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Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office

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This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment... It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious mis This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment... It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words? The bitch had it coming.


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This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment... It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious mis This is the story of how a haughty former sorority girl went from having a household income of almost a quarter-million dollars to being evicted from a ghetto apartment... It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected." In other words? The bitch had it coming.

30 review for Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I've read the other reviews of this book and was horrified what people had to say about Jen. This book is real life. It shows that despite all the ups and downs in life, it's possible to still have a sense of humor. Jen went from (as people say) a "bitchy stuck up rich snob" to an unemployed, insuranceless penny pincher and still managed to see the humor in her life. I think just about every woman can relate to her in one way or another at some point in their life. Whether it's about gaining wei I've read the other reviews of this book and was horrified what people had to say about Jen. This book is real life. It shows that despite all the ups and downs in life, it's possible to still have a sense of humor. Jen went from (as people say) a "bitchy stuck up rich snob" to an unemployed, insuranceless penny pincher and still managed to see the humor in her life. I think just about every woman can relate to her in one way or another at some point in their life. Whether it's about gaining weight and the endless struggle to lose it, losing a job you love, struggling to make ends meet, losing friends, bad neighbors, nagging parents/siblings, etc. So it probably won't be the next assigned reading in any college, but it's a great read that keeps you laughing out loud and I loved every minute of it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I tried to get through it, but I found Jen Lancaster horrendous. Obviously the title warned me she was going to be a bit annoying, but I assumed she would eventually tone down and figure out that she was a bad person. After realizing she was cruel for no reason, I assumed she would redeem herself. I couldn't bring myself to actually finish the book because I hated it so much, and kept cringing, so I don't know if she gets better or not. For the most part, she just keeps patting herself on the ba I tried to get through it, but I found Jen Lancaster horrendous. Obviously the title warned me she was going to be a bit annoying, but I assumed she would eventually tone down and figure out that she was a bad person. After realizing she was cruel for no reason, I assumed she would redeem herself. I couldn't bring myself to actually finish the book because I hated it so much, and kept cringing, so I don't know if she gets better or not. For the most part, she just keeps patting herself on the back for bitchy remarks. It takes a lot of guts to use the kind of insults she flings at random people, but it takes a lot more character to be able to keep your mouth shut. I wish she had.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Ok. I can not yet determine what makes me more angry- the fact that Jennifer wrote this book and how egotistical and boring she is, or the fact that I bought this ridiculous “memoir” about her pathetic life. I kept waiting for it to get interesting, for my mind to buy into her musings. But the more I read the more annoyed I became. I wish I could give her some type of accolade, like the book was horrible but she is a good writer, but there is not one good thing I have to say. The first chapter s Ok. I can not yet determine what makes me more angry- the fact that Jennifer wrote this book and how egotistical and boring she is, or the fact that I bought this ridiculous “memoir” about her pathetic life. I kept waiting for it to get interesting, for my mind to buy into her musings. But the more I read the more annoyed I became. I wish I could give her some type of accolade, like the book was horrible but she is a good writer, but there is not one good thing I have to say. The first chapter she rambles on about some business boat trip and doesn’t explain the relevance. The next chapter she is talking about a friendship that deteriorated in high school and again doesn’t explain anything. She writes using terms such as “gag me” and writes some words in ALL CAPS and italics to emphasize a point but all of these are so overused you realize that you would rather poke needles in your eye than finish this damn book. If Goodreads allowed you to give negative stars- I would give this a -5. Do you think Jennifer will give me my $13.95 back?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    2011 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B. Sometimes I wish I could be that person, who just says what they’re thinking all the time. That’s exactly what Jen does.... and she’s a train wreck... LOL. I guess having a filter is a good thing. But, really... This was a funny and entertaining read. Last, but not least- God Bless Fletch.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dara

    The subtitle should actually be "Or, Why Blogs Are Not Books". The writing is ludicrously bad at times, the "characters" are all thoroughly unlikeable, and I've seen greater degrees of self-awareness emerge among pre-verbal children. And to make matters worse, the snark seems forced and mostly unfunny. The subtitle should actually be "Or, Why Blogs Are Not Books". The writing is ludicrously bad at times, the "characters" are all thoroughly unlikeable, and I've seen greater degrees of self-awareness emerge among pre-verbal children. And to make matters worse, the snark seems forced and mostly unfunny.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This book was a total waste of time. I only read it to complete an assignment. A memoir written by a totally immature, obnoxious individual. I threw the book in the trash. It was not worth giving to The Friends of the library. I was a friend by not giving it to them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martha Wewer

    This book is totally and completely pure entertainment. There is nothing deep and profound, no message about life...well...maybe there is a message...prehaps the message is that life is unexpected. Or maybe I am reading it at a time in my life when things are happening unexpectedly. I don't know. I needed a fun book and this was it. I thoroughly enjoyed how self-centered and self-involved the main character is and the descriptions of her life are, truly, laugh out loud funny. It would be a great This book is totally and completely pure entertainment. There is nothing deep and profound, no message about life...well...maybe there is a message...prehaps the message is that life is unexpected. Or maybe I am reading it at a time in my life when things are happening unexpectedly. I don't know. I needed a fun book and this was it. I thoroughly enjoyed how self-centered and self-involved the main character is and the descriptions of her life are, truly, laugh out loud funny. It would be a great vacation read because it's easy and quick and for that reason, I would buy it at a used book store because you will be done with it in a weekend. I am looking forward to reading her other books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I think that this is my last "blog into book" that I plan to read. I've read a few now and it has finally sunk in that a good blog does not necessarily make a decent book. I live in Chicago and lived through the early 2000s lay-offs so I thought I'd really enjoy this book. It was eh. Some parts were very funny but overall the book was just sort of pointless. Bitch with lots of money becomes a bitch with less money. Not much growth to read about. Plus, the end parts where she begins to post her b I think that this is my last "blog into book" that I plan to read. I've read a few now and it has finally sunk in that a good blog does not necessarily make a decent book. I live in Chicago and lived through the early 2000s lay-offs so I thought I'd really enjoy this book. It was eh. Some parts were very funny but overall the book was just sort of pointless. Bitch with lots of money becomes a bitch with less money. Not much growth to read about. Plus, the end parts where she begins to post her blogs and her letters to her blog fans and enemies started to get really boring. Plus, the footnotes were really annoying and 90% of the time they weren't funny or even necessary so I stopped reading them for the last section of the book. Jen's ego is overwhelming and her "witty" comments and slams aren't interesting or even original. I wanted to like it. I kept trying to like it. I finally gave up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I got this book from a very kind friend and read it while traveling. While it was somewhat amusing and had some funny parts, I did NOT like the main character. I thought she was self-serving and foolish for having no self-control. It is based off of the author's personal story and I appreciate what she has gone through but her antics were ridiculous. I couldn't identify and found the character very annoying. I got this book from a very kind friend and read it while traveling. While it was somewhat amusing and had some funny parts, I did NOT like the main character. I thought she was self-serving and foolish for having no self-control. It is based off of the author's personal story and I appreciate what she has gone through but her antics were ridiculous. I couldn't identify and found the character very annoying.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Schroeder

    Jen Lancaster's style of writing best mirrors the interior monologue that I have ongoing in my life. While a memoir, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding my head in agreement throughout much of the book. Her wit and humor are so similar to my own and perhaps that is why I so thoroughly enjoyed the book. Her trials and tribulations as she jumped from the perils of WASPy upper-class to the brink of being evicted and collecting unemployment, left me rooting for her to succeed. Through her s Jen Lancaster's style of writing best mirrors the interior monologue that I have ongoing in my life. While a memoir, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding my head in agreement throughout much of the book. Her wit and humor are so similar to my own and perhaps that is why I so thoroughly enjoyed the book. Her trials and tribulations as she jumped from the perils of WASPy upper-class to the brink of being evicted and collecting unemployment, left me rooting for her to succeed. Through her success, I guess I now have become a devotee of the Jen Lancaster fan club and eagerly look forward to reading her other book and searching her website.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Candis

    I loved the author and rooted for her the whole time I read the book. I LOVE that she's a bitch and says things often without considering how it's going to make others feel (especially since I am guilty of the same thing). I especially love the part where she tells off her terrible boss. I sympathized with her when she realizes that maybe a hair appointment is a luxury and not a necessity after all (been there, done that). The book had a casual and personal tone to it which made it easy to read I loved the author and rooted for her the whole time I read the book. I LOVE that she's a bitch and says things often without considering how it's going to make others feel (especially since I am guilty of the same thing). I especially love the part where she tells off her terrible boss. I sympathized with her when she realizes that maybe a hair appointment is a luxury and not a necessity after all (been there, done that). The book had a casual and personal tone to it which made it easy to read and HILARIOUS. My only problem with it was the fact that there were several editorial mistakes - Like the word "were" would be in a sentence where it should say "would" - which tells me that the whole book was spell checked but not read thoroughly enough before publication...sloppy. Which makes me wonder if the author is really the hard-core, detail-oriented person she claims to be when it comes to business dealings. I would have done a MUCH better job editing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I ended up re-reading this book yesterday because I needed something to make me laugh. I have always gotten a kick out of Jen Lancaster's older memoirs and even though I know them by heart, I still laugh each time. I think my main take away at reading this again after several years of reading her latest memoirs is that her older memoirs were more honest and up front about her life and family. Nowadays it feels like she always keeps things back. And she mentioned in one of her memoirs she was est I ended up re-reading this book yesterday because I needed something to make me laugh. I have always gotten a kick out of Jen Lancaster's older memoirs and even though I know them by heart, I still laugh each time. I think my main take away at reading this again after several years of reading her latest memoirs is that her older memoirs were more honest and up front about her life and family. Nowadays it feels like she always keeps things back. And she mentioned in one of her memoirs she was estranged from her family. And now it seems she is only estranged from her brother (who I loathed in this book and the others where he makes an appearance). Jen Lancaster in her first memoir details how she and her now husband (then boyfriend and fiancee) were living the high life in Chicago, and then they were not. Due to the economy and dot.coms being on the upswing prior to 9/11 it seemed like the young and up and comers were making money hand over fist. And then Jen is fired due (according to her) her boss wanting to make sure that her family member got a job that Jen was already doing quite competently. From there we go from Jen being angry and then depressed when it becomes readily apparent she is not able to find a job that matches her skill level. When her boyfriend Fletch loses his job as well the two of them have to dig deep and move elsewhere while their finances keep spiraling out of control. I liked seeing Jen go from being in her own words spoiled and realizing that the choices she made in life (spend thousands and thousands of dollars on stuff instead of saving it all) were partially to blame for the situation that she ended up at. Also I think this book really showcases how hard it is sometimes to trust people you work with cause they will stab you in the back to get ahead. I always wonder what happened with Jen and her co-worker that she was close to who she was trying to talk out of having an affair with some idiot they worked with. She like many of the characters in this book disappear never to be heard from again. Ultimately Jen and Fletch make it out okay though they had a hard time in their lives. I will say that since I read the other memoirs you can definitely see that Jen's writing and stories have gotten better over time. I found her a bit hard to take at times while re-reading this. And God knows I tend to not have a lot of sympathy with formerly upper middle class people who don't realize that saving their money is a good thing. But I feel for Jen since it was definitely a hard thing for her to swallow. Jen's family is a bit much to deal with in book #1. I didn't care for her brother who seemed nasty and a piece of work. Her mother also seemed overly dramatic. We only get bits and pieces about her father though. And we learn enough about Fletch's family to understand why they are not part of their lives. When Jen delves into things like this, it really is when the book gets better. I really didn't get her obsession with her dogs, (I have a cat) and thought that some of that could have been cut. And maybe I am a jerk, but reading this years later, I don't understand why they kept two dogs that I am sure cost a lot for them to pay for when they were days away from being evicted from their apartment. Heck, it sounds like Jen gave her one dog to her parents before, so I am puzzled why that wasn't a solution here (just having the two days stay with her parents til they were back on their feet).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    Don't look at the reviews before you read this book! I didn't and I still liked the book. I didn't love it necessarily but I didn't hate it either. Okay, yes this book is funny at time but it also made me cringe a little bit now and then. Not like the ewww cringe but the omg she said and did that kind of cringe. I can't say that the book is completely perfect or a huge hot mess - it's just like any other book out there. They all have at least one flaw if not many. I still enjoyed Bitter is the Ne Don't look at the reviews before you read this book! I didn't and I still liked the book. I didn't love it necessarily but I didn't hate it either. Okay, yes this book is funny at time but it also made me cringe a little bit now and then. Not like the ewww cringe but the omg she said and did that kind of cringe. I can't say that the book is completely perfect or a huge hot mess - it's just like any other book out there. They all have at least one flaw if not many. I still enjoyed Bitter is the New Black because it definitely kept me on my toes. I liked how it was about her life and how it was different from what I've been reading lately. One of my resolutions for this year had to do with the fact of me branching out in the reading world. Reading more genres that I haven't read a lot of books in. Reading books by new authors as well as helped me out so far because I'm falling more and more in love with authors. My list is probably so long now and I have no idea who is my favorite author right now. I will definitely try to find another book of hers and see if I would like to continue more of her books. I have no idea when I will read the next book from Jen - just know that one day I will have another one of her books in my hands.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sashana

    Refreshing, blatantly honest, and funny. I'm tempted to leave this review at that but in the sake of getting the word out about this book I will say more. If you're faint of heart and completely delusional about the realities of life then I suggest you read something else. Jen says what everyone is thinking and no one has the balls to say. Being a woman, she's obviously labeled a bitch. She lives a good life in an extravagant apartment, has a six figure salary, and is the VP at her company.But w Refreshing, blatantly honest, and funny. I'm tempted to leave this review at that but in the sake of getting the word out about this book I will say more. If you're faint of heart and completely delusional about the realities of life then I suggest you read something else. Jen says what everyone is thinking and no one has the balls to say. Being a woman, she's obviously labeled a bitch. She lives a good life in an extravagant apartment, has a six figure salary, and is the VP at her company.But wait! That's just the cake and the icing needs to be added; Jen has just been offered a promotion at work-can you say raise?! But in the midst of her fairytale,life happens. Jen is fired instead of promoted and she is forced to live off the "dole" (aka unemployment). Things aren't too bad because her boyfriend of seven years, Fletch, has a well paying job. However the economy has come crashing down and pretty soon Fletch is out of a job. Forced to move out of her upscale apartment and into the *gasp!* ghetto, Jen is forced to re-evaluate her life and the financial decisions she had made.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keris

    Jen Lancaster fully admits that at the height of the dot-com boom (heck, in the years leading up to it, too) she was rather a demanding beyotch. But after the American economy took a nose dive in the early '00s she and her husband Fletch both lost their well-paid jobs and had to downsize their life until they were living almost at the breadline, not knowing how they would pay their rent. Jen decided to blog about their troubles (yes, she's a blooker) and eventually this book was born... Bitter Is Jen Lancaster fully admits that at the height of the dot-com boom (heck, in the years leading up to it, too) she was rather a demanding beyotch. But after the American economy took a nose dive in the early '00s she and her husband Fletch both lost their well-paid jobs and had to downsize their life until they were living almost at the breadline, not knowing how they would pay their rent. Jen decided to blog about their troubles (yes, she's a blooker) and eventually this book was born... Bitter Is The New Black describes their riches to rags story, and has to have the best subtitle of all time... (Are you ready? Take a breath): Confessions of a condescending, egomaniacal, self-centred smart-ass, or why you should never carry a Prada bag to the unemployment office. To read the rest of this review, please visit Trashionista

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Cecile

    Hilarious, sarcastic and vividly candid. You can't stand her but you can't help rooting for her either. But there was satisfaction from seeing smug people get their comeuppance. Hilarious, sarcastic and vividly candid. You can't stand her but you can't help rooting for her either. But there was satisfaction from seeing smug people get their comeuppance.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    HA! The bitch had it coming. By the title, you know that the author is condescending, egomaniacal, self centered and about to be unemployed. But one can't help but laugh with Jen Lancaster, rather than at her. Somehow, this self absorbed PITA is endearing, probably because she says the things to idiots that we all want to say but are too couth to actually say. I don't want to call this memoir a "coming of age" story, since Lancaster is already a "grown up" when the book begins, but it is in a lot HA! The bitch had it coming. By the title, you know that the author is condescending, egomaniacal, self centered and about to be unemployed. But one can't help but laugh with Jen Lancaster, rather than at her. Somehow, this self absorbed PITA is endearing, probably because she says the things to idiots that we all want to say but are too couth to actually say. I don't want to call this memoir a "coming of age" story, since Lancaster is already a "grown up" when the book begins, but it is in a lot of ways similar--a life altering event forces her to actually grow up. Loved it--this is a laugh out loud memoir!

  18. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    I first read this book in 2010, loved it, and read the rest of Jen's cleverly-titled memoirs in rapid succession. I decided to reread this on audio now while we moved houses. It was a great distraction while unpacking boxes! Still enjoyable and I liked the narration. I appreciate how Jen and Fletch reluctantly had to take a walk in others' shoes when both were laid off and were forced to reevaluate what's important. I first read this book in 2010, loved it, and read the rest of Jen's cleverly-titled memoirs in rapid succession. I decided to reread this on audio now while we moved houses. It was a great distraction while unpacking boxes! Still enjoyable and I liked the narration. I appreciate how Jen and Fletch reluctantly had to take a walk in others' shoes when both were laid off and were forced to reevaluate what's important.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Loni

    Ok! Maybe I wasn't in the mood for the "humor" of this book, but Jen totally frustrated me, and in the end I still thought "she didnt get it" ("It" being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- so to speak).. I am really glad that I borrowed this from the library instead of purchasing it and contributing to the bank account of the Condescending, Egomaniac, Self centered Smart A**! Ok! Maybe I wasn't in the mood for the "humor" of this book, but Jen totally frustrated me, and in the end I still thought "she didnt get it" ("It" being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- so to speak).. I am really glad that I borrowed this from the library instead of purchasing it and contributing to the bank account of the Condescending, Egomaniac, Self centered Smart A**!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    Jen has a cushy job where she is on the fast track to success. After 9-11, she is laid off and spends the next 2+ years trying to find a job, any job while discovering just how much she took her good life (and spending habits) for granted. This book is laugh out loud funny. It definitely made me happy that my spending habits are in check.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is the true tale of a shrewish, spoiled girl with a mean streak, who loses everything, and then starts building her life all over again. Jenn's writing is honest, hilarious, inspiring, and sometimes hard to believe (even when you know it's true). She has an eye for comedy, sees the irony in everything, and laughs easily at herself. The books that follow Bitter are equally well done. Bitter was birthed on the author's blog, Jennsylvania, which is still going strong, although it centers mostl This is the true tale of a shrewish, spoiled girl with a mean streak, who loses everything, and then starts building her life all over again. Jenn's writing is honest, hilarious, inspiring, and sometimes hard to believe (even when you know it's true). She has an eye for comedy, sees the irony in everything, and laughs easily at herself. The books that follow Bitter are equally well done. Bitter was birthed on the author's blog, Jennsylvania, which is still going strong, although it centers mostly around book tours these days (poor Jen). Strangest of all, perhaps, is that I have very little in common with Jennifer Lancaster. Our politics, clothing, eating habits, and personal styles starkly oppose one another. And yet, I can't wait for the fourth book! She's a likable person, even with her fashion mania and porkchop fetish. Bitter and its sequels are a great inspiration to anyone who is starting over or living a life that needs to change.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alley

    I'm slowly working my way through this. I find there's only so much of Jen that I can take. This gal takes us on death-defyingly new heights of self-centeredness, narcissism and superficiality. And she's so unapologetic for it too! You've got to love (or hate) her for that at least. Note: I've got no immediate plans to pick it back up anytime soon. I'm slowly working my way through this. I find there's only so much of Jen that I can take. This gal takes us on death-defyingly new heights of self-centeredness, narcissism and superficiality. And she's so unapologetic for it too! You've got to love (or hate) her for that at least. Note: I've got no immediate plans to pick it back up anytime soon.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I appreciated the Chicago setting of this book, but when I counted more than 13 obvious editorial errors, I got a bit disgusted. Hire a proofreader, please! However, not the author's fault. Despite my resistance, I grew to like her by the end of the story. I appreciated the Chicago setting of this book, but when I counted more than 13 obvious editorial errors, I got a bit disgusted. Hire a proofreader, please! However, not the author's fault. Despite my resistance, I grew to like her by the end of the story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Swings between pretty funny and 'where is the author so I can smack her'. However, for me the final score was tipped slightly to the obnoxious side, I didn't find Jen Lancaster s antics nearly as endearing as she did. Swings between pretty funny and 'where is the author so I can smack her'. However, for me the final score was tipped slightly to the obnoxious side, I didn't find Jen Lancaster s antics nearly as endearing as she did.

  25. 5 out of 5

    J.H. Moncrieff

    Ugh. I normally don't trash another writer's book, but I couldn't believe how horrible this was. It breaks my heart that there are so many wonderfully talented authors with great books struggling to make a living, and then someone posts some semi-witty letters on Craig's List, gets the attention of an agent, and somehow ends up on the NYT's best-seller list. I have to admit--it is a great title. When I found this gem at a used-book sale for only $2, I decided to give it a try because I did find s Ugh. I normally don't trash another writer's book, but I couldn't believe how horrible this was. It breaks my heart that there are so many wonderfully talented authors with great books struggling to make a living, and then someone posts some semi-witty letters on Craig's List, gets the attention of an agent, and somehow ends up on the NYT's best-seller list. I have to admit--it is a great title. When I found this gem at a used-book sale for only $2, I decided to give it a try because I did find some of Lancaster's "Tao of Martha" amusing. But if I'd thought that book was superficial, she comes across like Mother Teresa in Tao by comparison. Admitting you're mean doesn't make it any less cruel, by the way. Self-awareness is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Basically, when this book begins, its author is the living, breathing equivalent of the heroine from Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, without any of Becky's compassion or charm. All Lancaster cares about is blowing her pay check on designer goods to further fuel her sense of superiority, lording over her co-workers and friends because she's so much better and smarter than they are, and gossiping about everyone behind their backs. (And don't get me started on the hundreds of pointless footnotes.) When she loses her job, she doesn't immediately change her behaviour, stopping her health insurance so she can afford yet one more item of unneeded, overpriced clothing. It's extremely frustrating, but then her husband loses his job as well. Slowly, Lancaster has to come to terms with the fact that she's not as perfect or sought-after as she'd thought, as no one--from the high-finance world to retail--will hire her. The big message of this book is that she learns what's really important in life and becomes a (slightly) changed person. Unfortunately, I'd already read Tao, which was written several years later and showed she'd forgotten all of these lessons and was back to spending recklessly and excessively and name-dropping brands. It's profoundly disappointing. Bitter also has a surprisingly high number of typos, which isn't Lancaster's fault, but you don't normally see this in a book from a big house like Penguin. I gave this a second star because I finished it, and she made me smile a couple times.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Vega

    some funny parts, but cynicism gets old and i start to wonder if the materialism and egoism that the book is supposedly satirizing seeps into my subconcious, and the heroine isnt progressive because an entire chapter is devoted to finding a plus size black wedding dress for her fat ass that she got while unemployed and depressed for 2 years, and because she decided to throw a wedding to raise money and proposed to her boyfriend while he was on the crapper because she was so excited to enact the some funny parts, but cynicism gets old and i start to wonder if the materialism and egoism that the book is supposedly satirizing seeps into my subconcious, and the heroine isnt progressive because an entire chapter is devoted to finding a plus size black wedding dress for her fat ass that she got while unemployed and depressed for 2 years, and because she decided to throw a wedding to raise money and proposed to her boyfriend while he was on the crapper because she was so excited to enact the brilliant business plan. Its a sob story of a corporate sorority cinderella, if she volunteered at a homeless shelter instead of an animal shelter and adopted two stray people, it would be a better story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I guess I should like this book because it is about a woman who lost her job and is torn between her old life of prada bags and her new life of taking the bus, but in the end I just didn't like her. She was witty and kept up with the interviews and resumes but I just thought she was ridiculous. I t was neat that the book was in Chicago and I knew where she lived and could understand when she talked about "trixies" but the book was just a long rant. She needed to vent to someone about all her tro I guess I should like this book because it is about a woman who lost her job and is torn between her old life of prada bags and her new life of taking the bus, but in the end I just didn't like her. She was witty and kept up with the interviews and resumes but I just thought she was ridiculous. I t was neat that the book was in Chicago and I knew where she lived and could understand when she talked about "trixies" but the book was just a long rant. She needed to vent to someone about all her troubles and she created a website to do this and the right people saw it and offered her a book deal. I'm not going to hate on her for that, i just wasn't that into the book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jensownzoo

    Really, this was a mesmerizing book. I couldn't put it down, despite wanting to save the bulk of it for the plane. The author makes no bones about who she is (e.g. she fits the subtitle perfectly) and you really hate her initially, but as her fortunes drop she goes through a transformation...now she still is a condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart-ass, but in a way that seems a lot less vicious and a lot more funny. I've read the second book as well and found it just as good, so am loo Really, this was a mesmerizing book. I couldn't put it down, despite wanting to save the bulk of it for the plane. The author makes no bones about who she is (e.g. she fits the subtitle perfectly) and you really hate her initially, but as her fortunes drop she goes through a transformation...now she still is a condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart-ass, but in a way that seems a lot less vicious and a lot more funny. I've read the second book as well and found it just as good, so am looking forward to reading the third...on the plane, darn it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    I so felt this book. I lost my job that I made really good money at a few days after 9-11 so I know what the times were like. Funny look at that time and being "on the dole" I so felt this book. I lost my job that I made really good money at a few days after 9-11 so I know what the times were like. Funny look at that time and being "on the dole"

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I never thought I'd read this; every time I heard or saw it mentioned I dismissed it as fluffy chick-lit lite, a la Candace Bushnell or Sophie Kinsella---not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not really my thing. Then a woman with whom I work and whose reading taste I respect read BITNB for her book club and pronounced it "pretty good". She brought her copy to me Wednesday night and when I got home Thursday morning I sat down on the sofa with my Klingon cat Poopie to read and snug I never thought I'd read this; every time I heard or saw it mentioned I dismissed it as fluffy chick-lit lite, a la Candace Bushnell or Sophie Kinsella---not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not really my thing. Then a woman with whom I work and whose reading taste I respect read BITNB for her book club and pronounced it "pretty good". She brought her copy to me Wednesday night and when I got home Thursday morning I sat down on the sofa with my Klingon cat Poopie to read and snuggle for a bit before I went to bed. I was hooked from the first page. This book is hilarious. I laughed so much at one point that my husband got mad at me because he couldn't hear the TV. I laughed until I cried. And yet, the tale that Jen Lancaster tells is poignant and scary and relevant. It amazes me that she kept her wicked sense of humor through such hard times. She's brutally frank with her self-analysis and the difficult lessons she learned and despite her description of herself as a "condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart-ass", I was really rooting for her. I'm absolutely delighted to make her acquaintance. Even if she is a bitch.

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