Book Review: Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead

Posted May 11, 2012 by in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lizz Free or Die by Lizz WinsteadLizz Free or Die: Essays by Lizz Winstead
Published by Riverhead Books on May 10, 2012
Genres: Comedy, Essays, Memoir, Nonfiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher

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This is a book of essays about life. My life.

It's not a memoir, per se, as I decided to write about some specific moments that will give you some insight into the people, places, and experiences that propelled me forward. (With a few steps back in the process.) I think of these pieces as "messays," because they are a collection of stories that put my somewhat complicated life into perspective--or at least a kind of perspective.

(from the book)

Lizz Winstead is co-creator and former head writer of The Daily Show, one of the founders of Air America Radio, and a performer and stand-up comedian who frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN, and Comedy Central. In Lizz Free or Die, Lizz begins by writing about growing up in a Catholic family in Minnesota, and how she frequently exasperated her mother by being one of those inquisitive kids who questions everything, especially the lessons she was being taught by the Catholic Church. Even at the age of eight, Lizz knew that she didn’t have the “mommy gene” and she didn’t enjoy playing house or playing with dolls like her friends did; she had more fun teaching herself gymnastics and doing things that she was told were unlady-like.

After reading just the first two essays in Lizz Free or Die, I realized that Lizz Winstead is my political, no-mommy-gene, unlady soul mate.

The rest of the essays in the book go on to tell about her teenage years, her time in college, and the people and circumstances in her life that led her to becoming a progressive political activist who uses comedy to shine a light on the political and social injustices in our country, as well as the ridiculousness that goes on in the mainstream media.

To say that Lizz Free or Die is funny would be an understatement. This book is hilarious. Lizz Winstead is a comedic genius who had me laughing from beginning to end; even the essays about the loss of her parents had me laughing through the teary-eyed sadness of their deaths. Lizz has been through some of the craziest, funniest circumstances I have ever read about, and she has some of the most amazing colleagues and friends. And let me tell you: I have had some crazy pets in my life who have needed some weird medical care, but my pet experiences have been what now seem normal and mundane compared to what Lizz has gone through with her dogs. Buddy and Edie are one of a kind, each in their own quirky and hilarious ways.

Lizz Winstead is one of my favorite comedic political/social commentators, and I really enjoyed reading about the road(s) to her success(es). As a huge fan of The Daily Show, the behind-the-scenes look at its inception and development was also really cool. If you’re a fan of the The Daily Show, if you lean to the left on the political spectrum, and if you love to laugh, I highly recommend Lizz Free or Die.

Oh, and check out the infomercial for Lizz Free or Die… hilarity abounds: