prairiegirl’s CBR-III Review#4: Bossypants by Tina Fey

So I’m a bit behind here but confident I will catch up.  More reviews to come soon (I hope).

I picked up Bossypants for a few reasons:

  1. A friend mentioned on Facebook that she had laughed out loud several times in the first 25 pages.
  2. I love 30 Rock.
  3. I had recently read an article she wrote for the New Yorker which, as a working mother, made me laugh and nod in agreement.  I later discovered the article was actually excerpts from the last couple of chapters of the book that had been edited together – a bit disappointing – but funny nonetheless.
  4. I needed some light reading as the book I started for my Half-Cannonball in March could not be going more slowly.  It’s a good book but it’s not exactly light-hearted reading.

I purchased the book on a Tuesday evening and had it finished that Friday (those of you without jobs or children could probably read it in a day).   It was satisfying to read something so quickly as I’ve been leaning toward heavier, more emotional reads since I started the CBR-III.  I truly enjoyed the book and learned a lot about Tina Fey in the process that I didn’t know previously:  the genesis of her facial scar, she is part Greek, her path to the entertainment industry, etc.

There is a lot to like about the book, particularly if you like Tina Fey and her brand of humor.  She is clearly an intelligent woman, dedicated to her craft and the people with whom she works.  Her signature, self-deprecating and ironic style permeates throughout while still imparting self-confidence.  From her early childhood to her formative time in a summer theatre group, her years spent with Second City and her writing (and sometimes acting gig) at SNL, to her current job being the boss at 30 Rock, she pretty much covers it all.

Her chapter about her father was a lovely acknowledgment of the stability he provided in her life, the reasonable expectations that drive her to achieve, and the respect he elicits, particularly from “powerful men” like Lorne Michaels and Alec Baldwin.  She quotes Colin Quinn’s assessment of the Don Fey, which I think quite succinctly sums up who he is: “You father doesn’t f*#@ing play games.  You would never come home with a shamrock tattoo in that house.”

I also enjoyed the chapter about how she became “Sarah Palin” in the midst of trying to get Oprah to appear in an episode of 30 Rock while planning her daughter’s Pirate Birthday party.  Fey’s feminist viewpoints are quite straightforward in this chapter and well-written, in particular showing how the media ratcheted up scrutiny of her portrayal of the former Vice Presidential candidate because they were both women (vs. men who had taken on the similar roles without so much as a blink).

There is more but I don’t want to give away the candy store.  To sum it up, if you like Tina Fey you’ll like the book.  Borrow it from a friend, pick it up at the library or buy it and pass it along (as I plan to do).  If nothing else, pick up the book and read the back cover.  That alone elicited a snort from me at Target when I read it.


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