In Praise of Difficult Women
Book Reviews

Book Review: In Praise of Difficult Women

March 7, 2018

I not only learned new things about 29 influential women, I also discovered new heroes after reading In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo.

It was an inspirational read, just in time for Women’s History Month!

The way Karbo writes these 29 short stories is phenomenal. She writes it from her POV, with credible sources and quotes, of course, but I found myself re-reading some parts because I couldn’t tell if I was still reading Shonda Rhimes’ story or Karen’s.

I also admire Karbo for using the word “difficult.” That’s usually a word we associate with people we don’t want to deal with. But, who wouldn’t want to deal with these women?

Hillary Clinton, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Taylor, Coco Chanel…

Confession: I didn’t know of more than a few of these women, so it was exciting for me to learn about new women who made waves in history.

These stories shed light on the messy moments in the lives of these women, from the 3rd divorce to running a Saturday Night Live show while in labor. It reminds us that they’re still human and you don’t get to be a difficult woman without a few bumps in the road.

Along with good stories, new learnings and beautiful illustrations of each female highlighted, there was also a lesson to be learned with each story.

This read is one of my favorites by far this year, and I’m excited to borrow it to my girlfriends. It would also make a great coffee table book for those who don’t want to devour it all in one sitting.


Being “difficult,” Karbo reveals, might not make life easier. But it can make it more fulfilling–whatever that means for you.


Pick up your copy:

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About The Author

KAREN KARBO is the author of multiple award-winning novels, memoirs and works of nonfiction. Her best-selling “Kick-Ass Women” series includes The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman, which was an international bestseller. Karbo’s short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, the New York Times, Salon, and other publications. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award. Karbo lives in Portland, Oregon, where she continues to kick ass.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

I received this copy from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

  1. Reply

    Heather J @ TLC Book Tours

    March 9, 2018

    I can see why this book is becoming a new favorite for so many readers – I’m really excited to read it myself!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Reply

    Sabrina Sheldon

    March 17, 2018

    I cannot WAIT to read this!

  3. Reply

    Katie @ Doing Dewey

    March 17, 2018

    I liked how the author reclaimed the word ‘difficult’ too and how she wasn’t afraid to show these women had flaws, but were still extremely admirable.


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