Book Review: Bossypants

Disclaimer: I know I wrote a book review yesterday (Muy Macho really challenged stereotypes, brought different perspectives and gave me some stuff to think about) and I promise I won't do another for a while.

I'm a Tina Fey fan.  I admit it.  SNL.  Mean Girls.  30 Rock.

Her memior, Bossypants, hit bookstores in the spring and has been climbing it's way up best-seller's lists.  The book contains snapshot stories from Fey's life, moving briskly and pausing for jokes and insightful reflection on feminism, leadership, cultural trends and motherhood.

I read Bossypants cover to cover in just a few hours.  I laughed, read sections to Amy and nodded along.  In terms of comedy memoirs, I'd say it's as good as Steve Martin's Born Standing Up, but not as sad.  It's definitely worth a read.

Here're some things to look for ...

Bossypants raises women's issues in a way that is engaging, funny and insightful.  Coming of age, engaging in a career, climbing vocational ladders, leading (ie. wearing the Bossypants), managing success and motherhood ... Tina Fey touches on all of these topics.  I feel like I better understand half-understood snippets of conversation I've caught with my wife, female friends and co-workers.  [I'll pass the book on to friends just for Fey's reflection of formula, breastfeeding and having another child ... so great!]

In Bossypants, Tina Fey also manages to leverage vulnerable confessions to share insights into the world and culture.  From her high school friendships with gay men to her job interview at the YMCA to her Sarah Palin SNL sketches right up to her tension with career and motherhood ... Tina Fey shares what she's learned without skipping over the messy stories that helped her learn.  Memoirs are, by necessity, self-centered, but Bossypants manages to avoid being self-serving.  And doesn't a display of humble vulnerability help you trust an author, a leader?

Lastly, Tina Fey writes in her own voice and cleanly.  This is phenomenally difficult to do.  It takes a lot of talent to write in your voice, but not write like you talk.  We do all sorts of things when we talk that don't lead to fun reading.  Bossypants avoided all of the pitfalls and made for a fast, fun read.

Good for a beach read.  Good for a book group.  Great for a Saturday afternoon.

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