Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Hachette Audio (book version: Reagan Arthur Books), 2011

I tend to steer clear of celebrity memoirs, preferring memoirs by the "average joe". Stardom doesn't impress me much, although I do occasionally like the rags to riches stories. If they come with a good dose of humility and thoughtfulness. Anyhow, I had heard great things about Tina Fey's memoir Bossypants. Laugh out loud funny. Smart. Relatable. And after my husband endorsement of it, how could I not give it a try?

I found Bossypants to be all it was totted to be. Especially the more personal bits about her childhood and her own early experience with motherhood.

The story of Tina Fey turning the reversible Snow White/Sleeping Beauty Doll over so that Snow White was showing touched a chord with me. Her daughter would turn the doll to the other side, displaying the yellow haired beauty. Tina's effort to instill an appreciation for the dark haired beauty, which more resembled her daughter seemed to be for naught--even at her daughter's age of three. While my 7 month old doesn't have a reversible doll, I find myself favoring her dark haired dolls for the same reason.

The chapters about her father touched me as well. Our fathers come from the same generation, commanded the same respect and shared similar values. Tina frets that her daughter doesn't have that same fear/respect of parent that she had for her father and I had for mine, a quality we both see as having been a positive influence in our lives even if we didn't think so when we were growing up.

The book is hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud frequently. There were also tender and more serious moments, which I appreciated as well. I admit I didn't know who Tina Fey was until the whole Sarah Palin impersonation. At least not more than a general recognition of the name. I am not a fan of 30 Rock (never seen it) nor was I watching Saturday Night Live when she was writing and appearing on the television show. Somewhere in there though, I came to respect her and admire her work. Bossypants was an enjoyable book to listen to, and Tina Fey does an excellent job telling her own story.

Source: I bought this audio book on audible.com.

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I recently started watching 30 Rock and enjoy it's humor. Maybe you should consider checking it out. If you have Netflix, they have the first 5 seasons available on streaming.

  2. I enjoyed this book, too. I think I would have preferred the audio version, but I went with print. I don't read a lot of celebrity memoirs, but Tina Fey was a guaranteed fun read, so I made an exception.

    I agree with Megan above, you should watch 30 Rock!

  3. I also really liked the sections on her father, and just loved the sections about the cruise! I think I walked around saying "Pete, Pete, the party meat" for days! This was such a great audiobook, and I am glad that you loved it as much as I did!

  4. I read this in print and thought it was fabulous but kind of wished I'd listened to the audio version.

  5. I'm not much of a memoir reader, celebrity or otherwise, but I've heard so many good things about this one, I went right over to my Audible account and picked it up. I think it will be fun listening to Tina Fey herself read it. I haven't seen her TV shows, but I've enjoyed her work in several movies. She always seems like the "every woman". Nice job, Wendy!

  6. I'll read anyone's memoir, but I knew I was in for a treat with this audio, especially because she narrates. I have never had so much fun listening to an audio. I laughed the whole way through. I felt like she totally got where I was coming from, from the perspective of a wife, mother and (for me years ago) a woman working in a man's world. This woman has got it all going on.

  7. Megan - My husband mentioned watching 30 Rock the other day--and now that you mention it's on Netflix streaming, that's even more reason to watch it! Thank you for the heads up, Megan!

    Kelly - I definitely am glad I decided to give it a try. Not much can get me to laugh out loud and that book certainly did.

    I think I'm going to mention to hubby that we should give 30 Rock a try. He's been wanting to so I don't think it'll be hard to convince him!

    Heather - The section about the cruise was hilarious. :-) Do you know of any other audio books which are that funny I might try?

    Kathy - I confess I probably would have passed up reading it if it'd been the book version. If you get the chance, do try the audio. It's worth it!

    Kay - I go back and forth with memoirs. I do like some, but it really depends on the topic. I tend to prefer the everyday man/woman's memoir if any. I do hope you will enjoy it! I think Tina Fey is enough of an "every woman" to make it worthwhile.

    Sandy - I can't imagine anyone else narrating the memoir than the author herself. She does such a great job. It really was fun, wasn't it? I am glad you enjoyed it too!

  8. This was my very first audiobook, and I loved it. I was already a Tina Fey fan (30 Rock is one of our TV staples), but I think she's even more awesome now that I've learned more about her. I'm so glad you enjoyed it too!

  9. I bought this when I was on maternity leave because Scott and I watched the entire 30 Rock backlog of shows (5 seasons?) while I was up around the clock nursing. I regret not waiting to listen to the audio, though, as I've heard such wonderful things and am not reading paper as much as I'd like.

    I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the book, especially not having a tie to Fey. Such a witty sense of humor.

  10. I listened to this on audio, too- and it was the cause of many strange looks I received while laughing out loud in the middle of the grocery store!

  11. I don't usually fare well with audiobooks but I've heard this is one to listen to. I don't watch 30 Rock but I loved her on SNL. This is one on my list for the future.

  12. Thanks for the review! I really regret not getting the book while I was in US now :/

  13. I haven't even considered reading this book primarily for the reasons you stated that you don't usually read celebrity memoirs. Since you and your husband recommend this book - I really dislike the title, too! - I going to put it on my tbr to read one of these days!

    I really enjoyed your review and the book sounds very good.

    I don't watch 30 Rock either. When I get Netflix, my husband and I watched a couple of husbands but the show did nothing for us. Tina Fey is very good in the show, very funny but most of the rest of the cats was just -eh. I don't know whan I knew who Tina Fey was...it might be the Sarah Palin impersonations, too. I don't know when she was on SNL. I watched it often while in law school but I don't recall if she was on then. Oh well!

    Thank you for this great review.
    I hope you're doing okay and had a good week!

  14. Florinda - It was a good place to start! Hubby and I plan to start 30 Rock once we catch up on Community episodes.

    Trish - Maybe you can still listen to the audio at some point. It'd be worth it, I think!

    Carrie - Haha! I bet. :-) I imagine anyone walking by the office I was pumping in and listening to the audio probably heard me laughing a time or two as well.

    Kathleen - From what I've seen of her, she is very talented. I do hope you'll give it a try if you get the chance. I don't think I would have bothered with it were it not on audio. Like you, I tend not to do too well with audiobooks.

    Eustacia - Hopefully you won't have to wait too much longer for it.

    Amy - Yeah, the title doesn't really do anything for me either. We're going to give 30 Rock a try, but I confess I am not a fan of Alec Baldwin and that's the main reason I've been so reluctant to watch the show.

  15. I have been a fan for a while and really don't know why I have read or listened this one yet. She is smart and sharp, which is a great combination! Glad you have 'discovered' her :)

  16. I don't read a lot of memoirs as well but this one has been on my list for awhile now. I've read nothing but good things and I'm excited to read it :)


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