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Handbook for an Unpredictable Life

How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair)

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight.
Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. Thus began her crazily discombobulated childhood of being shuttled between “the Home,” where she and other kids suffered all manners of cruelty from nuns, and various relatives’ apartments in Brooklyn.
Many in her circumstances would have been defined by these harrowing experiences, but with the intense determination that became her trademark, Rosie overcame the odds and made an incredible life for herself. She brings her journey vividly to life on each page of this memoir—from the vibrant streets of Brooklyn to her turbulent years in the Catholic home, and finally to film and TV sets and the LA and New York City hip-hop scenes of the 1980s and ‘90s. 
More than a page-turning read, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life is a story of survival. By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is ultimately the inspirational story of a woman who has found a hard-won place of strength and peace.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 31, 2014 – Rosie Perez, actress, choreographer, and activist known for her roles in films such as Do the Right Thing and White Men Can't Jump, opens up about everything from her difficult upbringing in a home for girls run by nuns to the breaks and trials of fame and silver screen success. Perez's life takes an unexpected turn when, living in L.A. and taking college classes, she is plucked from a crowd of dancers at a club to appear on Soul Train. Soon enough, Spike Lee discovers her at a "butt contest" and she is cast in his breakout film. While die-hard Perez fans may appreciate peaks at the actress' early life, the book otherwise falls flat. Perez speaks from the heart when describing an abusive childhood, but the carefree prose doesn't do the darker material justice. There is very little entertainment tell-all here: we learn that her mother suddenly turned kind after Perez became successful, there was drama with the Fly Girls on In Living Color, and that Jennifer Lopez was, as much as Perez liked her, challenging to work with. Half difficult-childhood tale, half celebrity-memoir, both storylines end up lacking.

Customer Reviews

Handbook for an unpredictable life

Very moving,honest and wonderful. I really made me love Rosie more.

Excellent Read

Loved, Loved, Loved this book. I am not a frequent book reader so any book that can keep my attention from cover to cover is remarkable. I read the whole book in less than 2 days. I was able to join Rosie in her world thanks to the vivid description and details. I was entertained and enlightened. Well done Rosie. Well done.

Handbook go an Unpredictable Life

I could not put the book down for very long. Enjoyed the sharing of Rosie's life, who knew?
A positive attitude will get you far in life.

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 25, 2014
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings