I bought Tina Fey’s Bossypants on a whim at O’Hare airport in Chicago last Sunday after realizing bringing Catch-22 with me on that trip as a mistake… I’m a nervous flyer to begin with and reading about WWII bomber jets wasn’t going to work for me. I couldn’t have picked a better book for the flight; it immediately caught my attention and I found it hard to put down for the next three days. Bossypants successfully treads between actual memoir and humor essay. Fey writes with sardonic humor but in an unpretentious and conversational voice. Her anecdotes about SNL and 30 Rock were interesting, and it was great to read praise for her coworkers and gratitude for her career instead of nasty gossip. Fey’s frequent self-depreciation was a bit wearisome for me, but never to a depressing point. She incorporates messages of feminism throughout with humor and provides an honest insight into the comedy and television businesses as a woman. Her chapters on leadership and her father were highlights for me. I also loved her spin on physical appearances—after a laundry list of random and annoying beauty standards women are supposed to achieve, she says, “If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?” A lot of her insights boil down to common sense, but Fey is so silly, endearingly nerdy and awkward, sharply hilarious, and refreshingly real that I found myself nodding in agreement and laughing out loud. First “love” book of the summer for me!
Read from June 10 to 13, 2012.