Review by Kylie Thompson
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Comedy, Self-help
Publisher: Penguin Random House
When it comes to Australian style icons, it’s hard to find better than Lee Lin Chin, the incomparable newsreading goddess of SBS. She’s quirky, she’s a trendsetter, and she takes no shit from anyone. Let’s be honest: Lee Lin Chin is the woman many of us secretly wish we could be. Brash, bold, and beautiful while being utterly and completely herself, she’s become not just a style icon, but the sort of badass role model a girl can’t help but love.
For a while now, enthusiastic disciples have stopped her on the street, asked her how to live a more authentically Chinspirational life. Now the cheque has cleared, our favourite current affairs queen has thrown her (utterly stylish) hat into the authorial ring with a guide to life perfect for anyone with a sense of humour creeping towards the wicked end of the spectrum.
Equal parts sarcastic, scathing, and seriously, seriously wonderful, this is the sort of life advice we all need: a stern verbal kick up the ass to reclaim our power, and take over the world. Kinda. Well, more like fight to be second in command under our illustrious Prime Chinister, unless you want to get a gloriously unique shoe wedged somewhere you’d probably not enjoy.
This isn’t your typical dose of life advice, full of well-meaning fluff and frippery. Lee Lin Chin is not an earth mother welcoming you to her bosom with open arms, so much as an avenging war goddess out to smack the smug and stupid right out of you, and possibly even get you laid. If you’re looking for another painfully earnest ode to kale and yoga, this really isn’t the book you’re looking for. But if you like your humour with a sneaky dash of useful life advice (thrown in more for amusement’s sake than helpfulness), then this needs to hit the top of your TBR pile.
It’s genuinely hard not to blather incessantly about the wonderfulness of this guide to life. It doesn’t take itself at all seriously, which is perfect in a market overflowing with well-meaning den mothers out to rip the sugar right out of your coffee. If there’s an issue with the self-help genre, it’s the overabundance of the humblebrag- a complicated textual dance where the author tries to position themselves as an authority and success story, boasting about their achievements while still trying to position themselves as just another regular Joe or Jane. Nobody special, but special enough to change your life.
Lee Lin Chin does not do humble. From the second you read the bios, it’s clear that she isn’t going to suffer through the dance of claiming authority without appearing better than those she speaks to. She’s fully aware she’s better, gleefully announces her superiority and makes a point of showcasing it as often as possible just in case you were trying to forget it. It takes a certain kind of person to pull off that persona without irritating readers.
And look, yes, there’s a secondary author, Chris Leben, but we’re contractually obligated not to mention him for the most part. This is Lee Lin Chin’s world, after all.
‘Iced Beer and Other Tantalising Tips for Life’ is the sort of book to keep on hand for a bad day, the sort that can’t help but leave you sniggering into your coffee (or beer). If you’re looking for some laughter in your otherwise dreary mortal existence, this might well do the trick.
‘Iced Beer and Other Tantalising Tips for Life’ is published through Penguin Random House, and is available at only the best and most discerning of retailers.