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Comedic Memoirs

Linda Stevens
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Comedic memoirs

Linda Stevens from Harris County Public Library recommends comedic memoirs. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons by Overduebook)

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

I have always been something of a comedy nerd. I enthusiastically enjoy well-crafted comedic writing and can’t get enough of TV comedies. I have never seen one episode of The Bachelor, but I’ve watched every episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 30 Rock, and Bob’s Burgers more than once.

This carries over to one portion of my reading habits. I was driving along the other day, cackling to H. Jon Benjamin reading his audiobook, Failure is an Option, and it made me think about how many comedic memoirs I’ve enjoyed through the years. So, if you think Tina Fey’s Bossypants is a classic, pick up any new book by David Sedaris, or recommended Born a Crime by Trevor Noah to everyone you know, this list has a few for you to try.

Everyone’s heard of the hilarious Tiffany Haddish, but did you know she wrote a book called The Last Black Unicorn? It’s a collection of essays describing her bumpy road to success, starting with her heart-wrenching years as a misfit in foster care in South Central Los Angeles, and brings the reader along for the discovery of her comedic talent and success. It’s funny and inspiring.

If you’ve ever asked anyone if they prefer “Cake or death?” you should have already read Eddie Izzard’s memoir, Believe Me. (His stand up fans will understand.) Eddie Izzard even makes footnotes funny. Footnotes!

Scaachi Koul isn’t a stand-up comedian, but her debut book, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, is witty and insightful. She explores many issues that affect women in the modern world, but always with sharp humor. Everyone’s family is hilarious in their own way and I always enjoy reading about someone else’s familial quirks.

The last one on my list (I edited it way down!) is one of my all-time favorites. Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx shares his memories of growing up poor in New York City with his famous brothers, and follows his observations of their path to success and life with famous friends in Hollywood and New York. It’s riotously funny and unexpectedly sweet. Even funnier than Groucho, I think.

Of course, humor is highly subjective and these authors appeal to my sense of humor. Any comedic memoirs you’d recommend?

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