Entries in Book (18)


Nigella Lawson on Finding Comfort, a Bit of ‘Home’ in Cooking

Clarkson Potter(NEW YORK) -- Nigella Lawson broke outside the conventional life plan very early.

At age 14, the daughter of Nigel Lawson, England’s former chancellor of the exchequer, which is equivalent of America’s treasury secretary, decided to earn her own living. She worked a variety of jobs – at department stores, as a waitress, as a chambermaid, as a filing clerk, and in a shoe store.

As a student at Oxford University, she stretched her money to feed everyone else.

“I’ve always felt you have had to play to your strengths, even if your strengths are, in themselves, weaknesses,” said Lawson, who is about to release her ninth cookbook, Nigellissima, and appears on the ABC show The Taste.

When she cooked with her mother and sister, she was told not to use recipes and to do it for herself.

“So I used to go to market and I would buy sacks of onions. I was the queen of onion soup,” she said. “I learned how to feed people without a lot of money, and that actually teaches you how to cook.”

She said she gained confidence by knowing what she did well.

“Confidence is, maybe, always so overvalued,” Lawson said. “Competence, I feel that competence is a very undervalued virtue. But actually, unless you are truly competent, any confidence is false. So I think it’s the notion that I can provide for my own existence, and I think that arms you.”

The Nigella Lawson that the world sees emerged from crisis. She was a young woman when her mother died of cancer at age 48. Her sister Thomasina died of cancer at the age of 31.

When her first husband was dying of cancer, Lawson created a cookbook of the food that had gotten her through the day.

“When John, my first husband, [was] very ill, I wrote a book called How to Be a Domestic Goddess,” she said. “I think that was very therapeutic for me. But there’s something so extraordinary about eggs, sugar, flour, butter becoming a cake. And maybe that’s what I needed then.”

Now remarried with three children and stepchildren, she shared some thoughts on cooking and what makes you feel alive.

“I always, if I’ve been away for any amount of time, I get in the door, take my coat off, wash my hands, put a chicken in the oven,” she said. “Until the house is filled with the scent of a roasting chicken, I’m not absolutely sure I’m home.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Reality TV Star Sues Assistant Over Alleged Tell-All Book

Jesse Grant/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- If a book is titled Hang in There, Baby — What One of the World’s Most Difficult Bosses Taught Me About Life, Work and Love, chances are it will capture the attention of the boss in question.

And so Jeff Lewis, the host of Bravo’s Flipping Out, and, presumably, the “difficult” boss here, is suing the author of the book, Jenni Pulos, who has been his longtime assistant and co-star.

According to the complaint filed Nov. 14 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lewis first learned that Pulos was writing a book about her life in October.  At that time, the lawsuit contends, Lewis reminded Pulos of the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2008 and 2010, which forbade her from disclosing information about his professional or personal life.

She promised that the book was “strictly related” to her own family and personal life, not her work life, the complaint says. But after scrolling around the Web, Lewis came across the book’s title on, which led him to believe that the book had already been written, since it had an ISBN number, was slated for 288 pages and scheduled to be published on Aug. 20, 2013, by St. Martin’s Press.

Lewis’ lawyer, J. Scott Souders, then sent cease-and-desist letters to Pulos and her agents. They, in turn, said the book had not yet been written and that “it did not contain any confidential or proprietary information.” Pulos and Souders contend that the only thing Pulos was ordered to cut was the title of the book — to Hang in There, Baby! — and nothing else. Earlier this month, Lewis asked to see a copy of the manuscript to make sure Pulos hadn’t broken their confidentiality agreement, but she told him “her agents instructed her not to show Jeff any of the book copy,” according to the lawsuit.

On her website, Pulos writes that her forthcoming book will “humorously outline” her advice for “surviving any difficult situation, no matter if it is in the workplace, in relationships or in life.”

But Lewis doesn’t find anything humorous about it. Along with working as Lewis’ personal and executive assistant for more than 10 years, Pulos has also appeared in all six of the show’s seasons, according to the complaint.  “In her employment with Jeff for these many years, Jenni has become privy to both trade secrets and other confidential information relating to the operation of the plaintiff’s businesses as well as highly confidential and private information relating to Jeff’s personal life and business dealings,” the complaint alleges.

“Who’s going to buy a book about Jenni’s life if it doesn’t include Jeff Lewis, and probably confidential information she’s gleaned?” Souder told ABC News. “You want the backstory if you buy a book.”

Lewis, Jeff Lewis Productions Inc. and Jeff Lewis Design LLC have sought a preliminary and permanent injunction against Pulos, preventing her from disclosing or publishing “personal, private, proprietary or confidential information” about Lewis. He is also seeking reimbursement for his legal fees.

St. Martin’s declined to comment. But Pulos’ lawyer, Adam Levin, told ABC News that "she’s done nothing wrong and expects the lawsuit to be dismissed soon.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Britney Spears May Write Novel Loosely Based on Her Life

D Dipasupil/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- So much has been written about Britney Spears, that it's about time the tables were turned.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, Britney is in "discussions" to write a novel partly based on her own life.  

Britney's spokesperson confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Britney's talking with It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, about the project, which would "incorporate fictionalized versions of her own experiences."  The publication says the project would be similar to L.A. Candy, a novel written by reality star Lauren Conrad, about a girl who moves to L.A. and becomes a reality star.

The Hollywood Reporter predicts that Britney will likely receive a "substantial" advance for the book, based on her general fame and her current high profile as a judge on The X Factor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pippa Middleton Defends Party Planning Book ‘Celebrate’

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kate Middleton‘s sister, Pippa Middleton, is defending her party planning book, “Celebrate” against critics who have called the book too “basic.”

The sister of the Duchess of Cambridge is fighting back in an article in the Sunday Telegraph by arguing she wanted to produce something simple.

“I wanted to produce something that was achievable; something that people would have on their shelves for years; something that was not too fussy,” Middleton wrote in the article.

She reveals for the first time that she worked in the most working class of establishments – a pub.

“My interest in food really began with a month’s cookery course in Frome, Somerset, after my A-levels. I left the course not an incredible cook, alas, but a real enthusiast. Food and cooking is at the core of entertaining, and my passion grew and grew,” Middleton wrote.

Middleton also claims some culinary chops by citing her less traditional dishes such as slow-braised pig’s cheeks, muntjac ragu (Chinese deer meat sauce), ox tongue baguettes and pigeon-breast salad.

“She was quite keen to write something that reflected her a little bit more, reflected actually how she’s learnt all these tips, where she’s learnt them from, something a bit more personal and warm,” said  Sunday Telegraph Royal Correspondent Roya Nikkhah.

Middleton also revealed that she likes whiskey sours and reportedly plans to write two more books – one about children’s parties, another about planning weddings.

“By writing something she takes back control and says, ‘this is why I’ve done it, this is how I learnt to do it, this is why I’m putting it out there.’ I don’t think she’s that fussed about the critics, to be honest,” said Nikkhah.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jenny McCarthy on Growing Up Poor, Deeply Religious: 'Jesus Was My Bieber'

JB Lacroix/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Jenny McCarthy grew up very fast in the public eye as a sexy pin-up girl for Playboy magazine, but as a young girl growing up in Chicago's South Side, she was deeply religious.

"[My sisters and I] used to lay with rosaries and statues all over our bodies because we thought that would protect us from Satan," she said. "I used to have a Jesus poster, the pope was over there, flaming heart of Jesus was over there. And then I had some 'I heart Jesus' T-shirts and bags hanging up."

In other words: "Jesus was my Bieber," McCarthy said.

McCarthy became a household name co-hosting MTV's dating game show, Singled Out, in the mid-'90s, but has kept her claim to fame these days as a six-time New York Times bestselling author.

McCarthy's latest book, Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic, chronicles her devout Catholic childhood and growing up poor, both of which left a deep mark on her.

"We really were hungry a lot of nights," McCarthy said.

In college, McCarthy said she worked as a bartender, but still struggled to make ends meet.

"I really tried to figure out ways to survive," she said. "One of them was to flirt with boys in bars, and go back to their place and tell them I'll meet them in their bedroom in a second, and they'd go in the bedroom. I would go in the refrigerator, I would steal their pizzas and I'd run home."

In Bad Habits, McCarthy gives a raw and honest portrayal of her young life and, in one part, she even confesses to wetting the bed until she was 10 years old.

"It's so much better that I realized to tell the truth and be very honest," she said. "Because that's the only way that people can relate to you."

She has always been driven, but especially these days as a single mom raising her 10-year-old son, Evan, who has autism. She is also the host of the reality TV show, Love in the Wild.

"I wouldn't be nearly as driven for money if I wasn't a single mother," she said. "If I had someone to depend on financially and help me out, I might slow it down a bit. But no, I am a workhorse."

Despite her religious youth, McCarthy said she was a rebel. She worked as a cashier for a Polish grocery store for five years, where she realized that a way out was to pose for Playboy.

"Guys would come in to buy them, they would ask for them and I would pick it up and throw it at them," she said. "But I was like, 'If these chicks can do it, I'm sitting here in this store, why couldn't I do it?'"

And she did. In 1993, Playboy hired the then-21-year-old to pose in the magazine and McCarthy was named Miss October. The following year, she was crowned Playmate of the Year.

"Hef said, 'You're Playmate of the Year,'" McCarthy said. "I went, 'Oh my God, yes,' and, 'Oh my God, no.' I literally went to my car and cried. I cried for about an hour that I was Playmate of the Year."

Her parents, extremely devout Christians who juggled multiple jobs to send their four daughters to Catholic school, were distraught.

"My mom was the one that was like ... 'I only have three daughters now,'" McCarthy said. "I begged her. I was like, 'Listen, you raised me to be a good person. This was my only option to get out there. I will be a Playmate that does something great, mom. Trust me and stand by me.'"

They did, and when McCarthy got a $100,000 check for being Playmate of the Year, she gave the money to her parents to pay off their bills and moved them to the Chicago suburbs.

"They were happy and sad all at the same time," McCarthy said. "They didn't envision the daughter having to do that to help them out."

She eventually moved to Hollywood and grew disillusioned with her faith, but McCarthy admitted using it to her advantage when touring for Playmate of the Year.

"Literally, guys would be like, 'So, you know, what are you doing after this? You're so beautiful. I think that, you know, we have this connection, that we should maybe walk on the beach later.' And I would go, 'Well, as long as we can also bring Jesus, my savior,'" she said.

Still, McCarthy added that she was prone to using men to get through difficult periods in her life. After her divorce from actor/director John Mallory Asher, she famously dated actor and comedian Jim Carrey for more than five years.

"I would use [men] as distractions for my own life," McCarthy said. "For instance, when Evan was diagnosed with autism, I quickly got into a relationship just to distract from the pain that I was going through. So I got in a relationship with Jim Carrey at the time and really allowed my mind to get caught up in the romance to numb from, really, what I was going through."

After long-term relationships with Carrey and NFL player Brian Urlacher, a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, McCarthy is single again. About to turn 40 next month, she said she still believes in God, but that doesn't mean she is giving up her wild side. She recently posed for Playboy again.

"Stereotyping is the biggest mistake that you can ever do on anybody," McCarthy said. "I am an amazing mother. I am an amazing, I think, author and workhorse. And I'm also an amazing, fun, wannabe-sexy kinda girl."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jessica Alba to Release 'The Honest Life' Book

Jesse Grant/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Jessica Alba can now add author to her resume. The 30-year-old is set to release The Honest Life, a how-to book on how to live a non-toxic life.

"I'm not extreme. This book is for people who are in the middle but want to create a healthier life, like me," Alba told People.

The book shares design and beauty tips along with family recipes and do-it-yourself projects. "It will be easy and fun and I want it to be really colorful," Alba says. "I'm a crazy foodie. I love doing projects with my kids. Everything in this book will be something meaningful that I've incorporated into our lives. I wanted some kind of handbook with all the information I was consuming so I could apply it in a practical way."

The Honest Life is set to hit bookstore shelves in 2013.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Will Bobby Brown Release Book About Whitney Houston?

Sandra Rose/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- With Whitney Houston's death still fresh in fans' minds, her ex-husband may try to revive a memoir he worked on years ago.

An unnamed publisher tells The Huffington Post that Bobby Brown shopped a tell-all book in 2008 but didn't draw much interest at the time.

However, the publisher says, "Now is the time for a book that details an honest look into the life of Whitney."

A friend of Houston's believes Brown would want to write a memoir just so he can make some money.  However, The Huffington Post speculates that Brown might not go ahead with the project out of consideration for the ex-couple's teen daughter, Bobbi Kristina.

The report also states that he signed a confidentiality agreement when he divorced Houston.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Suri Cruise Writing a Children's Book?

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- There will be no story time with Suri.

In Touch Weekly claims Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' five-year-old daughter, Suri Cruise, is writing and illustrating a children's book that her parents think is “so good, they plan to publish it when she’s finished.”

But, Holmes' rep tells that the report is false.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Lindsay Lohan’s Mom Shopping Tell-All Memoir

Peter Kramer/NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- A purported draft of a memoir by Dina Lohan, in which she apparently reveals information about her daughter Lindsay’s alleged alcohol and drug abuse, has been obtained by TMZ.

According to the website, Dina writes, “I blame her friends, her career and her handlers for an (sic) newfound lifestyle of partying excessively.  Drinking, drugging and behaving irresponsibly became Lindsay’s way of daily living -- and it tore me up inside.”

The mother of the Mean Girls star also explains why she moved her daughter from New York to L.A. when she was very young, writing, "How could I deny my daughter the chance of a lifetime?  How could I hold Lindsay back from her dream of becoming an actress?  So, I listened to others and sent my daughter to Hollywood with a few pieces of luggage and a chaperone.”

TMZ reports Dina is in the process of shopping her memoir to publishers but has no takers, so far.

A rep for the Lohan family has issued a statement, appearing to contradict the TMZ story saying, "Dina has not written a book yet and has not signed with a publisher."

TMZ insists it has seen Dina Lohan's prologue, saying it is being used as a "taster" for literary agents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Martha Stewart's Daughter Alexis Slams Mother in New Book

Brian Killian/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Alexis Stewart, the "salty" daughter of homemaking goddess Martha Stewart, in a new book writes that her mother strived for television perfection but was not a perfect parent.

"If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again," writes Stewart, 46. "I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head."

"Martha does everything better. You can't win!" she writes in Whateverland: Learning to Live Here, a comical guide for those who "hate how-to manuals," slated for bookstore shelves Oct. 18.

The sassy daughter lambasts her busy mother for everything from not having much food in the refrigerator to bringing home lederhosen from Switzerland: "You want me to be stoned to death at school?" her daughter writes.

Alexis Stewart also writes that despite her mother's public image, she was a humbug at holiday time, making Alexis wrap her own presents. And at Halloween, there was no trick or treating.

Both Martha and Alexis Stewart were not available to comment on the book, according to their respective publicists.

Martha Stewart, 70, has a reputation as being a "control freak" and making her employees cry, according to Forbes, which lists her net worth at $638 million. The media empire tied to her superhostess persona includes publishing, broadcasting and merchandising.

In 2004, Stewart was charged with four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators about a well-timed stock sale, but never missed a beat of popularity on her various cooking and decorating shows.

She had a tempestuous relationship with her daughter, but they got closer during her mother's time in a Virginia federal prison, according to press reports. In 2005, mother and daughter worked together on television's Apprentice, and Alexis Stewart has advanced her own career through Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Martha Stewart's culinary capability was apparently a television creation, according to her daughter.

"There was never anything to eat at my house," writes Alexis Stewart. "Other people had food. I had no food....There were ingredients but no prepared food of any kind."

Alexis "Lexie" Stewart is the only child of Martha and Andrew Stewart and was raised in New York City. She was the co-host of satellite radio show Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer with her book co-author Jennifer Koppelman Hutt, the daughter of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia executive Charles Koppelman. Their topics ranged from pop culture to parodies of Martha Stewart's homemaking in a mock show called Whatever, Martha. This year, the duo took their radio show to the Hallmark Channel. Some online critics have called Alexis Stewart a "gutter mouth" who "drops the F bomb" in the blog she wrote for the channel until last June.

She also says she took the opposite advice of her mother's when choosing a man and didn't seek out someone with money.

"A woman lived near us when I was little, had married someone very wealthy and very unattractive, and my mother actually told me when I was a small child, 'Now Alexis, if this ever happens, you make sure you have sex with somebody else to have their baby. Don't have his baby,'" she writes.

Now divorced from her husband, New York lawyer John R. Cuti, Alexis Stewart writes that her mother was "very practical about it. It was a survival skill -- you have someone rich and ugly who takes care of you, and you have someone who's hot and makes attractive babies."

Martha Stewart was one of six children, her daughter notes, and her family struggled economically. Her daughter also claims her mother was a chronic hoarder.

One highly personal anecdote was particularly venomous. Alexis Stewart charged that her mother embarrassed her in front of friends by routinely leaving the bathroom door ajar.

"Mother always peed with the door open," she writes. "I remember saying, 'You know, now I have friends over! You can't do that anymore! It's gotta stop! My friends' parents don't do it! Give me a break here! I don't feel like being embarrassed! It's exhausting! I'm a kid! Stop!"'

Even the dog apparently let loose in the house, according to her daughter.

"My mother has a sign on all of her doors to take your shoes off," writes Alexis Stewart. "For god's sake! My mother's dogs p*** and s*** on her rugs and she's telling people to take their shoes off?"

Stuart Fischoff, a media psychologist from Carbondale, Ill., who has an expertise in celebrity behavior, said children of high-profile mothers seldom make up the "Mommy Dearest" stories.

"My guess is that you really have someone as a mother who made the life of the daughter difficult," he said. "It's rare to write a book about your parents just to make money."

"We know about the perfectionism of Martha Stewart and her drive," he said. The bathroom anecdote "flies in the face of what we have come to believe about Martha Stewart. It leads you to believe there's a lot to Martha Stewart we don't know about."

"Generally, celebrity kids hang out with other celebrity kids because they are the only ones with empathy about what's going on," said Fischoff. "For a child to struggle with the embarrassment and pressure of being a celebrity child, suggests lines have not been carefully drawn."

Fischoff suggests the celebrity mother may have "thrown the child under the bus."

Alexis Stewart does admit her mother had a "very hands-off approach to child rearing."

Still, the mother-daughter bonds seem to be intact, and she is quick to defend family against other critics. "I am, like, fisticuffs, you know, I'm ready," she writes.

The book, is, afterall, dedicated to Martha Stewart, with this foreword: "Thanks in advance to my mother for not getting angry about anything written in this book."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio