If you’ve been a reader of this newsletter, you may have noticed that I like practical, science-based, non-ideological volunteer books. And it might surprise you that I was excited by Kristin Chenoweth’s book “I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts,” a book that is more faith-based, more serious, and frankly, more stupid. . But in a good way, I promise. Allow me to explain.
First, a confession that I’m seriously, almost embarrassingly serious, about music. “Wicked” was the first show I saw on Broadway, when I was 16 and full of teenage emotions that made me the intended audience for a show about women, self-discovery, and friendship. Although I missed Chenoweth’s original performance on the show, the cast recorder has been a faithful companion in my life for the past 20 years, and every episode of her performance has become a part of my life. of my DNA. When I saw him in “Promises, Promises” years later, there was a small parasocial part of me that felt like I was meeting an old friend, (who sounded flawless live as a CD). I’ve read his memoir, “A Little Bit Wicked,” more than once, and I know he’ll be at the nearest 7-11 at 7/11 for a free Slurpee every year. Chances are, as the kids say, it’s a stan.
Yes, in many ways he is the original reader that Chenoweth hoped to achieve with “I’m Not a Philosopher.”
While the overall personal story continues in Chenoweth’s latest, it’s clearly designed to be a book you reach for whenever you need to be lighthearted. After a great introduction from Ariana Grande, the heir to the throne of Glinda in the upcoming film “Wicked”, Chenoweth introduces us to the guiding principles that readers will find in its pages. “This book is my gift to you: a celebration of whatever makes this day fun, a little respite from whatever makes it challenging.” And most of it, yes.
Some pages have a space for writing, like the one asking you to write yourself the love letter you need and hide it somewhere for your future self to stumble upon later. Some pages are full of short thoughts, inspirational quotes, or provocative thoughts, such as the list titled “Words and Phrases I Won’t Say Because They Make Me Angry,” which includes “cervical spine” and “just honor being.” chosen.” If you are not a religious person, God may have a lot to say for you here. (I found it easier to take what works and leave the rest.)
Chenoweth also gets darker than I expected in this play, which deals with the loss of a best friend who died by suicide, her depression after being injured on the set of “The Good Wife,” and her misunderstanding and later acceptance of meeting her birth mother. I found it refreshing: There is a strange comfort in knowing that famous people also experience life’s pitfalls.
Even in her darkest moments, Chenoweth has a clear glow. After her injury, she felt that the injury would have been worse if she had not had hair extensions. “Must be. I owed what was left of my confused brain to a well-placed line of hair extensions. Never – ever – underestimate the power of a good knit. “It’s like meeting your favorite aunt over a glass of bourbon. Maybe you believe just a little bit of what she says, or maybe none of it works, but it’s the joy of k’ his company you want. You’ll laugh, you might even cry, and you’ll leave feeling lighter and more loved than ever.
“I’m Not A Philosopher, But I Have Ideas,” by Kristin Chenoweth, Harper Celebrate, $22.99.