June 26, 2012

A Humorous Bite of Life

Tina Fey

I am a huge fan of memoirs. I’ve read only a handful at this point, but I’ve enjoyed them all quite thoroughly (small insight into my life? I have never been able to spell ‘thoroughly’ without spell check – I know, really Emma??). I found Bossypants as an audiobook in my local library, and listened to it while diligently working, as I do.

I found Bossypants much more well-rounded than I expected. I’m not sure why I’m always surprised by the validity of books with cheesy/humorous titles, besides the same reasons other people have for the same thought. I was aware of how popular the book was, which is usually a turn off for me, but by now the hype has died down about it, and it was sitting there so politely on the library shelf on display. The rest, my bookish followers, is history.

The Bossypants audiobook is, as the best ones are, narrated by the author. The book is about 5 ½ hours on 5 discs and includes a PDF file for embarrassing/milestone photographs. One of the best things about this audiobook, that differs from other audiobooks that I’ve read so far, is that Fey recognized her readers as ‘listeners’ and changed some things to be more suited to her audience. Brilliant. She often related that there was a corresponding picture to the anecdote currently being discussed to be found in the PDF, and the original SNL skits are actually played for us to hear in the chapter about Tina’s ‘Sarah Palin days’.

I was surprised at how much I liked Tina Fey. I’d heard of her before, I knew enough about her to know she was on Saturday Night Live (which I’ve only seen skits of on youtube), and to recognize her by sight (she was in Mean Girls, for instance, but did you know she wrote the screenplay too?), but beyond that...clueless. When writing about her life, she made the awkward and light-hearted things laugh out loud funny, but kept the serious things serious, which brought the well-rounded feeling overall. She wrote a lot about growing up and becoming a woman, into her improve days, and how all that has helped her in her life today. The part I enjoyed the most were the bits about her daughter and parenthood (both the funny and serious parts), and I loved how honest she was throughout (no problem spelling that one, by the way!). The book was closed (I don’t consider this a spoiler because it is a memoir after all, and she is a celebrity) by her internal debate on whether or not to have another baby, and how at the end of the day, it was her decision, no matter how many things hung in the balance (possibly the difference between sanity and the alternative).

The only thing I wasn’t so sure about is the title. The book led up to her show, 30 Rock, of which I guess she is ‘The Boss’, but she didn’t necessarily write about being the boss. She did talk about the inner-workings of the TV show a bit, and how she is involved in the many aspects of it….I guess when I think of ‘Boss’, it’s the managing people part of it that I think of. I didn’t really get much of that from the book here, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just something I noticed. And 30 Rock is after all, only a small piece in the book that is Tina Fey’s life.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone, in every walk of life – after all, who doesn’t need a good laugh? This book was energetic and refreshing and a joy to read. I’m seriously considering purchasing (the audiobook version) for myself to keep listening to forever, but the price is not quite right for this point in my life ($20!). [This is the reason all the audiobooks I review come from the library!] My alternative is the paperback version. But if you can get your hands on the audiobook version, I’m telling you, you won’t be sorry!

Excuse me, everyone, while I go look up how much “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” by Mindy Kaling is on NookBook!

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