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It’s been 17 years since The Real Housewives first graced our television screens, and in that time, we’ve seen hundreds of Bravo personalities with thousands of business ventures hawking countless products. But amid all this noise, the one thing that still feels special is writing a book. There’s something about getting a book deal and following through with it that feels genuinely impressive, even if your “writing process” is mostly just talking about yourself to a co-author who formulates your ramblings into 200 cohesive pages. Over the years, there have been lots of unremarkable Bravolebrity books (I won’t name names here, but DM me after I’ve had a few drinks and we can talk), but a handful stand out as genuine good reads.
“Bad Mormon” By Heather Gay
Heather Gay has had her fair share of ups and downs during her time on RHOSLC, but her memoir “Bad Mormon” mostly eschews the Housewives drama in favor of a much more personal story. Heather’s journey through and, ultimately, away from Mormonism is equal parts funny, eye-opening, and heartbreaking, and it provides a lot of context for the woman we see on Bravo today. Whether or not you’re Team Heather on the show, she has a fascinating story, and I’m glad to know it.
“Life on the Ramona Coaster” By Ramona Singer
Of all the books on this list, this one is probably the least, uh, good, but if you love trash TV, you can also stoop to reading a trash book every now and then. Ramona’s memoir was published back in 2015, so unfortunately we don’t get her thoughts on today’s political climate the great RHONY reboot of 2023, but there are some absolute gems in here about her early adult life and the origins of RHONY 1.0. No one communicates quite the same way as Ramona Singer, and I dare you to read this without hearing her voice in your head.
“What Remains” By Carole Radziwill
Most of this list is comprised of Bravolebs-turned-writers, but Carole Radziwill famously did things the other way around. We can agree to disagree on whether she used a ghostwriter for her majorly successful memoir “What Remains,” but either way, it’s objectively one of the best books written by anyone on a Bravo show. It’s not all darkness, but this one is heavy on the grief talk, so proceed with caution.
“The Daddy Diaries: The Year I Grew Up” By Andy Cohen
If memoirs about religious trauma or the loss of a loved one aren’t exactly your vibe, I highly recommend Andy Cohen’s “Diaries” books. True to the name, Andy essentially writes down what happens in his hectic life every day for a year, and it’s a cavalcade of celeb interactions, new parenting experiences, and assorted musings about life, love, and Bravo. If you get restless reading books with super long chapters, the quick entries make this one a breezy read perfect for a commute or a quick break from your work day.
“The Weight of Beautiful” By Jackie Goldschneider (on sale 9/26, preorder now)
Most of the best memoirs come from compelling people with compelling stories to tell, and in her upcoming book, Jackie Goldschneider handily checks both boxes. Over the last few years on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jackie has slowly peeled back the layers of her decades-long battle with disordered eating, and here, she really lays it all out there. From teenage dieting, to starting a family, to hiding her eating habits on TV, Jackie’s dry wit shines through as she tells her life story through the lens of someone finally on the road to recovery. It’s not an easy read (and a major trigger warning for ED content), but it’s an important book, and one that’s hard to put down, too.
Honorable Mention: “Single AF Cocktails: Drinks for Bad B*tches” By Ariana Madix (on sale 12/5, preorder now)
As someone who owns a signed copy of Ariana’s previous cocktail book (co-written with T*m S*ndoval), it’s only right that I support my girl now that she’s returning with her very own book of cocktail recipes. Personally, I’m terrible at keeping any kind of bar supplies stocked in my home, so this is more of a coffee table decoration, but I’m confident the drinks will deliver for anyone who decides to get a little more crafty. Cheers to that!