In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo

In Praise of Difficult Women

From Frida Kahlo and Elizabeth Taylor to Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, and Lena Dunham, this witty narrative explores what we can learn from the imperfect and extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world.Smart, sassy, and unapologetically feminine, this elegantly illustrated book is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history. Best-selling author Karen Karbo (The Gospel According to Coco Ch...

Details In Praise of Difficult Women

TitleIn Praise of Difficult Women
Release DateFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherNational Geographic Society
GenreNonfiction, History, Feminism, Womens, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews In Praise of Difficult Women

  • Isabella
    I got this arc from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, so thank u!I'm so disappointed in this. I'm giving one star for the research and another for the few good essays in the middle of it. But I just can't get on board with this book. It already opened with an essay about how J.K. Rowling is Oh So Feminist, even though she is an abuse apologist and a racist. Through it, we also have an essay praising that Lena woman from Girls, who was a...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Summary: An engaging, inspiring collection where I enjoyed learning about amazing modern women and was left wanting to learn more.This beautiful book, with its gorgeous cover, delightful illustrations, and scalloped pages, is an ode to women author Karen Karbo admires for being 'difficult'. She defines a difficult woman as someone who believes her own desires and aspirations matter and who doesn't let social expectations confine her. Something th...
  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    How fortuitous it is that I am reviewing this book for the first day of Women's History. There has been a slew of books for younger readers to introduce them to some really phenomenal women (and thank goodness for it!!!) but there seemingly not been a similar influx of books for adults. This book is a good fit for that deficit!Each chapter focuses on a different woman and they range from politicians to judges to athletes to women who broke just a...
  • Sara Cutaia
    WOMEN RULE! I loved these small glimpses into the lives and backstory of the powerful women we all know and love. This allowed us to know and love them a little bit more.
  • Diane
    In the introduction to Karen Karbo's In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules, the author states that "a difficult woman is a woman who insists on inhabiting the full range of her humanity." This book profiles 29 women in modern history who do just that.Each chapter profiles one woman, beginning with a single word to describe them ("Fiesty" for Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, "Indefatigable" for J...
  • Alisha Marie
    Sigh. I was so looking forward to reading In Praise of Difficult Women. Then, I took a look at the contents page, said "Typical..." and started to read. Look, there are some good things about In Praise of Difficult Women and some of it was well done. However, there was some glaring oversight.The Good: Some of the essays in In Praise of Difficult Women were really well-done. These essays just gave you a taste of what these women were like. Enough ...
  • Patty
    It’s a time of change for women right now. They are speaking out and being well, difficult in ways they haven’t been in quite a few years. Where it will all lead, who knows but it is certainly an exciting time to be reading about female icons.This isn’t a book about the conventional, exceptional women you might expect to find but rather women Ms. Karbo has found fascination. That is not to say that the profiles aren’t full of women who bu...
  • Betty
    I enjoyed this book even though I agree with some reviewers that the author heavily focused on white women. Where the hell is Rosa Parks? And I know it’s Karbo’s book but I’m truly shocked that Martha Graham and Louise Brooks were not included. Don’t even get me started on Edie Sedgwick. Why???
  • Victoria Gilbert
    Looking forward to this 😊
  • Bunny
    If you're going to be difficult, people are much less forgiving. If you insist on planting your flag in the sand for your politics or other beliefs - even if it's just a belief in yourself - be prepared to be called out the moment you evolve, rethink something, change your mind, contradict yourself, or just behave in an inexplicably human way. It's as if by flaunting expectations, we've also unwittingly agreed to be held to impossible standards.I...
  • SundayAtDusk
    Karen Karbo has composed short biographies of 29 women she believes didn't allow others to define for them how to live. These are her choices and any readers who don't like the women she chose can, of course, write their own books. That's the type of statement a "difficult" woman would make, and it can rightfully be said. I found many of the bios interesting, and only didn't finish reading a few that I found uncaptivating. My biggest problem with...
  • Morninglight Mama
    Whether I had previously known of the woman profiled or not, I was absolutely captivated by her profile in this fantastic collection. Sure, I was happy to see some specific familiar names, notably Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Amelia Earhart, and Josephine Baker, while others were introduced to me through this book. Yes, some of her inclusion choices could be questioned (Lena Dunham, I'm looking at you... I find you interesting but heroic, not so much...)...
  • Sarah Wise
    What a delightful book. Karbo highlights 29 women, reminding us that women don’t have to conform, demure, or even be likeable people. Being difficult is to advocate for oneself, to be true to oneself, good or bad. And that’s okay.This selection of women does a decent job of intersectionality, including women of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, sexuality, and even includes a trans woman as a reminder that you don’t have to be born a w...
  • Cathy Lamb
    This book was just flat out interesting. I loved reading about inspiring, strong women who often came from nothing, or hard childhoods, or hard experiences with men and life, and through grit and courage and a belief in themselves, fought their way up and out. They didn't sit home and try to please everyone. There are chapters on Coco Chanel (born into a poor house in France), Angela Merkel (father was a pastor, she moved to East Germany and wat...
  • Christie
    More of a 3.5 star book.I enjoyed most of this book for what it was: the author's guide to the difficult women who have influenced her, inspired her, or even just interested her throughout her life. I learned more about women that I already admire--I really enjoyed the chapters on Frida Kahlo and Carrie Fisher. I also learned about a few women I was not already familiar with. And I loved the illustrations at the beginning of every woman's chapter...
  • Laura Hoffman Brauman
    I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of profiles of 29 women who have been described as "difficult" at some point. For each one, she highlighted a particular trait, like feisty, notorious, persistent, etc. She didn't sugarcoat anything -- these women are portrayed with their strengths and their faults, but they all were unapologetically themselves. I loved the tone of this -- sassy and fun -- and all the profiles made me want to know more. I had ...
  • Morgan Braun
    I enjoyed learning about some women that I had never heard of before. Some of the commentary was a little political and I didn't enjoy that as much. the author's view of these women is very prominent throughout the book.
  • Andrew
    Lots of good stuff in here. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Josephine Baker and Frida Kahlo.I did think that the part in each chapter where the author tells us This Is Why This Woman Is “Difficult” was often unnecessary and contributed to the essays feeling somewhat formulaic.
  • Mindy
    Karen Karbo highlights 29 remarkable was very interesting. I learned new information on almost all of the women.
  • Kristen
    I’m buying a copy for all three of my daughters and every girlfriend I have
  • Erika
    Interesting info about some great ladies...skipped a few I don't have any interest in.