Home > 2009-2010 books, Author of European descent, Biography/auto-biography/memoir, From: library, Library: Boston Public Library, Setting: The USA > 38. “Blonde Like Me: The Roots of the Blonde Myth in Our Culture,” Natalia Ilyin

38. “Blonde Like Me: The Roots of the Blonde Myth in Our Culture,” Natalia Ilyin

I’m currently reading “Inventory,” and so, in that spirit,

A List of Words that Occurred to me While Reading “The Blonde Myth”
-Smug
-Insufferable
-Annoying
-Pretentious
-Misleading
-Masturbatory

This book has nothing to do with the subtitle, it is a disconnected memoir supplemented with references to mythology. Which is fine, I guess, but not what it was advertised as. It’s a shame, because I found her blog and she seems like a perfectly nice human being. This, for example, is actually all really great advice for writers. (Though, cough, it seems like this book might have benefited from #11.) Someone on GoodReads suggested that it was satire, but isn’t an important feature of satire that it is legible as such?

Once I accepted the book for what it was, it bothered me less. Ilyin sounds like an interesting person but this book did nothing for me.

Page count: 192
Page total: 9,567
LOC call number: GT 6737 .I58 2000

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  1. March 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I cannot tell you what a relief it is to finally be labelled smug, insufferable, annoying, pretentious, misleading and masturbatory. After all the 11 years that this book has somehow stayed in print, you are obviously the first reader to uncover and expose its deep valuelessness. I am indebted to you for your candor, and look forward to returning the favor when your first book is printed.

  2. March 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I love the internet.

  3. Eli
    April 2, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Hi Ms. Ilyin! Thanks for living a comment. I’m sorry that I was the first person to ever say they didn’t like something you wrote, ever, in your entire life. That sounds like a pretty good run you had there. I hope you can be happier about all the criticism you haven’t received and all the people who liked your book than you are about the one person (apparently) who did not enjoy it. I also hope that you are able to focus on positive things that I myself said about you, right there in the very entry where I said this book didn’t work for me.

    Personally, I find it a lot easier to look at myself in the mirror in the morning when I try looking at things like that. But I guess that’s the sort of approach one learns when one has been told one sucks before– so perhaps it is a skill you never had to develop.

    Anyway, being a writer is hard, and reading criticisms about yourself harder. Sorry if it hurt your feelings that I didn’t like your book.

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