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My Way of Life

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Inscribed By Joan Crawford..224 pages of Text
Unknown Binding, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  377 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book 5 stars because 5 stars = "it was amazing". This book is so insane, it's amazing. I could write a whole new book on why this book was so awesomely crazy. Joan has iron-clad rules for EV-RY-THING - so many, many tips on how to be fabulous.
Here's what I learned from Joan:
1. If there is anything on your body that needs to be moisturized, do it with mayonnaise.
2. Mommie Dearest is probably not too off the mark.
Here are my two favorite quotes:
(Regarding starting a "beauty club" to
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things Joan likes: cleanliness, rules, hostess pajamas, being a slim, fragrant, interesting, charming woman who is admired in the boardroom and the bedroom.
Things Joan does not like: your sorry excuses for why you can't be a slim, fragrant, interesting, charming woman who is admired in the boardroom and the bedroom. Also, hippies.
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-movies
Oh Joan.

The pure craziness in this book is ratcheted all the way to the highest level, but that's to be expected, especially considering who wrote it and that time in her life. Just by itself, it's a revealing, often hilarious, sometimes disturbing glimpse into the mind of Joan Crawford. It's a self-help/advice book, but it's more honest I think of a picture of self than most autobiographies.

Taken into context of Joan's life, especially events in the 70s, book has a touch of pathos, especially
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was wild literally out of mid century America , where women stayed home and took care of all her family’s needs. The only reason I gave it 5 stars is because it was actually narrated by Joan Crawford herself and because it really took you back to the 1920s to the 1960s. I recommend anyone to listen to this on audio otherwise it’s really not special audio is the way to go it’s just left me in awe.
This is a must for any Joan Crawford fan. This audio book is read BY JOAN in her NY apartment! You can hear the traffic from the street in the background as she's reading. I think I even heard Mamacita once or twice. It's so personal and endearing. She chuckles at her own jokes and you can hear her smiling as she tells her stories. I love this book, and hearing her read it herself was such a treat. I'm fully aware that Joan Crawford lived in an alternate universe of her own making, but it's ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me giggling and intrigued for the 4 short hours it took to read it. If anything, it will make you laugh! I am a huge Joan Crawford fan firstly. I think she is THE epitome of the Golden Age of Hollywood Movie Star. They don't make em like her anymore. Such a gifted actress and her life was so glamorous...this book reveals that! She reveals her favorite dishes to make and beauty secrets. Joan seems to forget the ordinary housewife is not extremely wealthy like she is and the fact ...more
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HILARIOUS! Joan Crawford, who by the time she wrote this book was in her late 50's, chronicles the way everyone should live - the same as she does. Along the way, she encourages dinner parties, and suggests a guest list that includes a starlet, an astronaut and a bearded poet. Seriously.

Her "let them eat cake" tone is punctuated by her attempt to come of as one of the people, but she cannot stay there too long. When suggesting that one can throw a dinner party for little money, by the time she
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about reviewing this book. There’s really not much to it. Ms. Crawford gives advice that may have been slightly more helpful or insightful at the time, but we’ve either adopted her way of living or have completely grown away from it. Yes, a high protein, low carb diet is great for the figure, but no, women do not stay in bed for a few months to try to diminish muscle tone, particularly muscular calves. She says that it is great to join a group for exercise to help stay ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After watching 'Mommie Dearest' a few too many times, I became fascinated by Joan Crawford. I mean, that opening scene alone!

But what a treat! I finally got my hands on a copy...and this book did not disappoint. It did confirm that Joan was indeed very off beat! Her domestic, grooming, and exercise habits, in her view, are all supposed to be done BEFORE your husband gets home! He's never supposed to see you exercising, your hair in rollers, or wearing a masque (to name a few). You are supposed
Nancy Loe
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How could I have neglected this gem? A must-read for all who are enthralled by sour-milk moués and caterpillar brows.
Margot Note
I listened to the whole thing on Youtube because I am a masochist!
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Joan Crawford fans
This is a how-to-live-your-life book written by that paragon of family life and normalcy, Joan Crawford. Joan has, at this point, been a Star for decades, and it shows. What planet does this woman live on? Well, one where all dresses have matching gloves specially made. And where one dresses to the nines to pose with indigenous peoples of other lands. Or should I say, bestow one's presence on the said peoples. The book picks up after she marries Pepsi magnate Alfred Steele, a time when her ...more
Oh Joan, what can I say about this magical book? Not only do I now know how to keep my husband happy, but I also know how to throw a small dinner party for 18, and also know how to find my true sense of style and how to stick to it! Though some of it was absurd, I overall enjoyed her sense of self and knowing how to get what she wanted. What a woman!

EDIT: Just listened to Joan Crawford's reading of this wonderful classic on YouTube. So nice to hear Joan slur, er, read her way through her own
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this only exists for her to name-drop about everyone she knows, and to promote Pepsi.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious. Just hilarious.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joan Crawford is a legend and the life she leads is fabulous and over-the-top. This book encompasses her personal etiquette tips and lifestyle choices. I found it thoroughly entertaining and outrageous with its retro tips and opinions. Joan Crawford is the ultimate hostess with the mostess and she always has a frozen aspic in the freezer for emergencies along with lobster Newburg and beef bourguignon. Also, I loved that just outside Joan's large upstairs dressing room is a little compartment ...more
Bert Z
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Charm is a touch of magic – try to make it a part of your way of life.”

Oh Billie you big lush you! This would have to be one of the most outrageous books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Throughout this book Billie (yes I’m calling her Billie because that’s what she preferred to be called by close friends and my love for her is so strong that I don’t think she’d mind me calling her that) gives us a sneak peek into her extremely extravagant world. The lifestyle tips she gives here are
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From Joan's guide to life:
"During the most blissful years of my life the dead center of my life was my husband. I worked with him, and I made sure that he was comfortable and happy as a man could be, and should be. Our home was designed to please him, and I was delighted when he wanted to bring his work back to it and share it with me. I organized his quiet times and made sure that children had been taken care of and the phones and doorbells wouldn't disturb him while he had some well-earned
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh wow! SO COMPLETELY CRAZY!! Amazing. I sped through it. Lots of stuff about how to get your husband to let you work, or let you wear a color he thinks he doesn't like on you, what to feed to hungry men who are having business meetings in the den (sausage, or black bread with peanut butter and bacon), how important it is to be fresh always when your husband comes home, what foods to put on your face and hair, really detailed shit about entertaining, bad stuff about hippies and feminists, how to ...more
Beth Newman
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was all that I hoped it to be - and more! As a fan of Miss Crawford's movies, I couldn't help but be intriqued by her insights and advice. Dry skin -JC's got you covered. Tips for a happy marriage - that's included, too. Exercise, clothing, entertaining, decorating - it's all here.

I don't buy into all of the Mommie Dearest allegations, but after reading this I do buy into what has been reported about Joan over the years: he was success-driven, disciplined, and expected the best from
Rob Christopher
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
If you've ever wanted advice on keeping yourself beautiful, packing suitcases for a trip to Africa, or isometric exercises you can do at home, Joan's got your back. Apparently this book was dictated, and it shows, reading like a long lecture. Don't expect any juicy gossip, or even much self-reflection on her long career. But between the lines there's some fascinating stuff. Yes, there are multiple paragraphs about the "right way" to hang up clothes and wash floors ("handsies and kneesies" only). ...more
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joan Crawford dictated these 200+ pages of her ridiculous stream of consciousness to a secretary. More a book of manners than an autobiography, Joan's advice is perfect for aging, masochistic debutantes the world over.
Bookworm Erica
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love. I'll be doing her beauty regime asap
David Cerda
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on how to life your life ever written.
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: movies
The delightfully bitchy Joan holds forth on Tips for Living, and in the process had me in stitches. This book is a hoot.
Lauren Hassabou
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious look at everyday life through the eyes of Joan Crawford. It is a must read for any fans or for people who would like to see the world through her eyes in her words. I loved every page!
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She name drops. She fat shames. She hates starchy food. She has a distinct preference for wooden hangers and scrubbing things clean. She will spend every last penny you have and tell you that she did it to make you happy (if you are a man, that is). She has mirrors everywhere in every room of the house in front of which she practices being gorgeous and her constant isometric clenching. She hates wearing bras. Who am I talking about? I’m talking about the dearest mommie of them all, Ms. Joan ...more
Natalie Tyler
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was 1974. I was just starting out in life and I needed advice. And how I treasured this book. I will always remember that one should roll a bottle of Pepsi-Cola under one's feet while watching television. I learned to sit on hard chairs, because soft ones would "spread" my hips. I learned that if I sense I am coming down with a cold, I have to rush to Jamaica,
Joan says:
"Scrubbing, for me, is the greatest exercise in the world. It gives me rosy cheeks, and I just have a ball.”

She had a lot of
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it - found it rather amusing and a good personal insight into Joan's daily life in the early 1970s. Well after her heyday, but still active and on the board of Pepsi. Nice to read 'in her own words' her perspective on her life. Contrasted to today's standards, this book is too over the top to be believable, but Joan was never really normal compared to everyone else. Found it amusing that she is somewhat focused on her inner 'clean freak' - and as expected, was a hard working woman even ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted this to be the pulp-y fun it promised but it was only a little depressing - worth a column in a 1971 grocery check-out aisle magazine - not an entire book and not now. No "dirt" except what she can clean with soap and "electric" brushes; no insights: just bland superficialities. What brought me here??? I love the beginning scene from Mommie Dearest that has Faye Dunaway as JC doing her OCD skin and clothing routine at 5:00am before getting to the Burbank studio set! Super fab (I don't ...more
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Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. Crawford is named as the tenth Greatest Female Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

Starting as a dancer on Broadway, Crawford was signed to a motion picture contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in 1925 and played small parts. By the end of the '20s she became a famous flapper. Beginning in the
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“I need sex for a clear complexion, but I'd rather do it for love.” 44 likes
“surround myself with happy colors—yellow, coral, hot pink, and Mediterranean blues and greens.” 1 likes
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