All I need to be entertained are cats within ear-scratching distance and a good book . . .OK, maybe that's not ALL I need, but it's a good start.

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Happy reading!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bossypants, by Tina Fey

Bossypants, by Tina Fey, is a laugh-out-loud account of Fey’s rise to success in the comedy and entertainment world. While dispensing snippets of her biography--Fey gives carefully measured glimpses into her personal life, including giving her husband an alias that she ‘forgets’ to use--she shares her personal philosophy on an array of topics, including women in comedy, raising girls, and leading others. Pretty heady topics for a comic but it’s clear, if you didn’t already know this about Tina Fey, that’s she one bright person. In addition to being funny on screen, she’s a talented writer and producer. The other thing you quickly discover about Fey is that she’d be a hoot to hang around with, and she writes the book as if you’re already a pal. She’s honest and approachable.

Some topics will probably resonate more with women readers. In one passage, she describes how her young daughter had a reversible doll, with Snow White on one side and Sleeping Beauty on the other. Her daughter clearly preferred the Sleeping Beauty side. Why? Because Sleeping Beauty’s hair was blond (or as Fey insisted she call it, “yellow”) instead of brown. Fey goes on to discuss female body image and how grateful she is for a long list of what she considers to be her less-than-desirable body parts.

Even with philosophical interjections, Fey is unfailingly witty. She refers to a class at the YMCA, where she briefly worked, as “Toddler Gym N Stuff N Mommy N Thangs.” She gives a short lesson on improvisation, and how using those basics can improve collaboration and creativity. She advises readers on dealing with difficult people and achieving your personal goals by referring to an old film piece by Sesame Street called “Over! Under! Through!” Fey’s advice is firmly rooted in her own approach, “Do your own thing and don’t care if they like it.”

Yes, Fey talks about her scar, but only briefly. It’s clear she doesn’t think it’s material to her story and readers just don’t need to know that much about it. She tells about her experience impersonating Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, and actually meeting her, including an unusual offer by Palin to have Bristol babysit Fey’s young daughter during the show. But there’s much more to Fey’s story than these curiosity lightning rods.

Bossypants is serious funny business. It was published by Little Brown and Company in 2011.

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