“Sex with my first boyfriend was a little bit like learning how to put in a tampon, but only half as enjoyable!”
Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee’s memoirs are a funny and often cringe-worthy account of her journey from a Jesus-obsessed preteen (raised by a mother, grandmother and great grandmother) to a thieving teenager (with her Croatian boyfriend whose family hated Samantha and all things Canadian) to her breakthrough into acting (working as a Sailor Moon knockoff in a children’s show). It’s very silly and lighthearted. Samantha pokes a lot of fun at her family, but it’s obvious that there’s a lot of love there. She also enjoys making fun of herself, and that’s where the book really shines. I Know I Am, But What Are You? won’t take you long to read, and will make you crack up quite a bit. Definitely worth a read.
This book was a bit of an experiment for me. I enjoy memoirs and essays from female authors (Ali in Wonderland, Bossypants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?), and have read them imagining them narrated by the authors themselves, hearing Tina Fey in my mind. I run for exercise, so I figured I’d take on the audiobook option as part of this Cannonball Read and find some fun memoirs to get me through my workouts.
My first purchase (via audible.com) was Samantha Bee’s cleverly titled I Know I Am, But What Are You? In it she chronicles her life, sharing some interesting stories, some funny stories, and some tragically funny stories.
Born to teenage parents, she spent time living with her mother, her dad and step-mom and her grandmother. As a child she was an introvert, an animal lover, and obsessed with Jesus. Not so much in a religion sort of way, but in an ‘I’m going to wash his feet and marry him” sort of way. That story was easily my favorite of the book, although her treatise on gift-giving and -receiving is a close second.
She definitely has some interesting stories to tell, but I only found myself laughing out loud a couple of times. I’m not sure if that was even her goal. But I think I would have preferred to read this as opposed to listen to her reading of it. She reads it pretty much exactly as she narrates her segments on “The Daily Show,” and while that works in four-minute Republican take-downs, it can sometimes be a bit much in book form.
I’d say this would probably be best as a library book or a sale book loaded onto your e-reader for reading on a flight or on vacation.