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Tina Fey: Bossypants Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2011: Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off. --Kevin Nguyen
Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.
PRAISE FOR TINA FEY:
"You'd be really pretty if you lost weight."―College Boyfriend, 1990
"Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, overrated troll."―The Internet
"Mommy, where are my pretzels?"―Tracy Morgan
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR BOSSYPANTS:
"I hope that's not really the cover. That's really going to hurt sales."―Don Fey, Father of Tina Fey
"Absolutely delicious!"―A Guy Who Eats Books
"Totally worth it."―Trees
"Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey's book until I've been dead a hundred years."―Mark Twain
"Hilarious and insightful. Laugh-out-loud funny -- oh no, a full moon. No! Arrgh! Get away from me! Save yourself!"―A Guy Turning into a Werewolf
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What I liked:
The whole book! My short review is just buy/borrow it, because it's fantastic and funny and you should read it! When I posted a picture of this book on my Instagram, so many people told me how much they enjoyed the book, and many recommended that I listen to the audiobook, as Fey narrates. I've tried a few audiobooks over the years and I really can't focus on information that way. I may actually give it a try with Bossypants though, because Fey is so witty and I believe hearing her jokes come from her would enhance them, especially now that I'm familiar with the material.
Fey gives readers a wonderful mix of comic insight into life and honest thoughts on a variety of topics such as life as woman, mother and comic, as well as fashion and beauty tips! Every page contained something that made me smile or chuckle and I can't remember the last time I laughed so many times while reading a book. (It was probably last December, when I read Mindy Kaling's book - I need to read more humor!)
What I didn't like:
Nothing! Wait, you know what? This book wasn't long enough! I reached the end all too soon and wanted more of Fey's tips and quips. Hopefully she puts out another book in the future.
If you like humorous memoirs, this book is for you. If you don't like comedic books you probably have no soul you might still find some of her more insightful moments useful in your own life.
"Bossypants" is loosely an autobiography, in the vein of David Sedaris. In other words, it skips around in time and cherry-picks interesting stories from Fey's life. I actually read the newest Sedaris book at the same time as "Bossypants," and both authors share the same observational type humor that often relies on cutting/hilarious descriptions of people and their foibles. For example, Fey's stories about working at a Chicago-area YMCA often revolved around her deskmate, Donna, whom she describes as "an enigma wrapped in bacon wrapped in a crescent roll."
If you've seen Fey's comedy, then you know what to expect. "Bossypants" is very funny but also fairly poignant at times, especially when Fey discusses her daughter. She also clearly is proud to be a female who succeeded in the male-dominated comedy culture. Some readers may get a bit tired of that message, but Fey never takes herself too seriously -- as soon as she builds herself up as a pioneer of female comedy, she'll depict herself as foolish or petty. All for a good laugh.
Note: This review is for the Kindle version. The transfer to e-book seems to have been done carefully, and I did not see any obvious errors that would affect the reading of "Bossypants" on Kindle.