Bossypants, Tina Fey
In the mood for something lighter on the drive to/from work, I've been listening to Tina Fey's Bossypants. Since Fey reads it herself, it is very funny and entertaining. It does make a difference when the author does the reading. Case in point: Steven Tyler's memoir, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, was read by a guy who tried to sound like Tyler and that was funny at times for all the wrong reasons.
In Bossypants, Fey talks about various parts of her life, from her awkward teenage years through her days working at The Second City in Chicago, to her time on Saturday Night Live and eventually 30 Rock. I really enjoyed the Don Fey chapter, where she describes how badass her father is, and the chapter on her disastrous honeymoon cruise to Bermuda. Fey also details how she came to play Sarah Palin in the famous SNL parodies, which was a very interesting behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the media and politics come together during an election campagin. The book ends with Fey trying to decide whether or not to have a second child. I could relate to a lot of her feelings on that subect, though we are only trying for our first right now.
One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was the way that Fey discussed being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. She specifically mentions the institutionalised sexism she encountered at The Second City. If you're interested, zeteticat from Bookish Habits transcribed that part in her review, here.
As much as I enjoyed Bossypants, I only gave it a 3.5 because ultimately, it wasn't very satisfying. Fey would sometimes go off on tangents that were amusing (surviving photoshoots for magazines, the different writers on 30 Rock and their MVP jokes) but I would have rather heard more about her own life experiences. She gives snapshots about certain parts of her life but there is a lot that we don't hear about. Her response would probably be that it's none of our business, which is fair, but then how much of a memoir is it? As a result, I didn't come away from this book with as much insight into her as I'd expected.
I'd still recommend Bossypants but for now, Craig Ferguson's American On Purpose remains my favourite celebrity memoir.