Then Again by Diane Keaton

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Then Again
304 pages; Random House
Why the book is more than a celeb fest: Keaton tells a two-part story, that of her life and that of her mother's as they struggled to find themselves artistically and personally—using first person diary entries and letters.

Why the book is a celeb fest: Keaton describes her relationships with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino, but in way that's honest and honorable—and painful at times (especially, say, if you've ever tried to make somebody marry you who didn't want to). The love letters from Woody, where he calls her "Worm" and "Lamp-head" are bewitchingly original with lines like "Last nite I had a tender dream about me & my mother...I wept in the dream & ate my laundry."

The idea she poses: That our lives aren't just our own. They're made up of the people we connect with—lovers, family, or even grandfathers who walked out the door.

The moment that shows this actress can write: "When I was nine, Dad taught me how to open a pomegranate...Inside was a chestful of garnets—my birthstone. I bit into the pomegranate. Fifty red gems came crashing into my mouth all at once. It was like biting into both heaven and earth.
— Leigh Newman