Best Selling Books in Humor - Essays

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release date: May 30, 2017
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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)
One of the most anticipated books of 2017: Boston Globe, New York Times Book Review, New York's "Vulture", The Week, Bustle, BookRiot

An NPR Best Book of 2017
An AV Club Favorite Book of 2017
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017
A Goodreads Choice Awards nominee

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can't fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It's a potent reminder that when you're as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there's no such thing as a boring day.
release date: Nov 15, 2016
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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York TimesNewsdayEsquire • NPR • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”Parade

 “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People

“[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”Booklist (starred review)

“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”Kirkus Reviews
release date: Sep 05, 2017
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Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions
Forgive him, Father, for Stephen Colbert has sinned. He knew it was wrong at the time. But he went ahead and did it anyway. Now he’s begging for forgiveness. Based on his popular segment from The Late Show, Stephen Colbert and his team of writers now reveal his most shameful secrets to millions (although, actually, he’d like you not to tell anyone). Midnight Confessions is an illustrated collection of Stephen Colbert at his most brilliant and irreverent.
release date: Oct 24, 2017
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The Great Gasbag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World

One of our most beloved comedians, the brilliantly witty and outspoken star of The View, hits the most unpopular President ever elected where it hurts—and makes us laugh and cheer—in this hilarious alphabetical guide to everything that’s wrong with the "Orange One," Donald Trump.

Put down the knife, lock away the gun, lay aside the noose, Joy Behar is here to save you from suicide as she hot walks you through the next four years (two if we are lucky, less if liberal dreams come true). Besides despair, the sane response to the insanity in the White House is laughter. On her hit ABC daytime show The View, Joy has been blunt in her condemnation of the comb over-in-chief, and her words have electrified and inspired millions in the resistance for whom #notmypresident has become a rallying cry.

The Great Gasbag is Joy’s answer to the hell that is the Trump Orange House. Structured as an A-Z guide (G is for Gold . . . en shower; P is for Pence and pussy-grabbing; T is for Tweets; Twits, and Twats, etc.), Joy, joined by New York Times bestselling humor author Larry Amoros, offers much-needed doses of levity and humor for everyone determined to #resist. With a major network television profile and a social media audience in the millions, this fearlessly confident star has a powerful platform to entertain Americans of all stripes—from Never Trumpers to fired-up progressives—as she takes on the worst president since . . . well, since ever.

release date: Dec 05, 2017
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The Last Black Unicorn
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.

Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.

None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.

Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.

By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
release date: Jul 19, 2016
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It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New York Times bestselling author Shane Dawson returns with another highly entertaining and uproariously funny essay collection, chronicling a mix of real life moments both extraordinary and mortifying, yet always full of heart.

Shane Dawson shared some of his best and worst experiences in I Hate Myselfie, the critically acclaimed book that secured his place as a gifted humorist and keen observer of millennial culture. Fans felt as though they knew him after devouring the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal bestseller. They were right… almost.

In this new collection of original personal essays, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a no-holds-barred look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cult-like Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashes with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself.

This is Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Running With Scissors for the millennial generation: an inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation-turned one of the freshest new voices out there.
release date: Dec 05, 2017
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Should the Tent Be Burning Like That?: A Professional Amateur’s Guide to the Outdoors
For more than twenty years, Bill Heavey―a three-time National Magazine Award finalist―has staked a claim as one of America’s best writers. In feature stories and his Field & Stream column A Sportsman’s Life, as well as other publications, he has taken readers across the country and beyond to experience his triumphs and failures as a suburban dad who happens to love hunting and fishing.

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? gathers together a wide range of Heavey’s best work. He nearly drowns attempting to fish the pond inside the cloverleaf off an Interstate Highway four miles from the White House. He rents and crashes a forty-four-foot houseboat on a river in Florida. On a manic weeklong deer archery hunt in Ohio, he finds it necessary to practice by shooting arrows into his motel room’s phonebook (the blunt penetrates all the way to page 358, "KITCHEN CABINET―REFACING & REFINISHING"). Accompanying a shaggy steelhead fanatic―Mikey, who has no job or fixed address but owns four boats―on a thousand-mile odyssey up and down the California coast in search of fishable water, he comes to see Mikey as a purer soul than almost anyone he has ever met.

Whatever the subject, Heavey’s tales are odes to the notion that enthusiasm is more important than skill, and a testament to the enduring power of the natural world. Whether he’s hunting mule deer in Montana, draining cash on an overpriced pistol, or ruminating on the joys and agonies of outdoor gear, Heavey always entertains and enlightens with honesty and wit.

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release date: Nov 07, 2017
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Girl Logic: The Genius and the Absurdity
From breakout stand-up comedian Iliza Shlesinger comes a subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman's approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.

"Girl Logic" is Iliza's term for the way women obsess over details and situations that men don't necessarily even notice. She describes is as a characteristically female way of thinking that appears to be contradictory and circuitous but is actually a complicated and highly evolved way of looking at the world. When confronted with critical decisions about dating, sex, work, even getting dressed in the morning, Iliza argues that women will by nature consider every repercussion of every option before making a move toward what they really want. And that kind of holistic thinking can actually give women an advantage in what is still a male world.

In Iliza's own words: "Understanding Girl Logic is a way of embracing both our aspirations and our contradictions. GL is the desire to be strong and vulnerable. It's wanting to be curvy, but rail thin at the same time. It's striving to kick ass in a man's world while still being loved by the women around you.

"This book is also for me, because apparently expounding on a stage for two hours a night wasn't enough. (Trust me, if I could start a cult I would, but I hate the idea of deliberately dying in a group.)"
release date: Mar 10, 2015
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I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays by Shane Dawson
New York Times Bestseller● Publishers Weekly Bestseller ● Los Angeles Times Bestseller ● Wall Street Journal Bestseller

From his first vlog back in 2008 to his full-length film directorial debut Not Cool, Shane Dawson has been an open book when it comes to documenting his life. But behind the music video spoofs, TMI love life details, and outrageous commentary on everything the celebrity and Internet world has the nerve to dish out is a guy who grew up in a financially challenged but loving home in Long Beach, California, and who suffered all the teasing and social limitations that arise when you’re a morbidly obese kid with a pretty face, your mom is your best friend, and you can't get a date to save your life.

In I Hate Myselfie, Shane steps away from his larger-than-life Internet persona and takes us deep into the experiences of an eccentric and introverted kid, who by observing the strange world around him developed a talent that would inspire millions of fans. Intelligent, hilarious, heartbreaking, and raw, I Hate Myselfie is a collection of eighteen personal essays about how messy life can get when you’re growing up and how rewarding it can feel when the clean-up is (pretty much) done.
release date: Oct 24, 2017
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Everything Is Awful: And Other Observations
From the break-out star of BuzzFeed and the People’s Choice Award-winning comedian behind the web series “Whine About It” and “To Be Honest” comes a collection of hilariously anguished essays chronicling awful moments from his life so far, the humiliations of being an adult, and other little indignities.

Matt Bellassai has no idea what he’s doing. Well, to be fair, he did become semi-Internet famous by getting drunk at work, making him a socially-acceptable—nay—professional alcoholic. He’s got some things figured out. But the rest is all just a terrible, disgusting mess.

This is Matt’s book. Just to clarify, though, it is absolutely not a memoir; Matt is far too young to have done anything worth remembering (though he did win an actual People’s Choice Award for his BuzzFeed web series, “Whine About It,” which is pretty good, if you ask his mother). This is also most certainly not a book of advice; he is too woefully ill-prepared for life to offer anything in the way of counsel (though that won’t stop him from talking). Call this a collection of awful moments that led to his grumbling, blundering adulthood—a chronicle of little indignities that, when taken together, amount to a life of hilarious anguish.

With keen wit and plenty of self-deprecation, Matt reveals how hard it is to shed his past as the Midwest’s biggest nerd, that one time a taquito nearly murdered him at his brother’s surprise birthday party, and the time he came out to his friends and family (the closet was a bit messy). Matt also wrestles with the humiliations of adulthood, like giving up on love in New York City, living alone with no one to heat his microwave dinners, and combating the inner voice that tells him to say aloud all the things the rest of us are smart enough to keep to ourselves.

You probably don’t need this book, but let’s be honest—you do. Since you’re already reading, you might as well pull up a chair, grab your glass(es) of wine, and enjoy.
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