I don't often read non-fiction. It's not that I don't find it interesting, but I can't seem to tear myself away from novels. It is therefore difficult...moreI don't often read non-fiction. It's not that I don't find it interesting, but I can't seem to tear myself away from novels. It is therefore difficult for me to focus my attention elsewhere. This book proved to be an exception to the rule. In a strange sort of paradox, I would undoubtedly name sharks as my number one phobia (I can't seriously contemplate getting in the ocean), and yet I find they are endlessly fascinating creatures. Casey featured enough shark trivia to satisfy my curiosity as well as providing information on topics I had not considered before: the life of zoological researchers, the influences of tourism on nature, the history of the Farallones. I was utterly absorbed by all of it. The book loses momentum in its final third, and the resolution is a bit anti-climactic. Overall, however, I found it to be a thoroughly engaging read.(less)
This might be the best non-fiction title I've ever read. So much to discuss. So much that spoke to me. I'll definitely be sharing more details on my b...moreThis might be the best non-fiction title I've ever read. So much to discuss. So much that spoke to me. I'll definitely be sharing more details on my blog soon. (less)
Interesting stuff. The idea of this biography intrigued me. The first couple of chapters in particular are absolutely hilarious. Baker's portrayal of...moreInteresting stuff. The idea of this biography intrigued me. The first couple of chapters in particular are absolutely hilarious. Baker's portrayal of Mormon singles culture generates a lot of laughs, and I certainly related to her struggles with faith. But a few things about her confused me. At times she seems to be looking for any excuse to abandon her religion once and for all (and if you're looking for a reason to leave, that's not the best sign) and at other times I was surprised at how conservative she is (garments under your lingerie anyone?).
On another note, I have to question the authenticity of the author's tale. It's been published as a biography, but it doesn't take long for the reader to discover she's a compulsive liar. What's to keep her from lying, in turn, to the reader? So when sweet little Elna finds herself making out with an older celebrity she has psuedonymously called Warren Beatty, I can't help but be suspicious.
All in all, an intriguing, fast read. However, those seeking a clean read with religious morality should look elsewhere. Baker fairly warns the reader about the profanity in her dedication. Additionally, the brutual honesty with which she relates her (albeit mild) sexual experiences might be offensive to some readers.(less)
Tina Fey is somebody I like more than I find her funny. I love her geek-chic glasses, unabashed feminism and the fact that she's living proof that adu...moreTina Fey is somebody I like more than I find her funny. I love her geek-chic glasses, unabashed feminism and the fact that she's living proof that adult virgins can be awesome too! I'd like to chillax with Ms. Fey some time. But Sarah Palin impersonation aside, out senses of humor don't always jive. Let's take '30 Rock,' for example. Everybody tells me how uproariously funny it is, but the few times I've watched the show it barely manages to evoke a mild giggle from me.
Having said that, 'Bossypants' is a hoot! After wading through the initial upbringing and early adulthood chapters -- they're amusing but not the heart of the memoir -- I raced through the final two-thirds of the book. I just couldn't get enough of Fey's writing. 'Why has she never penned a full-length book before?' I asked myself. 'When will she write another one?' The humour she imbues on subjects such as women in positions of power, celebrity photo shoots, standards of beauty and working moms is both hilarious and thought-provoking. One highlight for me was the chapter entitled 'Dear Internet.' In it, Fey writes ironic responses to nasty remarks people have posted about her online. Let's look at the letter dedicated to the commenter who asserted she ruined SNL and is only celebrated because she's a woman and outspoken liberal:
'Huzzah for the Truth Teller! Women in this country have been over-celebrated for too long. Just last night there was a story on my local news about a "missing girl," and they must have dedicated seven or eight minutes to "where she was last seen" and "how she must have been abducted by a close family friend," and I thought, "What is this, the News for Chicks?" Then there was some story about Hillary Clinton flying to some country because she's secretary of state. Why do we keep talking about these dumdums? We are a society that constantly celebrates no one but women and it must stop! I want to hear what the men of the world have been up to. What fun new guns have they invented? What are they raping these days? What's Michael Bay's next film going to be? When I first set out to ruin SNL, I didn't think anyone would notice, but I persevered because -- like you trying to do a nine-piece jigsaw puzzle -- it was a labor of love. I'm not one to too my own horn, but I feel safe with you...so I'll say it. Everything you ever hated on SNL was by me, and anything you ever liked was by someone who did it against my will. Sincerely, Tina Fey' (p. 165)
See what I mean? A hoot!
So, I would like to go on the record to say:
Dear Miss Fey,
You are pure brilliance! As lovely as it is that we are a country obsessed with noting what drugged-up pop stars wear to their court dates, it's nice to see a woman showcased for her intelligence, humour and classiness. One who actually knows how to read. One with natural (photoshopped) beauty. One who now has to take her pants off as soon as she gets home. But that's okay, because you're not taking them off for Playboy, you know? Have you considered running for President? I think you might have a shot, even if you can't see Russia from your doorstep. I look forward to your response in your next book -- please say there will be a next book!
P.S. I have to take my pants off as soon as I get home too. (less)
Virginia Woolf is absolutely brilliant and A Room of One's Own became an instant all-time favourite. A book I meant to read slowly, highlight and take...moreVirginia Woolf is absolutely brilliant and A Room of One's Own became an instant all-time favourite. A book I meant to read slowly, highlight and take notes on, the engrossing writing demanded I plough through to find out what wisdom Woolf would be delivering next. As far as I'm concerned, this is scripture. Looking forward to a re-read!(less)