Thursday, February 13, 2014


I just read Bossypants by Tina Fey for my book group. I loved it. We haven’t discussed it yet, but these are my discussion questions, sent by email to the group with the warning not to read them if you haven’t finished the book yet (so I issue the same warning to you!) I think this counts toward reading 14 books by women writers in 2014! (First list to come on Friday, here in the blog!) I also read We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, by Yael Kohen, because it was in at the library, and Bossypants (at first) wasn’t (but then it came in, and now I have returned it, if you need it!)

My bossy questions (and partial answers/comments + page numbers, hardback):

When did you first know you were a woman?

What is your shaving your legs/first period story? (TMI!)

Any instances of “girl-on-girl sabotage” (p. 39) that you care to report? As in:
--convincing the guy not to cast the blonde who “stole” her boyfriend
--getting the YMCA office job that Donna wanted

Any adolescent or grown-up appearance issues you care to divulge?

Peeing in jars, ever been around that? [Yes, if they were Arby’s cups. At the theatre with no dressing rooms, in a weird rat-infested hallway in Piper’s Alley, behind Second City.]

“I Don’t Care If You Like It” chapter! Love letter to Amy P., etc. “It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good.” (p. 144) [Preference ≠ Evaluation]

What about her workplace advice to women, re: “’Is this person in between me and what I want to do?’ If the answer is no, ignore it and move on…If the answer is yes,…I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece ‘Over! Under! Through!’…If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk.” (p. 145)

Have you ever written letters you’d never send (but might indeed publish in a funny bestseller?!) (“Dear Internet” chapter)

“The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter” chapter:

“May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.”  Discuss.  (Maybe also in the context of The Innocents, by Francesca Segal, the retelling of The Age of Innocence in the tight British Jewish community—Ellie, the beautiful model who could never fit back into that community.)

Also, “Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.”

Did you know she had a scar? [I didn’t, even after being told once or twice.]

What should Tina Fey do with her “last five minutes” [of fame]?


Maureen said...

Would love to listen in to this book club discussion.

I've put together a post for #readwomen14 that will run at some point.

Kathleen said...

I look forward to your list!

Hannah Stephenson said...

I've been wanting to read this! Glad to hear your recommendation. Sounds like a good one.

Hope you're staying warm!

Kristin said...

I am late to your post. I should re-read this book. I read it when it first came out and loved it, but I no longer remember all these good bits that you post.