If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White

January 28, 2012

Summary (from the publisher): It-girl Betty White delivers a hilarious, slyly profound take on love, life, celebrity, and everything in between.

Drawing from a lifetime of lessons learned, seven-time Emmy winner Betty White’s wit and wisdom take center stage as she tackles topics like friendship, romantic love, aging, television, fans, love for animals, and the brave new world of celebrity. If You Ask Me mixes her thoughtful observations with humorous stories from a seven- decade career in Hollywood. Longtime fans and new fans alike will relish Betty’s candid take on everything from her rumored crush on Robert Redford (true) to her beauty regimen (“I have no idea what color my hair is and I never intend to find out”) to the Facebook campaign that helped persuade her to host Saturday Night Live despite her having declined the hosting job three times already.

Featuring all-new material, with a focus on the past fifteen years of her life, If You Ask Me is funny, sweet, and to the point-just like Betty White.

Liked:

  • I listened to the audiobook version, which was read by Betty herself. She seems like such a truly sweet person that I couldn’t help but perk up and pay attention the whole time.
  • I love that Betty has a whole room in her house devoted to stuffed animals and that she actually talks to them — out loud — whenever she walks into the room. I only have a few stuffed animals, but I do exactly the same thing!
  • I enjoyed hearing a little bit about the show business side of Betty’s life, including the Snickers Super Bowl commercial that revived her popularity and the SNL hosting gig. She talks about Hot in Cleveland too, but not as much as I expected she would.
  • I’m glad that Betty says being 89 (or 90 now, I guess) isn’t an “achievement”, that it “just happens”. That’s so true. Betty shouldn’t be celebrated just because she’s 90. She should be celebrated because she’s 90 and is still going strong in show biz!
  • There were a few mentions of The Golden Girls and her work on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I’m all for nostalgia and loved the little tidbits Betty shared.

Disliked:

  • There’s no way I’m going to be too harsh on Betty, but one thing I didn’t like was that this book was very short! I just borrowed it from the library, so it wasn’t that big a deal to me, but I can’t imagine paying $25 for the hardcover as some people surely did. I heard there were practically more photos in the book than text, which is pretty crazy!

Rating:

New Betty White fans might be disappointed that there isn’t much substance to If You Ask Me; to those folks I say check out her previous two memoirs (Here We Go Again: My Life in Television and Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo) for a fuller account of her life. I think this new book is just fine to bring people up to date with the latest happenings in Betty’s life, and I for one am glad that she wrote it (and that I read it). That doesn’t automatically make the work fine literature, though. I give the book 3 stars out of 5.

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