Bossypants is funny:
It’s not the funniest book I’d ever read. Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trailstill holds that distinction, but it was funny. This book’s humor is classic Tina Fey. If you ever watched Tina’s TV show 30 Rock you will recognize the humor. I realized Liz Lemon was Tina Fey or perhaps Tina Fey was Liz Lemon.
Tina can be a bit vulgar:
When I checked Bossypants out from the library, the librarian told me her book club didn’t like it. They thought it was too vulgar. I actually didn’t find the vulgarity to be too bad. In my opinion Caitlin Moran’s book How to Be a Woman was much worse. As you may recall her book was so crass I wasn't able to finish it. I do think if you’ve never watched 30 Rock you will find the chapter that includes dialogue of the show’s characters weird.
I’m not sure what this book is:
Bossypants is not a memoir. Tina Fey doesn’t analyze her life or provide us with insight in to who Tina Fey really is. Nor is it a career or how to book. My library classifies it as stage entertainment (whatever that means).
Tina is one of us:
I did learn the reason I like Tina Fey is because she started out like many of us. She grew up in a middle class family, had a regular childhood, felt like a misfit in college and struggles with many of the same issues we do. She is tenacious, an incredibly hard worker and has difficulty balancing work and family like most women.
I usually base the value of a nonfiction book, by how many notes I take while reading the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a single note from this book, but I did bookmark a couple of interesting passages. Here is a sampling:
Tina’s views on Photoshop:
Give it up. Retouching is here to stay. Technology doesn’t move backward. No society has ever de-industrialized. Which is why we’ll never turn back from Photoshop. At least with Photoshop you don’t really have to alter your body. It’s better to have a computer do it to your picture than to have a doctor do it to your face? (Pg. 161)
On luxury cruises:
Luxury cruises were designed to make something unbearable-a two-week transatlantic crossing – seem bearable. There’s no need to do it now. There are planes. You wouldn’t take a vacation where you ride a stagecoach for two months but there’s all-you-can-eat shrimp. (Pg. 100)
What she tells young women who ask for career advice:
People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel you are in competition with other women. “You’re up for a promotion. If they go with a woman, it’ll be between you and Barbara.” Don’t be fooled. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone. (Pg. 88)
Her unsolicited advice to women in the workplace:
When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you. (Pg. 144-145)
Unlike Sheryl Sandberg, I don’t think this is the best book I’ve read this year, but I did enjoy it. I would recommend reading it if you are a fan of Tina Fey, are looking for a light read, a beach read or a palate cleanser. If you are looking for a memoir that includes an in-depth analysis of who Tina Fey is or how she became one of the funniest women in comedy you will probably be disappointed in this book.
Have you read Tina Fey’s book Bossypants? If so what were your thoughts?
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