In Praise of Difficult Women Hardcover – 19 Apr 2018
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"I think that this is a book that everyone should read and one that everyone should have on their shelves." - Ms. Nose in a Book"I love the idea of grabbing a cuppa, this book, and just diving right in. It's such a great pick-me-up. Reading about these awesome women, their struggles, their successes, and how inspiring they are - just puts a smile on my face. They are awe-inspiring stories that I gobbled up with joy.
--abookishwayoflife.blogspot.com "This book is a total inspiration for those that want to shake things up a little bit and push boundaries further for women...All I can say is I now have a very long list of biographies and memoirs on and by the woman that appear in this book." -abookishaffair.blogspot.com "An engaging, inspiring collection where I enjoyed learning about amazing modern women and was left wanting to learn more." -doingdeweydecimal.com "The author chose a great selection of women to represent the "difficult" woman."
-cerebralgirl.blogspot.com "Karbo has a knack for the nuances and sidebars that leave the reader not just a carrier of new facts, but of fascination and admiration for her subjects." -The Register-Guard "This book is a history lesson that goes down like cotton candy: pink, sweet, and fun as hell. Don't miss it." --NextTribe "With occasional anecdotes from her own life, Karbo delves into her personal relationship with each of these women...all of them important touchstones for her." -LA Review of Books "In Praise of Difficult Women" is a collection of short biographies of well-known women who are difficult in what Karbo thinks is the best sense -- strong, independent, smart, assertive."
--The Seattle Times "Karbo, of Portland, Oregon, is embracing being a "difficult woman" in her newest book, which celebrates other women who broke the rules." -Washington State Journal "Refreshingly frank, Karbo's book celebrates women who forged provocative identities and found life fulfillment despite the odds they faced. Inspiring reading about women who have shown "that it's all right to occupy our humanity." -Kirkus "The women chosen are eclectic, while the narrative is researched and informed yet conversationally welcoming...Karbo's fondness for rule breakers and benders is clear, and she defends them through character quirks and missteps--real women lead real and flawed lives." -Foreword In Praise of Difficult Women offers many words of wisdom, including sage advice from fashion titan Diana Vreeland, who noted that the only right life to live is "the one you know you want, and you make it for yourself." --Women's Voices ForeSight "Karbo examines the universal themes that connect each of us to these icons of female badassery and argues that being "difficult" can lead to a more fulfilling life." -BookRiot "In 29 takes, Karen Karbo catalogs the ways in which a woman rankles: She can be independent, exacting, impatient, persistent, opinionated, angry, unaccommodating, ambitious, restless, confident, brilliant, articulate, or just plain visible. Nothing is lost on Karbo, from Elizabeth Taylor's double eyelashes to the contents of Martha Gellhorn's travel bag to Amelia Earhart's homemade roller coaster. You'll need two copies!"--Stacy Schiff, best-selling author of Cleopatra: A Life and The Witches
"Part biography, part inspiration, all parts fascinating, In Praise of Difficult Women is a wise and hilarious reminder of the importance of being a pain in the ass. Keep it by your bedside."--Meghan Daum, best-selling author of The Unspeakable
"Give me difficult women or give me death. Karen Karbo's In Praise of Difficult Women brings us all back to life by illuminating the paths of women who refused to shut up, sit down, hold still, behave, or smile on anyone's terms but their own. A perfect manifesto as to why now is the time to get loud, unflinching, and brazen, exactly as we are."--Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Misfit's Manifesto "Difficult seems absolutely delightful in these absorbing, inspiring, and often surprising portraits that do more than entertain. They raise important questions about femininity and culture, power and bravery--and make us ask these same questions about our mothers, sisters, daughters, and ourselves. Though Karbo masterfully covers a wide range of exceptional women, what unites them is the way they make 'difficult' become a quality not to avoid but to aspire to with gusto."--Lori Gottlieb, New York Times best-selling author of Marry Him
About the Author
Karen Karbo’s first novel, Trespassers Welcome Here, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Village Voice Top Ten Book of the Year. Her 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life, was a New York Times Notable Book, a People magazine critics’ choice, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, The New York Times, and Salon.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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But one learns little more about this selection of women than can be gleaned from the internet or a few well chosen reference books. A bibliography for each is provided at the end of the book.
The life stories are basically interesting, because they are all of women who are high achievers in their field, often against male and establishment resistance and opposition. But they are written in a style and tone that you will regularly find in magazine and Sunday newspaper features on celebrities. Chatty, informal, with a wide use of slang language, in some cases poorly researched, and achingly superficial. An example – It seems that either Jane Goodall attended secretarial college at the age of 11 and studied for seven years – or World War Two ‘raged’ for a further seven years after it is normally considered it to have ended.
The author seems to specialise in throw away remarks that are often dismissive of her subject, sometimes snide, and at others downright rude. Examples of this can be found in the sections on Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Merkel and Billy Jean King among others.
The book is clearly written for the USA market and therefore makes many cultural assumptions about the reader’s knowledge and perspective. Oh – and it’s not ‘exquisitely illustrated’ as on the sleeve; the depictions of the subjects are ghastly two colour line drawings such as we used to have in cheaper children’s books in the 1960s.
I bought this first for my own interest and second with a thought that I might pass it on to my granddaughters. The examples set by the women featured in this collection are inspiring – resilience, determination, cleverness, creativity……but the example set by the author seems to me very poor.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book to keep on your nightstand and read about one each evening before you go to sleep. You'll sleep better knowing (more) about each of these women.