Even though in the last few years her humor pushed the envelope too far for my taste, I have always admired Joan Rivers. She was the first woman to host the Tonight Show in Johnny’s absence. That was HUGE at the time. Whatever you thought about her humor and her plastic surgeries and her style, you had to admire her as a professional in a tough field that was dominated by men when she started.

This book is a warm, funny, loving tribute from daughter to mother, and it is full of delightful personal anecdotes that show that Melissa inherited some of her mother’s wit. I am surprised that she was able to write it so soon after Joan’s death, but she has done so with grace. The chapters are short. The one about Joan’s driving skills is hilarious. Melissa doesn’t go into dark territory about her father’s suicide and how her mother coped. Each chapter takes on another aspect of her mother’s personality and their life as a family —- their emphasis on education, support of Melissa as a sportswoman, Joan’s uber-cleanliness, dislike of poor customer service and grammar, her love of reading and needlepoint, their revered family dinners despite the fact that they were ordered from room service or takeout. I read it in one sitting, and laughed and cried. My favorite line is a quote from Joan, “The only thing better than finding a diamond ring in a box of Chinese takeout is a Sunday Law & Order marathon.”

Melissa Rivers was born in New York City and grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in European history. Melissa’s extensive television background includes working as a features reporter for CBS This Morning; being a regular contributor to MTV’s Hanging with MTV; serving as a television host and producer for the E! network and as a host for TV Guide Channel’s event programming; and, most recently, as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Cooper. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Book of Joan
TALES OF MIRTH, MISCHIEF, AND MANIPULATION
By MELISSA RIVERS
Hardcover$26.00
Crown Archetype | May 05, 2015 | 304 Pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9781101903827
Ebook$12.99
Audiobook Download$15.00
CD $30.00

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