When plagued with insomnia, my go-to of late has been to read an autobiographical ‘memoir-of-sorts’ (with a strict no-checking-the-clock policy) ’til I eventually nod off… Celebrity-written memoirs, obviously.
The latest edition to hit my pillow was Lena Dunham’s ‘Not That Kind of Girl’, which was released around this time last year to incredibly mixed reviews. I love Lena Dunham; I love that (as well as for her creative talent, obviously) she’s famed for her imperfections and total honesty. Lena is incredibly funny, and her humour is incredibly self-deprecating, of which I adore.
‘Not That Kind of Girl’ is pretty much exactly what you’d expect – Full of psycho-analysis and insanely self indulgent scenarios of Lena’s past…
If you’re a fan of Girls, you’ll enjoy this read; Just picture Lena as a more extreme Hannah. The book is basically a hybrid of personal essays, genuine emails and self-made teenage lists, which when combined result in a sort of ‘Self-Help/How-To’ guide for surviving life.
Lena’s upbringing was privileged, her soar to success pretty smooth, yet she still endures the same issues as the majority of female twenty-somethings – Battling with her weight, relationships, demons and addictions. I’m making it all sound very depressing, (and at times it is quite poignant), but each aforementioned problem is dissected with her own branded ingenious wit, thereby making you totes rofl. Mar shampla – “When I born, I was very fat for a baby – eleven pounds; which sounds thin to me now…”
A product of original hipsters (both parents are famed artists in Brooklyn NY), Lena talks casually of her dependency on her therapist, along with her Dad’s psychiatrist, her mother’s nutritionist… You get the gist. It’s all very American, yet I instantly connected with her, and found myself wanting to be her BFF.
Memoirs are by nature narcissistic, and Lena’s memoir is coming in gold. She’s incredibly full of self-importance and self-awareness. Yes somehow she manages to portray her ego in an endearing way. Her wit is constant, her confidence rife, her apologeticness for self-absorption non-existant. She owns her confidence and her flaws, which in turn makes for an empowering read.
I totally get both sides of the mixed reviews – There were certain parts I skimmed though as I found her to be droning on a tad, but overall I Ioved it. Books dealing with losing weight/your viriginity/your mind will never appeal to the masses – But as a twenty something neurotic I found her honesty and life analysis totally therapeutic. (As did any of my friends who read it.)
Whilst I laughed a LOT and genuinely enjoyed ‘Not That Kind Of Girl’, overall I still preferred Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me“, which is a similar concept, but far more ‘me’! As in, I literally felt like I was Mindy when reading it. Her new book ‘Why Not Me‘ was released yesterday, and I’ll be devouring it as of tonight.