Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Report: Bossypants

If you're thinking Bossypants isn't technically a biography, you are correct. But it does have biographical elements, and I say that counts. Confession: I just may have started this book over ten months ago. Now wait just a second. The reason I managed to prolong the reading of Bossypants was because I wanted to keep Tina Fey with me always. First off: she has the best list of BFF lady friends I can imagine. And secondly, her book is chock full of self-deprecating asides, un-catty behind-the-scenes anecdotes, credit for her friends and colleagues, and the best stories about lady business in show business, all told with intelligence, humor, and in the spirit of honest generosity...

Also, Bossypants served as my reward for making headway on other books I was having trouble getting through. These were my guilt books--the ones I started in 2011 and still have hanging out on my goodreads' "currently reading" page...much to my immense chagrin.* You see, I am kind of a terrible person. Well, at least a terrible MFA grad.

By nineteen, I had found my look. Oversize T-shirts, bike shorts, and wrestling shoes. To prevent the silhouette from being too baggy, I would cinch it at the waist with my fanny pack. I was pretty sure I would wear this look forever. The shirts allowed me to express myself with cool sayings like "There's No Crying in Baseball" and "Universität Heidelberg," the bike shorts showed off my muscular legs, and the fanny pack held all my trolley tokens. I was nailing it on a daily basis. Find something like this for yourself as soon as possible.  -- Tina Fey

If you find yourself in need of something to read in a hotel in Denmark, Iceland, or Sweden while drinking wine and wearing socks (Catherine), or in your apartment trying to coax a cat onto your lap while eating leftover french toast that you suddenly realize you don't want (me), or hanging with your best girlfriends dishing on boys and hairstyles and life (everyone), then this is probably the book for you. Really, there are endless scenarios in which I can imagine you enjoying this book. I'm going to pause to imagine some of them right now...

Now that that's taken care of, it's time for recommendations. If you love Ms. Fey's authorial prowess, I'd like to suggest The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, and from left field: the short story collection Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link.

1. The delightful Ms. Tina Fey, via Chocolate Avenue; 2. NYC, via Mr. McQueen; 3. 30 Rock Atlas, by Ed Zaf; 4. From Isabel Wilson's apartment, via Freunde von Freunden; 5. Turkey burger, by Hungry Girl por Vida;  6. Desk, by Colie Parks;  7. Blazer outfit, by Kendi Everyday; 8Knotted scarf, by Sidewalk Ready; 9. Chuck Taylors, via Tip Her; 10. Amy Poehler, by Peter Yang; 11. Maya Rudolph, via Staunch Characters; 12. Kristen Wiig, via Bohemea.

* Examples: 1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Try as I might--and it should be right up my alley--the political machinations of Tudor-era England have been a bit of a slog. This proves troublesome given that I'm interested in the recently published sequel. 2. Miss Lonelyhearts / The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West. Again, I feel I should like this, but in all honesty I bought this book for three reasons: the intriguing title, the cool cover design of the New Directions reissue, and the fact that it was 50% off.  3. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. So many characters! But once the goodie-goodies started getting killed off, things became infinitely more interesting. For the record, I finished it over the course of five months. And despite my procrastination, I am doggedly determined to finish the other two. Promises, promises.

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