Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Bossypants

Summary: Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!) -- Reagan Arthur

Can I tell you how excited I was when I discovered that Reagan Arthur books was releasing a Tina Fey title called BOSSYPANTS? I have been a fan of Tina Fey's ever since I saw her presenting the Weekend Updates on Saturday Night live. And I continued to love her Sarah Palin impersonations and as well as her roles in 30 Rock and Date Night. There was also the added benefit that BOSSYPANTS counts for the Reagan Arthur Books Challenge which Kathy and I are co-hosting. (That's a not so subtle plug for this stress-free challenge because I'm hoping some more of you will join us. I continue to be impressed with the diversity of the Reagan Arthur offerings ... literary fiction, mystery, memoir, humor, etc! So stop by, sign up, see for yourself!)

Now back to the review.... I wasn't entirely surprised by how much I enjoyed BOSSYPANTS. In fact, I started to read the Introduction one afternoon when the entire family was within hearing range. I couldn't stop giggling (I might have even made a snorting sound or two), and I am pretty sure that my family thought I was crazy to be laughing that hard at a book. There is no doubt that Tina Fey is hilarious, and I was immediately hooked on BOSSYPANTS from just the first few pages.

I found Fey's stories in BOSSYPANTS to be incredibly interesting and (did I mention funny?); and I actually read the entire book (except the Introduction) in one sitting. I had so much fun with the stories about Fey's childhood, her college years, as well as her post-college/early career years in Chicago. Of course, I was anxiously awaiting for some gossip about the years at Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, and there are few chapters devoted to these parts of Ms. Fey's life.

As far as the writing goes, I was impressed. The book was extremely easy-to-read (as evidenced by the few hours I spent reading it), and I appreciated Fey's style. Of course her voice was witty, but it was also very smart and insightful. I thoroughly enjoyed some of her social commentary on politics, women's issues, and feminism. And I liked that Tina Fey doesn't seem to take herself too serious. Much of the humor in this novel was of the self-deprecating type; and Fey poked fun at her lack of style, her weight gain/loss, her eyebrows, her photo shoots, etc.

I admit that I was a bit surprised (and very touched) by the last few chapters of the book. There are a few references to Tina Fey's daughter throughout the book, but the last few pages of this book are where Fey really opened up about her feelings on motherhood. Like so many women out there, she has the daily struggles between being a mom and having a career; and she even voiced her insecurities about deciding whether to have another child. (I was happy to learn a few days prior to my reading that Ms. Fey is expecting Baby #2!)

As I read BOSSYPANTS, I could almost hear Fey's voice sharing her thoughts and telling me her stories. Truly, the entire book read as if she were talking with a friend. Which leads me to the question, how amazing would this book be as audio with Tina Fey narrating it? As much as I loved the print version of this book, I just might have to give the audio a try in the very near future!

If you are already a fan of Tina Fey, then I'm pretty confident in saying that you'll love this book. But even if you're not one, I sincerely think you will enjoy her self-deprecating humor and insight into life!

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I can't say that I'm a fan of 30 Rock or anything else she is involved with, because we just don't watch that much TV. But I've always known she is funny and have respected her as being one of the top women in the entertainment industry (and at the same time being a mom). That is enough for me. I have this on order from the library ON AUDIO, and guess who narrates? Her. I am sooooo excited to get it.

bermudaonion said...

I saw Fey on Oprah the other day and between that appearance and your review, I'm dying to read this book!!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait, just can't wait for this book. I think I want to listen to it as well since Fey reads it. I love her and she can always make me laugh.

Swapna said...

I've got the audio of this one and am really looking forward to it. I like Tina Fey, though I have only watched one ep of 30 Rock!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I agree with Sandy - sounds like a great one for an audio read!

Beth Kephart said...

Loved this one SO much — just reviewed it as well. Glad to see we agree (as always!)

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I saw this book at Costco but only gave it a passing glance because I don't watch much TV, but I'm happy you really enjoyed it. It's a good change to read a good funny memoir.