Book Review: How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings by Sarah Cooper (2018)

Friday, November 30th, 2018

“Conclusion: Be Threatening”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARc for review through NetGalley.)

This book is not for men. And the title has little to do with how we make men feel. Instead, it’s about how we think we make men feel and how we are consumed by trying to make them feel a certain way or avoid feeling a certain way, as if that should be our number one concern.

So how do you be successful without hurting men’s feelings? You don’t. You be successful whether men’s feelings are hurt or not, because really that’s up to them, not you.

How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings is, sadly, just as at home in 2018 as it would have been twenty-seven years ago, during the Anita Hill hearings. That thought fills me with rage – a potent expression of which is sarcasm. Luckily, How to Be Successful has that in spades.

With chapters on Communication (“How to Talk Like a Man but Still Be Seen as a Woman”), Ambition (“How to Advance Your Career Without Shoving It in Everyone’s Face”), and Leadership (“Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women”) How to Be Successful is a satirical guide to getting ahead in the corporate environment.

Most of the advice is directed at women, though a few chapters have a more gender-neutral, almost Dilbert-esque feel (minus the general assholery of Scott Adams); see, e.g., the chapter on “authenticity.” There are even some fun interactive elements, like blank pages for doodling out a mansplaining sesh; a choose-your-own-adventure chapter (would you rather: be liked or be successful?); and Men’s Achievement Stickers for allies (get in while the bar’s low, guys!).

Probably the most relevant chapter is that on harassment, namely, “How to Be Harassed Without Hurting His Career.” This one definitely pushes the book over the “would be funny if it wasn’t so damn depressing” line. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll blame the patriarchy.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

Book Review: The Blondes: A Novel, Emily Schultz (2015)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

“Wow!” is right!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, forced pregnancy, and allusions to rape. This review contains minor spoilers, which are clearly marked.)

If you survive, the world you grow up in will be one that has experienced intense panic and distrust, violence and hysteria – though that’s a loaded word. I don’t think I would have used it before this past year. But now? All of us living with a disease that affects only girls and women? Hysteria is so bang on.

Authorities are now able to track the progression of symptoms, which are indeed similar to rabies. The public is advised to be wary – and here the prompter went into a list of symptoms – of women with raised voices, acting violently…

Lumbering, limping, exhibiting imbalance…

Flailing or throwing any object…

Grimacing, displaying a downturned expression…

“We’re not allowed to have downturned expressions?” the girl beside me muttered. “I mean,” she said a bit louder but still to me, “what if we’re just worried? In a bad mood? PMS?”

Several heads turned to look at her. It must have made her nervous because she ran her hand back through her hair. She was pale as an elephant’s tusk. […]

As I finished my sandwich, it occurred to me that the news captions on TV had all been directed at men. There was nothing about the symptoms women should look for in themselves.

(More below the fold…)

The White Man’s Burden (A Book Review)

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

The White Man’s Burden: Great book review or The Greatest Book Review ™?

Read on, and be your own decider person…

(More below the fold…)

Let Stephen impregnate you with his mind.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Though I’ve reviewed a few animal themed books for http://www.easyvegan.info, my AR/enviro blog, I’ve only sporadically posted book reviews over here. Now that I’m really into audiobooks – hey, what better to help work through the mind-numbing boredom of rote web editing? – I’m flying through my library. That, and a sudden influx of to-be-read-and-reviewed books via Library Thing and teh internets, and methinks I’m going to be drowning in reviews soon. What better place to post them than here?

I’ll start off with I Am America (And So Can You), by Dr. Stephen Colbert, DFA. Since the writer’s strike is still going strong, I’ve yet to watch a new episode of The Colbert Report in ’08. Luckily, the audio version of I Am America has helped to ease the pain somewhat. In all seriousness (and in direct contrast to my review), I do own both the hardcover and audio versions of I Am America, and the audio book is way better than the print version. Don’t get me wrong; the book is quite amusing, but Colbert’s reading gives it an extra pop that’s lacking in the book. It’s just like The Colbert Report, only without the visuals. Four stars for the hardcover, five for the audio book.

If you like the review, hop on over to Amazon.com and/or Library Thing and give me a thumbs up.

2007-10-19 - Ralphie the Pumpkin - 0030

Ralphie likes his Truth hot and hard.

(More below the fold…)