Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bitter is the New Black, by Jen Lancaster

Okay, the full title is Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office, but that most decidedly does not fit into the space provided for post titles. Which is Jen Lancaster all over.

At the outset of this book, I couldn't find much to like about the author. She was all of the things she claims to be in the title, with the addition being of Republican sorority girl. Not exactly my cup of tea. By the end, however, she had discovered both humility and compassion, and had changed her attitude towards the benefits of conspicuous consumerism. All of which make her much more likable, but not intrinsically different. That is one of the things I love about this book; it's about realigning her attitudes and habits, not about changing who she is. Very refreshing when you've read too many books/seen too many movies that are described as "stories of redemption."

It's also good to remember that I do not have to either agree with the politics, or admire the lifestyle, of an author to enjoy her work.