Even in turbulent times, we all need a bit of humor to widen our perspective and keep us laughing. Enjoy these eleven books of short essays that are sure to leave you in stitches!
The first title on the list is the fabulously off-beat collection of short stories by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. Coming in paperback on May 19th, these essays are written with all the scathing dark humor that is a hallmark of BoJack Horseman.
An engaged couple is forced to deal with interfering relatives dictating the appropriate number of ritual goat sacrifices for their wedding; a pair of lonely commuters ride the subway in silence, forever, eternally failing to make that longed-for contact; and fifteen more humorous tales feature the romance, whimsy, cultural commentary, and crushing emotional vulnerability that comes with the best and the worst of love.
“Transcendent tragicomedy. . . . Prepare to be devastated and made whole again.” —The A.V. Club
Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
“Stay-up-all-night, miss-your-subway-stop, spit-out-your-beverage funny.” —Jia Tolentino
Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with “tv executives slash amateur astrologers” while being a “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,” “with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,” who still hides past due bills under her pillow.
“Achieves the sensation of being hit by a hip, humorous train. . . . Breaks mold after mold in hilarious fashion.” —The New York Times
A laugh-so-hard-people-are-giving-you-weird-looks-on-the-train triumph! Over sixty contributing humorists weigh in with that special McSweeney’s brand of insanity. What can be done to stop the world’s relentless march of drabbery? Nothing. But perhaps this book can be used to dull the pain.
As John Hodgman says in the book’s introduction, “We all know that books are funny. First, they are made of paste and cloth, which is funny, as is the fact that people still buy and read them.” With that in mind, The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes collects the best book-related humor from the humor-laden archives of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Open it and be regaled by sketches, lists, letters, and spoofs.
“A smart, fun addition to any literary enthusiast’s artfully cluttered bedside table.” —Marie Claire
In these pages Fred Armisen offers help telling your dad you’re a lesbian; Mindy Kaling provides guidance on ending things with your mistress; and Rainn Wilson offers insight on contacting that girl you dreamed about last night. Enjoy this compendium of advice from an all-star cast of comedians, including stars of Saturday Night Live, The Office, The Colbert Report, and more!
“This is a funny and beautiful book. What a little bastard.” —Russell Brand
Joel Golby, whose wry observation and naked self-reflection has appeared in Vice and The Guardian, presents a blistering collection of new and newly expanded essays—including the achingly funny viral hit “Things You Only Know When Both Your Parents Are Dead.” In these pages, he travels to Saudi Arabia, where he acts as a perplexed bystander at a camel pageant; offers a survival guide for the modern dinner party (i.e. how to tactfully escape at the first sign of an adult board game); and gets pitted head-to-head, again and again, with an unpredictable, unpitying subspecies of Londoner: the landlord.
Smart, edgy, hilarious, and unabashedly raunchy, New York Times bestselling author Samantha Irby explodes onto the printed page in her uproarious first collection of essays.
Irby laughs her way through tragicomic mishaps, neuroses, and taboos as she struggles through adulthood: chin hairs, depression, bad sex, failed relationships, masturbation, taco feasts, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. Updated with her favorite Instagramable, couch-friendly recipes, this much-beloved romp is a treat for anyone in dire need of Irby’s infamous, scathing wit and poignant candor.
“Catchy, smart and very, very funny.” —The Washington Post
Meet the women of American Housewife. They wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies from the oven. These twelve delightfully demented stories are a refreshing and wicked answer to the question: “What do housewives do all day?”
“Writing like this can only be a positive experience for all concerned. . . . File Rakoff under ‘essayist, brilliant.’” —The New York Times
In this deeply smart and sneakily poignant collection of essays, the bestselling author of Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable makes an inspired case for always assuming the worst—because then you’ll never be disappointed. Whether he’s taking on pop culture phenomena with Oscar Wilde-worthy wit or dealing with personal tragedy, Rakoff’s sharp observations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the untapped power of negativity.
“Fabulous. . . . Masterly. . . . Dazzle[s] you. . . .with strings of perfect prose.” –Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World
Here is Nora Ephron at her funniest, wisest, and best, taking a hilarious look at the past and bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life. In these pages she takes us from her first job in the mailroom at Newsweek to the six stages of email, from memories of her parents’ whirlwind dinner parties to her own life now full of Senior Moments (or, as she calls them, Google Moments), from her greatest career flops to her most treasured joys. Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true, I Remember Nothing is a delightful, poignant gift from one of our finest writers.
A startlingly original debut from the actor, writer, director, and executive producer hailed as “a gifted observer of the human condition and a very funny writer capable of winning that rare thing: unselfconscious, insuppressible laughter” (The Washington Post).
Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.