Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book thirteen: Bossypants by Tina Fey

If you're a fan of Saturday-Night-Live Tina Fey.  Or if you like the 30-Rock Tina.  Even if you just like the Tina Fey you see accepting accolades at awards show, then I can pretty much guess you'll like her recent memoir, Bossypants.  That's because a lot of it represents Fey's self-deprecating, sharp-edged humor that makes her so likable to some and so annoying to others.

Some may find portions of the book familiar since several chapters deal with her life at Saturday Night Live and her work on 30 Rock.  In fact it occasionally feels like you're reading an episode of 30 Rock.  Bossypants is best when Fey is reminiscing about her teen years.  Or talking about the antics of her gay friends.  Or both. Like when she describes a bunch of 17-year-old, theater boys away from home at theater camp and living in the dorms for six weeks. "Think of the joy and freedom they must have felt, like being on an all-gay space station."

But it's not just silliness.  Tucked in among the laughs are great stories as well as some practical tips.  The chapter outlining what Tina Fey learned from Lorne Michaels offers plenty of advice to help you in the workplace.  For example, this bit of wisdom on deadlines: "The show doesn't go on because it's ready, it goes on because it's 11:30."

One of my favorite chapters in the book offers hope that daughters everywhere will live up to their mother's expectations.  "First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese Symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches."

I'm not sure this book will win any literary awards.  But if you're looking for a fun, summer read that will make you laugh out loud and still make you feel like you're reading something of worth, Bossypants is a dang good choice.


  1. I can honestly say that I learned from something from this book and actively put it into practice in my life. For a book to do that and make me laugh, that's pretty darn good.

  2. Gah! "You're"

    I apologize for the nitpicking. I will return to loving this list.