Posts Tagged ‘pop-culture references’

Bossypants

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

The Easy Hour

August 3, 2011

Author: Leslie Stella

Title: The Easy Hour

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 265

Geographical Setting: Chicago

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Southside born and raised Lisa Galisa (it rhymes!) sells sportswear at Chicago’s Fishman’s Department Store, her retail existence barely more ambitious than dreams of earning the coveted brown senior salesperson name tag and portraying Maria Callas as part of a storewide Greek Islands marketing theme. When Lisa helps her friend Fred launch a popular retro-themed club night—the Easy Hour—in a local Bridgeport tavern, her path crosses that of infamous socialite Honey Dietrich, and before long she is taking memos as her personal assistant. Soon Lisa—when not confiding in gay best friend Tim Gideon—is spending her time planning an Easy Christmas party for Chicago’s elite, and falling in love with Ray Fuchet (also rhymes!), laid-off schoolteacher/part-time Fishman’s janitor and Aristotle Onassis to her Callas. Has Lisa finally come into her own? Can she bring her Easy style to high society Chicago? Stella’s second novel is a witty, sharp story of one girl’s chance to climb a little higher, albeit with her offbeat family and friends in tow. Readers who enjoy a lively, clever, light-hearted story with humorous female characters, a little bit of  fashion and more than a little irony should take note.

Subject Headings: Women’s clothing industry; Chicago—Fiction; Retail trade; Love stories; Women—Humor—Fiction

Appeal:  Humorous, intelligent, light-hearted, offbeat characters, Chicago setting, romantic, sarcastic, sweet, pop-culture references, sarcastic, hipster culture, brisk pace, witty, family issues

3 terms that best describe this book: Witty, intelligent, offbeat characters

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women, by Simon Doonan (eccentric female characters, humor)

Groovy Chick’s Guide to Shopping and Style, by Bang on the Door (fashion, hipster culture, humor)

Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase, by Jen Lancaster (sassy humor, fashion, feminine perspective)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

The Night I Got Lucky, by Laura Caldwell (offbeat characters, romantic tone, strong female lead character)

The Bitch-Proof Suit, by Dee-ann Black (fashion, women’s humor, lead character faces personal challenges in business and relationships)

Cat’s Meow, by Melissa De la Cruz (quirky female character, romantic tone, fashion humor)

-Joe