Book Review: The Book of Jezebel by Anna Holmes

Book to Review: The Book of Jezebel by Anna Holmes, Kate Harding, + Amanda Hess
Stars: ★★★ (real rating: 3/5)
Source: c/o NetGalley

Synopsis: ”From, the popular website for women, comes a must-read encyclopedic guide to pop culture, feminism, fashion, sex, and much more.

With contributions from the writers and creatives who give the site its distinctive tone and broad influence, THE BOOK OF JEZEBEL is an encyclopedia of everything important to the modern woman. Running the gamut from Abzug, Bella and Baby-sitters Club, The to Xena, Yogurt, and Zits, and filled with entertaining sidebars and arresting images, this is a must-read for the modern woman.

Review: I know everyone has coffee table books, right? Those giant books that you only pull out when you have guests coming over so you look well-traveled, whimsical, modern, fashionable, etc.? They’re full of pretty pictures and light on the words. Well, this book is one of those types of books.

I learned a lot of fun facts in this book, mostly about historical feminists that I never heard of. (And before you start sighing at me, I took 2 women’s studies courses in college and loved them.) But also some more pop culture-ish factoids, and I’m going to share with you my favorites:

  • Did you know Mama Cass (of the Mamas and the Papas) did not actually choke to death? I’d heard that all my life since we all know she had a bit of a weight problem. Apparently she actually died of a heart attack.
  • Did you know that Amelia Earhart (you know, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic by herself) worked as an editor at Cosmopolitan and was a fashion designer? She also was a huge feminist and did not take her husband’s last name.
  • Did you know that Anna Wintour worked at Viva magazine (similar to Penthouse) AND, the real kicker here, reportedly DATED Bob Marley? Say what!

There are many more fun facts hidden in the pages of the Book of Jezebel, Overall though, I had mixed feelings about it because I read it all on a long car ride. This probably is not the normal type of reading for this type of book, and thus may have led me to rate it lower than say, someone who is a fanatical follower of the Jezebel blog. And also, isn’t Jezebel in some of kind of scandal right about now over some photos of Lena Dunham or something? Way to be timely, me.

Do you enjoy pop culture/feminist blogs like Jezebel? What do you think about a coffee table book from them?


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