I was looking for new audiobooks recently, and wandered into the library’s (digital) humor section. I happened across I’ll Have What She’s Having by Rebecca Harrington, a nonfiction humor book about the author’s foray into celebrity dieting. If you’re thinking that diet books aren’t your thing, this is far less advice and much more an exploration of weird and humorous eating experiences.
The book is made up of a series of experiments, with each chapter focused on a different celebrity as Rebecca tries out their diet. The celebrities range from Old Hollywood (Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor) to modern (Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz). I’d heard of very nearly all of them, which made it more interesting. Some celebrities offer specific dieting advice, while for others Rebecca searched interviews and biographies for the preferred foods of celebrities.
Mostly the focus of the book is Rebecca’s trials and travails as she tries the weird food choices of celebrities. Gwyneth Paltrow is the only one whose diet seems to be a good idea (but too expensive to sustain). Most are simply strange and interesting, which of course makes for good humor. Rebecca writes about failed (and successful) dinner parties, terrifying cooking adventures (celery loaf was apparently a nightmare), and bizarre dishes liked by celebrities.
Half the fun was learning about the strange diet choices of celebrities, and the other half was Rebecca’s commentary and experiences. The book has a very strong and funny voice that sustains it throughout.
For the hardcore people who don’t want to read about dieting, this book probably isn’t for you, as there is some discussion of weight loss efforts and dieting technique. However, with the possible exception of Gwyneth Paltrow’s diet, Rebecca doesn’t make any of these diets sound like a good idea or something to recommend, and ultimately concludes that, while it was all interesting, she didn’t wind up changing her weight at all.
I only had one real disappointment in regards to the book–despite the title, Rebecca never went on the Meg Ryan or Sally (as in, When Harry Met Sally) diet! Which just seems like a bit of an omission, when you’re going to use her as your title inspiration…