Three Funny Ladies

I'm a little ashamed to admit the fact that I can't walk my dogs without being entertained. Music used to do the trick, but my wandering mind needs more. In my defense I spend a fair amount of time walking, 25-45 minutes, 5-6 times a week. I joined Audible several months with the intention of only listening to books I've read before, a plan that came to an abrupt halt with the absolutely horrible narration of Cloud Atlas. It was narcolepsy-inducing, which is not a great thing when you are walking two large animals. So, I revised my plan, deciding that it would be okay to download nonfiction that I'd probably never buy to actually read. This way I don't feel guilty but can prevent my mind from wandering.

Over the past few months I've listened to three memoirs by Tina Fey, Kristin Chenoweth, and Ellen Degeneres. I've always been big fans of Fey and Degeneres, and Chenoweth won me over on Pushing Daisies, so I figured what the heck. My thoughts, in order of preference:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

[still hate the cover]
This was definitely my favorite, probably because I appreciate Tina Fey's dry, sarcastic wit. I love that she's smart and has worked hard, and has still been able to stay grounded throughout her rise to fame. She progresses chronologically, starting us off when she was a kid going to summer drama programs with her gay friends, describing her times as as struggling comedian working at a YMCA, and as she started finding success on SNL and then on 30 Rock. She includes personal information too, providing the hilarious story of her and her husband's disasterous honeymoon, as well as the struggles she's faced being a working mom. My favorite part was when she talked about her return to SNL to play Sarah Palin, and how she was very hesitant to go back (why isn't her SNL DVD out yet?). Balance is obviously a big deal to Fey, and she made sure to carry it over into her book.

A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth

I really knew very little about Kristin Chenoweth besides the fact that I loved her as Olive and that she was in Wicked. And, honestly, she has a cute voice so the monotone factor wouldn't be an issue. Like Fey, Chenoweth takes us through the story of her life, from growing up as a church singer to going to being trained as a opera singer to struggling in New York. She tells the tales of failed romances, and even provides readers/listeners with some information regarding her on-again-off-again relationship with writer Aaron Sorkin (he even reads a very sweet chapter that's a letter to her). There's also a section on a stalker that was pretty entertaining. The only parts that got on my nerves was her squeaky clean "Southernisms" (my term, not her's)- she refuses to swear but instead says corny things in their place. And while she is never monotone, the narrative did sound a bit too forced occasionally. Overall, though, I found it really interesting and timely since I get to see Wicked in a few weeks (although she of course is no longer a part of the cast).

Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres 

[nice mime outfit, Ellen]
I really, really thought I'd love this one, since her show is so funny and she's so likable. After listening to it, though, I realized that she really needs to be directly interacting with other people in order to entertaining. It's her personality I like; I don't necessarily find her humor hilarious, I guess. Plus, the book wasn't really about anything. At all. It was just a random hodge-podge of whatever seemed to pop in her mind. Fine for a few minutes, but not a few hours. I did appreciate a few parts, liker her honesty about why she and Portia will never have children and the importance of women to have preventative health screenings. But other than that, I simply wasn't impressed... with the book. I still like her, though!

And, for the record, I don't consider this reading, at all. I will never claim to have read these books. Audio"book"s are just a bit over TV watching in my book.

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