14 April 2015

Today's Read: Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

Born with Teeth by Kate MulgrewImagine that it's the early 1970s and you have moved from America's heartland to the big city to learn to be an actor. Now suppose that you got your first major part when you were barely twenty years old. How would you cope with fame?

I started out in a green house with a red door in a small town, where mysteries abounded. Immediately after issuing me into the world, my mother took me to this house and put me in a shoebox, which she placed on the dining room table so that one and all might come and gaze upon my perfect miniature beauty. Hands like starfish, to hear her tell it, grave but ravishing cornflower-blue eyes, and, most remarkable of all, a set of baby teeth. Two pearls on top and two, nonpareil, on the bottom. Shakespeare, my mother said, would have a field day. The neighborhood ladies were not impressed and stood there in silent judgment with arms crossed over pregnant stomachs. It wasn’t good form to crow about your child’s beauty.
Born with Teeth: A Memoir by Kate Mulgrew (Hachette / Little, Brown, 2015, opening paragraph)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Iowa, New York City, Hollywood, Ireland, Europe
  • Circumstances: In her fascinating memoir, actress Kate Mulgrew tells her story from her Iowa childhood through to her work on Star Trek: Voyager.
  • People: Kate Mulgrew, her immediate family, her husbands, her children, her lovers, her closest friends, and various other significant people
  • Genre: memoir
  • What she talks about: Mulgrew is incredibly frank about her successes, her friendships and loves, and her family. but she also reveals the deepest, darkest moments of her life. She is forthcoming about the importance of her career and the difficulties she had juggling work, motherhood, marriage, and men. We are given plenty of stories, but Mulgrew doesn't hang out other people's dirty laundry
  • General thoughts: Loved the style of the book and the way Mulgrew tells a story. She lets us see her many sides: funny, sad, frustrated, practical, and reckless. Although she discusses her career (up to Star Trek), the memoir's focus is mostly on her private life, some difficult decisions she made, and her hope for a happy future. Engaging without being gossipy.
  • Audiobook: Mulgrew narrates the audiobook herself (Hachette Audio; 9 hr, 26 min). I thought she did a fabulous job and would recommend the audio edition without reservation. (My review will be published by AudioFile magazine.) Note that audiobook comes with a PDF containing the many photos that illustrate the book.
For a sample of the audiobook and of Mulgrew's writing, click on the play button in the widget below.


Catherine BookClubLibrarian 4/14/15, 7:39 AM  

Saw this one for the first time just the other day, so it was great to find out more about it via your post. I will definitely look for the audio version.

My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/04/first-chapter-first-paragraph-102.html

Yvonne 4/14/15, 8:02 AM  

I didn't know Kate Mulgrew had a book out. I'm going to see if I can get the audio at the library. I first started liking her on Ryan's Hope.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 4/14/15, 8:15 AM  

I've been seeing this one around lately. I'd never heard of Kate Mulgrew before, but I'd keep reading a bit more before deciding.

PD Workman 4/14/15, 8:47 AM  

Sounds like a cute book.

Mine this week is a cozy mystery: http://pdworkman.com/excerpt-from-death-by-a-honey-bee/

bermudaonion 4/14/15, 8:51 AM  

I've got this in print and look forward to reading it. You know me and memoirs.

Katherine P 4/14/15, 9:02 AM  

I've only seen her in Star Trek but this does sound interesting. I love memoirs when they are well done and that sounds like the case with this one.

Kay 4/14/15, 9:36 AM  

I've always liked Kate Mulgrew, for years and years. And I was intrigued by the title, Born With Teeth. So, she actually was born with teeth. Interesting.

JoAnn 4/14/15, 10:08 AM  

I'm not a big fan of celebrity memoirs, but this one sounds good. And with Mulgrew narrating, I'd be more likely to listen.

Kudos to Hachette - It's about time publishers included PDF photos with audiobooks!

Literary Feline 4/14/15, 10:50 AM  

I do not generally read celebrity memoirs, but this does sound interesting.

Juli Rahel 4/14/15, 11:02 AM  

Mulgrew sounds like an amazingly interesting woman! The tone of the opening is really frank, as you say as well, and I can totally see myself really enjoying this one. I guess you've convinced me to go out and get another book!
Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
My Tuesday post
Juli @ Universe in Words

Linda 4/14/15, 11:17 AM  

I don't usually read memoirs unless they involve food. But I keep thinking about picking this one up.

Sandra Nachlinger 4/14/15, 11:23 AM  

Sounds like this is a different kind of celebrity memoir--more down to earth. I'll read this one.
Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 4/14/15, 11:41 AM  

I do love celebrity memoirs, especially the celebrities that I think of as interesting, not just gorgeous.

And with Orange is the New Black a fan favorite these days, I like knowing more about old faves...and seeing what went on "behind the scenes," so to speak.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Suzie Quint 4/14/15, 11:42 AM  

I've been a fan since her days on Ryan's Hope, so I may have to put this on my TBR list. Thanks for making me aware.

Margot 4/14/15, 12:09 PM  

I saw this for the first time just yesterday on Goodreads. (I like that you are so cutting-edge.) It sounds like the kind of story I like to read. Thanks for telling us about it.

Rita @ View From My Home 4/14/15, 12:28 PM  

Absolutely would read this as I am a big fan of her work!

I sometimes read memoirs, I prefer those of the "everyman" but occasionally I will read about a celebrity whom I admire.

I first became aware of Kate during her Ryan's Hope days, and at the time thought what a mature young woman-- whose intelligence overshadowed her good looks. Thanks for reminding me to look for this one.

Lisa-Marie Jordan 4/14/15, 1:39 PM  

That's a great teaser! I didn't know she had a book out; will have to look for it! Have a great day!

Monica's Bookish Life 4/14/15, 2:19 PM  

This is a book I've been wondering about. I love a good memoir. I'd have to keep reading although it sounds like the audiobook might be the way to go.

Tribute Books Mama 4/14/15, 3:24 PM  

Sounds interesting.


Claudia Arroyo 4/14/15, 3:29 PM  

The writing is absolutely fantastic! You could feel the warmth around the storytelling, and it makes the overall feel a tad bit romantic; even though, there's nothing romantic about the teaser. Great post! :)

Cleo Bannister 4/14/15, 4:29 PM  

I really love this teaser which displays a natural talent for telling a great story - I really would like to know more now. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/first-chapter-first-paragraph-april-14/comment-page-1/#comment-12080

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 4/14/15, 6:21 PM  

I like the intro a lot and remember Kate in the mid 70s in Ryan's Hope when I was home with babies.

Laura Thomas 4/14/15, 7:25 PM  

Lovely writing and it would be a good rainy day read.

My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/04/14/teasers-tuesdays-110-shelf-life-the-publicist-book-two/

Belle Wong 4/14/15, 8:23 PM  

This one sounds good. I read the excerpt and it reads so beautifully, like a novel. I'm going to have to get the audio version of this one.

Nise' 4/14/15, 9:14 PM  

Not a reader of memoirs. But I have always like Kate Mulgrew and love her voice.

Daryl 4/15/15, 7:42 AM  

i bet its an interesting read ... i always wondered why she seemed to only do television .. i dont watch it but my husband does and she's apparently on Orange is the New Black... work on Ms M!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 4/15/15, 1:22 PM  

This is already on my to-read list but now it sounds like audio would be the way to go for me. Including a pdf of photos is a very welcome addition - more publishers should do this!

Kailana 4/22/15, 7:45 AM  

This is something I definitely want to check out. :)

Julianne (Outlandish Lit) 4/23/15, 8:57 PM  

Kate Mulgrew is perfect!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. I definitely have to get my hands on it.

Lisa 4/28/15, 12:15 AM  

We caught Mulgrew talking about the book on CBS Sunday Morning, mostly talking about the daughter she gave up, and I was so taken with the way she talked about her life. Definitely will need to pick this one up. I LOVED her way back when, when she was on "Ryan's Hope!"

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