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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

4.1 (165 )
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4.3 (151 )
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  •  
    Delberta 05-08-13
    Delberta 05-08-13 Member Since 2012
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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
  •  
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 03-25-13
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Fun to hear her read her own story"

    She did a great job with keeping things interesting and telling her own story without sounding like a gossip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 02-04-13
    kris Garden Grove, CA, United States 02-04-13
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    "Refreshing"
    What did you love best about My Extraordinary Ordinary Life?

    It was simple to listen to and so refreshing to hear about a celebrity without all the drama and negative past.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Both of her parents but if I have to choose one, Sissy's mom. I love her positive outlook on life. I was very touched when Sissy speaks of her mom in chapter 13, when Mom was looking around the living room.


    What about Sissy Spacek’s performance did you like?

    Sweet voice, just the right amount of country without sounding like Reba McEntire.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A beautiful star, inside and out, who never lost sight of her roots.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very welcome and much needed listen (My last two books were Camina Salcido's devastating memoir and one other book that was so bad I couldn't get past the first few chapters). I felt cleansed after listening to Sissy's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Durango, CO, United States 12-30-12
    Angie Durango, CO, United States 12-30-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Good listen!"
    If you could sum up My Extraordinary Ordinary Life in three words, what would they be?

    Very entertaining story!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was like sitting down and having a conversation with Sissy.


    What does Sissy Spacek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'm from Texas so I enjoyed hearing the Texas accent again. She highlights passages with laughter and inflections that emphasize the emotions she wants to express.


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

    The death of her brother-I recently lost a brother, so I felt her sadness acutely.
    Also the love she had for her parents and the lessons they taught her.


    Any additional comments?

    I could really relate to many things in the book so that made it natural for me to enjoy the book- Being from Texas and knowing how friendly Texans can be; my brother was born the day Kennedy was assassinated; I am learning the guitar now after so many years of saying "someday"; I saw Carrie when I was 18 on a first date and started crying when I got home and told my Mom about the movie ( in front of my date!) Sissy mentions that people think they know you because they relate to the movies she's been in. Well, I related to her because I really like the person she portrays herself to be in her book! So glad that she was able to remain grounded despite her fame, unlike so many people in the entertainment business. I also admire how she is phasing gracefully into roles that reflect her maturity.
    Way to go, Sissy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Lincoln, NE, United States 12-25-12
    Marilyn Lincoln, NE, United States 12-25-12
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    "Loved it!"

    Sissy Spacek is one of my favorate actresses. I enjoyed her honest humble portrayal of her life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lilypons 12-24-12
    Lilypons 12-24-12

    lilypons

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    "Intriguing!"
    What did you love best about My Extraordinary Ordinary Life?

    The illuminating view of small-town Texas life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found myself both laughing and crying.


    Any additional comments?

    I was mesmerized with the Sissy's story-telling, both written and spoken. At first, I was put off by Sissy's trips far afield into her family's history, but came to understand that everything was important to the picture as a whole. A wonderful picture of small-town life and the high, high value of the experiencing the "ordinary."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanne Monument, CO, United States 12-19-12
    joanne Monument, CO, United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Enjoyable listening"
    Would you listen to My Extraordinary Ordinary Life again? Why?

    I really enjoyed this audible experience- Sissy Spacek delivers a wonderful, easy listening story of her life, she has a wonderful speaking voice and great perspective on the good and bad experiences of her life.


    What does Sissy Spacek bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her lilting, southern Texas accent is wonderful to listen to and adds dimension to her story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Stouffville, Ontario, Canada 12-19-12
    Lydia Stouffville, Ontario, Canada 12-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Boring!"
    Would you try another book from Sissy Spacek and/or Sissy Spacek?

    No, I thought I would enjoy the story of her life especially since she and I are both of Czech ancestry but I found it boring and mundane.


    What was most disappointing about Sissy Spacek’s story?

    Just boring.


    What didn’t you like about Sissy Spacek’s performance?

    Also boring. Sort of as if she was addressing pre-schoolers; not adults.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Prepare to be underwhelmed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dixie St, Louis 12-06-12
    Dixie St, Louis 12-06-12 Member Since 2014

    Well read X

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    "The Title Says It All"
    What made the experience of listening to My Extraordinary Ordinary Life the most enjoyable?

    Sissy Spacek telling her own story in her own voice. Like listening to a friend tell the story of their life late at night over a couple of drinks, and discovering all sorts of adventures you'd never imagined.


    What other book might you compare My Extraordinary Ordinary Life to and why?

    Then Again, by Diane Keaton; Inside Inside, by James Lipton; My Life in France, by Julia Child. Although Lipton & Child are more colorful, what these books have in common is people whose lives have had much more interesting twists than you might have imagined.


    Have you listened to any of Sissy Spacek’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Only her movies. But look forward to hearing her read To Kill a Mockingbird. Can't imagine a better fit.


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

    I could have, because it was so pleasant. But it wasn't so urgent and compelling that I could hardly wait for the next chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    The world is dark and getting more so. My taste in books is pretty dark also. This book was a pleasant respite from all of that. Positive, uplifting and... nice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim PLYMOUTH, WI, United States 12-03-12
    Jim PLYMOUTH, WI, United States 12-03-12
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    "Not what I thought ..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Have the recording be in better quality.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    No reaction.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sissy Spacek?

    Yes


    Was My Extraordinary Ordinary Life worth the listening time?

    Not really.


    Any additional comments?

    Almost Half the book was about her childhood in Texas, wasn't expecting that to be so much of the book. Was hoping for more about her movies career and less about her musical career.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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