I decided I needed a change. I wanted happy, light and perhaps a bit fluffy. I wanted a book that didn't require a box of tissues at hand when I was reading it.
but enough about me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet was the refreshing change I was looking for.
Dunn wrote for Rolling Stone, was a MTV veejay and had a brief stint as a correspondent for Good Morning America. She talks about growing in New Jersey - a seemingly ordinary childhood. Her father worked for JC Penney and her mother made a variety of beige food.
"Surely, everyone on earth relished the fiber-free beige food my family loved to bolt down -- crescent rolls from a can, boil-in-a-bag noodles. Is it puffy? Is it off-white? Pull up a chair!"
Sprinkled between the chapters are how-to tips for interviewing celebrities - "How to Approach an R&B Artist when You're the Whitest Person in the Western World" or "None For Me, Thanks: Gracefully Refusing Your Host's Kind Offer of Heroin." The latter dilemma arose for Dunn when she interviewed Scott Weiland from StoneTemple Pilots.
There's some fun behind-the-scenes on famous people. Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton both sounded really nice (and both gave Dunn food). Jennifer Beales, not so much.
Dunn also chronicles her nervous bouts before interviewing many of her subjects and especially before going on television.
Her reminiscences about interviewing U2 had me in stitches. The day of the shoot, she shows up with a giant zit in the middle of her forehead. Her producer recommends that she look straight at the camera.
"His eyes flicked to my forehead and he abruptly stopped talking. "What is that?" he asked frowning. "Did you hurt yourself?"
"I look like a unicorn, don't I? I said.
He shrugged. "Its a little distracting."
"After I asked my questions, I stared straight ahead at the camera as they responded. Don't turn to the side, I kept telling myself. They must have been wondering why they had to address my ear, but they gamely went along with it, presumably figuring that I had some sort of showbiz tic."
Overall, a charming and fun read.
Check out Dunn's blog, http://janceedunn.typepad.com/