Before she was an Oscar-winning actress, Sissy Spacek was a horse-riding tomboy in small-town Texas, where, spurred by her teenage brother’s death from leukemia, she decided early on that she wasn’t going to waste a minute. “For me, the grief was almost like rocket fuel. It made me fearless. And I lost interest in trivial things,” she says in her honest, down-to-earth memoir, My Extraordinary Ordinary Life (Hyperion; written with Maryanne Vollers). Her acting career is high drama (bloodied in Carrie, singing her way through Loretta Lynn’s life in Coal Miner’s Daughter, being deliciously tipsy in The Help). But her joy in the everyday comforts of life on a quiet Virginia farm with her husband of almost 40 years is what truly defines her.
Next: 'Absolution' by Patrick Flanery
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