cover image Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic

Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic

Jenny McCarthy. Hyperion, $26.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4013-2465-0

After six bestsellers, the former Playboy Playmate might be running out of material: she repeats several stories she's told in previous memoirs, including about her big break into nude modeling and the birth of her son. Other stories stretch credulity, including an account of sneaking into the Vatican to see the pope's private quarters. However, the beginning section, in which McCarthy recounts growing up as one of four daughters in an Irish-Catholic family in the Chicago area, is more intriguing, perhaps simply because the idea of the brash, occasionally crude sexpot attending mass is so amusing, or because McCarthy, as she writes, "continued to do what I always do best, which is question things that don't make sense" (as when asking the forbidding Sister Grace Downey why they shouldn't, like Jesus, be Jewish). Indeed, all the Catholics here, except for one "sexy beast of a hot priest," come across as close minded and in need of McCarthy's questioning to see the pitfalls of their faith. But without exploring the honest desire for a meaningful religion, and by reducing some of Catholicism's teachings to inanity, McCarthy fails to make the case for her own, superior spirituality. B&w photos. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)