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Publisher's Summary

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson reads her inspiring and funny book about family, friends, the hustle required to make it from DC to Hollywood, and the joy of living in your own truth.

With a sensibility that recalls her beloved screen characters, including Yvette, Queenie, Shug, and the iconic Cookie from Empire, yet is all Taraji, the screen actress writes of her families - the one she was born into and the one she created. She shares stories of her father, a Vietnam vet who was bowed but never broken by life's challenges, and of her mother, who survived violence both in the home and on DC's volatile streets. Here, too, she opens up about her experiences as a single mother, a journey some saw as a burden but she saw as a gift.

Around the Way Girl is also a classic actor's memoir in which Taraji reflects on the world-class instruction she received at Howard University and the pitfalls that come with being a black actress. With laugh-out-loud humor and candor, she shares the challenges and disappointments of the actor's journey and shows us that behind the red carpet moments, she is ever authentic. She is at heart just a girl in pursuit of her dreams.

©2016 On Top of the World, Inc. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Around My way, Your Way & Every Woman's way

All I can say is that Ms. Taraji was an absolute DELIGHT to listen to. I can't even imagine not hearing her voice tell such a funny , sometimes sad, but always uplifting memoir!

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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Cookie!!!

This book was everything!!! I have listened to it twice
And I FELT IT GO THROUGH MY SOUL

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 07-02-17

Do You Know Who Taraji P. Henson Is?

Do you know who Taraji P. Henson is? If you do, you will love her memoir. If you don't, well then, it is time to get to know her, as she is a very entertaining actress and an all-around fascinating person, too.

I first encountered Taraji on the streaming TV show, Person of Interest. Its a fun, slightly futuristic, big brother-like, show with very compelling, quirky characters. I enjoyed it immensely and especially Taraji, who plays a cop. You don't see many black females playing competent cops, do you? She is a great actress and was a wonderful addition to the show. So, I recommend both book and TV show. Or, the TV show and the book, depending on if you know who Taraji is.

Taraji has a great sense of humor, she won't take no for an answer in her determination to succeed in life, is a great mother, is quite intelligent, and as said above, is a very talented actress. And, she had a very memorable father.

So, here you have two recommendations from me, for both a book and a TV show. Both will make you smile alot. I promise.

And now, I am plotting on how I can watch more of Taraji on television, especially in the "Cookie" role.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Harlem World & The Around the Way Girl

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to the young mothers that I work with in Harlem. Taraji's candid style and skills as a Griot (traditional African village storyteller) are captivating and motivating. She is an excellent example of disciple, focus and pursuit of dreams against the odds.

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked best about the story, other than Taraji reading it aloud, were her candid vignettes about her family, her relationship with her father and the father of her child. Her tales of navigating motherhood and planning career success are particularly supportive for single mothers who may be in doubt of their power and drive to succeed in any endeavor.

Which character – as performed by Taraji P. Henson – was your favorite?

My favorite character hands down was Taraji's' father. A solider, Vietnam Veteran and craftsman ! He never stopped trying to remake himself and he truly loved his family. He went from homeless to hopeful and gainfully employed. His memories are sprinkled throughout the book. They make us laugh and they sometimes make us cry.

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

When I woke up this morning and received the email from Audible that my book was available, I called out from work to marathon listen to the book.

Any additional comments?

I hope Taraji does a coffee table book with her collected pictures. I would like her to publish another book for actors about getting into character and embracing the art. She has a lot of experience and she can tell the story like "A round da way girl" ! I LOVE the part where you met Mary J. Blige and she dissed you only for y'all to eventually become good friends -admiration and respect. Sisterhood is eternal.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Taraji P HENSONS Story Around the way Girl:

I listened to it in one sitting. it is amazing how much the same your life can be with someone totally different can be the same. as I listened to her story it was like I already knew her . Her story is not just a black woman's story it is every woman's story. love and loss ad figuring it out along the way. she deserves every thing she gets I am a huge 62 year old white Empire fan. learned to understand rap . love her story and this book is honest and beautiful was the lady that wrote it.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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what a great performance, I love her ....

I love her on so many levels....she's keeps my hope alive. Her daddy is everything.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Award Worthy!

I loved every second of Taraji's story. I listen to Audiobooks during my commute. Many times I found myself so enthralled and entertained I would extend my listening time long after I made it to my destination. I couldn't wait to hear the next chapter. Taraji's narration of her own story was OSCAR, EMMY, TONY worthy. Whatever award there is for Best Narration, she wins hands down! She had me laughing, crying, and celebrating with her. Wonderfully done.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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The truth in her words

Great book a must read or listen. Taraji draws you in and you can't stop. Well written can't wait for the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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If you like Taraji you will love her story.

I love the way she told her story. There were a lot of funny moments and moments that made you say hmmmmm.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Taraji P. Henson Truth!

I am a fan of Taraji. I so glad to listen to this book. To hear her story is inspiring to know that she was raised to be warrior. Her love of her family, and to listen to her story made feel like I was a voyeur in her life.Her journey thru growing up and to see how she developed her talent from life experience.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Shamira St.Aubyn-Agoreyo
  • 07-21-17

Amazing and truly inspiring

I loved every moment of this book. She really showed her truth in this book I know I loved every movie she was in but know I understand why I loved her. Thank you for inspiring and teaching me about why you should own your truth. And showing why working hard is important to being successful but remember to enjoy your work. raising a black son is one of the hardest jobs out there. May God alway bless you. I will recommend this book to everyone that I know.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-17

Fantastic Inspiring for Women of all ages

i have really enjoyed this book
as well as listening to the audio and following along in my paperback copy.
taraji is inspiring spiritual and an amazing woman she has talent and truth and i enjoyed hearing things about how she goes with her career and how she feels with being a mother, dating and also the pros and cons of being a actress

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-17

Entertaining, touching and inspiring

This memoir really gets under the skin of Taraji and now when I watch her, I'll understand her. A must listen to for young women aspiring to reach heights they can't yet reach. Plus her voice carries the story no other could!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-22-17

Awesome to listen to

Fantastic and she kept it real. I thought I wouldn't relate to it but themes within her personal journey really resonanted with me. She is obviously very passionate about acting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-17

Around the Way Girl

A truly incredible book. Uncomfortable, funny and honest. A book I would recommend to those close to me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Baldicat
  • 03-25-17

the passion and the inspiration is apparent..

if you didnt know and love her and her body of work before ...you will make it your mission after hearing her story ..her truth... 😍😍😎😎😍😍

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zoe
  • 10-21-16

Excellent

I loved it - nicely written - easy to follow will recommend it to friends

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-18

I've fallen in love with this woman

What a book. I love how powerful she is. this book had me laughing out loud, crying and feeling all sorts of emotions. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-29-18

Beet Audiobook ever!

Loved all the stories. Very funny & inspirational. Encouraging. A reminder to FEAR LESS in life.

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  • KUI
  • 02-09-18

Gives insight into Taraji's life

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, yes..
This book was about understanding Taraji as a person, as a woman, the things that have happened, and getting lessons from it all.

What did you like best about this story?

The honesty of it all.

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

The part about leaving abusive relationships, and the fact that you can leave, and still end up fine.