Original Post.7.29.09

Since I am a woman of the people, I worry that those of you who are not into teenage vampire novels have been left without anything to read at North Avenue Beach this summer. Although I still cannot stress enought that you are missing out on that one, I found another gem for you to pick up while you work on your tan, this one containing more Prada and pearls than vampires.

Let’s just say I have a long history with this book. It was about 2.5 years ago when I first hopped on amazon.com and ordered Bitter is the New Black fully titled 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 (funny without even cracking it open, no?)by Chicago native Jen Lancaster, at the recommendation of a friend. I opened it and was immediately addicted, which ironically created a problem as it encountered another addiction of mine…I took the book everywhere. Normally I would listen to my iPod on the El (Or at least put it on with the sound off so no crazy crack heads talked to me), but tossed the Pod to the side in favor of reading my new fab novel on the train. Unfortunately these good times were short lived, as I often opted for happy hour after work. Walking into the bar, the book was tucked securely in my non-zipping (I know) purse. Walking out of the bar…who the hell knows what happened to it. I lost TWO (one, not two) copies of this book. Chances are one of you readers picked up my copy on the El, in a taxi or in my front lawn (and possibly a few of my cell phones as well) and have beat me to the punch. At the time, it just wasn’t mean to be.

Fast forward 2.5 years, a new purse with a zipper and add 4 months of no drinky….Which brings me to a few weeks ago, a seemingly like a good time to hop back on amazon.com again and get back into the book… Mostly because I couldn’t attend happy hour now without sobbing.

This cynibook is based on the life of Jen Lancaster, the author, a Chicago native who was living the good life as the Vice President of a dot com company in the early part of the decade. Jen and her boyfriend have a swanky Bucktown apartment, she spends her lesiure time at the salon, and at Neiman’s and Bloomingdales and isn’t afraid to tell anyone how it is (or how she sees it)…until she is laid off. The book is a cynical and hilarious look at her 2+ years of unemployment, with stories that many can relate to. It is a great look at how reality hits most at some point and the trials and tribulations of trading Fendi for Forever 21 and realizing that going from from the yuppie neighbor to the white trash neighbor can happen in the blink of an eye.

Chicago natives will love this because there are many references to Chicago bars, neighborhoods and landmarks. People who aren’t in Chicago will love this because of the sheer humor and cleverness of the writing.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. If you like this blog, it is definitely for you as some similar topics are covered and the humor is similar (except she is wayyyy funnier). Plus you can get it for $5.25 used on Amazon, so skip a half of a martini (I am just jealous) and get on it!

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Wh