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Around the Way Girl

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,509 ratings  ·  724 reviews
From Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner, and star of the new motion picture Hidden Figures, Taraji P. Henson, comes an inspiring and funny book about family, friends, the hustle required to make it from DC to Hollywood, and the joy of living in your own truth.

With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including NASA physicist mathematician Kathe
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by 37 Ink
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Evonne i found it a really fast read/memoir. finished in just over a day. i thought so (worth it) - if you are looking at the improbable and looking to see h…morei found it a really fast read/memoir. finished in just over a day. i thought so (worth it) - if you are looking at the improbable and looking to see how she did it and what obstacles she faced along the way and how she handled things. also it appears she had a lot of help along the way and she recognizes that in her story. and wow - if her dad never told her to move out to LA, she wouldn't be the person we all see on the screen. incredible how important an emotional support system is to help motivate.(less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Taraji P. Henson!!! I loved her before she was Cookie on Empire. The movie Baby Boy is one of my favorite movies, so when I found out she was writing a memoir I knew I had to read it. Taraji is so cool I want her to be my best friend truly. She is so incredibly honest & open just like I always thought she would be. I recommend this book to people who love Taraji, Empire, or just love honest memoirs.
Sarah Weathersby
I don't often read celebrity memoirs. This was possibly the second one I've read. I like Taraji, maybe because she was born the same year as my older son, and attended NC A&T just as my son did. She didn't know my son, but he sure knew who Taraji Henson is. Taraji thought she wanted to be an engineer, and did try, but it didn't take long for her to realize her heart was in the theater and movies. She left A&T and went on to Howard University where she found a more substantial Theater training. M ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great read.Very inspirational. And her dad was a hot mess had me literally laughing out loud!
J Beckett
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you have ever wondered what makes Taraji P. Henson an extraordinary woman, actress, person or friend, you need only open her memoir, Around the Way Girl, and fall in...face first! Taraji pulls no punches, enacts no stunts and evades the 'star' temptation of glamorizing her journey to the place she now dwells. She offers no apologies, not for her childhood challenges, her teenage errors or keeping a wall of honesty between her and the rest of the world. Love her or not, Taraji embodies the pla ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I love Taraji, but I didn't love this book. It wasn't bad, but it just felt like it talked about surface topics and was flat. I wanted to know more about the rolls she went after and the audition process and to dig a little deeper.

Not bad, but just kinda blah.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Reasons to suspend intellectual conversation for a moment and just fangirl it out:

1. She got so into a character once that she yelled at herself and upset her dog, Uncle Willie.

2. She named her dog Uncle Willie.

3. She did a major photo shoot in just her braids.

4. She's just as confused as the rest of us by what #squadgoals means.

5. She drives a Jeep Cherokee and takes Ubers home from the bar.

6. You know if you had that same moment with her that she did with Mary J. Blige, she'd just turn around
Koko  Lewis
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I can understand why people like this book, but it is not for me. I read it for MochaGirlsRead March book, things I read for my book clubs lol. I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Taraji, and her voice is THE WORST part of this book. I am not a fan of hers, but I respect her accomplishments. The phrase, "single (Black) mother" makes up seemingly 1/3 contents of the book. In her attempt to be real and display her "hustler" spirit she came off braggadocios. I learned about h ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am going to have to find a way to put into words my feelings about this book someway somehow
Joy Olivia
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I do this weird thing when I read celebrity memoirs: I judge them.

I don't care so much if they are well written. Sometimes—when the writing is *too* good—I'm actually a smidgen distracted. (E.g. Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes was a freaking work of art. I couldn't make it through a page without stopping to underline something. So good!)

The two factors to my judging? I rate them by how authentic they are, and I critique them on whether or not I think they would be a good friend IRL.

Are they being
Maya B
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I really enjoyed this one. Taraji is one of my favorite actresses. The book read like she was having a conversation with her readers/fans. What I liked most about this memoir was everything I read was all new to me because her personal life is not all over social media.
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Funny and inspiring, Around the Way Girl is a pretty great memoir. Taraji holds nothing back about her success and failures, family, and an industry that is not always rainbows and sunshine. She's come a long way but has never forgotten WHERE she came from. Such a perfect title for this memoir. Full RTC! ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eilonwy by: Lola
Shelves: non-fiction
It's so hard to rate memoirs!

This one is more linear than most of the others I've read this year, as Taraji P. Henson goes through her life from early childhood as the daughter of divorced parents (she was lucky enough to have good relationships with both of them); through her teens and into college, where she honed her character acting skills while working and being pregnant her junior year and a single mother her senior year; and into adulthood, when she and her baby moved to California to pu
I did not want her story to end. It felt like I was chatting with my good, good girlfriend. Taraji is raw, funny and definitely in your face. This is a story, I can re-read.
TJ *Book Twins Reviews*
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
In Around the Way Girl Taraji P. Henson shares details of her upbringing in a tough part of Washington D.C. From emotional details about her relationship with her father to her first experience auditioning in Los Angeles, she lets it all hang out.
It takes a lot of courage to put all your truths on display for the world to critique. As open as I am, I can't imagine sharing so much of myself with just anyone. I admire Taraji for having that courage. She actually speaks quite a bit about how her r
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Why did I pick it up?

I picked up this book because I really like Taraji Henson and the various characters that she has played. I wanted to get a grasp of who she is as a person and who had a hand in making her that person. I wanted to understand her drive and what makes her want to hustle so hard. Also, I believe you can learn a lot about life through the lives of others.

Describe the book in 5 words

Raw, Interesting, Passionate, Engaging, and Funny

Who would LOVE Around the Way Girl

Anyone wh
Black Carrie
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
It was a slow read ....
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this book for many reasons....none of which are for the writing style. Having said that...let's talk about what I liked. For more on this book review and to see an interview of Taraji on Good Morning America click here ...more
Sarah Robinson
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fantastic audiobook! I feel that I learned a lot about Hollywood, and what life as an actress is like, while also being thoroughly entertained by the funny stories. This was a surprisingly emotional listen as well.
Definitely get this one on audio. Taraji's reading adds so much to her story.

Her memoir is inspirational, entertaining and feels authentic to her.

A must-read for fans.

Zubs Malik
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Taraji P. Henson’s memoire totally shattered any illusion that I had. Her book, her own words told exactly as it was, was a reality check for me and I have totally changed my entire perspective of her and of anyone who has made it big in Hollywood.

I absolutely adore Taraji. I love her tenacity and her will power. She had a goal and no matter what circumstances she was placed in, she always bounced back. She had flaws just like us real life folk and her honesty was just phenome
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
As someone who always knew about Taraji the actress, this book was an interesting invitation to go a bit deeper into Taraji the woman. Learning about her family life, the relationships that shaped her, and seeing the way that all fit into the woman we see on screen today was enlightening. The moments where she reflected on her role as a woman of color in the industry, the friendships she has, and the dedication she puts into each of her characters were probably my favorites. Seeing her take piec ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-memoirs
Taraji P Henson has always been resilient and fearless to me. Taking on roles like Baby Boy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Empire, all of her roles was apart of herself. I had no idea that she wrote a memoir, so needless to say I was excited to read this. Going back to her childhood, she described in explicit detail how she was raised in an abusive home. Learning how to hustle came easy to her, yet her dreams of being a star was birthed in her as a young age. I liked how she talked abo ...more
Taraji P. Henson IS queen. I cannot get over how great this memoir was. Taraji writes the most insightful, raw, real and down to earth memoir. I found myself laughing out loud, crying, getting happy, and cheering Taraji on.
I knew of Taraji but I haven't really focused on her career until she started her role in Empire. She slays as Cookie and the show keeps me laughing all the time. I enjoyed this memoir because she shows the struggle of making it Hollywood, how hard it is being a single Mom an
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
I feel like I've been stewing and avoiding a review on this one. I don't understand how NONE of the reviews I've read have mentioned that Taraji's father physically and emotionally abuses and threatens to kill her mother multiple times but TPH still seems to worship the ground he walked on. He's a "good" man, he was her "rock" at some point, I think. I feel like she casually mentions all this trauma at the beginning and then sings his praises for the rest of the book. She speaks more highly of h ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I rate this a 3.5. I think it is best to listen to the audiobook which I give a 4. I don't think I would have liked reading it as much without the authors voice. ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a captivating audiobook. Taraji does an excellent job reading her own memoir and making the words come to life. She has made a lover of audiobooks.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"...rather than focusing on finding a man so that I could have a baby, I could take my time, examine those frogs under the light, find the warts, and know, for sure, that it wasn't right before I settled in and wasted precious time. This I appreciated most of all."

I went into reading Taraji P. Henson's memoir simply wanting to know more about her leap of faith decision to leave D.C. for LA with a few hundred dollars to her name and her toddler in tow. But now that I read her memoir in its entire
Alyse Stolz
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Taraji tackles it all- love, loss, Hollywood, self image, acting, destiny, and invites the reader in to her amazing career. Whatever character first made you fall in love with Taraji P. Henson is described by the master herself; she is a powerful, talented artist and proves through each story and snippet of her life why it is so easy to love her.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This book was wonderful. Henson's story about David Fincher and what she was planning to do instead of meeting with him was hilarious, as was her recounted phone call with Idris Elba. But many of her memories have a longing to them, a sadness that comes from living. I'd definitely recommend this one on audio. ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've always been a fan...reading this book has made me more so. I'm trippin' and amazed that we were at Howard University around the same time. I am also inspired by her work ethic and drive not to let fear hinder her success. This was a really great read. ...more
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Taraji Henson is an American film and television actress. She is best known as Cookie Lyon on the Fox drama series Empire for which she won a Critics' Choice Award, a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2008 she received an Academy Award nomination for her role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Henson is also a singer and provided the vocals for the Three 6 Mafia track ...more

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