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My Life So Far

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  3,787 Ratings  ·  314 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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Joanne
Jan 22, 2011 Joanne rated it really liked it
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
Julie Barrett
Dec 18, 2012 Julie Barrett rated it it was amazing
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
...more
steffie
Apr 23, 2007 steffie rated it really liked it
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
...more
Carol Storm
Mar 01, 2016 Carol Storm rated it really liked it
Jane Fonda writes about her personal life with such honesty, warmth, and openness that I couldn't give this book less than four stars. On the other hand, whenever she discusses politics, history or even the movie business she's strangely out of touch and preachy at the same time. So I just couldn't give the book five stars, even though I enjoyed almost every page.

There's a contradiction in this book that I've noticed in other memoirs, such as READING MY FATHER by Alexandra Styron. When Jane is
...more
David Jay
Aug 31, 2007 David Jay rated it it was amazing
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.
Nancy Rossman
Jul 01, 2012 Nancy Rossman rated it really liked it
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
Keith Craig
Feb 16, 2010 Keith Craig rated it liked it
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
...more
Tess
Feb 20, 2017 Tess rated it really liked it
I carted this fairly substantial book around for almost two months on buses and trains and people commented on it constantly - apparently everyone has an opinion on Jane Fonda. During that time I watched nineteen of her films and actually bought her workout DVDs from Amazon.

Her autobiography was really genuinely interesting and for the most part the balance of narrative to introspection worked really well. It was well-written, emotional, and reflective - whether she's skinny dipping with Greta
...more
Katrin
Aug 12, 2011 Katrin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was never particularly fond of Jane Fonda (the book got to me by chance), but I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I read it! lt is not the usual badly written, superficial account of a celebrity's life (although I like these, too ...), but a rather frank autobiography which leaves you with the feeling that it has been written with great care and deep psychological insights. Especially for female readers like me, role-model-wise, it is very interesting and revealing to see that a "perfec ...more
Zuzka Namu Jakubkova
Apr 05, 2017 Zuzka Namu Jakubkova rated it it was amazing
My second most favourite biography after Sara Bareillies's. Jane Fonda is a role model for every activist ever. Her autobiography is also a great insight into a mind of actress, bulimic, wife, step-mom and first and foremost, a woman who is not going to shut up.
Sharon Raphael
Dec 29, 2010 Sharon Raphael rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Linda
Jun 21, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok
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
...more
Tatjana Blanusic
May 15, 2017 Tatjana Blanusic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Fonda's words are a marvel to read, a true balm for the soul. Her approach sucks you in immediately as you cannot help but be in awe of this woman's life and the good the bad and the ugly that comes with it. Her voice echoes clearly and guides the reader almost to the point of visuals,as the chapters unfold in your mind's eye like one of her films. She is painfully honest,both with herself and the reader- and for that one cannot help but admire her further. As she starts the third act of her imm ...more
Anne
Aug 11, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
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
Phyllis Harrison
Apr 05, 2010 Phyllis Harrison rated it really liked it
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
...more
Amy
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
Kevin
Aug 23, 2011 Kevin rated it it was amazing
THE ABRIDGED AUDIONBOOK READ BY JANE FONDA:

Thanks to Fonda's bravura reading, this eloquent abridgement of her stirring 500-page autobiography is one of the best audiobooks of the season. Her tour de force performance ranges from hilarious (an imitation of Ted Turner trying to say "monogamous") to heartbreaking (her final days with her dying father).

This probing and articulate memoir follows Fonda's quest for self-discovery: "To have a good third act you need to understand what the first two ha
...more
Vicki
Oct 15, 2012 Vicki rated it it was ok
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
...more
Wendell Hennan
Sep 30, 2014 Wendell Hennan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Angeline Boulley
Jan 24, 2012 Angeline Boulley rated it really liked it
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
Donna Jones
Sep 17, 2011 Donna Jones rated it really liked it
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
Kathyb
Jul 17, 2014 Kathyb rated it it was amazing
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
Erin
Apr 29, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing
I knew I liked her before I read this book. Since reading it, my respect and major admiration for her has grown. I was surprised to learn that we have a whole lot in common as females. Almost everything, really, except living through the Vietnam War, of course. She is so intelligent and brave. Throughout the book I wanted to BE her, then I wanted her to be my sister, then my mentor. It wasn't until I finished the book that I wanted her to be my Mommy. Don't get me wrong, I've got a good Mommy al ...more
Fiona
Nov 17, 2012 Fiona rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
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
Karen
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.
Maureen Moriarty
Dec 30, 2009 Maureen Moriarty rated it really liked it
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.
Louise
Dec 12, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it
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
Janis
Jul 26, 2012 Janis rated it liked it
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.
Kristina
The writing in this book is so-so, but it's pretty interesting. Jane Fonda is much more complex than you may think she is. She's fairly honest in discussing her personal relationships, past history, and her politics (at least, as far as you can tell).
Rikki Beadle-blair
May 04, 2015 Rikki Beadle-blair rated it really liked it
An woman and her amazing life. The painful but thrilling growth from being in the shadow of every man she loved to being herself.
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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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“In psychologist Marion Woodman’s Leaving My Father’s House I read: “When humans suffer they are vulnerable. Within this vulnerability lives the humility that allows flesh to soften into the sounds of the soul.” Maybe this was what was happening to me. I felt lighter, as if a space had been cleared around me allowing coincidences (God’s way of remaining anonymous) to manifest. Maybe these coincidences had been happening all along and I just hadn’t been open to them. Now it was as though I were being led to them.” 6 likes
“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.” 5 likes
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