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By Myself
Lauren Bacall
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By Myself

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,862 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The classic first autobiography of one of Hollywood's classic actresses, reissued to coincide with the publication of her new book, Now. Here, in her own words, is Lauren Bacall's charming, candid chronicle of her life and career, including her dream marriage to Humphrey Bogart.
Paperback, 506 pages
Published 1979 by Coronet (first published December 12th 1978)
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Lauren Bacall smoking and drinking tea

One of my friends made fun of me for a little while yesterday because he saw me walking down the street laughing to myself. Fittingly, I was laughing to myself about the smartass comments I was planning to make to him about how rude it was that he didn’t offer to give me a ride. This book makes me think of that because of how easily I can entertain myself by thinking about a better comeback, a funnier joke, or a snappier ending to a story I already told. Reading this was sort of like reading eve...more
Paula Dembeck
This is Bacall’s memoir, first published in 1978 and later updated with an additional seventy-five pages. I read the first but not the second edition.

She begins her story in Brooklyn and Manhattan in the thirties and forties, where she was raised by her mother in a close knit Jewish family. As a teenager she was obsessed with Bette Davis and the idea of becoming a movie star. She started modeling and it was as a cover model for Harper’s Bazaar that she was noticed by Slim Hawks, who brought Laur...more
Lauren Ball is most known for her acting (The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not), but she is also a natural, gifted writer.

I really got a sense for what it was like growing up in New York in the '30s. She was raised by a single mom and her mom's supportive Jewish family and she really is a great example of how "It takes a village" to raise a child. Of course she also tells of meeting Bogie, falling in love with him, marrying him and of their life together and theirs was definitely the real deal.

Jana Lynn
Interesting to read about her experiences. Writing style is snotty and slightly condesending. Found myself annoyed with her by the end.
Haralambi Markov
As of late I’ve been enjoying Lauren Bacall’s cheery, bubbly autobiography “By Myself” and I don’t want the book to end, but I’m crawling slowly to the finish line. The end is near, but I decided to voice my thoughts as they come to me. It’s different than my critical approach to a work and I don’t believe that there is something to get out of a biography thinking critically about it, not the way you would do a novel.

Obviously, “By Myself” is geared towards a different generation, whose members...more
I found this book to be really heartbreaking, for more than one reason. It begins with the details of her early life, then how she broke into the Hollywood scene (playing into that whole "being discovered" thing that just doesn't seem to happen anymore), and meeting Humphrey Bogart. The description of Bogie's illness and death was truly heart wrenching. As Bacall only passed away recently, it must have been really difficult to live through all the changes in cancer treatment.

I think, though, th...more
Rick Ludwig
I enjoyed reading this book by Lauren Bacall about the first half of her life. The book felt as though she had written it herself, which is rare in many such books. She spent a great deal of time separating the human from the image as it related to both herself and those she loved who were also in show business. Some would find the book a bit too chatty, but I thought that was part of it's charm. Her years with Humphrey Bogart were a pleasure to read, but she let the reader know that she was far...more
While a fan of black and white movies and the stars that appeared in them, Bacall is an actress that seems to have passed me by. Her biography explores her dream and aspirations of being a star - her struggles and hours to effort to get noticed and seen. Her engaging and witty writing style makes you feel like you're having a conversation with an old friend. I just loved her expressiveness and openness of her love affair and marriage to Bogart, nevertheless his untimely death is heartbreaking to...more
The red cover of this book caught my eye as I perused a table of used books at a local library sale. When I picked it up for closer inspection and discovered it was an autobiography by Lauren Bacall, I had to have it. I watched many movies of the 30's, 40's and 50's with my mother during my adolescence in the 70's and 80's. Most of them on television when we were lucky enough to catch them on a channel (one of 7) that featured them on Sunday afternoons. In this manner of watching, I was not priv...more
I found this book at a library in the mid 90s. You'll still find a lot of great books at your public library, and specifically memoirs & biographies, so I encourage you to look for it there if you don't want to buy it. This is a good book for persons who want to read about old hollywood, and Ms. Bacall's interactions with those persons she came to know, as well as information about her own life as an actor. It's not a good book for persons who want to know about the author's life as a wife a...more
Debbie Carter
An extraordinary life & events as Bogie's wife and friend to Hollywood legends Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, most of them the Bogarts' neighbors. As irresistible as it sounds, every woman who reads this will ask herself, Should she have married Bogie? Directors and studios thought of her as Bogie's wife first, actress second. But an outstanding memoir/auto biography, exceptionally written, about a special group of American actors and their influence around the world. I read the 1980 version a...more
Annalin Woo
This is the second time I've read Lauren Bacall's autobiography, and I have a funny feeling it won't be the last. I love her a little bit more every time, and her in depth descriptions of the Theatre and film world are gritty and wonderful.
I read By Myself and Then Some which is the expanded edition, and I read it in 2006. It's one of my favorite autobiographies.
What a beautifully written story of the life of Lauren Bacall. Bacall had a lovely upbringing. She came from a close knit Jewish family. Bacall’s mother was an extraordinary loving and supportive woman.

As a little girl Bacall falls in love with the big screen. When she grows up she becomes a model and later branches out into acting. She dates many Hollywood hunks, including Frank Sinatra, but ends up in a fairytale romance with Humphrey Bogart. Despite the difference in age, Bogart and Bacall f...more
Surprisingly well-written and engaging autobiography of Betty "Lauren" Bacall. The book contains highly interesting "behind-the-scenes" information about the theatre and film-making, and the stress of both. Bacall describes the contrasts between New York and Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s so well, using small things as examples. You come to know and root for her family and friends, but she doesn't gloss them over: she describes their foibles as well as her own. The illness and death of the won...more
Christine Brennen-leigh
A good book. I've always been a big Lauren Bacall fan and it was interesting reading about her life and how she always knew she wanted to act. I knew she married young to Humphrey Bogart, a man 25 years her senior, but to read about her love affair made it all the more heartbreaking to read about Bogie's death 11 years later. Ok, I sobbed when he died. I also sobbed a few chapters later when Lauren's mother and best friend died.

All in all a well written book, although it could have been edited...more
Jeremy Good
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maureen Flatley
A classic memoir from an unparalleled style icon.
Intense. Lauren writes and she brings you into her world with her words. Her stories so vivid I felt as if I was there along side her.
"By Myself" reads like a journal. This is one of those that you have to be interested in the author in order to choke down the drivel. No detail is spared and most sentences are short, clipped, and about 3 words in length. Not generally my kind of book but she talks a lot about the film era that I'm most interested in (50's/60's) and a lot about the actors of the time. It's most definitely worth flipping through. And if nothing else, the pictures are great.
A good book. I've always been a big Lauren Bacall fan and it was interesting reading about her life and how she always knew she wanted to act.I really admire this woman, and although I generally love the classic Hollywood actresses of the 40s and 50s Most of them on television when we were lucky enough to catch them on the TCM channel they were of the golden age when woman were glamorous you could lose yourself in there movies.

Lars Egler
As far as celebrity boigraphies/autobiographies go, this one's pretty chaste. No big revelations on who's a jerk or a pervert and yet in spite of that (heh, heh) it manages to be very interesting and to impart a real sense of Lauren Bacall as a person. I liked it and her love and reverence for Humphrey Bogart comes through on every page and actually made me want to learn more about Bogie (rather than Bacall) after reading this book.
Lanni Isenberg
Definitely a memoir of epic proportions! Seems she remembers everybody she ever spoke with as she was starting out in NY. As weird as it seems, this felt like the pre-cursor to reality shows since she seems to unashamedly reveal everything about herself - blemishes and all - and of everybody around her. I definitely enjoyed reading about this original Rat Pack lady and can't wait to see some of the movies she and Bogey did.
This is one of the best autobiographies I have read. Sometimes when I read biographies, I suddenly don't like the person as much as I thought I did. So not the case with Ms. Bacall. She lead such an interesting life and she isn't conceited or obnoxious in her delivery at all. If you like autobiographies, I would recommend this one. Old Hollywood seems so facinating.
I picked this book up at a bookstore street sale in NYC ages back. I don't usually read 'movie star' stuff.... (why buy it when you can review it while waiting in the grocery que?) Anyway, I ended up really enjoying it! Lauren Bacall and Bogie really were an item back then! Quite shocking behavior for the tabloids, though certainly nothing they hadn't seen before!
This book opened a window into the golden age of hollywood in which Bacall was A-list. She openly shares intimate details and does not sugarcoat her life or ask for sympathy, she simply tells her story. A story that is at times fascinating and glamorous, but also at times completely relatable as a woman in a mans world and a woman dealing with love.
I found this book at a yard sale many years ago, this book was one of my best bargain buys.:) I read it aloud to my mother at night, it was one of the most entertaining books I have read. Lauren's life was interesting and her romances intriguing. To this day I hate Frank Sinatra! This is a great autobiography I plan on reading her follow ups.
Una autobiografía libre, sincera, y sin la mierda habitual en los libros de celebridades. A Bacall no le da miedo aceptar su ridiculez o necedad en ciertos momentos de su vida y en qué se equivocó, así como sus varios aciertos. Imagino que tuvo ayuda de un escritor fantasma, pero hicieron una buena mancuerna. Muy recomendable.
Betty Bacall's wonderfully written book about her rise in stardom, loves and losses. She gives an insider view to the behind the scenes of her movies and Bogie's as well as putting a "human" face on her "famous" friends. A fascinating read - makes you want to go out and rent all her movies if you haven't seen them already! :)
I would say this is the best celebrity autobiography ever written. Bacall knew everyone in her day and tells stories about them without ever seeming to drop names or dish the dirt. She's a very classy lady and, after reading this book, you'll feel like you just had a great conversation with a wonderful friend.
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Betty Joan Perske, better known as Lauren Bacall, is a Golden Globe– and Tony Award–winning, as well as Academy Award–nominated, American film and stage actress and model. Known for her husky voice and sultry looks, she became a fashion icon in the 1940s and has continued acting to the present day.

She is perhaps best known for being a film noir leading lady in films such as The Big Sleep (1946) an...more
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“If there was one thing I had never been, it was mysterious, and if there was one thing I had never done, it was not talk.” 11 likes
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