Saturday, December 10, 2011

Books Like Whoa: Bossypants by Tina Fey (2011 Book Countdown)

My End of the Year Book Review Countdown begins right... now: KABOOM!

by Tina Fey

Procured from a certain ginormous online book retailer 

Procured in July 2011

Finished on August 4, 2011

Format: Audio, narrated by Ms. Fey herself

Why I gave it a try: This has obviously been one of the big books of the year, and I had heard a lot of people particularly praising the audio version. I like SNL, I like laughing, and I like women with huge hairy arms - looked like this would be one for me.

Summary: This is a memoir par excellence, filled with little nuggets about about Tina Fey's life, comedy, and general wisdom. There is an overall chronological order that starts at the beginning and works towards the present, but it certainly isn't a traditionally organized autobiography. 

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book- a quick and satisfying read. Before I say anything else, I would strongly recommend going the audio route on this one. Tina Fey narrates the book herself, and her delivery and timing adds to the humor. The only minor quibble I have with her reading is that she tends to trail off at the end of some sentences and get really quiet - I think it's meant to convey that the thought was an aside, but it's a little frustrating to not clearly hear the end of the sentence. 

When it comes to any memoir type work, the ultimate success or failure of the book rests on whether or not you like the author. If you're not "with" him or her, at the end of the day, you're not going to enjoy the book - you're just not. One of the things that sets this memoir apart is Fey's ability to almost universally get her readers on her side. I've not heard a negative review of this book yet - that's because she completely hooks you on her POV from page one and never breaks that good faith bond through the rest of the book. I'm not sure that this is the kind of book where you come away feeling like you know the person better (i.e. My Life in France), but you do walk away liking Tina Fey even more than you did coming in. Her comedic style is observational and self-deprecating, but not in a biting, cynical way, which is refreshing, and many of her stories had me laughing out loud. I don't want to get too much into the specific episodes, because, frankly, it would ruin them for you. I'll just say that she covers topics as diverse as the superiority complex of mothers who breast feed to the brutal stage politics that dominate theater camp to how to pray for your infant daughter. I particularly identified with her hilarious tribute to her father. I think Don Fey and Tim Ellis should be golf buddies.

She also has some amusing but well articulated points about being a professional woman in a male dominated field. From male readers' feedback, it's not something that is man-hating or boring for general readers, but I think for us gals trying to make our way in the boy's club, it's got some good thoughts and overall commiseration. Though I have never seen a bottle of urine in a male coworker's office - I thankful for that. 

This was an excellent book, top to bottom. It's also the kind of book that you can give to just about anyone to enjoy. A great stocking stuffer, for those still shopping 


6 - Why are you still reading this review? Go pick this one up NOW 

How about you? Did you love Bossypants as much as I did?

I've got three more reviews up my sleeves for 2011 books... stay tuned!

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