Book notes: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick book review summary and key ideas.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick


“A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

“I’m excited to publish my first book, and because I get uncomfortable when people have high expectations, I’d like to use this opportunity to showcase my ineptitude and pettiness and the frequency with which I embarrass myself. And while many of my female inspirations who have become authors are incredibly well educated and accomplished comedy writers, I’m very, very funny on Twitter, according to BuzzFeed and my mom, so I feel like this is a great idea. Quick question: Are run-on sentences still frowned upon? Wait, is ending a sentence with a preposition still frowned upon? I mean, upon frowned? Dammit!” (Anna Kendrick)

Anna Kendrick’s autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle-class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

I picked this book up this month because it had a ton of reviews and a very high average rating. I also love autobiographies or biographies of successful people, and her career seems like it must be very interesting to follow.

I know Anna Kendrick has been in movies like Twilight, Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods, and A Simple Favor, and she definitely has that spunky sort of attitude from what I’ve seen in a few interviews. If her story is anything like her personality, it should be pretty fun to hear.

Key notes:

  • She loved being Annie and being in musicals as a little girl

Reader’s note: she realized her single-mindedness had a benefit which was that she was working towards a goal she wanted, unlike her friends in college who didn’t know what they wanted to do.

  • Sometimes you have to go through tough periods because you just have to pass an endurance test
  • She went through a phase of baking because she found fulfillment in working on and producing something tangible
  • We are all steering our own ships but none of us know what we are doing
    • But it would be so nice to believe that someone out there did and that maybe they could take the wheel for a little while
  • When it comes to fashion, it’s supposed to be fun
    • Get it tailored!
      • This is a game changer when it comes to what you wear
  • She discovered even after all the media, publicity, and Oscar nomination that fame didn’t change anything about her 
  • For several months during the Up In The Air press tour, she felt crushing anxiety due to imposter syndrome
  • Her revelations while on a party boat:
    1. People need escape and fantasy at every age
    2. Maybe we’re all the most free when we’re playing make believe
  • Even despite her fame, she maintains the mindset that she doesn’t ever want to be complacent and wants to be on her own and build character
    • She doesn’t want to build character but it keeps her from becoming reliant on other people

Reader’s note: Before the book ends, I would like to say I love Anna‘s writing tone and style, especially coupled with her reading the book.

She has such a fresh, unique, and quirky voice and personality, I love that she lets it out in this book.

I want to say that I imagine when I write my book, I will have the same funny, quirky type of style that she does. It’s apparent that she doesn’t take yourself too seriously and can still joke around and be comfortable with her own style of humor.

Main ideas / Themes:

  1. Achieving what you truly want sometimes requires an endurance test
  2. There’s fulfillment in producing something tangible
  3. Nobody truly knows what their doing
  4. Fame really doesn’t change who you are
  5. Don’t be complacent, strive to remain self-reliant

Closing thoughts:

As expected, this was a great book. As most books read by the author, I love it that Anna reads her own writing as you can really tell how it was supposed to be read. She even adds her own quirky way of speaking, and I’m not even fully sure if she’s ad-libbing or its really in the book, haha.

I do enjoy that her voice is so fresh and unique, very millennial haha. She honestly sounds like a person very easy to get along with and like. I enjoy how she’s not only very genuine, but also very vulnerable about her own insecurities and shortcomings.

She really pulls the curtain back on the mystery behind fame, and how it really doesn’t change much. I do appreciate how she maintains that she’s really the same person as she was before the fame, and she wants to stay that way.

Her writing voice, while sometimes may sound a bit neurotic, is very entertaining and authentic. It doesn’t sound like shes trying to be something she’s not, and I appreciate that a lot. She’s apologetically herself.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. While I couldn’t take a ton of notes (due to a combination of great anecdotal stories and lack of hard/explicit life lessons), it’s definitely a great work to read or listen to. Her story paints such a great backstory to her public persona that I definitely want to go back and re-watch her movies.


The life and story behind the Anna Kendrick.



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