This may sound like a small niche in the book world, but bear with me, because it is one worth exploring. Women are gaining more traction and respect in the entertainment industry, as actresses, writers, producers, and directors. Three stand-out names, each representing a slightly different generation and speaking to a slightly different audience are Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and Tina Fey.
Lena Dunham has been riding a steady rise to the top since early 2012 when HBO picked up Girls, a show she writes, directs, produces, and acts in. Prior to this break, Lena had created and assisted in the production of several short films. In September of this year, Lena Dunham finally released Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s "Learned." In this non-fiction memoir of the 28-year-old's life thus far, Dunham composes a series of painfully honest, and, at times, painfully awkward tales of romance, sex, and career experiences. Readers will either love it or hate it, and most likely that will depend on the reader’s notion of Dunham prior to reading. The work can be raunchy at times, but fans of the show will find the same familiar humor, and even some of the same stories portrayed in the show.
Price: $28.00 Hard Copy; $4.99 Kindle
Mindy Kaling, known to many as Kelly Kapoor of The Office, rose to fame not only thanks to her role in the show, but also because of her position as one of its sole female writers. She showed early talent, getting her writing position at the age of 24 after attending Dartmouth College. Now 35, Mindy Kaling produces, writes for, and plays the lead role in The Mindy Project. She plays a relatable young woman trying to make a name for her in the man’s world of medicine while balancing an antic-filled social life. Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), is a collection of essays on her life, from the early years to anecdotes about getting involved with SNL and The Office, along with the occasional personal tale about family, friends, and funny business. Adorable and quirky pictures are interspersed throughout the work. For a less raunchy, but equally awkward and entertaining read, Mindy Kaling’s book is a wonderful choice. Every girl who has ever felt out of place or is the only one to laugh at her own jokes should pick up a copy.
Price: $11.38 Print Copy; $4.99 Kindle
For many, Tiny Fey represents the ultimate goal within the world of female comedians. Graduating in 1992 from UVA with a BA in drama, she immediately began working with The Second City in Chicago doing improv. At the suggestion of friends, she submitted scripts to NBC’s popular SNL and was eventually hired as a writer. Progress there was slow, but eventually she came into her own and rose to the top. After a ten year run with SNL, Fey started 30 Rock, which lasted several seasons. Tina Fey keeps busy with movie roles from time to time- her most recent one in This is Where I Leave You. Fey’s book Bossypants was released in 20011. In it she follows a much more linear approach to recounting her life than the other two women, tracing it chapter by chapter from childhood, to college and her early career, through her family life and more recent work. The work reveals the messier sides of her life, and offers insight that the other books can’t in that Tina is able to talk about marriage and children. At the age of 44, she has more life experience, which makes the work helpful for women yearning to know how to get through life and find success post-25. This book is approachable for women of all ages, from spritely teen to cool grandmother.
Price: $9.00 Print Copy; $7.99 Kindle