I have a summertime tradition of reading autobiographies. I tend to stick with ones by comedians of various stripes, but that’s more happenstance than plan. I have had If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) on my to read list since sometime in the winter of 2012. Well, I finally got my act together and here we are. I’m happy to report that if you love Betty White (and seriously, if you don’t how do you even live with yourself?) and are in need of a quick, fun, lighthearted read to take a break from your own life and peer into hers for a bit, then this is a book for you.
I read this book in one sitting. I hardly ever do that. While clocking in at 250+ pages, lots and lots of them are photographs of Betty through the years and the typeface is large and well-spaced on the page. If this book was formatted more like the novels I read it would probably clock in closer to 100 pages. But separate from that the nuggets of stories that Betty is telling, primarily focused on her life 2009-2011, and are quick and to the point. There isn’t much extra stuffing, but that doesn’t take away from the fluffy feeling of having an octogenarian (this was written before her 90th birthday in 2012) tell you things. I kept imagining sitting down with her for a cup of tea. Or some gin.
It was of no surprise to me that some of my favorite chapters focused around her time with Craig Ferguson or on the set of The Proposal (a role she almost passed on because it would require her to be away from her dog too much). But there were also interesting chapters on her marriage to Allen Ludden whom she lost to cancer, her choice to not have children, and her life as a child and how it influenced her work with animals. A good read, for sure.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read, fighting cancer one book at a time.