Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chick Lit Memoir

Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why It Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? by Jen Lancaster

This book is a bit of a shift after a feminist guide, since Jen Lancaster is a self-described conservative Republican that actually reads Ann Coulter. This is her second memoir, and she got the first book deal partially as a result of her blog, . Her blog is usually rather amusing, and this book was a nice, light read.

Her first book, Bitter is the New Black, was a much more traditional linear narrative. This one is a series of anecdotes, mostly occurring in chronological order, addressing certain themes or stupid events in her life. Actually, it's a lot like reading several very long blog entries. Jen isn't afraid to look at her bad features or portray herself in a very unflattering light (in ways, her behavior towards others has improved since the last book, but she also seems to act even more dizzy on occasion). A lot of the book works because of her humor, and while she is good at making fun of others, she is also self-deprecating, and recognizes when her humor starts getting just cruel.

I admit, sometimes when I read her blog or her books, I hit points where I want to cringe due to her political views or certain behaviors, but there's enough of the humor as discussed above to alleviate any discomfort I might feel. Besides, I'm in the Army - I'm kind of used to being surrounded by people who I like on an individual basis but whose beliefs and political views I absolutely disagree with. And honestly, while perhaps occasionally shallow, Jen Lancaster appears to be slightly more liberal on social issues, although I could be wrong (she isn't homophobic so I'm assuming she is also more pro-gay rights, but then again, I've known people that had several gay friends and were still against gay marriage). Honestly, it's probably just that I think she's funny so I want to give her the benefit of doubt.

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