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My Extraordinary Ordinary Life | [Sissy Spacek]

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life

In her delightful and moving memoir, Sissy Spacek writes about her idyllic, barefoot childhood in a small East Texas town, with the clarity and wisdom that comes from never losing sight of her roots. Descended from industrious Czech immigrants and threadbare southern gentility, she grew up a tomboy, tagging along with two older brothers and absorbing grace and grit from her remarkable parents, who taught her that she could do anything.
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Publisher's Summary

In her delightful and moving memoir, Sissy Spacek writes about her idyllic, barefoot childhood in a small East Texas town, with the clarity and wisdom that comes from never losing sight of her roots. Descended from industrious Czech immigrants and threadbare southern gentility, she grew up a tomboy, tagging along with two older brothers and absorbing grace and grit from her remarkable parents, who taught her that she could do anything. She also learned fearlessness in the wake of a family tragedy, the grief propelling her "like rocket fuel"; to follow her dreams of becoming a performer.

With a keen sense of humor and a big-hearted voice, she describes how she arrived in New York City one star-struck summer as a 17-year-old carrying a suitcase and two guitars; and how she built a career that has spanned four decades with films such as Carrie, Coal Miner's Daughter, 3 Women, and The Help. She details working with some of the great directors of our time, including Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, David Lynch, and Brian De Palma - who thought of her as a no-talent set decorator until he cast her as the lead in Carrie. She also reveals why, at the height of her fame, she and her family moved away from Los Angeles to a farm in rural Virginia.

Whether she's describing the terrors and joys of raising two talented, independent daughters, taking listeners behind the scenes on Oscar night, or meditating on the thrill of watching a pair of otters frolicking in her pond, Sissy Spacek's memoir is poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, plainspoken and utterly honest. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is about what matters most: the exquisite worth of ordinary things, the simple pleasures of home and family, and the honest job of being right with the world. "If I get hit by a truck tomorrow," she writes, "I want to know I've returned my neighbor's cake pan."

©2012 Sissy Spacek (P)2012 Hyperion (packaging elements only)

What the Critics Say

"My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is the book version of Sissy: warm, heartfelt, and very real. Perhaps most remarkable is that Sissy's life-from the ordinary experiences of growing up in and raising a close-knit family to the extraordinary thrills of starring in some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood-unfolds as gracefully on the page as it does on the big screen and, as all of her readers will soon learn, in everyday life." (Kathryn Stockett, New York Times best-selling author of The Help)
"My Extraordinary Ordinary Life describes a remarkable woman's journey from a baton-twirling East Texas gal to an Academy-Award winning star. Sissy Spacek tells her story with warmth and grace, never straying far from the small-town roots that shaped her." (Jeannette Walls, best-selling author of The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses)
"[A] warm narrative...Like a folk song, Spacek's storytelling is tender and unhurried." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (141 )
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4.2 (129 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DCHank Washington, D.C. 05-10-12
    DCHank Washington, D.C. 05-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Charming and lovable"
    What made the experience of listening to My Extraordinary Ordinary Life the most enjoyable?

    Sissy Spacek is so endearing and so genuine, you feel her kindness and spirit through this great book. The love she has for family and career really shows through here. Wonderful.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie United States 05-09-12
    Stephanie United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow, what an interesting person!"
    What made the experience of listening to My Extraordinary Ordinary Life the most enjoyable?

    Loved that she narrated the book herself. She sounded so genuine and excited about things


    What did you like best about this story?

    Her genuine and upbeat tone. It sounded like she had as much fun reading it as she did living it


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Wow, tough to say. Since I am a romantic, I really liked that she knew that Jack Fisk was "the one" immediately


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I liked listening to it in different sections


    Any additional comments?

    My only criticism is that the audio quality wasn't so great - sounded like she recorded it in a room with hard walls (sound bounced off, kind of echoed), but in a way, this added to the folksy-ness

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela McAllister West Linn, OR, United States 08-16-12
    Pamela McAllister West Linn, OR, United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2011

    Mid-60s; love true stories of endurance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what a great life"

    I loved listening to Sissy's voice; she could read the phone book & keep my interest!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim argyle, TX, United States 07-30-12
    Jim argyle, TX, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Growing up Texan"
    If you could sum up My Extraordinary Ordinary Life in three words, what would they be?

    Fun and uplifting


    What did you like best about this story?

    The upbeat, happy tone of it.


    What about Sissy Spacek’s performance did you like?

    Listening to Sissy, it's easy to see her in your mind's eye, growing up in Texas.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The younger days growing up in Quitman. I'm a Texan and grew up in a small town, as well. Her stories brought back alot of good memories for me that I had forgotten.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is baby boomer heaven. I could listen to Sissy's lovely, soothing voice and funny stories all day.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quicksprung New York 06-12-12
    Quicksprung New York 06-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A window into her life...."
    What did you love best about My Extraordinary Ordinary Life?

    listening to Sissy speak about her own life


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    her mothers quote- you have the greatest gift, just by being you, you can make someone else happy, just a smile or autograph..... remember this in your own life.... the corollary to the random act of kindness...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 05-26-12
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 05-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A Great Listen! Sissy Spacek is Just Cool!"

    From her laid back delivery of the narrative to the story. This book is chockful of charming stories told in her distinctive voice that keeps you listening. There isn't one negative thing I could say about this one. I highly recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NKBH Louisville, KY United States 05-20-12
    NKBH Louisville, KY United States 05-20-12 Member Since 2003

    NKBH

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    "An Extraordinary Listen"

    This is a wonderful joyous celebration from an outstanding actor. I have always enjoyed Ms. Spacek and I truly enjoyed listening and learning about her life's journey. The stories of her early childhood in Texas are delightful and heartwarming. Her Hollywood tales provide insight and a laugh as she discovers her acting instrument and the love of her life. May we all be blessed with an extraordinary ordinary life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Redondo Beach, CA, United States 07-23-12
    Maureen Redondo Beach, CA, United States 07-23-12 Member Since 2011

    bchrunr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great treat!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely- anyone who is a fan of Sissy Spacek and her movies will enjoy this book- which takes the listener from Sissy's childhood through her successes in Hollywood and most importantly her biggest achievements- finding a great partner and raising 2 talented children.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Sissy as a young adult making her way in NYC!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the chapters of her knocking on doors and trying to get an audition.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Staci MI, United States 08-09-13
    Staci MI, United States 08-09-13 Member Since 2012

    Life in the Thumb

    ratings
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    11
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    "Down home and authentic!"

    Listening to Sissy Spacek tell her story was like taking a walk with a good friend and hearing about her life. I loved the tales of her early childhood, the complete love and support she always received from her parents, and the journey her life became as she chased her dream of being a country artist and her surprise in becoming a movie actress. I always find it fascinating to hear about the people upcoming stars meet in their life and who end up becoming just as or even more famous than the person telling the story. Sissy certainly met a lot of wonderful people in the business and many of them became treasured and real friends. Sissy's voice was easy to listen to and I still think she could be Loretta Lynn's twin!!

    Recommend? If you have enjoyed Sissy's work in the past and are curious about her life growing up and the simple way she lives today, then this is one to add to your audio list for sure!!

    Source: Purchased from Audible.com
    Narrator: Sissy Spacek
    Length: 9 hrs an 49 mins


    Six Sentence Bookish Thoughts #123
    © 2013, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delberta WICHITA FALLS, TX, United States 05-08-13
    Delberta WICHITA FALLS, TX, United States 05-08-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fresh look back...."
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Extraordinary Ordinary Life to be better than the print version?

    Sissy Spacek reading her own words about her life with her warm Texas accent, enthusiasm, and delight is an experience not to be missed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was taken into her past, felt at home in the town where she grew up, and adventured with her when she went to New York. It was as though she took my hand and showed me the years and events of her life. What I found extraordinary was her sunny and cheerful attitude about everything that happened. And to my astonishment, when I came to the end of the story, I realized she had not said a single mean thing, not a catty comment, not a disparaging word of anyone. What remarkable generosity of spirit! I loved being in her world because even when sorrow struck, there was no pity, just heartache and grit, moving on but never forgetting..... nice to learn some of these lessons again...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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