Bossypants Book Review

Bossypants - Book Reviews 2014 :: Crappy Candle

I had the most productive day of my life on Sunday. I completed a proofing assignment, I put time in with my normal day job, I wrote a blog post, and I finished reading Tina Fey's Bossypants. I am the king of this bed-desk. One might even say that I'm the Tina Fey of 31 year olds that live with their parents in the suburbs and have a meltdown every time they have to leave the house.

I'm not sure why it took me 4 years to finally pick up this book. If I had a crystal ball, I'd know that I would build up enough momentum getting through Beloved to slip through Bossypants like one of those sea cucumber toys through the poorly-coordinated hands of a child. If I had it to do over, I would do it exactly like this. Reading Beloved made me feel like an stoic robot with sausages for hands and reading Bossypants made me feel like I could have a non-meltdown house outing and use awkward metaphors consistently. The Beloved-Bossypants punch is a confidence building exercise that I cannot recommend highly enough.

And what of the book? I will freely and shamelessly admit that Bossypants is the second memoir I have ever read. The first was Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns), which while quite lovely, had a really long title that lazy sausage hands have problems typing. There will be some similarities between the two books because both authors are highly successful female comedy writers/actresses whom have lived in New York. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. All "funny women" are equally non-funny, afterall.

Gender and comedy aside -- because that's a whole 'nother issue amirite guys -- Fey's and Kaling's books share a similar sarcastic/self deprecating/crass tone that make both books delightful and personable. Fey's book pulls out ahead of Kaling's because she makes the reader simultaneously feel like an equal and a loser at life. Like maybe Tina Fey would hate you if she met you. She brings you into her world, shows you how real and normal she is, but then reminds you she's Tina Fey.

Tina Fey is an intimidating woman, not only because of her intelligence and life achievements, but because she is not a sugar coater. I think of how both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler handled that Taylor Swift "There's A Special Place in Hell" debacle, and remember the key difference between the two woman: Amy Poehler would pet your head and feed you ice cream while you sob about a hang nail, and Tina Fey would slap your face* and tell you to get the fuck over it.

Bossypants is a reminder of Fey's rawness. She not going to butter up terrible celebrities or terrible politicians, she will punt chauvinistic men to the moon, and you kids need to sack up, because it's a tough world out there, babies.

Tina Fey on Children and Parenting :: Bossypants Review

It's this same lack of pretense and unfiltered honesty that allows the reader to connect with Tina Fey in a real, mind-meld-y kind of way. For example:

Giant Back Zit :: Tina Fey - Bossypants
I made a similar bargain, but I was 27 at the time.
And this:

Ball of Fingers :: Tina Fey - Bossypants
It's a palpable fear for any woman over the age of 30.

I'll take it one further: I'm certain Tina Fey would want to take me on as her stoic robot mentee if she ever met me in real life because we are so similar. We both have brown hair. We both are part German and part Mediterraneanish. We both think Improv is a cult. We both want more ugly people on TV. We have the same sunglasses... Replace my love of dogs with her love of human dogs children, and we are the same.

This is the beauty of Bossypants. Tina Fey succeeds in making the reader feel like a friend. Comedy isn't good unless the audience has a connection to it, and Tina Fey is remarkably human. The fervor of her spirit and the eloquence of her words will echo in our collective subconscious for years to come.

Bossypants Word Collage :: Tina Feyisms

So were all the jokes hits? No. Some were predictable, perhaps even not funny.** Bossypants is not a perfect book, but I wasn't expecting perfection. I was expecting a light read, in true Tina Fey fashion, that would allow for some audible chortling from time to time. That's exactly what I got.

Optimal Reading Situation: At your bed-desk, in a body you have not washed in 36 hours.
Optimal Reading Snack: An entire Costco-sized box of snack bags of Pirates Booty.
Optimal Reading Followup: Buy one of those sea cucumbers for yourself. You're worth it.

*Yeah, maybe she won't slap you, but I'm certain her words would feel like metaphorical slap to stupid whining face.

**If you find me dead tomorrow, know that I was struck down by Tina Fey, God of Thunder.

This review is from my Summer Book Club series. 

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