Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lea Michele Returning to Bergen for Book Signing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lea Michele Returning to Bergen for Book Signing

Article excerpt

Most 27-year-olds might not yet have enough material to write a book about themselves. But if they landed their first professional acting gig at the age of 8 -- in Broadway's "Les Miserables" -- it's a different story.

And so, Lea Michele -- the onetime Tenafly girl who became a triple-threat star in Fox's "Glee" -- has come out with her first book, "Brunette Ambition," a part memoir/part how-to book that she'll be signing Tuesday at Books & Greetings in Northvale.

"I really have an incredible group of fans, and they've always asked me along the way my tips on beauty and fashion and fitness, and they always want to know about 'Glee' and how I got the part, and my life on Broadway before," says Michele, who has more than 4 million followers on Twitter alone. "So I just thought this was going to be a good opportunity for me to put it all down in a book."

One of its big themes is that you should be yourself and embrace being different. Realizing that she's become a role model to many young people, Michele also wanted to make it clear that she's someone who "has a healthy lifestyle." She adds, "I'm not out going wild at the clubs. And I really think that taking care of myself is the number one priority. Keeping well, being kind to yourself -- that was absolutely important to me."

In the book, she writes about her problems with acne and shares her skin-care secrets, along with fitness, makeup, style and "Red Carpet Fashion" tips. She also shares favorite recipes (both for meals and home-beauty treatments), and writes about her longtime admiration for Barbra Streisand and her fondness for Jonathan Groff, her "best friend" and "Spring Awakening" co-star (who also appeared on "Glee").

As a condition of the interview, the one topic that was off- limits was Cory Monteith, her "Glee" co-star and real-life boyfriend, who died of a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13, 2013. But in the book, Michele has pictures of and references to him. And she thanks him at the start of the book and in the acknowledgements, calling him her "biggest fan" and noting that he "read almost every chapter of this book" and gave her "a ton of practical feedback." He is also the last person that she thanks in her acknowledgements, promising him that she made "every single one" of his suggested changes. She ends by saying, "I love you."

Michele, an only child, also dedicates the book to her "beautiful mother," and writes throughout about her "awesome" supportive parents. She was born Lea Michele Sarfati on Aug. 29, 1986, in the Bronx, to "a Jewish father and an Italian mother" who'd met as teens. Her mom is a retired nurse who survived uterine cancer. Her dad is a former deli owner who later got into real estate, a go- getter who "would never think to passively stand around and wait for opportunity to knock. …

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