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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)

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    27
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    36
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    19
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • NKBH
  • Louisville, KY United States
  • 05-20-12

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

what a great life

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

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

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jim
  • argyle, TX, United States
  • 07-30-12

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

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  • Performance
  • Story

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

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  • Performance
  • Story

A Truly Enjoyable Memoir

The story of Sissy Spacek's life is so genuine, loving, and warm that the listener feels as if you're a close personal friend. Her imagery and descriptions provide the perfect touch to a great story. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Lydia
  • Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-19-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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