book talk: Not That Kind of Girl

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I’m on a girl power memoir kick over here. In the past year I’ve read both Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey‘s books (hilarious — Mindy for the win); as you know, I recently finished Wild; and I’m on a never-ending waitlist for Amy Poehler‘s Yes Please. I figured it was time to see what all the Lena Dunham fuss is about.

You should know, I’m a fan of Girls. Like Lena herself, people love to hate the HBO show; but I think it’s real and relatable, for better or worse. It’s not exactly a portrayal of the world I live in, but it’s certainly a portrayal of the world many of my peers do. It is true that Lena is naked a lot. A lot of the actors are naked a lot. Which is sort of awkward, but also sort of how our generation is. Even if we’re not actually physically naked, we have vastly different definitions of privacy than, say, our grandparents. I mean, “Facebook stalking.” SNAPCHAT. We’re overexposed, y’all.

Anyway, I find Lena Dunham utterly fascinating, in no small part because she writes, produces, and stars in Girls. Her memoir (“memoir-ish”) has, perhaps expectedly, gotten a full spectrum of mixed reviews. For every fan who calls her the voice of a generation, there’s a critique of her as whiny and self-focused.

Here’s what I think: aren’t we all self-focused in our twenties? Lena’s just admitting it and attempting to create some meaning out of that. While some of her essays definitely seem to be trying a little too hard, I 100% believe that’s just how it is to be 28 and figuring shit out. We try a little too hard because we haven’t lived enough to chill out yet.

Many of her essays are funny and observant. I don’t know if she’s the voice of a generation, but she’s certainly the talented author of a collection of relevant, engaging essays. It was a quick, absorbing read that sort of felt like hanging out with a friend every time I cracked it open. And, I’ll be honest: I totally ate some of her trying-too-hard-to-create-meaning moments right up.

So, add this to the list of books I’d recommend to my 25-30-year-old girlfriends. Have you read it? What did you think?

And, the real question here: Do you follow Lena Dunham on Instagram? It’s a pretty worthy follow. Just sayin’.

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