Just read: Tina Fey's 'Bossypants'

Just read is a blog where I blog about something I just read. Here are all of the entries. And here are all of the entries that are specifically about books (i.e. IRL books, not like comic books, you know?). And here are all the entries that are specifically about audiobooks.

Bossypants is the third audiobook I've listened to (following Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance and B.J. Novak's One More Thing), following the theme of listening to funny people read their books to me. Tina Fey is very good at this, better than Novak and at least as good as Ansari (who I thought was really, really good at it). 

Fey's book is a more traditional autobiography (albeit an extremely sharp, witty and overall hilarious one), telling her story from growing up in Pennsylvania to getting her start in improv at the Second City in Chicago to her early days at Saturday Night Live ("Only in comedy does an obedient white girl from the suburbs count as diversity") and finally her success with 30 Rock. She is extremely humble and honest throughout the book, discussing low points with transparency and letting readers in on intimate moments through her life. Equally as intriguing are the sometimes silly, yet thematically revealing, chapters on family, work/life balance (or lack thereof, when you're in charge of a whole TV show), and mundane things like driving across Pennsylvania for the holidays with your parents or in-laws.

The most interesting chunks, to me, came throughout the second half of Fey's story, when she got into more detail about Saturday Night Live and her relationship with Lorne Michaels, and eventually dove into the beginnings of 30 Rock. It was especially entertaining to me to learn about the unlikely pairing between the show and Alec Baldwin, and Fey is straightforward when she says that NBC took a chance on the show almost solely because of him. The book also makes it clear how certain characteristics of Fey's character on 30 Rock -- Liz Lemon -- were lifted nearly directly from her own life. We additionally get a whole chapter (I think...remember, it was an audiobook) dedicated to Fey's time spent portraying Sarah Palin on SNL, which, despite being after her time as a full-time staff member on the show, was definitely the most well-known thing she did there.

Fey gets a little more serious as her book draws to a close. After describing the emotional joys (and difficulties) of raising her daughter in New York City with her crazy schedule, she reveals her doubts about whether she can have another child while keeping 30 Rock going (she has, since releasing this book). In all, it's a fitting and rewarding end to a memoir that is refreshingly honest and a holistically interesting look at one of TV's funniest talents.

Bossypants is available as an IRL book and an e-book on Amazon. It's also available on Audible (duh); if you click this link, you can get a free trial of Audible that includes two free audiobooks. Even if you cancel your trial, you'll get to keep these two books.