling helped me remember that I too have hooded eyes which I never liked. I purchased "The Dictionary of Dreams" because her referring to it brought back memories my grandmother getting out her dream book when I would tell her of a dream I had (and the other night I had a doozie!!). And finally she made me thankful for my thick hair which I can thank my father for and have received complements on since I first went to the hairdresser. Dian ...more
Unfortunately, there is one major flaw in Diane Keaton's "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty" - the book is way too short! Ms. Keaton is a gifted author, with a humorous, honest style. I was captivated by her story from the first page and found it hard to put this book down. This is a fascinating glimpse into her life, her thoughts and even her house. I loved the chapter where she talks briefly about the "Prisoners on My Wall" - her collection of 48 photos of men she finds compelling and why- runni ...more
Nick Duretta
This light collection of essays--all on the general subject of beauty, attractiveness, appearance--is a mixed bag. Keaton is a very engaging, often witty, author with a friendly, accessible voice. She does her fair share of name-dropping (she knows a LOT of famous people), but is humble and self-depracating enough not to make it sound it too boastful. There's also a bit too much in here about her two kids, but again, that's understandable, as they're her main frame of reference these days. Many ...more
Lacey Michael
I like Ms. Keaton as an actress; maybe not so much as an author. Her book was interesting but somewhat annoying with all the name-dropping. As 'real' as she allows her physique to be she is obsessed with losing her beauty as she ages. In fact, much of the book was her complaining about her flaws. She did mention a few times that she is a privileged, rich, white & discontent woman...which is basically what I got from her story. At times I felt like she was trying to dig deeper into the 'why' ...more
I really love Diane Keaton's voice. I think I want to be her when I grow up.
Not the typical life story book. But something more reflective. I started it this morning thinking I would soon be board and by 11:00 this evening I finished it. I just couldn't put it down. I love how she found a lot of answers in her obsession in fixing up houses and then selling them and moving on to the next place, never finding what she was looking for. Not until forced into a house because of circumstance. Where she found "neighbors again", like when she was little. People that care and lo ...more
I tore through this book in two days. Diane Keaton's writing, as in her previous "Then Again" is insightful, but she goes over some of the same territory and repeats stories from the mother/daughter memoir, which I enjoyed tremendously and more, frankly.That said, it was interesting learning some tidbits about who has had plastic surgery, who hasn't and that she admires women who do/don't. She is truly genuine, the source of her beauty. The book is deeper than talking about other celebs; she aga ...more
Maria Menozzi
Sigh. Just because you can act doesn't mean you can write. It also doesn't mean that you have anything worthwhile to say. Yes, you are privileged and secure in your career and personal life so then why all this ruminating about how you look? About aging??? Really??? You are walking backwards walking your dog so you won't get Alzheimer's? OMG. I skimmed the first two thirds because it was a waste of paper. Thank God I got it out of the library. Too bad they bought it for circulation because this ...more
Would it surprise you to learn that the beautiful Diane Keaton of the beauty product commercials has the same insecurities as you or I when it comes to those very private, and sometimes unexpected, moments in front of a mirror? This aspect of Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty was easy to identify with; however, once the names started dropping and the escapades were revealed, any connection flew right out the window.

Opening Lines:
I've always loved independent women, outspoken women, eccentric women
This book from Diane Keaton was a bit of a ramble. One part wisdom about ageing, which I am sure must be hard to face in Hollywood, another part about being a mother to teenagers, part memoir and part real estate. All interesting, but I found it a bit self centred. We get that she is sensitive about her thinning hair, but truly I don't think Diane has anything to complain about. I do think that wearing gloves and turtleneck sweaters in the middle of a LA summer is weird, I get that she has her o ...more
Colleen Wainwright
Sweet, honest, earnest essays about Keaton's wide-ranging dissatisfactions with self, as well as some of the peace she's found in all her searching for love and self-acceptance. Although it's sad to read, over and over, of the enduring dissatisfaction she has with her body, her face, her aging, her talent, it's generous and instructive in the way that only an honest example can be. So thanks, amazing, funny lady, for the truth; it's a mitzvah!

The short of it is, of course, that none of the exter
I've always liked Diane Keaton. I thought she was brilliant in Woody Allen's movies, particularly "Love and Death" where her timing and delivery were perfect. She must have intelligence to perform that way, right? After reading this book I'm thinking...Woody wrote her lines.
The two of them have a running gag where he calls her an idiot. I had thought it was a joke. After reading the book, I'm no longer so sure.

Born and raised in California she seems to conform to the stereotype. At times I thou
A candid talk about growing old gracefully, about the camaraderie, or lack of, of those "sixty-five and older show business folks", about reminiscing a long career, about commenting with self-deprecating observations of the what if's. At times Diane Keaton offers her readers the insider's view of what she actually does on a day by day basis, especially as a single parent: deals with the nitty gritty, mundane chores of everyday life, of child caring, of being friends and mom to her daughter Dexte ...more
Barry Martin Vass
This is the kind of book that most New York publishers would salivate over. Imagine: a major, Oscar-winning movie star dishes about Hollywood, the stars she's worked with, and the life she's led. Can't miss, right? Unfortunately, Diane Keaton's new autobiography misses in a major way. In fact, you can't even call this an autobiography; it's so jangled and uneven that you have trouble caring about what's written. Ms. Keaton talks at length about growing up and then growing old; about make-up and ...more
WTH am I reading? With all due respect to Ms. Keaton, this reads like a therapy exercise titled "Making Peace with My Body." It is SO stream-of-consciousness, vanity project. I don't know if I'm gonna make it to the end.

Newsflash: I didn't make it to the end.
Sally Ember
Dear Ms. Keaton:

I have looked at you as a kind of distant, wacky, very famous older cousin (we're only a few years apart) ever since "Sleeper" came out. I appreciated you in many films, especially once you ditched Woody/he ditched you. Whatever.

You are an excellent actress and could do quite a bit more than he had ever let you do. He launched you, but he held you back.

That being said, this audiobook autobiography is terrible. Did you not have an editor, or is s/he too enamored of you to do the
While there were moments -- stories about her dad and friends, and her illness that were moving -- I couldn't believe that this woman, who could have written powerfully about her life in film, chose to write an entire book about her dissatisfaction with her appearance (and envy of EVERYONE else's) and pessimism over aging. For me, it furnished every stereotype for self-interested Hollywood types who don't get it that these fixations on the exterior world keep them from being relatable in any rea ...more
The Short of It:

An observant, witty take on the meaning of beauty.

The Rest of It:

Diane Keaton is a wonderful storyteller. She can literally talk about anything and somehow make it fascinating. I enjoyed Then Again, some years back. That book focused on family and mainly, her relationship to her mother. I loved that book. She seemed so genuine and although she did hold a little back when it came to her many love affairs with some very recognizable names (Pacino, Beatty, Allen), I still enjoyed it
Amy Margaret
I love Diane Keaton but I didn't love this book. The book jumps all over the place. At one point, Diane offers her opinion on aging and other leading ladies pursuing plastic surgery. At another, she seems envious of her daughter buying bras in Victoria's Secret and seems to enjoy making her son uncomfortable by showing up at his school without shoes. She moves to the beat of her own drum, which is a great quality!

It finally answered my question of why she always wears hats... she hates her hair.
Nancy Rossman
I so loved the title and like Diane Keaton as an actress. But go figure. After reading this she may not be an actress at all. It seems like the best parts she's played: neurotic, goofy, laughing at herself, fretting....that's really her. So for someone who says she doesn't care about aging, not being beautiful, and not having had "work done" she whines about it through 224 pages. Over and over. And if she's going to keep talking about it and looking at the good work that others have done, she sh ...more
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Diane Keaton (born Diane Hall) is an Academy Award-winning American film actress. Her first major film role was Kay Adams-Corleone in The Godfather movies. She starred with director and co-star Woody Allen in "Play It Again, Sam," "Sleeper," "Love and Death," "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan." She has starred in many other films and worked as a director, producer, and screenwriter.

A number of books of
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“You can see. Seeing is believing. Seeing is the gift that keeps giving. It’s much more engaging than being seen.” 0 likes
“I carry their beauty inside the very soul of my being. Dark with shades of grey. White with storm clouds in the distance. Because of dad and mom, I am not afraid to dream of dark victories and black beauty. I'm not afraid to be in love with the night” 0 likes
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