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The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things Hardcover – October 22, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anna Holmes is an award-winning NYC-based editor, writer and the creator of Jezebel.com. She has contributed to numerous publications including the Washington Post, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Salon, the New Yorker online, and the New York Times, where she is currently a columnist for the Sunday Book Review. Her first book, Hell Hath No Fury: Women's Letters From the End of the Affair, was published in 2002 and she has appeared on such media outlets as NPR's "All Things Considered" and "The Takeaway," NBC's "The Today Show" and CNN's "Reliable Sources." Her Twitter feed (@AnnaHolmes) was named one of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013 by Time Magazine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Ill edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455502804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455502806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a Great and fun book!
Jessica Darsey
The fresh and sometimes funny definitions in this encyclopedia make it interesting enough that I'm reading it straight through!
Virginia DeBolt
Instead I feel like I really didn't learn anything.
Sofie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MLE on November 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Fun, funny, and informative. I found myself really interested in finding out more about the men, and women I had never heard of, and seeing different perspectives on people I thought I knew. I liked how unflinching some of the articles on some of the different people were, and they didn't avoid looking at the more negative attitudes, and judgments of many of them. Pretty sad how many older feminist leaders seem to be deeply transphobic. I did like the breadth of women and men included. They seemed to do a good job including important, and less well known figures from all groups without having anyone feel included just to be included.

They tried very hard to keep an open mind, but there were places that I felt were a bit disappointing. I didn't like some of the dismissive, and almost patronizing attitude they seemed to have towards Pagans and Wiccans. They are not all flaky Goddess worshippers or Hippies (that really shouldn't be a pejorative term), and it's pretty sad to see a book like this falling for those outdated stereotypes. I also didn't like the generalizations of "white women". Making blanket statements about any race should be unacceptable, and white women are no more a homogeneous group than any other race of women. I wouldn't make such a statement about another race of women, and it would be nice to receive the same courtesy in return. I did like the refusal to fat shame, and the respect shown to women of all sexualities, and gender expressions, and the attention focused on racism (except for that one small issues), and classism.

Overall a well researched, interesting book on a diverse range of people, and ideas. Both funny, and thought provoking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karalynn on November 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard a review with the author on NPR and knew it would be the perfect present for my wife. Little did I know I would get quite a kick out of it as well. Like any encyclopedia it gives brief explanations of everything. Unlike most encyclopedias, it is hilarious!

The book is great for coffee tables, although may not be appropriate when kids are present, (read: it's awesome!)
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Isi Modeste on October 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Smart and sassy. I bought this for myself and within a few minutes of flipping pages I decided to buy at least another as a gift for a lady friend and her little girl. I hope they update this book periodically.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RynReader on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I sometimes find sardonic humor amusing,but I quickly grew tired of the negativity in this book.

Nearly every reference to motherhood had a glib and mean-spirited "definition". References to feminism are basically rants on stereotypes and what "other" people define it as.

There were a lot of opportunities to write smart, positive, insightful views on women here. Instead, this book is so glib and negative that it just came off as crap written by angry girls inexperienced in life. Too bad.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an informative, reasonably well researched take on a voluminous number of people and historic trends of interest and import to feminists and other liberated women, and hopefully of interest to men who appreciate those kinds of women as well.My wife enjoyed it, but maybe I enjoyed it more than she did. More funny than angry, though definitely barbed humor. But when you are talking about people like Donald Trump or Rush Limbaugh, a little anger, feminist or other, seems appropriate.

One somewhat annoying weakness is the author apparent tin ear for music. Perhaps that is why she conflates having musical talent, selling a lot of records, and coping an attitude..A musical composer and arranger as influential and creative as Emmy Lou Harris, for example, is dissed as being mainly a "duet partner" in a brief smurky writeup, while way too many punk rock figures are treated as musical geniuses. And Joni Mitchell's pop hits such as "Free Man in Paris" are classified as "folk music" by a "folksinger. So in other words, this is fun sociology, but not always an accurate guide to which women made major contributions to creative fields,at least for the field of music.

But that is a minor fault. Overall, this book does a good job in capturing the cultural context of past and present political and literary figures of merit,And the deadly serious definition of "postfeminist" is something to savor. We both liked this book, though we both thought the author would likely be able to do a better job with historical contexts when she gets a little older and has more history of her own. But right now this is very entertaining, never boring, often incite-full and maybe important counterbalance to conventional and academic history's "big man" fetish.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sigrid Olsen on January 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A LITTLE learning is a dangerous thing. If you rely on this to fill in the gaps you'll be disappointed. Is it possible that a book can actually make you dumber?! Yes, it is!

No modern woman would have this book in her library. It is packed full of LITTLE learning, and is even irrelevant as a cultural literacy tool. The short bios of the women mentioned are so biased and butchered, it reminds me of one of our most notorious local murderers in my hometown. In one part of his house they found the breasts...and in another the buttocks.

This book may try to have an feminist slant, but after careful reading, it is anti-feminist to the core: dumbed down, but cute on a coffee table--that wonderful piece of furniture so beloved by fifties housewives.
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The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things
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