To The Stars, by George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) #review #autobiography @NetGalley

About the book, To the Stars: the Autobiography of George Takei To the Stars, by George Takei

  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 10, 2015)

Best known as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise™ and captain of the Starship Excelsior, George Takei is beloved by millions as part of the command team that has taken audiences to new vistas of adventure in Star Trek®—the unprecedented television and feature film phenomenon.

From the program’s birth in the changing world of the 1960s and death at the hands of the network to its rebirth in the hearts and minds of loyal fans, the Star Trek story has blazed its own path into our recent cultural history, leading to a series of blockbuster feature films and three new versions of Star Trek for television.

The Star Trek story is one of boundless hope and crushing disappointment, wrenching rivalries and incredible achievements. It is also the story of how, after nearly thirty years, the cast of characters from a unique but poorly rated television show have come to be known to millions of Americans and people around the world as family.

For George Takei, the Star Trek adventure is intertwined with his personal odyssey through adversity in which four-year-old George and his family were forced by the United States government into internment camps during World War II.

Star Trek means much more to George Takei than an extraordinary career that has spanned thirty years. For an American whose ideals faced such a severe test, Star Trek represents a shining embodiment of the American Dream—the promise of an optimistic future in which people from all over the world contribute to a common destiny.

Buy, read, and discuss To the Stars: the Autobiography of George Takei

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About the author, George Takei George Takei

Best known for playing Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series and six movies that followed, George Takei is unlikely social media royalty. Unofficially dubbed the King of Facebook, he counts 5.5 million fans in his online empire – including Trekkies, Howard Stern listeners, and the LGBTQ community – who devour his quirky mix of kitten jokes, Star Trek references, heartfelt messages, and sci-fi/fantasy memes.

An outspoken advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, Takei has used his unmistakable baritone in several satiric PSAs, including one in response to Tennessee’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill that encourages viewers to say, “It’s OK to be Takei.”

His current projects include the musical Allegiance, drawn from his experience of growing up in Japanese American internment camps during World War II, and the recently published Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet and Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back.

Connect with George

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts

I saw this listed on NetGalley, and requested the digital ARC, not realizing this was just a re-release of the same autobiograpy Takei published in 1994, which I have in hardcover already. Still, it’s a good read – Mr. Takei’s life is incredibly rich and interesting and he tells his own story so well that anyone familiar with the cadence of his voice, whether from vintage reruns of Star Trek or from his more recent projects will hear the words in their head, and feel as though they are sitting at the knee of a family elder.

And really, especially since the loss of Leonard Nimoy, that’s what George Takei has become. If Nimoy was the honorary grandfather of all us fans, then Takei is our honorary uncle, the one who has no filter, who looks for the humor in everything, and who, in spite of everything he’s experienced, or seen others experience, still sees hope and possibility and the best in all of us.

That sense of hope and possibility is woven into every line of this autobiography. We see young George bond with a stray dog in the internment camp where he and his family were forced to stay, share his first experience with Mexican food (something that impressed me – having grown up in Colorado and California, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reasonably familiar with Mexican food) and culture, feel the nervousness and later the thrill at his first taste of acting, and go through the realization that he’s gay, but even when he’s sharing the darkest parts of his life, there’s still that glimmer of positivity, that ray of hope.

If you, as I did, grew up on reruns of the original Star Trek, came of age during the movie era, and were gifted with TNG only after you were mostly-grown up, you will likely enjoy this autobiography in the same fashion you would any family story, even if that family is only one of spirit, and not blood.

If you are younger, and know Mr. Takei through his activity on Facebook and Twitter (where, I confess, he is a great favorite of mine, even though I’m rarely brave enough to interact with him), you will enjoy this book because it shares where he came from, and adds context to many of the things he talks about.

Either way, To The Stars is an interesting, engaging read, from a man who will probably never run out of stories to tell or silly memes to share.

Goes well with A homemade burrito and a glass of chilled horchata.

Review: Oh Myyy (There Goes the Internet) by George Takei

Oh Myyy (There Goes the Internet)
by George Takei

Product Description (from
How did a 75-year old actor from Star Trek become a social media juggernaut? Why does everything he posts spread like wildfire across the ether, with tens or even hundreds of thousands of likes and shares? And what can other sites, celebrities and companies do to attain his stratospheric engagement levels, which hover or top 100 percent while theirs languish in the single digits?

Read about George Takei’s meteoric rise and dominance of the Internet in Oh Myyy (There Goes the Internet), published of course in electronic format.
In this groundbreaking, hilarious and informative book, Takei recounts his experiences on platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, where fans and pundits alike have crowned him King. He muses about everything from the nature of viral sharing, to the taming of Internet trolls, to why Yoda, bacon and cats are such popular memes. Takei isn’t afraid to tell it likes he sees it, and to engage the reader just as he does his legions of fans.

Both provokingly thoughtful and wickedly funny, Oh Myyy! captures and comments upon the quirky nature of our plugged-in culture. With Takei’s conversational yet authoritative style, peppered with some of his favorite images from the web, readers should be prepared to LOL, even as they can’t help but hear his words in their heads in that unmistakable, deep bass.

My Thoughts:
I’m not a great user of social media. Oh, I have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, but I’m really NOT a power user. I’m also not a fan-girl. Sure, there are celebrities I follow, but only if I’m genuinely interested in their work, or in what they have to say. George Takei falls into both categories. As a lifelong Star Trek fan who grew up with the Original Series (in reruns, but still…) I like to see that these actors I grew up watching are doing new and interesting things. As someone who grew up in an activist family, and spent a fair amount of time holding protest signs and such, I’m really amazed and impressed by Mr. Takei’s ability to speak his mind and remain dignified, then post hilarious memes on Facebook.

Having read his first book, a memoir, years ago when it was first published, buying his second was a no-brainer, except that it came out right before Christmas, and then I had this huge queue of books to read for review, and then I wanted to read only fiction. I finally downloaded it a few days ago (on my new iPad, even though I’ve linked to the Kindle version), and actually managed to make it last two days, mainly because I was trying to meet deadlines on some writing projects.

I knew, of course, that the gist of the book was Takei’s experience as a social media icon. I expected that he would come across as smart, well-spoken, and funny, and I was not disappointed. I love that he’s able to be serious when it’s called for and then immediately flip the mood into something completely silly.

I was expecting hilarity, and got it.

I was NOT expecting it to be so insightful, and in that I was pleasantly surprised.

Very often, I find myself looking at something technological and thinking my grandfather would have really enjoyed playing with/using/tinkering with whatever it is, had he lived to this decade (though that would have made him 102). Takei’s take on the Internet found me thinking that a lot, especially when he commented on his own age.

In short, Oh Myyy is funny, smart, insightful and incredibly readable. And, yes, I’m guilty of hearing the author’s voice in my head as I read it. Who isn’t?

Goes well with…a tuna fish sandwich and limeade.