Posted by: montclairlibrary | October 12, 2017

When you need a laugh

Funny books, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

“Funny or Die” writer Nate Dern will be at the Montclair branch next Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7pm to present his new book, Not Quite a Genius (817.6 DERN), which features absurdist essays like an archaeologist’s exploration into a suburban man cave and an angry missive from Leif Erikson to Christopher Columbus.

Here’s a baker’s dozen of humorous essay collections and memoirs almost guaranteed to brighten your day and make fellow BART passengers edge away suspiciously when you laugh out loud:

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (814.54 SEDARIS) – Although you could make a case for Twain or Thurber, Sedaris pretty much invented the modern self-deprecating, humorously navel-gazing essay. In this book, he describes his life as an American in Paris, his struggle to learn French, his family, restaurant meals and more.

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley (814.6 CROSLEY) – A humorous look at human fallibility and the vagaries of modern urban life, detailing such offbeat situations as despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum, provoking a boss and siccing the cops on a mysterious neighbor.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (818.602 KALING) – Kaling shares her observations, fears and opinions about topics ranging from her favorite types of guys to life in the “The Office” writers’ room.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (BIO RAE) – A collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself ā€”- natural hair and all.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (792.7028 POEHLER) – Poehler offers personal stories and her humorous take on such topics as love, friendship and parenthood.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments by David Foster Wallace (814.54 WALLACE) – A collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch.

Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell (081 VOWELL) (not at Montclair) – From another humorous memoir veteran, Vowell’s collection of autobiographical stories describes her life, from her childhood among devout Christians to her present incarnation as a radio host.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (070.92 LAWSON) – In an illustrated memoir, blogger Lawson shares humorous stories from her life, including her awkward upbringing in Texas and her relationship with her husband.

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian by W. Kamau Bell (792.7602 BELL) – A humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling issues from race relations to fatherhood.

Bossypants by Tina Fey (792.7028 FEY) – From her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live to her life as a mother eating things off the floor, Fey reveals all, and proves that you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee (814.6 BEE) (not at Montclair) – Bee delivers hilarious essays on everything from her parents’ views on religion to her pre-“Daily Show” stint as a Japanese anime character.

My Heart is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart (818.602 ROTHBART)ā€‹ – The author describes his frequent failings at love, his many cross-country sojourns and the outrageous schemes he concocts.


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