Doris Day - Her Own Story by A.E. Hotchner
You just never know when you're going to pick up one of "those" books, the ones you don't want to put down and when you have to, you can't wait to pick it up again. These are the books that make reading fun and I have to say I surely didn't expect to find one of those books between these covers.
I love biographies and autobiographies because every individual is endlessly fascinating. No-one's story is what you expect and I love the surprises, even the disappointing ones and there are always a few of those. Doris Day is someone I heard a lot about when I was a child. She was making movies while I was growing up, so I remember her on tv and radio. She had a unique voice, warm and earthy, yet light. If you've never heard her sing, find a recording of Que Sera Sera online and listen to it. She sings quite unlike anyone else. She was endearing as both an actress and a singer, but I knew there had to be more to her than the sweet, smiling girl she always seemed to be. I came across this book online somewhere for just a few dollars and couldn't resist. It's a bit of a mess with a torn cover and yellowed pages and that never makes me eager to read a book, but once I read the first couple of pages, I was hooked.
The book was actually written by A.E. Hotchner, who interviewed her over a period of time, then put the book together from the point of view of Doris telling the story. Hotchner probably deserves the credit for the good writing, but she is one articulate lady as well. It was intelligent, well-paced and absolutely fascinating to read.
As one would expect, Doris Day's life was much more complex than her public image would suggest. A lot of young girls wanted to be her and have what they thought must be the glamorous lifestyle of a famous movie star, but no one would want to face the things she actually suffered in her life. Sure, she knew famous people and she made a lot of money, but the turmoil in her personal life was nothing to covet. She's bounced back from more than most people will ever have to face. Now, at 91 years old, she spends her time working with the Doris Day Animal Foundation raising money for people and organizations who help animals. (At the end of the book she had eleven dogs living with her!)
I'd give this book pretty high marks. It's easy to read, it's personal and honest and it has lots of photographs showing Doris at every stage of her life. It's just about everything you'd want in a biography.