Reviews

Body Work, by Melissa Febos

dpith004's review

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funny informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

4.25

jackieeh's review

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5.0

I’m pretty sure this book changed my life a little, and the intent behind my writing a lot.

bites_of_books's review

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informative inspiring reflective fast-paced

5.0

 This collection of essays is quite wonderful because it validates the idea of writing memoir. Memoir is a genre that is often overlooked as something that is not as valid or worthy as other types of writing. Febos explains how writing a memoir is work that can help a writer process trauma, revisit memories, analyze relationships, and otherwise, fully understand their true self. Writing memoir can be a very spiritual and therapeutic process and, even if it is never published, it is highly valuable for anyone looking to look back on their life and learn more about themselves.

I think that this is a collection of essays that would help any reader of memoirs understand a bit more the process that the writer might have gone through as they wrote about their life. Also, if the reader has ever had an inkling of writing about their own life, this book provides some great advice and guidance. Memoir is a wonderful genre and one that I've grown to love in the past few years. Looking forward to reading more of it (and maybe writing as well). 

jsnow's review

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5.0

Thank you to NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for the advanced audio ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"Every single thing I have created worth a damn has been a practice of love, healing and redemption. I know this process to be divine."

Wow. I wasn’t familiar with Febos’ work, but after reading Body Work I am looking forward to reading her memoir Whip Smart. Her voice is clear, smart, and unapologetic. In Body Work, she drew from her lifetime of experience as a writer, academic, sex worker, recovered addict, queer person, and (above all else) a woman, to talk about how our experiences shape us and give us a voice. The book is organized as a collection of essays where she gives clear pieces of practical advice about how to write about ourselves or others with examples from her own work and that of other writers she respects. She attacks those who try and restrict the way artists create (see: her view on “unrules”), and empowers the reader to block external voices and their inner critics in order to tell their stories authentically.

I work in a creative profession and I am a feminist but I am not a writer. I listened to this as an audiobook. The author's narration of her book was great, but the book was somewhat advanced at times and I think I would have been able to process it better if I had read it in print or e-book format. It would likely be more digestible in an audio format for professional writers. But I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless, and was moved by it. I listened to the last section multiple times because it was so beautiful and I wasn't ready for it to end. And it even included a lyric from one of my very favorite songs - what a treat.

kelsfar's review

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced

3.5

johnron's review

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challenging emotional informative inspiring mysterious reflective medium-paced

5.0

One of the best books on writing personal narratives I’ve ever read. Period. 

natalietan's review

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informative reflective fast-paced

4.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

lesbrarycard's review

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fast-paced

5.0

bibliocyclist's review

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4.0

There is no way for us to measure our representation of someone against their own self-conception.

A writer makes it her business to look.

ashleyparamo's review

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2.0

Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I wanted to like this book. The cover immediately grabbed my attention and i devoured the book in just a few hours. Sadly, I was disappointed. While, it had some really good insights at the beginning, it often read like an academic text, which made it hard to understand at times. But then it just got boring. She tells us from the beginning that this is not a guide or manual. She lets us know upfront that this is simply a book about how personal narrative has helped her. So I'm not shocked that there wasn't much for me in the book. Still, with a title like that, I couldn't help but hope that the author would connect her experiences to the reader's own journey toward personal narrative. This book, to be fair, was exactly what she said it would be: all about her. Unfortunately, though, it didn't make for an interesting read.