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The Book Of Jezebel

by Daniel Scheffler
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Saturday Nov 16, 2013
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Sassy, that’s what comes to mind when you open "The Book of Jezebel" by Anna Holmes. Sassy, smart and rip-roaring funny to be exact. She starts her fabulous work off by saying "a work of fact or opinion. Or perhaps, opinion and fact" - and you immediately know you’re going to love this one.

Anna Holmes, based in New York, is the creator of Jezebel.com - a site for what she calls "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing". She covers topics like sexual harassment (or the worst case of it ever) and vaginas that are too big, too floppy or too what exactly I am not sure. She has also contributed to the Washington Post, The New Yorker online and The New York Times where she writes for the Sunday Book Review section. But with her latest, she goes all the way.

"Jezebel" covers everything you’ve ever considered that could be related to women. From Marina Abramovic, the Brit TV hit show "Absolutely Fabulous," to anxiety. It’s the ultimate guide, well to everything. Unlike most encyclopedias, it is really truly funny. Holmes has that way with words that she tackles even her Twitter with @AnnaHolmes.

But don’t mistake this for those silly at the till gift books, it’s researched to death and filled with interesting nuggets.

But don’t mistake this for those silly at the till gift books, it’s researched to death and filled with interesting nuggets. Something the voices in the book, and possibly in the author’s head, are slightly muddled, but it does give a certain air of a new Bridget Jones scenario where there really isn’t a Mister Darcy. Jezebel has often been criticized with hashtags like #whiteladyproblems etc. but the truth of the matter is that the author does try to cover it all. She aims, not always successfully, to include everyone and everything. But she does swoop with a wide, wide brush.

It’s a great book to have on the coffee table, it aids with depression and most certainly with any cases of too much seriousness. Maybe it’s too much shaming, perhaps even isolating to some women fighting the gender equality gap that does exist. But see it from a lighthearted perspective instead and not as a document to save the world. Lean Out, rather than Lean In I would say.

"The Book of Jezebel"
Anna Holmes
$16.20
Grand Central Publishing

by Anna Holmes

Based between New York and Cape Town, Daniel Scheffler writes about socio political and travel matters and is working on a memoir. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler.

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