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The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  3,350 ratings  ·  505 reviews
Joan Rivers was known all over the worldfrom the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Crown Archetype
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  3,350 ratings  ·  505 reviews

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May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A MUST FOR (the countlesss) FANS!

I was completely taken by surprise by just how well this memoir is put together--also, by how much I truly miss Joan. It is endearing PLUS not too unlike the comedy of her sainted mother, there are chuckles that decorate this apt memorial. Melissa Rivers is one apple that did not roll too far from the tree (or from that tree's gnarly/majestic roots). SHE! HOLDS! HER! OWN!

A PLEA to Melissa: Pretty please give us a "Book of Joan Volume II"! We simply WON'T be
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

I'm a fan of Joan Rivers and enjoyed her comedy routines, early 90's daytime talk show, and Fashion Police program. I've also seen the documentary "A Piece of Work" and read Joan's book "I Hate Everyone....Starting With Me."

Joan Rivers had a daytime talk show in the early 1990s

Joan Rivers hosted 'The Fashion Police' for many years

In this memoir Joan's daughter, Melissa Rivers, relates amusing stories about her mother.

Melissa Rivers

Unlike Joan, Melissa is not a natural comic and some
Jun 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I can't continue listening to this. I don't care for the narration, the pacing, or author's frequent attempts to be witty. Joan Rivers was a fascinating woman, who really put it all out there. I'm certain that her daughter's life is deeply affected by her mother's absence but I'm just not enjoying the content or delivery of this material.
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I really enjoyed reading this book. Melisa recounts stories of her mother and growing up with her. What I could have done without was Melissa trying hard to be funny like mom. No one can imitate Joan. Melissa is just not funny, but I certainly did not expect her to be. I just wanted to read about her mom and what it was like growing up with her, what kind of woman was she, what kind of grandmother was she. I dont know that we get a satisfying picture of who Joan was but for me I was happy to get ...more
Lois R. Gross
May 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Perhaps my expectations were too high. I had hoped that this would be an actual tribute to Ms. Rivers by the woman who knew her best, her daughter. Instead, this is a warmed over collection of River's jokes or jokes by Melissa Rivers in a pseudo-Joan delivery. There are few insights into the real woman, the one that appeared in the documentary, "A Piece of Work." Frankly, if you are looking for the real Joan, watch the movie and skip this book.

What her daughter does remind us is that Rivers
Larry H
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The comedy world lost a real treasure when Joan Rivers died last fall. One of the hardest working women in show business, Rivers was unapologetically her own person, telling it like it is, but rarely with malicious intentions. She often said what everyone was thinking but would never say, and there were many instances where she was the only one who could get away with saying certain things about certain people.

I had been a fan of Rivers' since the 1970s, when I used to watch her on The Tonight
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Joan Rivers. Sometimes she made me cringe with the stuff that she said, but most of the time she was pretty funny. I really enjoyed listening to this book by her daughter Melissa. It was neat to get a glimpse of Joan's private life and her relationship with Melissa and her grandson. There were a few times I laughed out loud, which I'm sure my intern behind me at work wondered what was so funny. If you liked Joan even a little bit, pick up this audiobook and have a good laugh. At least it ...more
Actually she didnt have as much work done as people think she had. One a scale from one to Michael Jackson, she was a six.

A more accurate title would be: The Book of Melissa ... Oh, and Her Mother. I love Joan Rivers, but Ive always found Melissa a bit annoying, so expectations were low. Though her audio narration was decent, she tried too hard to be funny too often, and it didnt always work. Rating 3 stars because the love for her mom really emanated.
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read, reviewed
In this wonderfully delightful book Melissa Rivers, a great storyteller, and comedian in her own right, easily picks up where her mother left off with: "The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation".

In 1965 when Joan appeared on the Tonite Show with Johnny Carson, he told her on the air: "You're going to be a star!". Film producer Edgar Alfred Rosenberg, hearing about Joan, went to see her show in the Village at the Bitter End: he not only hired her, they married five days later!
Audiobook read by the author, Melissa Rivers.

A quick audiobook that was very likable. Melissa Rivers wrote this book after the sudden and expected death of her mother, the legendary comedian Joan Rivers. Melissa shares many anecdotal stories about her mother throughout her childhood and adult life. She also shares her final moments with her mom in the hospital and how she was holding her mom in her arms when she passed away. Definitely recommend for Joan Rivers fans. 3.5 stars.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
I picked this up because she died, let's face it. I did not know much about Joan before I started reading other than that she had a filthy mouth, loved to crack a joke, had a ridiculous amount of plastic surgery and was the voice of Dot Matrix on Spaceballs.
The mother daughter relationship between Melissa and Joan was obviously ridiculously close and considering the life they led together I am not surprised. Easy to read it is full of naughty fun and touching moments.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book in that it revealed the deep relationship between Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa. Joan was a very loving - yet crazzzzzy - mother, and there never seemed to be a dull moment in the Rosenberg home. With Joan, it seems that what you see is what you get. She kept it real; there was nothing shared about her personal life that seemed out of character with her public life. My only hang up with the book was that Melissa, at times, seemed to try too hard to be funny and ...more
Winter Sophia Rose
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt, Laugh Out Loud Funny & Charming! A Beautiful Read! Loved It!
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is silly and simple. It also will appeal to those who liked Joan River's stand up style because it has that exact same onus and pace. Melissa, much like her Mother, has no strict boundaries toward being either straight laced or politically correct. She seems more practical than her Mother, but quite similar in worldview values and occupational preferences to what centers most of her hours' activities. I enjoyed about 75% of the book, to be honest. Really, I am just not a huge fan of ...more
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Joan Rivers has always been hilarious to me, despite how inappropriate or blunt it may be. I am not that familiar with her daughter Melissa, but I was intrigued to see her perspective of her mother's life. I have to admit, I thought that Melissa attempt to be funny failed on so many levels. If her intention was to make me laugh with her jokes then she failed. Mainly cause I felt that she was trying too hard, but her mother was a natural at making people laugh. There were many scenes in this book ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, biography
This book is a series of essays about Joan and Melissa. Overall, they are funny and poignant. But oh my lord. Melissa Rivers is not funny. Her supposedly funny metaphors and similes fall flat - flat as a pancake. (See what I did there?) The other thing that made me uncomfortable was Melissa telling us which celebrities Joan personally didn't like. It doesn't seem classy and I don't think Joan would have done that if she were alive. I mean sure she skewered people as part of her act but she never ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked Joan Rivers and this was a fitting tribute to her comic genius. Her daughter is similarly humorous but obviously not as funny as Joan. She strikes an amazing balance of being funny yet unstinting in her praise of her mother. It was really refreshing to read a daughter's biography of a mother in which there is no undercurrent of resentment or attempt to garner sympathy for complaints of parenting flaws. Melissa is wholeheartedly her mom's biggest fan and all her stories show Joan in the ...more
My usual format doesn't really work for this book. So let me just say that I think Melissa gave her mother a tribute that I think Joan would love. The last few chapters actually had me in tears. Losing a mother is so tough. I hope when the time comes I can have half of the poise and strength that Melissa has shown.
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Super hilarious and I couldn't put it down. Started reading it today in Walmart of all places and had to buy it to finish it. Melissa is just as funny as Joan was. No recessive gene there! Thanks to Melissa for sharing a bit of Joan with us. We miss her!
Mike Snedegar
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you're a fan of Joan Rivers you will love these behind the scenes stories.
Continuing with famous people reading to me in my car, in this case maybe semi-famous. I remember watching Joan Rivers fill in for Johnny Carson and thinking how cool it was to see a woman behind the desk. I also remember watching "Rabbit Test" on HBO multiple times as a kid. Sure that movie sucked, but I was so excited to have HBO, I watched everything on there. So Joan Rivers was in my orbit from a very early age, and she off and on continued to be. I watched Joan in later years on the red ...more
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad that I have read this book. This is the type of book that I can read over and over again! Melissa Rivers tells about her life while she was growing up with the famous patents that she had. She is a very comical writer and makes you laugh out loud while you are reading. Instead of chapters, she calls them "essays" that she writes about the different things that happened. Each "essay" has a life of it's own. Some of them will leave you wondering, "How in the world could Joan say ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I would give this a 3.5. This book is written by Melissa Rivers, Joan River's daughter. Most people probably know that Joan Rivers died while going for a procedure that went wrong. She stopped breathing and her daughter Melissa had to make the decision to stop life support. This book is kind of a homage to her mother. Melissa writes about what it is like growing up with a famous person. Her mother was know for being an outspoken comedian. Some people over the years took offense to some of her ...more
The Book Jar Blog
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
Read more of our reviews at:

Joan Rivers was an icon, a hilarious hard-working force of a woman. Like all the others who so dearly admired Joan, I took her death rather hard because she was unstoppable and such a strong soul. This book was the perfect real for all those who consider themselves a fan of the legend.

Melissa's memoir about her relationship with her mother is heart warming, movingly sad and of course hysterical in a way that would make her mother very
W. Whalin
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew about Joan Rivers but never like the insight which I gained from hearing this audio book from cover to cover. At times it is profane and funny but mixed with raw honesty from the perspective of her only daughter, Melissa.

One detail which stuck with me is how the editor for this book started the publication process during Joan Rivers funeral sticking her business card in Melissa's hand and gesturing for her to call. It was a bold move which worked.

I learned a great deal listening to this
JoAnne Pulcino
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it

Melissa Rivers

A touching and lovely tribute to a mother who was unique, magical, strong and even irreverent. Knowing Joan and being her daughter had to be one of the greatest gifts Melissa could ever receive. Her honesty and ability to see her mother as the fantastic person she was is very endearing.

An enjoyable read and akin to a visit with an old friend if you are of a certain age.

Good Book Fairy
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, 2018-read

The Book Of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation was a good insight into Joans life from the most personal source there is. Mother and daughter had an extremely close relationship that is demonstrated through the essays shared in the book.

I found that listening to it while driving kept me highly entertained, but Melissas voice got to be somewhat irritating. Because this is told from Melissas point of view, much of the book was about their relationship. Anecdotes from her childhood
Jennice Mckillop
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved that Melissa wrote this book honoring her mother. So many folks R ready to blame their parents for lifes failures, & not praising them for the love that was expected, given & received. So I read this book because of that.

I wasnt a Joan Rivers fan. I found her type of humor a bit much. & her fashion shows etc, were of no interest to me. But I would sometimes tune in to listen to her to see if shed taken up a different approach to her routines. She hadnt. And that so amazed
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet tribute to her mom. I actually cried at the end. And I cant believe how many similarities there are between Joan and my own mother (insert eye roll). But I really enjoyed all these short stories about their relationship. ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book to listen to. Melissa tells Joans story with the same humor and delivery as Joan herself. A fun little book ...more
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Non Fiction Book ...: September 2015 - The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers 5 8 Sep 24, 2015 02:42PM  

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Melissa Joan Rivers is an American television co-host and the daughter of Joan Rivers.

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