Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of Girl

July 5, 2015 Audiobook, Memoir, non-fiction, Review 20

Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of GirlTitle: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Lena Dunham
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Summary: I found the author’s voice annoying and the focus of her story was on relationships I didn’t find very interesting.

I’d never heard of Lena Dunham prior to reading Not That Kind of Girl, but I’m always up for a memoir read by the author, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, this particular author’s voice really did not work for me. Although I did enjoy hearing the story with the author’s intended inflection, she sounded whiny and childish to me.

I also didn’t love the focus of this particular memoir. The rare allusions to the author’s career seemed fascinating and I’d have loved to learn more. I also enjoyed some of her lists, which were the most reliably humorous part of the book for me. Had these two things been the main focus of the book, I think I could have enjoyed it a lot. Instead, the majority of the book dealt with the author’s relationships. I found this incredibly frustrating, since it seemed to me as though the author made one poor decision after another. I just couldn’t relate.

There were some parts of the author’s wild experiences that I found interesting. I also thought her discussions of feminism and her career were worth learning from. These tidbits were too few and far between to be worth the time this took, even as short as it is. If you’re looking for a funny, author-read memoir dealing with feminist issues, I’d recommend both How To Be a Woman and Bossypants over this book.

Are there any audiobooks read by the author that you’d recommend?

20 Responses to “Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of Girl”

    • DoingDewey

      I could see poetry and poetic writing being another genre that would work well in audiobook format. Brown Girl Dreaming is a book I already own, but I might try to audiobook it as well if I can get it from the library. I’ve been wanting to see how I feel about pairing audio and reading for a while and this could be a good test case 🙂

  1. C.J.

    Although I don’t mind the odd celebrity memoir/advice book, Lena Dunham’s book never held any appeal to me. I agree that Bossypants and How to Be A Woman are hilarious and good examples of great author-read audio books. Have you read or heard of any good celebrity memoirs by men? Right now I’m listening to Cutting Teeth by Kate Mulgrew (from Star Trek Voyage and Orange Is the New Black, etc.) and it’s amazing. She tells the story of her life like it’s a novel with drama, humour and the confidence of a woman who has lived a full life and has learned a thing or two.
    C.J. recently posted…Celebrities in Classics – Colin FirthMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      It depends on your definition of a celebrity 🙂 I really enjoyed A.J. Jacob’s book on reading the dictionary and have heard great things about David Sedaris’ and Jim Gaffigan’s books, but I think of those Gaffigan is the only one famous for something other than being an author. I’ll definitely be adding Cutting Teeth to my to-read list 🙂

  2. Masanobu

    All I’ve heard about Not That Kind of Girl makes me think that Lena Dunham is not so different from her character in Girls, Hannah Horvath. While I can stand Hannah as an exaggerated cliché in a TV show, I don’t think I could listen to an actual memoir from someone like her.

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, it’s always a bummer 🙁
    Masanobu recently posted…Currently | Bidding goodbye to the school yearMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I haven’t watched Girls, but I can see enjoying watching a character in a show without wanting to spend as much time in their head as you do in a memoir! It was disappointing, but I’ve been having better luck with audiobooks since 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a good point! I didn’t notice how self-absorbed I found her until you put it into words, but I definitely agree. A lot of the time reading this I felt as though she just needed to grow up. I am still tempted to check out her show though, especially since the little bits about her work were so interesting.
      DoingDewey recently posted…Nonfiction Friday – Nonfiction Book Club and a GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Amanda

    Random factoid:
    I once knew a fellow Bostonian with a blog called “Not That Kind of Girl.” She since moved out of Boston, and her blog hasn’t been updated since 2013. Anyway! When this book came out I thought she’d got the book deal she’d always been after, but then I found out it was Lena Dunham using the exact same title as for this other person’s blog.

    Here’s the blog if you’re interested: http://www.notthatkindofgirl.net/
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  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I’m not really familiar with Lena Dunham’s comedy, but I’ve heard so many positive things about her work – it’s disappointing this book didn’t do it for you! I really loved Bossypants, so I feel like I would agree with you on this one! I should check out How to Be A Woman too – I’ve heard that was good too!
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    • DoingDewey

      I would actually still like to check out Lena Dunham’s comedy and I’d love to hear more about her career, because there were tidbits of this that I liked. I’d definitely recommend How To Be a Woman! I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but the author’s ideas and humor really resonated with me.

  5. Shay

    I’ve had this one (albeit the book, not the audio) sitting on my TBR for a while, but I’m still not sure I’ll ever get around to it. Usually I get around to the book de jour a couple years later :p

    I love your Soundbite Sunday idea, though! I listen to lots of audiobooks, but rarely review them, mostly because I don’t make any notes while I’m listening.
    Shay recently posted…The Almost Nearly Perfect PeopleMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      There are always so many books that “everyone” loves, I feel like I’m always late to the party too! In fact, I just finally read Moneyball even though I’ve been interested since it came out.

      I mostly don’t take notes on my audiobooks either since I listen while driving. I sometimes jot down a few notes when I get somewhere, but I still find that making these slightly shorter reviews works better for me 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      If you already know that you like Lena Dunham’s sense of humor, it’s possible you would like this better than I did. But going into this not knowing anything about her, I found that it really didn’t work for me.
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