Wednesday 19 November 2014

Nonfiction Reviews: Bossypants by Tina Fey & Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Both of these books were seriously hyped and I've heard fantastic things about them, and while I really enjoyed them both (Bossypants made me laugh out loud several times and Tiny Beautiful Things actually made me cry!) I don't have a massive amount to say about either of them except that if you haven't read them yet you probably should. If you want to read either of them and are willing to pay postage I'm happy to send you my copies, just leave me a comment!

This isn't going to be a review so much as a list of quotes. Enjoy.


"Almost everyone first realised they were becoming a grown woman when some dude did something nasty to them" - I hate that this is so true. It's what I've been reading about again and again in Everyday Sexism (which I'm finding so hard to read emotionally that I'm having to take it back to the library unfinished. It'll go back on my wishlist so I can read it more slowly) and although all of the points made in this book aren't about stupid shit people expect just because you're a woman, a lot of them are.  

"It is impressively arrogant to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good. I don't like Chinese food, but I don't write articles trying to prove it doesn't exist." - in regards to men who think women just 'aren't funny'. Please please please can people stop thinking things don't exist/aren't true just because they don't believe in/like them? It's just ridiculous and I come across this in some forms most days. It angers me. Tina Fey's writing, however, does a good job of calming me down.

I don't have a direct quote, but I loved the bit where she talked about her experience of breastfeeding, because her experience was my experience with Ben. So often I hear people talking about how 'easy' breastfeeding is and I just want to scream at them, and she beautifully acknowledges that it can be horrible and difficult and sometimes totally impossible and also that medical professionals can be totally patronizing assholes about it. Apparently this post is bringing out the more colourful language!

My absolute favourite is the page of 'me time' activities every mum can do to get some time for herself. I think I may have actually shed a tear or two from laughing so hard at the truth of it. Rhys just looked at me like I was a lunatic, but I'm sure that there will be some mothers reading this who will relate. Some examples of things you can do to get some time to yourself: "Say you're going to look for the diaper creme, then go into your child's room and just stand there until your spouse comes in and curtly says "What are you doing?". Stand over the sink and eat the rest of your child's dinner while he or she pulls at your pant leg asking for it back. Try to establish that you're the only one in your family allowed to go to the post office." I'm giggling again and I really don't know why except that it's just silly the lengths you have to go to to get five minutes to yourself sometimes.

Bossypants was hilarious and empowering and all those things which are good. It was also interesting, because it turns out Tina Fey is an interesting woman. So yes, you should probably read it.

Tiny Beautiful Things 

So the first thing I've learned about this book, apart from the fact that everybody in the whole world has been talking about how beautiful and amazing it is for many, many months, is that the US cover is a lot less pretty than the UK one, of which I obviously don't have a picture because, let's face it, I'm me.

In case you've missed the hype surrounding this book, Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of the columns Cheryl Strayed wrote as the agony aunt Sugar for The columns are about pretty much everything and her advice is awesome. My favourite thing about it is that she's sympathetic and comforting while not allowing anybody to ever wallow or feel sorry for themselves. Nine times out of ten her advice amounts to 'get up and get on with it', but phrased much more nicely. And every answer that she gives is based in her own experience, which is fantastic.

I turned the edges of a lot of pages but when it comes down to it there's not much more that I can say about it except that it's beautiful and brilliant and will probably make you laugh and cry and feel some big truths about life and probably eventually make you feel better about the world, because there can be such compassion in it. Also it reminded me that some people are really, seriously, stupid, and that automatically made me feel better about myself..


  1. YES tiny beautiful things. :D

    And I need to read Bossypants. It's on my list of books that I know that I will enjoy but am putting off reading for unknown reasons.

  2. I think I need to read Tiny Beautiful Things... I loved Wild. And I thought Bossypants was ok, but not fantastic. But, I totally agree with Fey on's not easy!!