Book Review: How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan is one of those actors that brings me such joy, I literally squeal when I see him on the screen! This was the loveliest way to spend four hours and I was so sad when it ended.


SYNOPSIS

Viral sensation and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan regales fans with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in this unmissable essay collection that echoes his droll, irreverent voice.

When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had “gone viral,” he had no idea what that meant or how much his life was about to change. On Instagram, his uproarious videos have entertained millions and have made him a global celebrity. Now, he brings his bon vivance to the page with this collection of intimate and sassy essays.

Bursting with color and life, dripping with his puckish Southern charm, How Y’all Doing? is Leslie doing what Leslie does best: telling stories that make us laugh and lift our spirits even in the darkest days. Whether he’s writing about his brush with a group of ruffians in a West Hollywood Starbucks, or an unexpected phone call from legendary Hollywood start Debbie Reynolds, Leslie infuses each story with his fresh and saucy humor and pure heart.

How Y’all Doing? is an authentic, warm, and joyful portrait of an American Sweetheart— a Southern Baptist celebutante, first-rate raconteur, and keen observer of the odd side of life whose quirky wit rivals the likes of Amy Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, David Rakoff, and Sarah Vowell. from Goodreads.

A light green cover features a smiling Leslie Jordan sitting and smiling

MY THOUGHTS

I just loved Leslie Jordan as Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace and, since that first encounter, I have watched for him in anything and everything. I loved The Cool Kids and I am thrilled to see a second season of Call me Kat. Leslie Jordan is the kind of person I love to see because I long to be like him – unique and authentically himself. I was tickled pink by his appearance on Instagram during the pandemic (which is when I first really started poking around on the app). I wandered around for days watching them all back to back and muttering, “Well shiiiiiit,” under my breath at everything. This is Leslie’s second book and the audiobook is most delightfully narrated by him in that iconic voice. At only 4 hours, it is too short and I need a part two…badly!

I am struggling a bit to determine which kind of stories were my favorite but I would probably have to choose those from his childhood. Leslie’s father died when he was only 12, leaving his Mother alone to raise him and his twin sisters. And, like many people facing staggering loss, his childhood is a kaleidoscope of memories heavily colored to see joy. Hands down, my favorite is Leslie’s memories around playing Barbies. I am with you Leslie! For someone that is currently wearing “the good shirt” I bought in Target five years ago, I just never got over the loveliness of Barbie. And, apparently, neither did Leslie.

What struck me about his youth as well is how many people saw him as a whole and unique person and loved him. He had people helping him sew dresses and buy him the Bride doll he really wanted for Christmas. It wasn’t perfect, and he admits to both struggling with his Southern Baptist roots and having to have some serious celebrity intervention with his Mama at one point. No one’s life is perfect. But I enjoyed the way Leslie remembers how people made him feel and how he wants to recreate that safe and joyful place for others.

My only negative comment is one that is a common theme in celebrity memoirs. It’s all the bragging. All celebrity stories have them – ‘I was chosen for this,’ or ‘everyone just loved me,’ blah blah blah. It wasn’t terrible in this book but it was enough for me to give Leslie a small eye roll. His talking about his accomplishments were more impressive, to me, when he talked about his charity work, especially with Project Nightlight during the AIDS crisis. And, I nearly cried laughing when Leslie said he had his Meals on Wheels route taken away because he chatted so long the meals got cold. These are the kinds of actions and achievements that society needs to hear more about!

Truly, this book was a hoot. If you had an afternoon of something terrible, like waiting at the DMV, this book will transport you straight out of there. Sigh. I want to listen all again.


Tell me, please! How Y’all Doing?


2 thoughts on “Book Review: How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan

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  1. I just listened to this Audiobook over the weekend while I was painting. It was so good!!! The Bride doll story was just <3! I was telling my husband about that.

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