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)
"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)
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.
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.
Loved that she narrated the book herself. She sounded so genuine and excited about things
Her genuine and upbeat tone. It sounded like she had as much fun reading it as she did living it
Wow, tough to say. Since I am a romantic, I really liked that she knew that Jack Fisk was "the one" immediately
No, I liked listening to it in different sections
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
Mid-60s; love true stories of endurance.
I loved listening to Sissy's voice; she could read the phone book & keep my interest!
Fun and uplifting
The upbeat, happy tone of it.
Listening to Sissy, it's easy to see her in your mind's eye, growing up in Texas.
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.
This book is baby boomer heaven. I could listen to Sissy's lovely, soothing voice and funny stories all day.
listening to Sissy speak about her own life
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...
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!
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.
I loved Sissy as a young adult making her way in NYC!
I really enjoyed the chapters of her knocking on doors and trying to get an audition.
Life in the Thumb
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.
Sissy Spacek reading her own words about her life with her warm Texas accent, enthusiasm, and delight is an experience not to be missed.
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...
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content