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Lindy West's SH*T, ACTUALLY: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema

by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)

Omg. This book came at THE most perfect time for me. Both Jen and Ashley have talked about Lindy West's work on the podcast and in our bookish off-mic conversations, but I have never read one of her books.

Shit, Actually, has made me a forever fan. First, Lindy West is not afraid to tell it like it is. She doesn't care if she offends you (or me) or if you don't agree with her. And I. Am. Here. For. It.

In Shit, Actually, West delves into some of the most popular movies of the last 30 years. Back to the Future? Yes. Terminator 2? Yes. Love, Actually? Yes. The Rock? Yes. Twilight? Yes. And SO many more. She examines each movie's place in pop culture. She talks about what is great about the movie and what is problematic about the movie...and everything in between.

If you listen to the pod, you know that both Jen and I LOVE movies and all things pop culture. If you missed our episode from last year, Episode 104: Debate--What Makes a Holiday Movie, you may want to check it out. (Seriously, check it out immediately.) In Episode 104, Jen and I (with Ashley as referee) debate Love, Actually. One of the reasons I love West's book is that I am fairly certain she would side with me in the Love, Actually debate. Hence the title of West's book, Shit, Actually. (I am secretly (or not so secretly) gloating about--sorry (not sorry), Jen.)

What can you expect from Shit, Actually? A chapter devoted to each movie. All the movies are blockbusters that you (if you are a movie person) have heard of. West offers her own commentary on the movie with witty recaps and realizations. What I love about West's commentary is that she will talk about a movie and call it out for all the things...misogyny, classism, absurdity, etc. And then, at the end still be like, "I love it." No apologies.

In conclusion, all I can say is that I really loved this book. West is smart, funny, and insightful, and I love a book that tackles pop culture with a lot of love, but plenty of side eye. If you can, listen to the audiobook. (That is what I did. Thank you #partner) Lindy reads the audiobook, and it is truly spectacular. Shit, Actually is an excellent choice for movie buffs, pop culture fanatics, and/or people who just like to laugh and not take themselves (or the things they watch) too seriously.

Note: This book does have some spicy language, so if that is not your thing, you may want to skip it.

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