Shrill by Lindy West
Published by: Hachette Books
Published on: May 17, 2016
Page Count: 272
My Reading Format: Audiobook review copy provided by the publisher for consideration
Audiobook Published by: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Lindy West
Audiobook Length: 6 hours 9 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook
Summary from the Publisher:
Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.
From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.
With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.
Okay, so this won’t be an entire view in tweets. Here are a few brief thoughts on the audiobook:
- There was something very powerful about listening to Lindy West narrate this book. That she was able to write about some of the abuse she’s experienced is one thing. To hear her read about it out loud gave me chills. She didn’t let the shame intended by others have any power over her. I need to be much more like her in that way.
- The chapter about riding on airplanes is spot on.
- There were some sections that were more meaningful to me than others. I don’t agree with her 100% of the time. I am not as comfortable with her more vulgar turns of phrase, but I am glad to have read this book. She puts herself out there and I appreciate her openness and honesty.
The tweets below sum up better than anything else the way this book has impacted my life:
I still have a lot of work to do, but I don’t think I’m alone in that. Life is all about learning and growing. I do make it my life’s mission to learn to love myself each and every day, regardless of any societal expectation. If I can’t love myself today, there will always be something that will prevent me from doing so tomorrow, regardless of what the scale says. Oh, and one other thing I learned just yesterday: I’ve been punishing myself for my post-pregnancy weight gain by not getting my wedding rings resized. I say punished even though in my head I was using them as motivation to lose weight. Allison will be 12 in October for crying out loud. I was briefly able to wear them after boot camp, but as I have regained some of that weight, they’ve become too tight. Well, Emma, who is slim and 13, tried them on. They were too small for her tiny fingers! If a skinny teenager can’t wear my rings, what in the world have I been holding myself back for? Ridiculous! I’ll be heading to the jewelers on Saturday. I love my wedding rings and there’s no reason to deprive myself of them.