Posts Tagged ‘observant’


November 7, 2012

Bossypants book coverTitle: Bossypants

Author: Fey, Tina

Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Biography, Memoir

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 272

Geographical Setting: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Chicago, New York

Time Period: 1970’s to Current Times

Plot Summary: With this hilarious and engaging autobiography, Tina Fey can add clever writer to her list of accomplishments.  Bossypants tells the story of Fey’s life along with her personal advice and general thoughts.   It tells the story of her awkward upbringing in Pennsylvania before moving on to her embarrassing college/theater years as well as her time with Second City, SNL and then her current role as creator and star of 30 Rock.  Fey’s road to success is told in a straightforward manner while also remaining humorous.  There are stories about the people she has worked with through improv and television shows, and she shares intimate stories without being too gossipy.  She shares personal essays on topics such as motherhood and the treatment of women in charge.  Her conversational style pulls the reader in, and you might find yourself wishing you could hang out with her.  Tina Fey manages to be self-deprecating while remaining endearing and it is a fast read.  A great read for those seeking a witty, lighthearted and fun memoir.  Readers who enjoyed her style might want to check out the audiobook version of this autobiography, which Tina Fey herself narrates skillfully.

Subject Headings:  American wit and humor, Women comedians, Women television personalities, Fey, Tina 1970-, Saturday Night Live (Television program), Motherhood-Humor, 30 Rock (Television program), Celebrities-humor

Appeal: Witty, observant, self-deprecating, autobiographical, conversational, candid tone, humorous, sarcastic, insightful, pop culture references, clever, straightforward, earnest, easy pace, inventive, chatty style, unpretentious, engaging

Three Most Relevant Appeal Terms: Witty, Insightful, Candid

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

I Don’t Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother by Allison Pearson

A novel that was made into a movie, this book deals with the issue of balancing family and work as hedge fund manager and mother of two Kate Reddy tries to do.   A humorous, moving tale that is a great book for readers who enjoyed Tina Fey’s thoughts on trying to be a successful mother and boss.

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Enjoy this Women’s Lives and Relationships novel whose main character could almost be Tina Fey/Liz Lemon.  It follows television writer Ruth Saunders who is living in Los Angeles along with her sassy grandmother Rae, who raised Ruth after a violent crash that killed her parents and left young Ruth with gruesome facial scars.   Ruth’s dream comes true when her autobiographical sitcom is picked up by a large network.  But the dream is not such a fairytale, as Ruth must deal with egotistical actors, difficult show executives, a crush on her boss and her grandmother’s upcoming wedding.  A witty and charming novel that has a smart, witty protagonist who screams Tina Fey and deals with workplace social issues mentioned in Bossypants.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

A fascinating read with a self-deprecating, witty style that Fey could enjoy.  Judd Foxman is jobless and living out his depressing life in the basement of a crappy house.  He is newly separated from his wife who he caught having an affair in the most outlandish yet amusing way, but must return home to his crazy dysfunctional family to sit shiva after the death of his father.  An intimate, candid tale of a family full of flawed characters and hilarious moments with each other.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein

A nonfiction book that explores the dark side that can lurk in the world of young girls’ princess fascination.  Here is a subject for those interested in the motherhood advice given by Tina Fey, and maybe even a great read for Tina herself.  Orenstein explores the troubling aspects of the princess phenomenon and early sexualization messages given to girls.  Her research takes her to places including Disneyland, American Girl Place, a Miley Cyrus concert and a child beauty pageant.  An engaging read for anyone trying to raise girls or fascinated by the subject.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Loved reading a biography by a comedy star and want even more? Then this similarly styled memoir should fit the bill.  Comedy writer and star of NBC’s The Office and now The Mindy Project, Mindy candidly talks about growing up as a chubby Indian girl in Massachusetts, her road to comedic fame as well as her thoughts on life, love and friendship.  Enjoy some more humorous tales on comedy writing, television show business and the awesomeness of food.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen

Get an overview of the history of female comedians within this last half century including the witty Tina Fey.  It traces female comedians and their struggle to conquer a male-dominated world, from Phyllis Diller in the 1950s to current comedians like Chelsea Handler and the women of SNL.  Enjoy this inside look at the evolution of female comedians and the personal interviews with the people involved.

Name: Margita Lidaka

This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save the World

March 30, 2011

Author:  Marilyn Johnson

Title:  This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians can Save Us All

Genre:  Non-fiction

Publication Date:  2010

Number of Pages:  272

Geographical Setting:  N/A

Time Period:  Present Day

Plot Summary:  The library profession is one that is in a constant state of flux.  Embracing the plight of this profession in renaissance, Marilyn Johnson takes readers on a journey through the, “ranks of information professionals and readers on technology burn-out.”  This collection of twelve essays provides a look at the ups and downs of a profession that is comprised of a vast variety of different people: the obscene bloggers, the tattooed-children’s librarians and couples who quietly (but stoutly) fight the FBI for Intellectual Freedom.  Johnson speaks about taboo topics in a witty, almost lighthearted manner; she gracefully ponders what’s funny about finding poop in the drop box.  In the next essay, she writes about a town library that is considered to be the state’s wealth of historical information, yet it is run by one full time librarian.  Readers are given the opportunity to see library life across the genres: the real life inner workings of a library in a circulation system transfer (horror), special libraries (romance) and libraries without any walls (humor).  Whether you’re a library worker or a library patron, there is an essay for you in Johnson’s collection.

Subject Headings:  Libraries, Blogs, Cybrarians, Workplace, Nonfiction, Patriot Act, Librarians-Humor

Appeal:  compelling, easy, evocative, exuberant, inspiring, unpretentious, eccentric, observant, authentic, inspirational, issue-oriented, smart

3 terms that best describe this book: Eye-opening, Encompassing, Easy

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson:  A wry study of the cult and culture of the obituary challenges public interest in these unique and morbid human-interest stories.
  2. Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles: A history of how libraries began and grew beyond just a place to house books.
  3. A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel: In this major collection of his essays, Alberto Manguel, argues that the activity of reading, in its broadest sense, defines our species.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Day Job: A Workplace Reader for the Restless Age by Jonathan Baird:  This combination of text and illustrations in an unusual format, is guaranteed to furnish some insights, chuckles and a lesson or two about satisfaction in the job market.
  2. Death Loves a Messy Desk by Mary Jane Maffini:  When Charlotte Adams, a professional organizer and occasional sleuth, is hired by Fredelle Newhouse to organize a co-worker’s cluttered desk, she must solve an untidy mystery when the woman behind the mess goes missing, causing workplace tempers to explode.
  3. Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux:  Maintaining a blog from inside a bookstore where she and five co-workers are trapped during the Zombie Apocalypse, Allison wryly documents the sensational adventures they share while carving their way through ranks of zombies and equally threatening humans.

Name:  Jennifer Hovanec

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

April 14, 2010

Author: Sarah Vowell

Title: The Partly Cloudy Patriot (audiobook)

Genre: Nonfiction

Publication date: 2002

Running time: 5 hr. 17 min.

Geographical setting: United States

Time period: 2000s

Plot summary: Vowell gives readers insightful commentary on America and Americans from both her own family and friends and her work and travels throughout America. Though she finds it easy to find irony in nearly everything “American,” she treats her subjects with reverence, even finding the same irony in her own behavior. Using essays about her travels to Gettysburg, Salem, and the 2000 presidential inauguration — even letters to President Clinton and a Congressman who passed away years earlier — Vowell muses what it is to be American, which includes both shame and pride.

Subject headings: National characteristics, American; United States — Description and travel; United States — Politics and government

Appeal: humorous, contemporary, political, liberal, observant, thought-provoking, contemplative, well-crafted, witty, reverent, insightful

3 terms that best describe this book: funny, smart, engaging

Similar works:


Stephen Colbert, one of America’s premier comidian-pundits, enlightens readers concerning all things American, namely families, sex, sports, and Hollywood, in I Am America: (And So Can You).

Craig Ferguson tells his own personally American story in American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. Find out how a kid from Glasgow, Scotland became an American citizen, comedian, and late-night talk show host.

Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid is a hilarious and edgy (some might say raunchy) look at the American culture from defiantly middle-class, working guy, Dr. Dennis Leary.


A young woman in colonial England must deal with the consequences of her sins in The Scarlet Letter: A Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Satirical headlines and witty analysis of America abound in Embedded in America: The Onion Complete News Archives by Onion Editors.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon follows two characters as they build an empire and their own lives with the quintessentially American comic book.

Name: Jason J. Lamb