This week’s book is the loveliest, most hilarious, most real book you could read.
It’s not for the easily confronted, or offended. But if you can push through and look beyond the difficult topics, there is so much to learn, and so much to laugh at.
(I think Lena has perfected the neutral face, whereas I automatically get resting bitch face…)
This week’s book is…
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”
Pages per day: 38.5
Lena Dunham is no stranger to controversy, most recently of which has stemmed from this very book, and to be honest it’s not hard to see why, though I’m not sure I can agree. Lena is totally fearless, honest and unashamed. She writes what is true, not what is easy to listen to. People feel threaten by what is written, perhaps only because they don’t know what else to feel.
There were moments throughout this book when I had to take a step back and think to myself, “How does that make me feel? Am I offended? Why am I offended? Should I be offended?” and it was through those thoughts that I came to the conclusion that this was one of the most brilliant books I have ever read. It’s completely and utterly unflinching, and says all the things that you’ve thought at some point or another but was too scared/embarrassed/ashamed/excited/paranoid to actually say. Which is seriously refreshing.
This book chronicles Lena’s experiences, good and bad and everything (seriously, everything) in between. From summer camp to the death of her grandma, from a slightly-too-friendly middle school teacher to her crooked internal organs. She doesn’t hold back on embarrassing details or confronting messages, and that’s what makes this book so likeable. There’s no smoke and mirrors. It’s all blindingly real.
When I hear people say that they laughed while reading a book, I am often quite dubious. When I read a book, I am (probably comically) straight-faced. It’s like watching a movie on your own: you rarely laugh out loud when it’s just you, no matter how funny it is – but when there’s someone else there, suddenly there’s guffaws and hiccoughs and tears of laughter streaming. But this book was different. I laughed out loud, to myself, in stupid fits of giggles. (Chris can vouch for me, I woke him up on a couple of occasions.) This girl is funny.
I’ve watched her TV show, Girls, religiously since it first came out, and one of the awesome things about reading this book is that you can see where Lena has created certain scenes based on her own life experiences. She seems to put so much of herself in to everything she creates, and this is why I find it so hard to dislike her. Honesty is something that, upon reading Not That Kind of Girl, is lacking in so many autobiographies and “realistic” TV shows. If these books and episodes were images, they would be photoshopped. Not Lena’s work.
Everything about this book is excellent. It’s thought-provoking and funny and odd and difficult and gloriously entertaining. It’s about life and love and loss and a whole bunch of moments that make you go “oh God, I am so glad that didn’t happen to me,” but that Lena Dunham takes in her stride and experiences them so you don’t have to.
You can find this book on Book Depository right here with free shipping worldwide – do it, you won’t regret it.
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Next week’s book is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. The review will be posted next Monday – make sure to check in! If you’ve got any other suggestions for book for my challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!
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~Some links in this article are affiliate links in that if you purchase something from them, it will not cost you any more, but I will earn a small commission. This does not influence my recommendation in any way, I would still use this product even if I were not an affiliate.~