Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review: "The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo" by Amy Schumer

Because I spend more time reading and going to the movies than watching television, I'll admit I was a little bit late to the party where Amy Schumer was concerned. I know I heard her name, but wasn't familiar with her comedy until I saw an article on Facebook referencing an appearance she made on Ellen DeGeneres' show, where she made Ellen laugh out loud more than a few times. (Needless to say, I did, too.)

Once I found her, I became a pretty big fan, watching most of her stand-up specials and her television show, and of course, seeing her movie debut, Trainwreck. Her humor is certainly not for everyone, and as a man, some of her jokes get lost on me, but I love her comic timing and her talent to be self-deprecating in a hysterical way. So while I don't traditionally read celebrity books, I decided to give The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo a try, not really sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised at the way she balanced her humor (including some things she has done in stand-up) and her journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

"I know my worth. I embrace my power. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story. I will. I'll speak and share and fuck and love, and I will never apologize for it. I am amazing for you, not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you."

Schumer made me laugh out loud more than a few times (if you're a fan, don't read this on public transportation unless you don't mind people thinking you're losing your mind), she made me chuckle and smile quite a bit, made me a little uncomfortable sometimes, and beyond that, made me think. She's not afraid to say exactly how she feels about issues, people, sex, drugs, her family, stand-up comedy, women's rights, even gun control. She touches on growing up as a child of a broken marriage, and how her parents' issues affected her. She also talks about her insecurity about her own looks, and how she finally was able to embrace confidence in the face of those who criticize and disparage her.

This is a fun and occasionally moving read, and while I felt she went on a little too long at times, I really enjoyed it. Schumer doesn't try to be anyone other than who she is, and I think she'd be a fascinating person to know and spend time with. If you're not a fan, or if strong language and sexual references make you uncomfortable, this might not be a book for you. But if you like a good laugh, and like to know how different celebrities are in "real" life versus their onstage/onscreen persona, check this one out.

"I look at the saddest things in life and laugh at how awful they are, because they are hilarious and it's all we can do with moments that are painful."

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