Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten Favorite Books By Comedians (and Comedy Writers)

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

When I saw today's Top Ten Tuesday topic - "Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books of X Genre" - I was thrown for a bit of a loop. My first inclinations sent me towards the kinds of genres I've been reading all summer, like "high fantasy" or "comic books," but both of those categories are way too broad in scope to summarize in just one list!

It was only after I saw a recommendation to think about sub-genres that I knew what I wanted to do... because if there's anything I love, it's funny people! Even, perhaps, when they're not being quite so funny. Here are my Top Ten Favorite Books By Comedians (and Comedy Writers!).

Amy Poehler - Yes Please
We already know to expect everything from zany antics to straight-shot zingers from this effervescent blond SNL alum, but this semi-memoir, semi-collection of essays from Tina Fey's comedy wife still managed to catch me off guard.

Steve Martin - Born Standing Up and An Object of Beauty
To be honest, one of my favorite things about comedians, is they know that there's more to life than laughing. The memoir Born Standing Up provides a little levity from Martin's past - like his time spent working in Disneyland to doing gigs on the road - but also includes the shadows that make the brightness of his humor so vibrant. On the other hand, the fictional novel An Object of Beauty illustrates a young New York unrequited romance, oriented around one of his non-comedy passions, curating and collecting fine art!

Mindy Kaling - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Why Not Me? 
While the titles of her books might make it sound like Kaling gets a little left out, that couldn't be less true: this television darling fills her memoirs with accounts of a life lived surrounded by plenty of friends, many of whom she has found along her comedy journey! Including this next author...

BJ Novak - One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
This Office alum and television writer wunderkind saves some of his best work for this hilarious short story collection. All of them will make you laugh... but some will also make you think, and that's what really matters.

Bo Burnham - Egghead
Straight from one of my sister's first serious celebrity crushes, this collection of poetry matches Shel Silverstein rhyme schemes with the same kind of humor that made What. and Make Happy such smash hits on the standup scene.

Sloane Crosley - I Was Told There'd Be Cake
This journalist junkie may never have explicitly set out to become a comedy writer, but with this collection of essays, she was catapulted into the comedy market, especially because her second collection - How Did You Get This Number - is rumored to be just as funny as her first. And if you've already read both of those, then don't worry! She's done pieces in The New York Times, The Village Voice, GQ, Elle, NPR... 

Kelly Oxford - Everything's Perfect When You're a Liar
This serial blogger and truly prolific tweeter originally found fame in the big blue Twittersphere, but her humor is even more funny when stretched beyond 140 characters, something easily apparent in this 2013 bestseller.

SNL Cast, Crew, and More - Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live
James A. Miller and Tom Shales edited together this compilation of stories from behind the scenes of one of television's most enduring and loved comedy juggernauts. Including everything from drug use, to terrible hosts, and cross-cast personal vendettas, across the show's extensive history, this kind of work really needs no introduction.

What's in YOUR Top Ten? Let me know, in the comments below!


  1. Some fantastic reads here, and some I haven't read yet. Great list. ^_^

  2. I so love comedy and I don't really read that much specifically aimed at it?!? So I definitely will be taking notes of your list! I really want to read the Mindy Kaling one because I see it EVERYWHERE and I'm intrigued by the I Was Told There'd Be Cake because that sounds like my kind of book. XD YAY CAKE!!
    Here's my TTT!

  3. Lots of great ones!! I love reading books firm comedians - especially the women. Loved Mindy Kaling books and Amy Poehler's. I want to read BJ Novaks. Great list!!

  4. Great Top Ten! :D Wow, I STILL need to read both Yes Please, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I don't know why it's taking me so long! ;| My Top Ten Tuesday!