What do Rob Lowe and Dwight Eisenhower have in common?

Answer: Book titles

Here’s Ike’s:At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends

Here’s Lowe’s:Stories I Only Tell My Friends

I read the Rob Lowe book during my Summer of Reading Decadence.

And truly, reading this book is like eating a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s. There’s no nutritional value, but you just don’t really even care.

Partly because I was facing a genre study deadline I was dodging and a book club book I also was dodging, and partly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to renew this book because of the waiting list, but mainly because it’s a wonderfully addictive little thing, I read this book whenever I had a free moment to read.

And this, from me, who doesn’t even particularly like Rob Lowe (except when he’s being Sam Seaborn on The West Wing).

Because here’s the thing: this book’s got all kinds of good celebrity memoir stuff going on: name-dropping extraordinaire, the fall from grace and the recovery, and lots of good photos.

I gotta say: the names he drops are really quite something. And darn near every one of them works into the story nicely (and doesn’t feel forced), because often he’s meeting a famous person before their star has risen (Daryl Hannah, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise). And he met Bill Murray in a hotel when Murray opened his door and invited him in while Lowe was wandering the halls.

As long as it’s done right (and here it is), I really can’t resist admiring a good name-drop.

Lowe also describes his love of acting, from the time he was a kid. And I really got the sense that he’s serious about his work and that it gives meaning to his life. That was the other good stuff in this book.

Of course, if this is “stories I tell my friends,” then probably you’re not going to dwell on the dirt, right?

Yeah, he alludes to that sex tape scandal, but doesn’t give it much time. And the nanny scandal (I had to Google it to make sure that was him [it was]) wasn’t even mentioned. And while he describes the way rehab changed his life, there weren’t too many bottom-of-the-pit stories that show how bad things had gotten for him. Not that I’m all wanting to hear the ugly stuff, but this felt like a glossing-over deal.

Here we get to see Rob Lowe as he wants to be seen. But hey—it’s his book.

And it’s a perfect summer read.

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