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March 2018: Autobiography > My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall 5 Stars

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message 1: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
5 Stars

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.

My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.

Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.


I had never read an autobiography before. I am so very glad I started with this one. It was enjoyable from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down. It was just Penny Marshall being Penny Marshall. She's not a glitzy Hollywood snob and she never will be. She tells it like it is no matter who she's talking to. She shares stories from her marriages, her divorces, as well as sharing behind-the-scenes stuff from shows and movies that she's either acted in or directed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who ever enjoyed anything Penny Marshall had any part of. You won't be sorry!


message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2088 comments Great review. Welcome to the land of autobiographies.


message 3: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Jason wrote: "Great review. Welcome to the land of autobiographies."

Thank you very much! I'm kind of sad that there isn't more to read in this book. I didn't want it to end!


message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6181 comments SANDYE wrote: "I'm kind of sad that there isn't more to read in this book. I didn't want it to end!"

LOVE when a book evokes that response!


message 5: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1219 comments I loved this one too- she and her brother seemed to love their friends like family. And her stories! I loved the one about getting Simon and Garfunkel to play for her.


message 6: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Tracy wrote: "I loved this one too- she and her brother seemed to love their friends like family. And her stories! I loved the one about getting Simon and Garfunkel to play for her."

Yes definitely one of my favorites! I also loved the story where she was the one chosen to talk to Dennis Rodman about going to Hollywood! :-)


message 7: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6647 comments Jason wrote: "Great review. Welcome to the land of autobiographies."

Wow! I'm kinda thrilled that you read your first autobiography because of PBT. And you loved it! That's so nice.

Just out of curiosity, did you think her mother was nuts?


message 8: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Anita wrote: "Jason wrote: "Great review. Welcome to the land of autobiographies."

Wow! I'm kinda thrilled that you read your first autobiography because of PBT. And you loved it! That's so nice.

Just out of c..."


I thought her mother was more eccentric, not so much nuts. She led a not-so-easy life with a barely there husband and 3 kids she raised pretty much on her own more or less. She had quirks that Penny never really understood until later on in life when her mother was near the end of her life. Kind of a hind-sight is 20/20 kind of thing.


message 9: by Doughgirl5562 (new)

Doughgirl5562 | 783 comments Adding to my TBR! I love a GOOD celebrity memoir - and this does sound like a good one. Thanks for the review.


message 10: by Cynda (new)

Cynda Hi Sandy. Does Penny Marshall write about A League of their own? I would like to her take on the movie.


message 11: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8832 comments Oh, this might be a fun one! Glad you enjoyed your first-ever autobiography! I'm a big fan of biographies (and memoirs and autobiographies).


message 12: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7301 comments I have hitherto avoided adding this to my tbr, but you have pushed me over into adding it.


message 13: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Cynda wrote: "Hi Sandy. Does Penny Marshall write about A League of their own? I would like to her take on the movie."

Yes there is a whole chapter about A League of Their Own and how she almost didn't direct it! It's also briefly mentioned in passing in other chapters as well. It's one of my favorite movies!


message 14: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Karin wrote: "I have hitherto avoided adding this to my tbr, but you have pushed me over into adding it."

I am forever an enabler if nothing else! Hope you like it if and when you get to read it.


message 15: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6647 comments SANDYE wrote: "Anita wrote: "Jason wrote: "Great review. Welcome to the land of autobiographies."

Wow! I'm kinda thrilled that you read your first autobiography because of PBT. And you loved it! That's so nice.
..."


Ahhh, I get it. My relationship with my own mother could be a lot better, so I kinda relate.


message 16: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3830 comments Wow!! First autobiography?!! Glad you liked this, and welcome to the rabbit hole of memoirs and autobiographys, lol!


message 17: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Joi wrote: "Wow!! First autobiography?!! Glad you liked this, and welcome to the rabbit hole of memoirs and autobiographys, lol!"

Thanks for the welcome! LOL It is quite the rabbit hole for sure! I have added quite a few to my Amazon Kindle wish list because I just can't afford them right now (most are $10 or $11 each), and I'm hoping that maybe the price will come down a little or I'll add them my Christmas and Birthday wish lists for 2018/2019!! One can hope right?! I have Adrienne Barbeau's on my Kindle but it just hasn't caught my eye yet when looking for something new to read.


message 18: by Joanne (last edited Mar 19, 2018 04:48PM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8108 comments SANDYE wrote: "My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
5 Stars

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her ..."


Great review Sandye! I have been eyeing this book and thumbing through it at my library. After reading your review I will probably check it out soon. I am not big on auto-bio's, they never seem to hold my interest-I love a book that makes me laugh though, so thanks for pushing me off the fence on this one!


message 19: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5117 comments Good review! You might want to try Born a Crime next - it's a great book, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments.


message 20: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Joanne wrote: "SANDYE wrote: "My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall
5 Stars

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don..."


I'm glad that you've decided to give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed! At least I hope you won't be. Let me know what you think!


message 21: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) annapi wrote: "Good review! You might want to try Born a Crime next - it's a great book, with lots of laugh-out-loud moments."

I looked for Born a Crime and there were a few different ones...which one are you suggesting? I want to make sure I add the right one to my ever expanding TBR list! :-)


message 22: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2618 comments The one by Trevor Noah, Sandye - it's a PBT favourite :)


message 23: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) KateNZ wrote: "The one by Trevor Noah, Sandye - it's a PBT favourite :)"

Thanks!! :-)


message 24: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3830 comments SANDYE wrote: "Thanks for the welcome! LOL It is quite the rabbit hole for sure! I have added quite a few to my Amazon Kindle wish list because I just can't afford them right now ."

Memoirs, especially with celebrity of A-list authors always have high prices, and normally don't lower much from big sellers (B&N, Amazon). I (and many of us) am a HUGE library user!!

Also, I'm not sure if you are into audiobooks, but many are narrated by the authors, and can sometimes bring a whole new level and experience to the book!


message 25: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Joi wrote: "SANDYE wrote: "Thanks for the welcome! LOL It is quite the rabbit hole for sure! I have added quite a few to my Amazon Kindle wish list because I just can't afford them right now ."

Memoirs, espec..."


I have some health restrictions that limit where I can go, so libraries are off limits especially during cold/flu season. I wish I could go though!

I will most definitely consider looking into the audiobook versions of the autobiographies for sure! It would be cool to hear about the person's life in their words, being spoken by they themselves. Was that proper grammar? Probably not. Forgive me.


message 26: by JoLene (last edited Mar 20, 2018 04:53PM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Not sure where you live or if you have a library card, but my library uses several service to provide ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. OverDrive and Hoopla are the ones I use most. I don’t like the Axis service as their app is hard to use.

If those are available and you have a tablet or smartphone, you don’t have to go to library. Also, OverDrive links with kindle so you can download to your kindle device to read.


message 27: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) JoLene wrote: "Not sure where you live or if you have a library card, but my library uses several service to provide ebooks and downloadable audiobooks. OverDrive and Hoopla are the ones I use most. I don’t like ..."

Wow! Thank you so much for this information, JoLene! I appreciate it and will definitely look into it.


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