booksApril 26, 2011

Book Reviews: Little Bee & Bossypants

I’ve been reading voraciously lately and had to comment on these two books in case some of you are looking for a good tome to take you away for a bit.

I am sure most of you have heard of or already read Chris Cleave’s Little Bee, but just in case some of you have not I wanted to suggest you do so.  Once I ignored the brutally haughty blurb on the back,  within the first few pages I was totally enchanted by this book- not only the tale but the writing itself.  The fact that Cleave writes from the female perspective with the magnificence he does without possessing a pair of ovaries blows my mind.  There were several times in this book I put it down and thought to myself “this guy GETS it!”.  A simple sentence or a pairing of words that just translates an emotion perfectly…I was stunned.  But this is not a novel for only women, this is a novel for any human being.

It’s message about life’s messy and painful duplicities- of love and hate, life and death, honor and deceit, sacrifice and selfishness transcend gender, age and race.  The story is an important one that will tug at your heart and make you re-consider our own life and the things you deem depressing or too much to bear.  Or perhaps it will leave you sobbing in bed alone or by a pool in Florida at 6 a.m. like it did to myself and my mother. Many Twitter followers and readers mentioned to me that the liked the book until the end.   But neat and today endings are not typically what life is about.  Sad stories have their place and sad events can make for the most beautiful and poignant of lessons.  I leave you with my favorite quote from the book regarding just that:

“In a few breaths time, I will speak some sad words to you.  But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty.  A sad story means the storyteller is alive.  The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.”

After I had wiped away the tears and snot I decided I was in the mood for something a bit lighter. Enter Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I was super glad I owned a Tempurpedic mattress while reading this since my husband falls asleep early and quickly and as I tried to stifle my laughter I was doing the heaving “quiet laugh” that would have jostled him away every few paragraphs. Tina’s Liz Lemon is one of my favorite TV characters EVER with lines that I find myself repeating to my own delight over and over like “but I already have a drink, do you think he’ll buy me mozzarella sticks?”.  But her life’s story is even FUNNIER, with witty one liners, hysterical pictures and beneath all the chuckles an inspiring story of a woman determined to rule the world but simultaneously freaks out about being a mom and is scared of what her babysitter thinks of her. I really hope someday she and I can be besties.

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