How to be a Woman is part memoir and part feminist educational material. Caitlan Moran is a British journalist and she uses this memoir to explore her relationship with her own womanhood and help define feminism for woman who may be uncomfortable with that term. She sums it up basically saying if you have a vagina and want to be in charge of it, you’re a feminist! I can’t disagree but was surprised that it took this comedic look at feminism to admit that they were feminists. A little disappointing in some friends, but at least they learned.
Anyway, this was a funny look at all things woman: from waxing, periods, pregnancy, how society views women, aging, and so much more.
I was amused throughout the book and thought Moran’s personal history was worthy of a book by itself. Her relationship with her sister cracked me up!
Read February 2017
Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin, was a hard book for me to read. Martin is a humorous writer and her quirky anthropologic observations of Upper East Side (UES) women amused me. But there’s just something hard for me to stomach about how much these women invest in their appearance and their children, which just seem to an extension of their appearance.
At one point Martin roughly calculated what an average UES women spend yearly on their appearance…$95,000. Which is insane!! These women are highly educated, run charitable organizations, and are married to extremely powerful men and they value how they look more than any work they can do. And the men are ok with this. The worst is that the women don’t seem to be enjoying themselves after spending this much money on themselves.
This novel made me value the people I surround myself with so much more. If I wear the wrong yoga pants, or do the wrong work-out, or really choose to sit around and get fat, no one will judge me as harshly as these women judge each other and themselves. Again, these are highly intelligent women who get lost in their crazy world and just don’t seem happy. Or maybe they are. I really hope they are.
Read April 2016
Amy Poehler is fucking funny. I want to be her best friend. In Yes Please, she talks about how hard she’s worked to get where she is in her career and she doesn’t take any of it for granted. She talked about her beginning in improv, her stint on SNL, her current work in Parks and Recreation, and she’s just so funny.
In the book, there were many guest writers which I thought appropriate since she’s used to writing with a team. And you can tell that she loves all the people she talks about, even her ex-husband, and never says anything bad about her friends. She’s also a mom to 2 young kids and hasn’t always been the best person. She owns up to her failures and makes me cry with her, and then makes me laugh because she’s just so fucking funny.
Anyway, this is a memoir and she talks a lot about things that I’ve never heard of or watched. But the best part of reading this is looking up all the stupid skits online and laughing out loud.
This was a great book! Much funnier that any memoir I’ve ever read.
Read July 2015.
In Chelsea Handler’s Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, she looks back over her life and includes a collection of stories about her ridiculous exploits, family, and travels. Handler is primarily a comedian, not a writer, and this is apparent in this novel. While the stories can be funny, many of them fall flat.
The stories also range from a variety of topics including her love of midgets and why red haired men aren’t attractive. There is nothing that weaves the stories together, which would be a bigger problem if this were a serious literary collection. But since its not, the fact that the stories were a hodgepodge from her life didn’t really matter to me.
If I knew Handler’s comedy better, I think this book would have worked more for me. If the reader is able to put Handler’s voice and comedic timing into the reading, which I tried to do, the stories worked better. But the writing itself didn’t do this. The reader needs to do it. Which makes it a difficult read if you don’t know her comedy very well.
For a light hearted summer read, I think this book worked well enough. It was a quick read and it had some amusing stories, so I think it served its purpose as a humorous book.
Read July 2013