Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud

Title: Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud
Author: Anne Helen Petersen
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Plume
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Unruly women are ones who don’t fit into the stereotypical box set out for women. Ten different celebrities are described in this book in the way that they are unruly. Serena Williams is “too strong” because she is such a powerful tennis player. Melissa McCarthy is “too fat” in today’s culture that doesn’t want to see fat people on their screens. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham is “too naked” because she doesn’t contour her body into the perfect nude image. In a similarly unruly way, Nicki Minaj flaunts her sexuality in her own way, which puts her in the category of “too slutty.” The creators of Broad City, Anni Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, are “too gross” because they discuss female topics that are usually taboo. Madonna is “too old,” Kim Kardashian is “too pregnant,” and Hillary Clinton is “too shrill.” Caitlyn Jenner has used her trans identity to give a voice to marginalized trans women, but she is considered “too queer,” while Jennifer Weiner’s outspoken opinions on women in publishing have made her “too loud.”

This book covers many aspects of women that are always being criticized like sexuality, age, and size. This makes it very relateable.

I like that these celebrities are discussed through a feminist lens. It demonstrates that (for most of them) their professional decisions from interviews to clothing choices have been premeditated choices that contributes to their identity.

This book is perfect for the feminist movements happening right now. It also made me view some of the celebrities in a more positive light because they are making conscious decisions to become the “unruly” women they are today. I really liked this book.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But You Could’ve Done Better)

This book is a collection of bad breakup stories. They were very entertaining. One boy broke up with his girlfriend in middle-school so he could spend more time with his dog. One girl received a break-up letter on a floppy disc (this was in 2006, past the floppy-disc era). I think my favourite one was that a boy broke up with his girlfriend because Jesus told him to.

I liked the pictures in the book. They were simple sketches, but they represented the ridiculous stories perfectly!

This book is a cute, short read. It would be great for someone going through a bad break up, because it would show them that (hopefully) other people have gone through worse break ups!

How To Be a Bawse

The introduction says you are reading this book for one of three reasons:

  1. You already watch Lilly on YouTube.
  2. You’re a parent who found this book in your child’s room.
  3. You have no idea who Lilly is.

I fall somewhere between the first and third reasons: I know who Lilly Singh is, but I haven’t watched her on YouTube. I picked up this book because she is a very successful, young, Canadian woman. But after reading it I am also a huge Lilly Singh fan.

Though I didn’t know much about Lilly before I started reading, this book has made me feel like I know the rising star. This book isn’t a memoir, though she does refer to events in her life throughout it. This book is a guide to being confident, reaching your goals, and hustling: AKA being a “Bawse.”

The book is divided into four sections, each filled with chapters that hold Lilly’s lessons on life. Some of the titles include, “Play Nintendo,” “The Alphabet is a Lie,” “You Are Not a Parking Ticket,” and “You Are a Chameleon.” Though the titles sound funny, they each represent an important lesson that she has learned on her way to success.

My favourite metaphor that she uses throughout the book is comparing life to playing Mario Kart. This includes skidding on a banana and ending up in last place. The point of the metaphor is that life is like a game because you can only control your player, or yourself. It’s a waste of time worrying about what everyone else is doing. You are in control of your own success.

I found this book very inspiring, especially at this time in my life when I am embarking on many new projects, such as writing my first novel and starting my book blog. Now I am going to go take Lilly’s advice and play some Nintendo!

New Release: Gutenberg’s Fingerprint

My favourite nonfiction subject is publishing. I love reading about the history of books and how they are printed. I was so excited to have the opportunity to get an ARC of Gutenberg’s Fingerprint from ECW Press.

Merilyn Simonds writes about the process of publishing her book The Paradise Project, a collection of flash-fiction stories. She chose to have this book printed by Thee Hellbox Press, a small press in Kingston run by Hugh Barclay. Hugh is very particular about his printing, so he took good care of Merilyn’s book. He involved her in the whole process, from setting the type, mixing the ink, and printing the proofs. The endpapers were even created using the flowers from her garden!

Throughout her story of the creation of her book, Merilyn gives some history on how ink and paper are made. These stories made me smile, reminding me of my book history course in university.

The irony that I was reading a book about the history of printing on an ereader was not lost on me. Merilyn created a digital edition of The Paradise Project with her son, Erik. She discusses how ebooks have changed the publishing industry, but print books aren’t going anywhere soon. Printing has evolved from scribes writing on vellum to machines stamping ink on paper to pixels appearing on a screen. Technology is still evolving the way books are delivered to the reader, but it couldn’t be done without Gutenberg’s press.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

This is a memoir by Carrie Brownstein, a musician, writer, and actress. It follows her time with her band Sleater-Kinney through the 1990s and 2000s.

I picked this book up because it was one of the picks for Our Shared Shelf, Emma Watson’s book club. I really liked the first quarter of the book. Carrie talks about her life growing up in Washington state, including her mother’s eating disorder and her parents’ divorce.

The details of Brownstein’s band took up half of the book. If you aren’t familiar with it, like me, it will probably be difficult to get through. There were many details about how they wrote their songs, recorded of their albums, and toured the world. Unfortunately a lot of this was lost on me since I don’t know much about the indie music scene in the 1990s.

At the end of the book, Brownstein returned to stories from her personal life, after the band had broken up. This part brought me back into the story of her life. She is an excellent writer, which pushed me to keep reading even when I wasn’t interested in the topic. I liked her feminist commentary on how her female band was treated in a male-dominated industry. I can see why it was chosen to be a book for Our Shared Shelf.