2 out of 4 stars
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Brains, Boobs, and Balls by Charlie Fusco describes the author's experiences as a female entrepreneur, including her rough beginnings and all of the mistakes she made along the way. It was also released under the title A New Breed of Shark: Become a Fierce & Fearless Female Entrepreneur after her rather racy title prevented her book from being a New York Times Best Seller. Fusco herself is quite a sexual person, so in the interest of providing a complete view of her struggles, she has a very matter-of-fact approach to sexuality, and while I found this refreshing, more sensitive readers may want to steer clear.
The book centers around the three concepts outlined in the title: brains, boobs, and balls. Essentially, female entrepreneurs must have confidence in their intelligence, outward appearances, and potentially risky decisions. This is a remarkably effective metaphor for Fusco's personal journey, and I was quite pleased with how she built her narrative around these three elements. The book has a strong emphasis on her memoir, but it also includes business advice, and both components are tied together nicely without ever becoming difficult to follow.
While Fusco's advice is central, in my opinion, Brains, Boobs, and Balls is at its weakest during some of these portions. For example, Fusco describes the impact that overworking herself had on her children, as well as the positive impact that her children had on her life. This is much more powerful and inspiring than another section where she says all female entrepreneurs should have children, as this makes sweeping assumptions that just may not apply to some people. This is to say nothing of some of her more controversial advice; according to Fusco, "You should want to have orgasms all the time!" At the end of the day, people can choose to either accept or ignore anyone's advice. Taking her opinion to an extreme makes it seem like Fusco isn't respecting that.
In all other areas, though, Fusco's tone and writing style are both quite excellent. The fact that she's so honest about things many people wouldn't divulge is incredibly commendable. For instance, her mother, on her deathbed, says that her only regret was not having a proper wedding. Fusco reacts angrily, expecting an apology for how she was treated in her childhood. The way she describes this event feels incredibly personal and charged, and that style is critical to writing a good memoir. Emotional moments like these are balanced with humor, making the storytelling really engaging.
Unfortunately, the writing style is impeded by a lack of editing. There are mistakes like homonym mix-ups, missing letters, and missing words that could easily have been detected by an editor. Despite the author's expertise and refreshing writing style, due to the lack of editing and the fact that Fusco presents her opinions as facts, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. There's some valuable information here for female entrepreneurs, so if you fall into this category, it's worth checking out the book regardless. If you usually enjoy memoirs and don't mind the issues I've mentioned, this book is also for you.
Brains, Boobs, and Balls
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