Read Not That Kind of Girl: A young woman tells you what she's "learned" by Lena Dunham Online

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In Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one’s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be toldIn Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one’s way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told.“Take My Virginity (No Really, Take It)” is the account of Dunham’s first time, and how her expectations of sex didn’t quite live up to the actual event (“No floodgate had been opened, no vault of true womanhood unlocked”); “Girls & Jerks” explores her former attraction to less-than-nice guys—guys who had perfected the “dynamic of disrespect” she found so intriguing; “Is This Even Real?” is a meditation on her lifelong obsession with death and dying—what she calls her “genetically predestined morbidity.” And in “I Didn’t F*** Them, but They Yelled at Me,” she imagines the tell-all she will write when she is eighty and past caring, able to reflect honestly on the sexism and condescension she has encountered in Hollywood, where women are “treated like the paper thingies that protect glasses in hotel bathrooms—necessary but infinitely disposable.”Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not That Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. “I’m already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you,” Dunham writes. “But if I can take what I’ve learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile.”...

Title : Not That Kind of Girl: A young woman tells you what she's "learned"
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812995008
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Not That Kind of Girl: A young woman tells you what she's "learned" Reviews

  • Crystal
    2018-11-08 18:14

    Why do we care? Actual wisdom: none. Humor: meh. Self-involved girl writing about her self-created problems. Got to where she is via luck and privilege. Girl bye.

  • Jill
    2018-11-04 21:08

    For someone who has branded herself as “not that kind of girl” by titling her first book Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham is still a very specific kind of girl with a very specific kind of (girl) fan, just not that kind. Lena Dunham is the kind of girl who can write a sentence that makes you guffaw, “That can’t possibly be true!" and yet you believe it. A sentence like this: He called me terrible names when I broke up with him for a Puerto Rican named Joe with a tattoo that said mom in Comic Sans.She’s the kind of girl who observes, reports, analyzes, and reanalyzes until a situation is both gravid and devoid of meaning. She’s the kind of girl who’s self-indulgent, self-involved, yet self-aware, so you can’t fault her for it. The kind of girl with a lot of self, for better or worse. And therein lies her ineffable charm. Lena is a self. A voice to be adored, hated, broadcasted, muted, screamed over, listened to raptly. A voice to be heard. It’s refreshing to hear someone so young believe and argue that she has something to say. This confidence in self has led to hordes of fans, other girls full of various selves they want to share but don’t exactly know where or how or even if they can, because it might be scary.I just wish Lena had taken this platform that she has built and decorated and adorned with Emmys and haters galore by age 28 and said something more…relevant? It's a haphazardly constructed book, assembled like a 3rd grader doing papier mâché for the first time: ideas glued together, but no idea quite full enough to stand alone, no idea quite properly connected to the one attached to it. People who have big, bursting selves that they are eager to share with a world that is not ready to receive them frequently become bloated on their own raucous tales. When I meet people, I say barely anything about myself and pepper my partner with questions. I am a listener, and I’m completely content living my life this way. But sometimes you meet people who take advantage of your proclivity for listening. Lena, I expect, is one such person. Sure, I agreed to read her book, which means I willingly consented to listening to the mundanities and brilliances of Lena Dunham for at least two hundred pages. But it was too much at times. I don’t want to hear about that one time at summer camp when you were 14 years old unless you were my 14-year-old cabin bunkmate during my 14-year-old summer at Camp Birch Trails and we’re reminiscing. And maybe not even then. Midway through the book, tempted to skip another essay rehashing the same old topics that I stopped caring about one hundred pages ago, I asked myself: are there stories that don’t need to be told? As a lover of storytelling, my knee-jerk response is to say no, loudly and declaratively. But I’m reconsidering. Not every story has some latent meaning, awaiting discovery and retrospective analysis decades later. Not every story deserves to be shouted from rooftops or graven on paper. Some stories are just things that happen. To us they’re important. We should keep them, love them, learn from them. And then we should pack them in boxes in the backs of our minds, mature and aware that there are simply some parts of our selves that we don’t need to share.

  • susie
    2018-10-28 19:02

    I'm not this kind of girl.I want to love Lena Dunham. I'm going to put aside the whole lack of inclusion of any kind of race or ethnicity in her filmic work, because she doesn't have any friends who fall outside the privileged upper middle class white demographic, so this is what she writes about, and that's sad and sort of symptomatic of a new "hey, i'm cool with people who aren't white, I just don't have any friends who aren't white" racism – but this is who she is and it's been discussed endlessly and fruitlessly and depressingly, and it's sort of like the equally cartoonishly white John Hughes 80's high school movie franchise, so let's just talk about this book.She's a fantastic writer. Great turns of phrases, her ability to capture a moment is representative of her friend and role model Nora Ephron. When she's funny and relatable, she reminds me of some of my dearest, wittiest pals. Her memory (or imagination) serves her well, recreating authentic detail upon detail of childhood experiences with a clarity mine certainly can't. Her stories are often shocking and frequently depressing (a lot of weird family and sex stories), and a lot of simultaneous romanticization of and nostalgia for a life she's still living. Expect hefty doses of TMI about both the shocking and the mundane. Generally, I think it's good to see her success. The spotlight is so rarely on a woman, and even more rarely for her intellectual talents and not her looks. So, I'm reading this. And I'll be knee deep in an essay when she says things like:I still have a lot of guilt for screaming at Jimmy when he ate a banana I had been "saving", especially since he died [of AIDS] a few weeks later. The summer after sophomore year of college, I became convinced I, too, would die of AIDS... I simply waited and asked myself questions: was I strong enough to be an activist? What would it feel like to be the face of AIDS in the industrialised world? By the end of summer I was officially "living with AIDS".Spoiler alert: I was fine.Uh. Why would anyone yell about a banana, even if it wasn't at someone dying a horrible, slow, visibly painful and tragic death? Is this supposed to be funny? Relatable? Is that banana anecdote supposed to make me laugh and say, Lena is so refreshingly honest! I can't count the number of times I've yelled at AIDS patients about bananas!? And then to go overboard to immediately skip hop over a real death to narcissistically view herself as the potential face of a disease as serious as AIDS, were she to have it? Is *that* supposed to be funny? Relatable? Deep? Are we supposed to be taken aback at her honesty about human behavior (and stupid, sometimes impulsive, ugly behavior like this?) and the dark places our minds go when thinking about death and the unknown? Is this refreshing and new? In my opinion, it isn't. Her writing shows a life led with some of the worst kind of privilege – self-centered and lonely and generally indicative of a lack of empathy toward the suffering of others and a hyper focus on the problems of her charmed life (like food diaries and long distance dating woes.) Expect nothing about the glory of getting to bring your own TV show to life; but do expect stories about making out with the camera man and her private liberal arts college's parties. Maybe she's too cool to share the excitement and the very real, admirable and hard work behind having her own show, but she *is not* too cool to share with you what she ate for lunch literally every day for several days in a row in excruciating detail. Good lord. Why.And I guess that's the rub with Lena Dunham, and maybe the problem with the over-sharers of the world being granted autobiographies. So often, I just don't get why these things are thought or said aloud or why I take the time to read them, hoping for something with substance.It was written and recorded because of her confidence - several times throughout the book she says or implies that she's always waited for the moment the world discovers her brilliance and talent, which she believes is visible in her every word, even when she's talking about her relationship to her therapist and/or therapist's kid, and/or teacher, and/or teacher's kid. Not that she shouldn't be confident, but a surprising number of people feel this "I am amazing and everything about me is admirable and special" way about themselves - just look at your instagram feed and note the quantity of selfies. Maybe even note the quantity of people you know who relate or look up to Lena Dunham! Doesn't it feel like the opposite is true? That they put themselves "out there" so much because of some kind of insecurity and need for validation?But the problem isn't really Lena. The problem is the publishers and the execs and the interviewers and the media who put this work out or highlight it, touting its cultural significance and representation of an entire generation's worldview, and over-documenting the up-to-the-minute every thought and idea, enabling her (and other confident, career driven, self-declaratory geniuses) to hold the cultural spotlight as firmly as she does.*crotchety old voice*This kind of writing used to belong on one of those "blog" things, which were sort of like books, although they didn't pretend to be culturally significant or important enough to be printed, bound, and ranked by the New York Times. That's where people used to do all the writing they had to do about what they had for lunch, or what makes them feel guilty when they close their eyes at night. File. Under. BLOG. Maybe they don't make those anymore.Hey, get off my lawn!

  • Katie
    2018-11-14 15:14

    So the good news is, Lena Dunham is wrong. She's not the voice of a generation, as her thinly disguised version of herself on her TV show once stated. Nope, she's just the voice of over-indulged narcissists who have been so praised for every shit they've ever taken in life that they no longer smell the stink. Someone needs to let her know that acting like an annoying, precocious child when you're in your late twenties isn't adorable, funny or impressive. It's too bad, because Dunham has flickers of insightful moments on these pages. There are some smart observations, such as when, in a chapter about losing her virginity, she notes "[h]ow permanent virginity feels, and then how inconsequential." There are some funny moments, too, like when she writes, "He had a lot of time to cook: his job, editing the newsletter for a nonprofit that promoted the global language of Esperanto, was 'flexible.'" Funny, right? And self-aware enough to partially trick me into thinking she's in on the joke.But to contrive this book of essays (some free-form, because this girl doesn't abide by RULES!) as things she's "learned" makes me cringe. There's nothing remarkable about what she writes - neither in the content nor in how she tells it. It's more like a never-ending blog post by someone who can't utter a sentence without the word "me" or "I" in it. In closing, I'm going to recount the (unintentionally) funniest scene from the book: "After reading an early version of this essay [about death and dying], my friend Matt asked me: "Why are you in such a rush to die?" I was shocked by the question, even a little pissed. This wasn't about me! This was about the universal plight...."OH THE IRONY...Lena, Lena, Lena...your problems are simply not that interesting, important or unique. PS: I'm not getting into the whole privilege debate. You can't help who your parents are, and besides, forget privilege - my personal opinion (that everyone on Earth has been waiting for) is this chick's upbringing was like a social experiment gone wrong. Regardless, when your parents have friends in high places, you should make sure you're worthy of the favor they're pulling. Otherwise it's just extended nepotism.

  • Deborah Markus
    2018-10-27 18:00

    If you read the comments on negative reviews here on Goodreads, these are some recurring themes you'll run into:"You didn't read this whole entire book, so you're not allowed to rate or review it.""Some reviewers are obviously just looking for an excuse to trash books.""If you don't like a book, why go on and on about it? Put it down and get on with your life, already. Think about the things you could have done in time you spent writing this review.""Clearly you're just a very negative person.""I loved it. Clearly we didn't read the same book.""Why did you read a book you don't even like?"The fact that the last question on that list directly contradicts the first is a clue to what's going on here.What's going on here is that some readers are treating books they love like sacred texts.A friend of mine once got in touch with another friend he hadn't seen in a while. She was now devoutly religious, and urged him to convert to her faith. She was happier than she'd ever been, she said, and she wanted him to be happy, too. She gave him a copy of what was now her holy book. "Please, read this," she said. "Then you'll understand."He read it. He still didn't want to convert to her religion."Why not?" she asked.He attempted to engage her in conversation, to discuss issues the book in question had brought up for him. He wanted to hear her opinions, to see how she would answer his questions. She was confused and dismayed."That's not how you're supposed to read it," she said. "You're not supposed to pick it apart like that. You're supposed to read it with your heart."It doesn't matter which holy book I'm talking about. Everyone who's read any of the livelier comment sections of any of the negative reviews on Goodreads knows that in terms of the attitude I just described, I could be talking about Jane Austen or Jane Eyre or the latest YA bestseller. People who love these works are sometimes not content with loving the books they love. They have to convert the heretics who are refusing to bow to the greatness that stands before them.I read this book because I saw people being trashed for disliking it solely because of some understandably infamous passages – quotes that got around so widely that even people who can't remember Lena Dunham's name know some things she claims to have done to her younger sister."You're taking those quotes out of context," commenters insisted. "You can't judge this book unless you've read it."The short answer: Fine. I read the book. I saw some very good writing. I also saw some very repulsive writing. And those infamous quotes are, to me, every bit as creepy in context as out of it.The longer, more important answer: You didn't really mean that you thought the reviewers in question should at least read this book before commenting on it. You meant that you wanted them to read this book, experience a Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus blinded-by-the-light conversion, fall off their high horses, and sing Lena Dunham's praises in exactly the same key you do.I watched some clips from Girls. I'm planning to see Dunham's film Tiny Furniture, because it looks wonderfully bizarre. I understand that Lena Dunham is an extremely talented writer, actor, producer, and director.I still don't like this book, and yes those quotes are still way creepy....Those dots stand for the time it took me to get up and check how many separate copies of Pride and Prejudice I currently own. I counted 7. I may not have caught them all.That's too many even for someone who's researching Regency England with an eye to setting a novel there (which I am).I have an entire set of shelves dedicated to books by and about Austen. Not a shelf: an entire bookcase.Clearly it's time to call the authorities, if you can figure out which authorities deal with this sort of madness.I have friends who don't enjoy Austen. I have a friend here on GR who specifically dislikes Austen, and she's a former English major who's now a university professor. Of English literature.I love her comments and reviews, and I love her that much more for having that spot of inexplicability.Here are three things I think are true:1. If a book is still in print decades or even centuries after it was published, you don't have to like it. But you should try to understand why it's still around. What does it have to offer, and to whom? Why is this particular title still in print when the vast majority of books ever published die swift and silent deaths? What made this one different? If you can figure this out and still not like the book, you'll have learned something valuable about reading, writing, readers, and writers.2. If you write something and you ask someone to please read it and tell you what they think, you shouldn't necessarily make all the changes they suggest. Maybe you shouldn't make any of those changes. But you should ask them why they want you to make the changes in question, and you should listen very carefully to their answers. You should understand completely why they're saying what they're saying. And then you should seriously consider their suggestions. Even if you end up throwing each one of those suggestions out the window, you'll have learned something valuable about reading, writing, readers, and writers.3. If you can't understand even a little bit why people like some things you hate and hate some things you like, you should take a vow of silence (and that includes Internet silence) until you figure out how to live in a world full of people whose opinions are different from yours.There is some good, even brilliant writing in this book. I can understand why this book is not merely infamous, but loved and admired.I don't like this book at all, and I sympathize with every person who read the passages about Dunham's sister Grace and said "OH HELL NO."Those people have a perfectly valid point, and provided they're clear and upfront about how much of this book they read and why it skeeved them out, they're as entitled to post a rating and a review as anyone else is.For everyone who wondered why I tortured myself reading this book: I've had a lot of these ideas on my mind for some time now, and this particular review seemed like the ideal time to put them together.For everyone who thinks this doesn't count as a "real" review: deal with it.

  • Navessa
    2018-10-18 14:23

  • Diane
    2018-11-05 20:55

    This book reminded me of that scene in an action movie when an older man performs a stunt, and then he mutters to himself, "I'm getting too old for this sh*t."I am, indeed, too old to have any patience for this kind of sh*tty, self-indulgent writing.I had wanted to like this book. I like the idea of having a voice like Lena Dunham in the world, telling a different story of womanhood. And I thought the introduction to this book was good. It had this quote:"There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren't needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up."I agree with that sentiment, however, I don't need to read drivel about a silly email you wrote to a boy, or about weird boyfriends, or all the times you shared a bed with a guy but didn't have sex, or your burgeoning interest in exhibitionism, or entries from your food journal, blah blah blah.After a strong introduction, this book quickly became painful to read and I had to skim to get through it. It's a hodgepodge of essays that are fine for a blog, but it doesn't make for a compelling read in print. I cannot recommend this.

  • Callie Rose Tyler
    2018-10-16 16:56

    "There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told," Really, cause I think that there's nothing more narcissistic when you are under 30 and are best known for being naked, a lot. Seriously, unless you are Anne Frank you have no business writing about what you've 'learned' sorry but I'd rather have the perspective of someone who has lived a few more decades. I'm a woman and I'm tired of hearing about the female struggle. Sorry, were you sold into human trafficking? Were you homeless, or orphaned, or abused? No, you came from money and wouldn't know suffering if it bitch slapped you in the face. Yes, everyone has down days and their own tough times, but guess what that's part of life, it doesn't make you special. You weaken the sex when you talk about us being victims. I'm not a victim, and neither were you. Get some perspective!

  • Zoë
    2018-11-10 15:15

    I've watched Girls and I've heard good things about this book, so I decided to listen to the audio book version. Throughout this, I didn't feel very connected to her, which is uncommon for me while reading a person's autobiography. I also didn't feel like I personally got anything out of this book, but it kept me entertained while driving for 5 hours. I'm not sure if I would recommend it, as I much prefer Amy Poehler's, Tina Fey's, and Mindy Kaling's autobiographies (I'm also bigger fans of them than I am of Lena Dunham), but if you're thinking about reading it anyway, don't let me stop you!

  • Claire Keating
    2018-11-11 17:21

    Yeesh. Snooze. Snooooooooze. Things I like better than this book: 1. The critically acclaimed TV show Girls2. Interviews with Lena Dunham3. The illegally-released proposal for this book4. The cover of this book5. Toledo. The typeface.

  • Barry Pierce
    2018-10-23 21:55

    This is a hella biased review because I'll be the first to admit that I think Lena Dunham is the actual genuine second coming of Christ so just discount everything I say because it's wrong. I really, really liked this. Dunham's humour and my humour are practically the same so this entire book was just a big treat for me. While there were some dud essays (there always is), I thought that this is an overall great collection of sporadic ramblings. If you're not a fan of Dunham then you'll probably hate this because it's extremely Dunhamesque. The brutal honesty of Dunham in some essays is admirable, she really never holds back, I love it. Reading this has just got me even more excited for the fourth season of Girls. I'm going to stop now. I'm embarrassing myself.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-07 15:25

    Go find the brattiest, most privileged, self-involved, neurotic girlfriend you have - you know, the one you keep around because every once and a while, she's entertaining and because her parents have a great mountain house or drug supply or whatever it is that tickles your fancy - and ask her to talk about her childhood. After 15 minutes, you're bored and yet a little fascinated that someone with so many advantages and so many, many, many years of intensive therapy could suffer from such little self-awareness. And that's basically Lena Dunham's new book.I should admit here that I've never seen an episode of Dunham's critically acclaimed show. I know very little about her, aside from the fact that she really could use a stylist. I came to this book genuinely curious about this much heralded voice of the Millennials. And after spending part of my weekend reading it cover to cover, I just have this to say: NO. No, the self-involved protagonist here doesn't deserve to have this moniker, because she's giving actual Millennials a bad name. From the perspective of both a writer and a reader, I can say with more than a little confidence that this was a disastrous project. How did it get made in the first place? (Of course, as you read the book, you discover that her super elite upbringing at the center of the NY art scene and family connections with oodles of the rich and famous probably has more than a little bit to do with her success.) What great insights does she offer? Not many, as it turns out. She trots out bitter feelings left over from middle school, tells us time and again how precious she is because she befriends grownups rather than kids, goes on and on about her anxiety disorder and intensive therapy (three mornings a week for years, beginning as a tween, anyone??) and proudly announces that she was a total slacker throughout her educational career. Cute, right? I half expected her to tumble out of the end flaps and curtesy, all dolled up like Shirley fuckin' Temple. Ironically, of course.It's a shame she wasted her college education and cut class for her writing major, because maybe if she had gone to class, she would have learned that books need things like, you know, narrative arcs. This one is a collection of barely interesting stories about her young life, a weird series of lists (things my dad taught me, why I love New York City, what I'm afraid of, etc), and lots of angsty navel gazing. She devotes most of one chapter to reciting for us her food journal from 2010. The most interesting stories aren't hers - they're her families'. So little struggle has happened in Lena Dunham's life (unless you count the time she and Mommy fought about her inappropriate fashion choices for a visit to the Vatican - don't worry, though, she won and scandalized all the stupid religious tourists) that she has to borrow her sister's coming out story. I tried to squint a little and entertain the notion that Dunham was just being all ironic and edgy, but then I'd stumble across earnest little gems like this: "I missed making things, the meaning it gave this long march we call life..." or horribly overthought efforts to be funny, like this: "For a few weeks, we sit at [my new therapist's] desk and focus on organizing my backpack, which looks like a crack-addicted hoarder with five toddlers took up residence in its front zipper pocket." And so I came to the irrevocable conclusion that she's neither ironic nor edgy, but a classic sufferer of "special snowflake" syndrome. Anyone who honestly thinks a fight with her mom is grounds for an emergency call to her therapist ON VACATION really has delusions of grandeur. Bottom line: Lena Dunham is NOT the best the Millennial generation has to offer. I know this because I'm a college professor, and I spend most of my working days engaging with students who actually are funny, wry, bright, curious, and enthusiastic about the world they're inheriting. Dunham doesn't make the grade.

  • Felicia
    2018-10-15 16:22

    I mean, I'll preface this review with the fact that I think Lena Dunham is pretty awesome, and (just like Mindy Kaling) I followed her on Twitter for a spell, kind of dying inside for her to notice me and follow me back and make my life. And then maybe we could go to the spa together one day if we became besties!It didn't happen. So I unfollowed her (and Mindy). Just out of sadness. I've run into a lot of people who don't like Lena Dunham. If I mention "Girls" at a comic convention, it is quite clear there isn't a lot of crossover there. But if someone can make a show that is original and force people to think differently, and be brave enough to show her stomach fat to the world with literally no self-consciousness, with the attitude of, "Hey, this is me. If you think there's a problem with the way I am, that's YOUR problem" you have a fan for life in my book.I can't say that the book changed my life, although I enjoyed it. There's something strangely east coast about her experiences and attitude that I have a hard time living vicariously, it's quite foreign for me, that upper class NYC thing from a pretty well-off person's POV that I like looking AT but can't get inside, you know? (Maybe you don't know, that's okay.) It's like watching a Woody Allen film. I get it, I don't wanna live it. But she has some great life lesson points though, and her chapter about things she's gonna write about Hollywood when she's 80 really gives me incentive to live until 90 or whatever to be able to read it. And the art is really cute. Her details are lovely, and the stories she tells about guys makes me quite relieved I chose NOT to talk about stuff like that because my stories would be SO LAME in comparison. Bottom line if you like her show, you'll like this. She lives up to her voice and that was nice.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2018-11-01 17:17

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/2.5 Stars“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter.”This little book sure stirred up a hornet’s nest of reactions, huh? Wowza. I knew next to nothing about Lena Dunham when I decided to read this book. I had seen it on the “new and notable” shelf at the library, and that’s generally all it takes to get me to read something. Then I finally put two and two together and figured out this is the girl from Girls - a show I’ve never bothered to watch. Makes me an expert on reviewing this book, right? Right.So here goes. I can go with the vast majority and agree that Lena Dunham is a very talented young girl. Emmys just don’t magically show up at your door for writing/starring in a shitty television show, know what I mean? On the other hand, she’s also someone who has made a name for herself by being over-the-top. She has been noted as a new voice for feminists, she shows up at award shows thumbing her nose at the masses in her ill-fitting thrift store finds, and she’s not ashamed to display every bit of her Rubenesque figure on screen. Like all famous people, she seeks attention – but unlike a lot of famous people, she doesn’t seem to give a rat’s butt if the attention is positive or negative.Which leads us to the line in the oh so controversial essay in which Dunham describes being so curious about the female form that she decides to take a gander at her little sister’s hoo . . . (insert mass amount of people screaming how she is 100% sexual predator). Now, I might agree were it not for the fact that the above is followed by Dunham stating she discovered a virtual treasure trove of pebbles her sister had just so happened to decide to stick up her nether-yay-ya that very day that her mother then had to extract. This is where I find the need to bring my handy-dandy little assistant into the mix . . . Yep, I think Dunham is full of shit. I think she chose to insert this scandalous little tidbit in order to make herself seem more plucky or quirky or edgy or to prove that she’s nucking futs. She says herself:“I’M AN UNRELIABLE NARRATOR. Because I add an invented detail to almost every story I tell about my mother. Because my sister claims every memory we “share” has been fabricated by me to impress a crowd.”I agree. I think Dunham came from a life of privilege and didn’t have to struggle much in order to achieve a place on the A-list. I think she found herself famous at a very young age, was offered a book deal, and therefore had to invent a more interesting history for herself. Everyone got up in arms about the whole possible molestation confession above, but her story of attending a field trip to learn about the Underground Railroad wherein the teachers decided to shackle the children together, send them off looking for “safety” in the dark, and then chased them on horseback bounty hunter style is the story that really raised the level on my bullshit-o-meter . . . She goes on and on about not having any friends and having a crippling phobia about sex (when she’s 13 years old, no less) which requires 3-times a week intensive therapy sessions, but then later in the same book talks about her “successful 7th grade year in which she had not one but two popular boyfriends.” It’s like she doesn’t even remember what she wrote just a few chapters before. Sadly, I think all of these embellishments or fabrications were included because Dunham fears her one confession of a night where she made bad decisions that led her to be raped will be the story no one believes. Not that it matters much, but Lena I’m telling you that I believe you were raped and you should NEVER feel like you have to apologize for it or include crazy half-true stories in order to justify your feelings with respect to the matter.Now that that is out of the way, let me explain the reasoning behind my 2.5 Star rating. It’s simple . . . there just wasn’t enough story. Dunham isn’t even 30 years old, so she basically ran out of material when it came to writing a memoir. The beginning was hilarious and I didn’t mind the journal style free association type of flow at all. Segments like “18 Unlikely Things I’ve Said Flirtatiously,” “18 Things I’ve Learned From My Mother,” and her oversharing (like all of her failed sexual exploits and the admission that she gave herself colitis from drinking too much laxative tea) almost had me peeing myself with laughter. However, once I hit the 74% mark it was a struggle to keep going. I realize that the who’s who probably fear Lena Dunham’s 15 minutes of fame might run out and jumped to cash in on her success pronto by offering her a book deal, but I think this book would have been much more successful had it been written a few years from now. Dunham needs a chance to settle in to fame, make peace with her past, and heal before putting her story out for the entire world to see.

  • Beth
    2018-10-15 14:09

    I hate it that I hated this book. Don't trust narrator. She states it outright herself. Yet, the contradictions in her book were jarring and didn't seem to serve a purpose (e.g. at one point her parents were born in 1960, another they were 36 in 1986; friends in college who became enemies or "never heard from again" re-emerge as besties at the end of the book). I understand and applaud Dunham's efforts to portray "real sex" and not "hollywood sex" in film and literature, but recounting every haphazard sexual experience she's had wasn't enlightening or amusing. Most of us already know the hollywood portrayal isn't real and just because she's slept with a few losers doesn't mean that the rest of us wont (or shouldn't... some things are just meant to be learned personally). I also think she needs to take another look at her friend Juliana who was clearly IMing her as Igor (hello! Manti Teo!). In the "body" section her random list of calories eaten per day was not interesting, and I hope she really didn't think that counting 2 dried cherries as 8 calories on one day and 8 dried cherries as 5 calories on another day actually would elicit laughter. Many of the chapters seemed like new yorker satires that went on ten pages too long. I did really like the chapter on the childrens clothing shop, and the "things I'll say when I'm 80" piece. These actually shed some light on the actual occurrences surrounding her landing a TV show and working as a creative director.Perhaps the debut's timing was just bad. I'd just attended a lecture by Zadie Smith railing against "creatives" vs. "writers." While Dunham is a delightfully creative person, and I love the stories she tells on screen & her tweets are goofy quippy genius, NTKOG did not translate to literary prowess in this case.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-08 15:10

    Dear Lena, I'm not a huge fan of this term either, but I think I have a girl crush on you. We have everything in common. I am also very sentimental and sometimes sad over my past life as a student, even though the stuff that came after it was better than I was hoping for. I can't remember what life was like before fear became my daily companion. And I only get B.O. in one armpit - the right one - I swear.Wow, Lena, we are SO alike. Well, maaaaaaaaybe not "SO" alike. I'm a mom of three. And I'm 35 and have gone roughly 15% gray. And I live in a little cape (850 square feet) that desperately needs painting. Oh, and I've never been to camp. But none of that really seems to matter. I wonder why that is? I think I know why. I think it's because you've given a voice to so many of the things I've done and felt and worried about, things I never thought I'd hear from another woman. At least not in the way you do it, which is unfiltered, with no apologies, and without shame or hesitation. I think this is why I feel that I'm just like you, because you have an ability to unite women, young and old. I just think it's awesome. So maybe I don't have a girl crush on you. Maybe what I have is a deep respect for you as a woman - an honest woman - with talent, ambition, beauty, and something real to say. In fact, I'm sure that's it. Love, Lisap.s. To my Goodreads friends: I loved this book. I laughed out loud. I got misty. I felt like I understood the author and that she understood me. I wrote down my favorite lines, lots of them. And I recommend this wonderful book to you.

  • Deanna
    2018-10-31 22:16

    Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"Well that's quite the title. In this book we get a collection of essays based on her life. Essays on all kinds of topics told in her blunt and what some may consider strange way. She is very open about the experiences she has had. Her essays are varied. No topic is out of bounds from masturbation, sex, falling in love, feeling alone, anxiety and OCD disorders, feeling insecure about her weight, filming naked, trying to prove herself in the entertainment industry and more. She just really wants to share her story.I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I love Lena Dunham's TV show GIRLS so I thought I would love her book. There's no denying that she is talented. I will admit that I didn't know very much about her before watching GIRLS. I would likely have a different take on the book altogether if I had not watched her show.I found parts of the book entertaining. For example the “Girls & Jerks” chapter was pretty funny. Her attraction to the typical "bad boy" which many can likely identify with. Her description of the awkwardness of filming naked is hilarious. At other times she comes across as quite selfish and spoiled (much like her character Hannah). However, she even frequently admits herself that she can be self absorbed. But I do give her kudos for being honest and and candid. I felt some of it was just her day to day musings which were not always that funny or relevant. For example the food diary chapter had me a bit baffled. Maybe she was just trying to share how hard it can be to lose weight even if you're eating healthy. It seemed to be something that really embarrassed her so I guess she felt it was important for her to share. A somewhat enjoyable and easy read, but not quite what I thought the book would be. I do think in some ways what she did was really brave. She really just said it how it is (in her words in her world).

  • Kiki
    2018-11-04 20:03

    I think the reason I hated this is the same reason why I kind of hate Girls, too: because there's absolutely nothing to like about the person who's telling the story. I don't know if I was more annoyed about Dunham lamenting her charmed childhood or sticking an "honorary queer woman" button on her shirt (god, that irritates the fuck out of me) or crushing a massive anecdote about camp that made no sense in the last twenty-five or so pages. All I know is that I was desperate for this book to end. I was desperate for it to end as I was reading the first chapter. Alas, it's a memoir. I'm loath to judge memoirs, because they are what they are. You don't take a bite of a banana cream pie if you know you don't like sweets, and thus I land myself in the same jam as when I battled through Eat, Pray, Love. All I can say, vaguely and yet with a great deal of certainty, is that this book was terrible to me. God, it was terrible. Ugh. Just terrible.

  • Ingrid
    2018-11-01 22:03

    I always had a soft spot for Girls because I assumed Dunham was being self-aware in her depictions of various Lena-esque characters navigating the horrors of their 20s: feeling sorry for themselves because their parents have vowed to stop paying their monthly $1,500 rents, or working 20 hrs a week doing nothing in coffee shops (but still somehow living in spacious, awesome NY apartments), or walking out of jobs because the coworker they thought was cute turns out to have a girlfriend (but somehow continuing to live in spacious, awesome NY apartments), but after reading this memoir I'm not sure what level of self-awareness Dunham has actually achieved in her life. Sure, she's quick to point out the absurdities of an upscale baby clothes store she once worked at, where Gwyneth Paltrow and her peers buy tiny pinafores with price tags equaling a semester at Yale for babies named after fruit species (how silly THAT is! wink wink at the fourth wall), yet she never once admits/acknowledges/realizes that she herself has all of the makings of the type who might one day shop there. As a full-blown member of the New York aristocracy, with parents who are both respected (and well-paid) artists in the scene, "normal" is going to a summer camp that costs $6,500. Normal is throwing a casual little vegan brunch party as a teen that just happens to be featured in the New York Times society pages. Normal is being able to afford going to a private therapist three times a week her entire childhood. Does it make me sound like a conservative blogger when I apply words like "elite" and "privilege" to Lena Dunham? I hope not, because I believe there's nothing wrong with being born with that silver spoon in your mouth. It doesn't mean that you don't have anything important to say, or that, if you're good at speaking (which Dunham certainly is), you can't speak for all of us. But if your entire life's work involves being knowingly self-deprecatory about the specific ironies of our generation, for God's sake don't skim past the unique absurdities of your own hugely privileged upbringing. How am I supposed to trust you if you act like that's not important? Dunham's writing is as smart and witty as you'd expect it to be, but her disappointing lack of self-awareness as she describes what she seems to think is an average upbringing makes it hard to relate to her at all -- even when she faces real, actual adversity.

  • Stefan Mesch
    2018-10-20 20:12

    "Girls" has a lot of energy. Lena herself seems passionate and smart... but "Not That Kind of Girl" felt like a school assignment, a piece of homework. Not enough urgency. Not enough drive.There are LOTS of tweet-sized gems in these 300 pages, though, and I want to collage them: Please go read 20 or 30 of these quotes. They encapsulate what's great about Lena (witty! acerbic!). But they also show the bumpiness, flunkiness, hit-and-miss meandering of this book project:"Not That Kind of Girl"... told in 115 quotes:"I've been obsessed with death since I was born.""Until I was about twelve my grandmother was my best friend. [...] I called her every day at 4:00 P.M.""I shared a bed with my sister, Grace, until I was seventeen years old.""my dad painted huge pictures of penises for a job""I was born here, and New York is so alien: she is in my gut like an old sickness""both my parents have therapists""none of the pants ever fit me, unless I head into the maternity section""My nickname in high school was Blow-Job Lena, but because I gave NO blow jobs!""I wanted memories so powerful they made you cry.""my Brazilian babysitter Flavia""my mother, who looks like her normal self when she dresses as a witch for Halloween.""we didn't have to worry about much except what gallery to go to on Sunday...""The best news I ever could have received would have been that my parents had decided to homeschool me""I was a quitter: of play dates, of dance class, of Hebrew school.""I demanded a series of tuck-in rituals so elaborate that I'm shocked my parents never hit me (hard).""I was sure I had already broken my hymen in high school in pursuit of a cat that didn't want to be rescued.""my parents discovered I had been stuffing all my unfinished homework under my bed for half the school year.""a successful seventh-grade year in which I had [...] gotten my hair highlighted by a licensed beautician named Beata.""Everything I saw as a child, from 90210 to The Bridges of Madison Country, had led me to believe that sex was a cingey, warmly lit event""Angela Chase seemed pretty messed up by her experience at that flophouse where high school kids went to copulare.""I haven't been to London since age 14, when I was angry my mother forced me to ride a Ferris wheel and even angrier because I liked it.""being in possession of a gay sister, I find the term 'girl crush' slightly homophobic.""I haven't had a crush on a woman since, unless you count my confusing relationship with Shane from The L Word""I had no issue with gay people. I just didn't want to be one. I was fourteen. I didn't want to be anything yet.""I had been telling my parents, sister, grandma - anyone who would listen, really - about my desires from an early age.""I gained weight like it was a viable profession.""I don't think I met a Republican until I was nineteen.""I went to my first Women's Action Coalition meeting at age three.""Barbie's disfigured. It's fine to play with her just as long as you keep that in mind.""His arms were as muscly as a Ken doll's but also as small.""I pull down my tights to pee, and he jams a few of his fingers inside me, like he's trying to plug me up.""I was, once again, just a B- or even C-level member of the classroom ecology.""I wasn't obese, but a senior did tell me I looked 'like a bowling ball with a hat on.'""I'll never be this young again. Or this lonely. Or this hairy.""While my veganism began as a deeply felt moral position, it soon morphed into a not-very-effective eating disorder.""we were finding our own New York, which looked a lot like the New York of our parents""at my new school, I was cool. [...] I had a denim jacket and a novelty pin that said who lit the fuse on your tampon?""I wrote poems, sprawling epics with curse words and casual mentions of suicide that didn't get me sent to the school psychologist.""my mother's psychic Dmitri, who smelled of essential oils and walked around our house investigating 'energies'""Waiting for my parents to get home because I'd lost my keys and pissing in someone's potted plant.""This is what camp is all about! I thought. Meeting other, slightly different kinds of white girls!""I told him I went to school in Brooklyn and he said he didn't know where that was because he wasn't 'so good at geometry'""even three mornings a week [at a child psychiatrist] isn't enough to stop the terrible thoughts.""When I gave you a blow job (MY FIRST) on the day my cat died, you should have called.""Throughout the day I often ask myself, Could I fall asleep right now? and the answer is always a resounding yes.""Drunk emotions aren't real emotions.""Later in the summer your grandfather dies, and you're secretely glad. You have a place to put all your sorrow now""that syrupy terror that characterized summer nights as a nine-year-old sometimes lasts for days now""Every sexual encounter has felt like a first visit with a new general practioner. Awkward, burdensome, a little chilly.""the first person you give a blow job to. You won't finish, just administer one horrified lick, and he won't talk to you again""Only when I got to college did it dawn on me that maybe my upbringing hadn't been very 'real'.""Oberlin being a liberal haven where opposition was king, the coolest clique was a group of rugby-playing, neon-wearing lesbians.""I'm 20. [...] I choose to wear a banana-printed belly shirt and pink leggings to the Vatican and religious tourists gawk and turn away.""The conversation at college is making me insane: politically correct posturing by people without real politics.""I am determined not to tell anyone I vomited. But sharing is my first instinct.""And there I am, drunk on a spring night, yanking my tampon out and hurling it into a bush outside the church.""I became the most combative girl in every writer's workshop""I had been ambitious once. In college, all I seemed to do was found literary magazines with inexplicable names.""I wrote porn reviews ('Anal Annie and the Willing Husbands' is weird because the lead has a lisp).""I've never talked to anyone my own age abou anything beyond ambition. Technique, passion, philosophy, we don't touch any of that.""he saw me for who I felt I was: achingly brilliant, misunderstood, full of novellas and poems and well-timed jokes.""We went to his neighbor's funeral and sat on the back row and got the giggles, sprinted out.""I'm the kind of person who should probably date older guys, but I can't deal with their balls.""I had ill-advised intercourse with a petite poet-mathematician who, afterward, removed the condom, placed it under his pillow, and wiped his penis clean on his own curtains.""He kissed me like it was a boring job given to him by his parole officer.""he looked at me a long moment, like he was preparing to eat something he wasn't sure he would like.""Over time, my belief in many things has wavered: marriage, the afterlife, Woody Allen. But never motherhood.""college was a wonderful gig, thousands of hours to tend to yourself like a garden""Soon, my life as a student will be as far behind me as summer camp.""we fucked in the blue light of a documentary about police brutality. we didn't speak for a year.""You used to own the night and put it to good use""Upon graduation I had felt a heavy sense of doom, a sense that nothing would ever be simple again.""I can't find a goddamn fucking job and I'm too fat to be a stripper.""The story of children of the art world trying (and failing) to match their parents' successes, unsure of their own passions, but sure they wanted glory""a haze of warm beer, Xanax bits, and poorly administered cocaine""He takes me on a day trip up the coast that should be romantic but feels like a hostage situation.""I boarded a Greyhound to Ithaca to see a college friend, the kind of purposeless trip you will never take again after age 25.""the 350 milligrams of medication I take every night""so much of what I love - gossip and furniture and food and the Internet""calling a cab in a haze of pills and getting home at 6 am only to realize you've left all your valuables at the home of a guy who doesn't wake up until 2""my first postcollege job in a downtown restaurant...""What followed was two years of on-and-off ambigous sex hangouts [...] often involving prescrition drugs from [...] my parents' oral surgeries.""If I was writing this then, I would have glamorized the whole story for you""I thought of myself as some kind of spy, undercover as a girl with low self-esteem, bringing back detailled intelligence reports...""I was dressed like a hooker dressed like an insurance broker.""I walked out into the street the next day bare legged and reeling, not sure whether I'd been ruined or awoken.""my e-mails were long and overwrought, trying to show him how dark my sense of humor was (I can make an incest joke!)""I still make joke after joke, but my tears are betraying me.""I broke up with him for a Puerto Rican named Joe with a tattoo that said mom in Comic Sans.""I bought my wallet while high off my ass on legal prescription drugs in the Hamburg airport.""Advil, Lexapro, Mucinex, Klonopin, and Tamiflu, for emotional security. If you have any spare pills, I will take those, too.""I worked at the baby store for nine months. Just recently graduated, I had stormed out of my restaurant job on a whim.""Once my boss yelled at me for giving Gwyneth Paltrow the wrong size in baby legging""going to Physique 57 class even though the women there are all engaged to be married and mean.""The time we took ecstasy and, right before it hit, he asked me what my thoughts on open relationships were.""If someone doesn't answer your email within six hours, it means they hate you.""We went to a bar afterwards, and a DJ gave me his business card in a way that could have been sexual.""I Googled him and 'rape' autofills after his name.""I've always believed that it turns people on to get made fun of, and the art world was no exception""We took the videos we had made together off the Internet, embarrassed by the things we had once thought so profound.""And yes, it was broad, amateurish, a little vulgar.""My body was simply a tool to tell the story.""By the time I emerged from his home on Friday morning, we had essentially performed the first year of a relationship in 5 days.""And so I stayed, for five months, calling it growth.""Back in the city, I kissed him goodbye, then texted him a few minutes later 'don't come over later, or ever.' We do what we can.""the time I sat with a director in his hotel suite while he told me girls love it when you 'direct' their blow jobs.""Women in Hollywood were treated like the paper thingies that protect glasses in hotel bathrooms - necessary but infinitely disposable.""I wasn't going to be anyone's protégée, pet, private fan club, or eager plus-one.""I loved that he'd never have to see a more successful person than himself at a party.""Later, we will find out that he was simultaneously courting an actress from The West Wing and that he bought her a cactus.""And I decided then that I will never be jealous. I will never be vengeful. I won't be threatened by the old, or by the new.""You don't need to be flamboyant in your life to be flamboyant in your work.""I hadn't showered in four days and I still have a boyfriend last I checked.""The next morning he rolled toward me and not away. [...] It was like a miracle.""You've learned a new rule and it's simple: don't put yourself in situations you'd like to run away from.""you ask your friend Jeminma one day as she's painting you nude on her couch""I can't wait to be eighty. So I can have an 'oeuvre' - or at least a 'filmography'.""I'll be eighty and, quite possibly, the owner of seventeen swans.""How could someone whose biggest health scare was a coffee-induced colon infection know what the end of life looks like?""Last summer my vagina started to sting.""My OCD isn't completely gone, but maybe it never will be.""You'll think, Stuff like this only happens to characters played by Jennifer Garner, right?".

  • Megan Johnson
    2018-10-27 15:25

    This book was really not as funny as I thought it would be. It was a little dry. I REALLY like the shows 'Girls' on HBO and that is why I decided to get this book. It is nothing like the show, which I knew that it wouldn't be, but I thought that Lena would be the same in the show and in the book. My mistake. Not a complete loss, I laughed through some of it and fell asleep through some. The book was written well, so that's always a plus!

  • Miranda Reads
    2018-11-04 21:06

    OH thank goodness I did not buy this oneThe cringe factor on this book was almost too much to bear. I normally listen to audiobooks out loud but I found myself constantly turning down the volume because the content was basically only about sex. There's her sexual exploits as she blossoms from a girl who wants sex, to a girl who has sex with guys that demean her, and finally to a girl who has sex when and how she wants. Hurrah.And I couldn't have been the only one who was extremely weirded out by the childhood molestation scenes. Before you turn away, this happened when both Dunham and her little sister were younger. Essentially, Dunham offered her kid sister candy if she could kiss her lips for five seconds. Another anecdote was about how Dunham would curiously spread her sister's legs open to peer at what lay between. She found pebbles. The "exploration" bit happened when Dunham was 7 and her sister was 1. Now, (after a cursory google search) that may be age appropriate curiosity, but why would that be in her memoir? There's no way she could've imagined people reacting positively to that - and to expose that bit of family history to the entire world? The other part - bribing for a kiss - occurred when they were both older (I believe Lena was around preteen age) and fully capable of knowing that that isn't right. Then I got to the scene where she went to town on herself while sharing the bed with her younger sister. I should've just closed the book then and there. Then, there's a few essays about how Dunham was raped. She mentions how she's an unreliable narrator - and then proceeds to give different versions of her own story. One where the guy forgot the condom, one where she was forced to have sex, etc. Essentially, she didn't realize she was raped until years later because of all the lies and stories she told herself to convince herself that it was consensual. Her flippant tone took away any sense of seriousness and her constant backtracking threw me off on what to believe.Definitely not going for a second read. Once was enough. Audiobook Comments---She read her own book and was fairly good at conveying emotion throughout. Not particularly memorable.

  • Ami
    2018-10-17 17:20

    It is really hard to review the Lena Dunham book. I love Girls, and I am consistently impressed by how well Dunham handles herself in interviews and how everyone seems to leave meeting her by whispering "SHE'S SO NICE." But a book? Of essays?? Hmmm. The good things first: the writing in this book is tight, tight, tight. If the gracious, inclusive publicity weren't enough to show you that the author is really behind this book, the writing will. Unsurprisingly, her turns of phrase are amazing, and man, did I laugh out loud more than I expected to. There are a couple essays where the sentiments expressed were so close to my thinking it was creepy. On dieting: Every pound lost made me giddy, but at the same time a voice inside me screamed, Who is this lady you've become? You are a potbellied riot girl! Why are you plugging your caloric intake into your smartphone!? Her entire chapter on what men in Hollywood say to her, called I Didn't Fuck Them but They Yelled at Me, is entirely quoteworthy. It's in these moments that Lena Dunham became her own person, fully removed from Hannah Horvath and the whole Girls oeuvre. In it Dunham eviscerates a certain type of Hollywood bro, and the whole thing just reads a little *sharper* than normal. A little more witty, in a Dorothy Parker kind of way. A little bit tougher, in a Cheryl Strayed kind of way. I want a whole book just of these essays. But a lot of the other parts of the book felt derivative from the content of Girls, and while it's always enjoyable to spend time with "Lena Dunham," it felt like things I'd seen before. Which is totally ok! The woman is in her early 20s, she's gonna repeat some ideas. I can even picture the publishing meeting where her editor said something like, well we need to keep the fans happy! Even with those issues, well worth a read.

  • Jenna
    2018-11-12 19:04

    I will be honest when I say that I had no idea who Lena Dunham was when I started reading her book of essays. Whoever is responsible for marketing her book did a standup job because I have seen so much publicity for it that I had to get my hands on it...First off, I think the whole child molestation bit that is circulating on the internet is just crap. I don't know how anyone can say that a seven-year-old child looking at her sisters who-ha out of curiosity is molestation. I can't speak from experience since I don't have a sister, but it seems weird that people would entertain that thought. Personally, I would have rather she left that part out but child molester she is not...in my opinion at least.I wasn't entirely sure how to rate this book because I didn't find it to be earth shattering but it held my interest and curiosity, not only that, but 3/4 through I put the book down and watched all three seasons of "Girls" so I think that warrants a solid four stars. I felt that there was a lot that I could relate to even though I am a generation ahead of her. I am impressed by her tenacity and accomplishments at such a young age. As far as the book goes, I think that the essay of her food journaling was quite boring but I felt that the others made up for it. I particularly appreciated her brutal honesty when it comes to her weight, family, and men. She didn't pretend to be something that she is not and in most cases she was harder on herself than most online trolls.I like Lena Dunham...at least her public persona. It takes a lot of guts to do what she has done and is doing, not only the hard work and standing up to people who want her to fail, but to push forward even if that means striping down to her birthday suit in front of a room full of people for some of her scenes.

  • Sasha
    2018-10-23 20:07

    Seems like this should have been titled Exactly That Kind of Girl. It reads like the celebrity profile of a young woman who grew up in a privileged position, rich and cared for so much that her parents could afford to send her to a therapist when she was a kid. The author seems preoccupied with herself, without much regard for the outside world. She's under the impression that she is surrounded by people who are untroubled, oblivious to their mortality or their public image. If you watch Girls and enjoy how self-absorbed and entitled the Hannah Horvath character is, inflating her own issues and degrading others', go ahead and read these essays. If you like reading celebrity profiles in magazines, then this one goes into too much detail for you. If you're a female or male who's been through college, pick something else to read because nothing new about your young years can be learned from Not That Kind of Girl.

  • Frieda Vizel
    2018-11-13 17:21

    I love Lena Dunham's work on Girls, I admire her ability to push the envelope and I envy her ability to celebrate femininity and articulate such complex ideas. But this book was a disappointment.The charm of Dunham's work in Girls was in the tragicomic main character of her show, Hannah. Hannah's is the kind of girl that many women are familiar with, only she is crazier than what you see in real life. She is outrageous enough to make all her messes and narcissisms and sexual exploits interesting and funny. I always liked to believe that the character Hannah is inspired by Dunham's insights, not her life. I hoped that Dunham doesn't exactly self destruct, think only of herself and take little responsibility. I am disappointed to find that Dunham is a lot like her, actually. She is self-absorbed and she lies and she thinks trivial things are the center of the world and she writes about everyone she comes in contact with and she is... spoiled. I can handle all those traits on Girls not only because it was drama and there was humor in the absurdity of something we can relate to, but also because there was always an element of suspense -- the character is drifting, she is making mistakes and being a jerk and being human and wonderfully funny, so we want to know what's going to happen to her. In this book, there is no suspense. We are told from the onset that the main character Dunham is no longer drifting or in need, she is extremely successful and on "jerk recovery" because she met the love of her life and all her problems were solved. There; the story of post-college wandering losses its appeal or uniqueness. There is no storyline. Just a bunch of lists of 1. things 2. that 3. aren't. 4. funny. 5. or 6. belong 7. in 8. any 9. book.I think Dunham should stick to fictionalizing her life as her art form. Her actual life is frankly... not very interesting. And maybe she needs to experience more in life in order to come up with new material. You don't become a retired sage know-it-all in your late twenties.

  • Eve
    2018-11-05 16:21

    “When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it, you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments, you are one whole person. What gets said to you gets said to all of you. Ditto what gets done.” – Lena D.Here’s another example of a book I came into contact with at the right time. I was due to read this book when it was first published, but put it off when I heard talk of child molestation and fabrication of events at certain points in the memoir.After binge watching all seasons of Girls recently, it finally dawned on me who Lena Dunham was! I decided it was time to read this pesky book. I really enjoyed it much in the same way that I enjoyed the show. On most levels it’s hard for me to relate to Lena or her characters. I haven’t ever recreationally snorted Adderall or Cocaine. I wasn’t raised in NYC by artist parents, nor did I ever work at a baby store in Tribeca that sold $100 toddler tights. I’m just a simple girl from a lower-income family in West Texas, who didn’t know she was sheltered or poor.What I can definitely relate to are her issues with body image, OCD, dieting, fear of death, and relationships. Can’t we all? I know she got a lot of slack for the title of the memoir, since she was only 27, but for the most part, I felt like she knew what she was talking about. We all have stories to tell. Sometimes they get passed on to children and grandchildren orally; at other times they stay put on the pages of our journals. Lena’s stories made me laugh out loud and shake my head in disbelief thinking, “Wow…she really went there.” I can’t help but admire the way she puts it all out there without shame. I wouldn’t say I’m a personal fan of hers, but I do like her writing voice enough to read any other pieces she publishes.

  • Jeanne
    2018-11-04 15:08

    Trigger Warning: This book details sexual abuse perpatrated by the author on her younger sister (see spoiler cut for details).(view spoiler)["...anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl I was trying."(hide spoiler)]

  • Tina
    2018-10-28 14:56

    I was really disappointed by "Not That Kind of Girl". I loved books like "Bossypants", and I enjoy Dunham's HBO show "Girls", so I thought this would be a funny, interesting window into her life, creativity, and success. It ends up Dunham is either exactly like the main character of her show, Hannah Horvath, or she's not really ready to let down the curtain between her persona and her true person. The memoir's writing feels very contrived and studied, and yet at the same time the organization of the book makes no sense at all. She has it separated into parts like "Love & Sex", "Friendship", etc. but everything sort of seems to meld together, repeat, and ultimately make its way back to sex or bodily functions. If someone who did not know Dunham's real-life story read this memoir, they would assume she was a lazy, neurotic hipster who was self-indulgent and spoiled by her parents, and most likely still occupying her childhood bedroom and working at a coffee shop. They would not assume she was a successful young woman with her own popular TV show, feature films, multiple Emmys, and two Golden Globes. Dunham hardly mentions any of those parts of her and only flippantly mentions ambition once or twice. It's ultimately a puzzle to me why she would rather discuss her tonsil stones than, perhaps, her creative goals or development as a filmmaker and writer or really anything besides a bunch of stories that paint her in a fairly negative light. It's almost like she likes putting a certain group of people off, like there's a security in coming off as always self-deprecating and slightly inept. Read more at www.iwantmichikosjob.com.

  • Jennifer
    2018-10-21 20:11

    I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I had read it in college, and ultimately I think it is written for women ages 18-29. Because with every time I would agree with Lena Dunham, I would shake my head in annoyance thrice as much.The following sentence sums up the most annoying things about Lena and her literary persona. "So when I gave you a blowjob (MY FIRST) on the day my cat died, you should have called." FOR FUCK'S SAKE.