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Publisher's Summary

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, In Praise of Difficult Women is an ode to the bold and charismatic women of modern history. Best-selling author Karen Karbo spotlights the spirited rule breakers who charted their way with little regard for expectations: Amelia Earhart, Helen Gurley Brown, Edie Sedgwick, Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, and Shonda Rhimes, among others. Their lives - imperfect, elegant, messy, glorious - provide inspiration and instruction for the new age of feminism we have entered. Karbo distills these lessons with wit and humor, examining the universal themes that connect us to each of these mesmerizing personalities today: success and style, love and authenticity, daring and courage. Being "difficult," Karbo reveals, might not make life easier, but it can make it more fulfilling-whatever that means for you.

©2018 Karen Karbo (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about In Praise of Difficult Women

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The epitome of white feminism

I wanted so much to like this but should have known better. The very first chapter is about JK Rowling, which turned me off immediately. I skipped that chapter and kept listening. After the author of the chapter about Amy Poehler made a negative comment about other girls who are more focused on fitting in than academics, I had to turn it off. I was hoping this book would highlight wonderful women from all backgrounds (including women of color!) but so far it seems like it’s just about the accomplishments of white women. Definitely don’t recommend and I wish I hadn’t used a credit on this.

12 people found this helpful

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loved learning so much about these women!

this book was quite lovely! I learnt a lot about those women - some were inspirational, and others were ground shaking :)

9 people found this helpful

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Fascinating!

I loved hearing all the little details of these “difficult” women. Highly recommend this book!

7 people found this helpful

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Loved it!!!

A great read if you like short stories about real people who have been successful and powerful. True inspiration

4 people found this helpful

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Good but not great

I was disappointed that there were not more women of color in this book. I did enjoy the writing and learned about people I had never heard of before.

3 people found this helpful

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Good introduction

This is a good intro into a few strong women throughout history, but I was surprised to see several notable women were left out. Of course there are too many to highlight in a single book, but when I think of difficult women, the firsts that come to mind are Nadya Tolokonnikova and Beyoncé.
I also would have liked to hear more stories about people who don't get much spotlight and more minority women. We all know about JK Rowling and how she wrote Harry Potter in a café (also this book must have been published before she revealed herself as a TERF, which is a level of "difficult woman" that I cannot stand with or pump my fists in feminist prayer to.) I enjoyed hearing the biographies, but I feel like there were too many famous white women and the chapters about the non-white women seemed short and lacking.
Overall it was a fun read (listen) while walking my dog and inspired me to dive deeper into the lives and stories of more women and people throughout history.

3 people found this helpful

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disappointing

I'm a feminist and was excited to read this, but I have to say I was pretty disappointed by the choices. I understand there are SO MANY wonderful women to choose from, but there were so many that were left out in favor of numerous writers and magazine editors - evidence of where the author's interested lie. No Madonna, Malala, williams sister, any female women's soccer team player (from either run of "difficulty"), no Eleanor Roosevelt, only two female politicians even. I kept hoping for it to get better, but it didn't :(

3 people found this helpful

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Do you

The women in this books would hate to think that women are trying to live their lives according to this book. The message is do you. End of story.

3 people found this helpful

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Gumption

I enjoyed listening to the stories behind each and every one of the 29 difficult to women. wish I had some of their gumption.

2 people found this helpful

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Very interesting

Very interesting book telling stories of many well & less known women from different backgrounds, professions, parts of the world. Very inspiring but also shows that all “difficult” women struggle in their lives.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jenny Cutler
  • 03-03-20

I enjoyed every single story.

Just can't get enough of amazing, difficult, tricky, outlandish women. So good to hear about women not conforming to being nice as pie and kind to everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Scott Halsey
  • 01-27-19

FABULOUS

Totally AWESOME!! easy to listen laugh enjoy! Loved it!.. Male or female will ENJOY! Thanks!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-23-22

lovely stories about lovely women

lovely stories about lovely women. Should be heard by all men or women alike

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  • Timo
  • 04-02-22

J.K. Rowling as a feminist role model??

An intersectional feminist myself, I was gobsmacked when the whole book opened with J. K. Rowling. Granted, this book was released in 2017 and her transphobic comments surfaced in 2020. Still, the opening was where it ended for me. Being difficult isn't admirable when it causes trauma on top of trauma for a marginalized group of people. Being vocal isn't a goal to me, in itself, but a voice should in my view be used wisely and without harm to people with less power. Didn't feel like listening to the rest, even though the introduction seemed to promise many interesting and educational stories.

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  • K. Sewell
  • 03-03-22

Interesting

I enjoyed this compilation of interesting woman’s lives. Some I could have done without, but most were inspirational. the reader raced through the narration, but I fixed this by turned the speed down one notch.

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  • aslingsby
  • 12-01-21

struggled to finish

struggled to finish this one. I think it was the tone of voice and the way everything was compared to the author.

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  • Chris
  • 06-21-19

In Praise of Difficult Woman

I enjoyed listening to this book. Although quite American in flavour , most of the woman portrayed are well known globally and it was an interesting tale

1 person found this helpful