Book picks similar to
Mental: by Eddie Sarfaty
To Air is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitarist
Björn Türoque - 2006
The true story of how mildly successful guitarist and New York Times writer Dan Crane relinquished his instrument and became Björn Türoque (pronounced "b-yorn too-RAWK"), the second greatest air guitarist in the nation. This exploration of the international air guitar sub-culture addresses the issue of dedicating oneself to an invisible art in order to achieve the ultimate goal of "airness"-that is, when air guitar transcends the "real" art that it imitates and becomes an art form in and of itself.
The Memory Palace
Mira Bartok - 2011
It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira, her sister, and their mentally ill mother. Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful piano protégé Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped. When the girls left for college, the harassment escalated--Norma called them obsessively, appeared at their apartments or jobs, threatened to kill herself if they did not return home. After a traumatic encounter, Mira and her sister were left with no choice but to change their names and sever all contact with Norma in order to stay safe. But while Mira pursued her career as an artist--exploring the ancient romance of Florence, the eerie mysticism of northern Norway, and the raw desert of Israel--the haunting memories of her mother were never far away. Then one day, Mira’s life changed forever after a debilitating car accident. As she struggled to recover from a traumatic brain injury, she was confronted with a need to recontextualize her life--she had to relearn how to paint, read, and interact with the outside world. In her search for a way back to her lost self, Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where she believed her mother was living and discovered that Norma was dying. Mira and her sister traveled to Cleveland, where they shared an extraordinary reconciliation with their mother that none of them had thought possible. At the hospital, Mira discovered a set of keys that opened a storage unit Norma had been keeping for seventeen years. Filled with family photos, childhood toys, and ephemera from Norma’s life, the storage unit brought back a flood of previous memories that Mira had thought were lost to her forever. The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family. Through stunning prose and original art created by the author in tandem with the text, The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists--or is lost--between them.
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Tucker Max - 2006
I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world. from the IntroductionActual reader feedback: "I find it truly appalling that there are people in the world like you. You are a disgusting, vile, repulsive, repugnant, foul creature. Because of you, I don't believe in God anymore. No just God would allow someone like you to exist." "I'll stay with God as my lord, but you are my savior. I just finished reading your brilliant stories, and I laughed so hard I almost vomited. I want to bring that kind of joy to people. You're an artist of the highest order and a true humanitarian to boot. I'm in both shock and awe at how much I want to be you." Now with 16 Pages of Photos and a New Introduction
I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies)
Laurie Notaro - 2004
Now she’s ready to take on the thirtysomething years . . . and almost middle age has never been more hilarious.Laurie is married, mortgaged, and now—miraculously—employed in the corporate world, discovering that bosses come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of mental stability. After maxing out her last good credit card at Banana Republic, she’s dressed for success and ready to face the jungle: surviving feral, six-foot-plus Gretchen (“Three Thousand Faces of Eve”) before battling the overbearing, overstuffed (in way-too-small pants) new mom Suzzi, who ruthlessly cancels Laurie’s newspaper column and learns that payback can be a bitch. Laurie also explores the backstabbing world of preschoolers at a Halloween party, the X-rated madness of a family trip to Disneyland, and the pressure from her QVC-addicted mother and the rest of the world to reproduce. But while losing more friends to babies than to booze, she realizes there’s a plus side: at least for a couple of months she gets to be the thinner friend.I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies) is Laurie Notaro at her deliciously quirky best. Can a woman prone to what her loved ones might term “meltdowns” (she considers them “Opportunities to Enlighten”) put a smile on her face and love everybody? Take a guess.
Kimberly Rae Miller - 2013
Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that she spent her childhood hiding behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and of the emotional burden that ultimately led to an attempt to take her own life. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds. Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where we come from and the relationships that define us—and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves.
Possible Side Effects
Augusten Burroughs - 2006
From nicotine gum addiction to lesbian personal ads to incontinent dogs, Possible Side Effects mines Burroughs's life in a series of uproariously funny essays. These are stories that are uniquely Augusten, with all the over-the-top hilarity of Running with Scissors, the erudition of Dry, and the breadth of Magical Thinking. A collection that is universal in its appeal and unabashedly intimate, Possible Side Effects continues to explore that which is most personal, mirthful, disturbing, and cherished, with unmatched audacity. A cautionary tale in essay form. Be forewarned--hilarious, troubling, and shocking results might occur.
Don't Spend it All on Candy
Audrey Meier DeKam - 2013
The story captures the struggles of a family as it was pulled apart by poverty and alcohol, yet bound by witty—and sometimes ribald—humor.The cast of characters reads like fiction, but it is actually truth. There’s the father, the sarcastic, anti-government, alcoholic, and general ne’er-do-well. He moved his family from state to state, only to leave them again for years at a time in search of construction work. He’d return with empty pockets and bizarre interests such as ESP, pyramid power, and telekinesis. The mother, an Irish Catholic, stayed devoted to him.Her lack of education and access to transportation in a small town led to a dependence upon welfare.Two older sisters complete the picture, acting as sources of tension and strength throughout the book. And then there’s the narrator, the youngest—the snoop, the clown, and the observer.In the spirit of memoirs such as Blackbird and Angela’s Ashes, the narrative addresses serious issues while avoiding self-pity. Don’t Spend it All on Candy continuously comes back to the humor that sustained them while celebrating the tenacity that led all three daughters to break the cycle of poverty.
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life
Wade Rouse - 2009
Wade Rouse actually did it. Finally fed up with the frenzy of city life and a job he hates, Wade Rouse decided to make either the bravest decision of his life or the worst mistake since his botched Ogilvie home perm: to uproot his life and try, as Thoreau did some 160 years earlier, to "live a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions."In this rollicking and hilarious memoir, Wade and his partner, Gary, leave culture, cable, and consumerism behind and strike out for rural Michigan–a place with fewer people than in their former spinning class. There, Wade discovers the simple life isn’t so simple. Battling blizzards, bloodthirsty critters, and nosy neighbors equipped with night-vision goggles, Wade and his spirit, sanity, relationship, and Kenneth Cole pointy-toed boots are sorely tested with humorous and humiliating frequency. And though he never does learn where his well water actually comes from or how to survive without Kashi cereal, he does discover some things in the woods outside his knotty-pine cottage in Saugatuck, Michigan, that he always dreamed of but never imagined he’d find–happiness and a home.At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream is a sidesplitting and heartwarming look at taking a risk, fulfilling a dream, and finding a home–with very thick and very dark curtains.
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned
Alan Alda - 2005
Now Alan Alda has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances."My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six," begins Alda's irresistible story. The son of a popular actor and a loving but mentally ill mother, he spent his early childhood backstage in the erotic and comic world of burlesque and went on, after early struggles, to achieve extraordinary success in his profession.Yet Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not a memoir of show-business ups and downs. It is a moving and funny story of a boy growing into a man who then realizes he has only just begun to grow.It is the story of turning points in Alda's life, events that would make him what he is-if only he could survive them.From the moment as a boy when his dead dog is returned from the taxidermist's shop with a hideous expression on his face, and he learns that death can't be undone, to the decades-long effort to find compassion for the mother he lived with but never knew, to his acceptance of his father, both personally and professionally, Alda learns the hard way that change, uncertainty, and transformation are what life is made of, and true happiness is found in embracing them.Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, filled with curiosity about nature, good humor, and honesty, is the crowning achievement of an actor, author, and director, but surprisingly, it is the story of a life more filled with turbulence and laughter than any Alda has ever played on the stage or screen.
I Suck at Girls
Justin Halpern - 2012
Also, I don't have a girlfriend. Is there an article about that?'"Soon after Sh*t My Dad Says began to take off, comic writer Justin Halpern decided to propose to his then girlfriend. But before doing so, he asked his dad's advice, which was very, very simple (and surprisingly clean): "Just take a day to think about it." This book is that day. Crossing the warmth of The Wonder Years with the candour and observational humour of David Sedaris, this follow-up to the hottest comedy debut of last year is a hilarious, toe-curlingly true book about life, and love.
Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales
Ali Wentworth - 2012
Chelsea Handler, 1.5 oz. Nora Ephron, finish with a twist of Tina Fey, and you get Ali in Wonderland, the uproarious, revealing, and heartfelt memoir from acclaimed actress and comedian Ali Wentworth. Whether spilling secrets about her quintessentially WASPy upbringing (and her delicious rebellion against it), reminiscing about her Seinfeld “Schmoopie” days and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, or baring the details of starting a family alongside husband George Stephanopoulos, one thing is for sure—Ali has the unsurpassable humor and warmth of a born storyteller with a story to tell: the quirky, flavorful, surprising, and sometimes scandalous Ali in Wonderland.“Ali Wentworth is funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth.” —Alec Baldwin
Sophie Hayes - 2012
At first, it was a typical whirlwind romance. But one day Bledi told her that love always comes at a price ...Bledi tricked Sophie into travelling to Italy, where he forced her to sell her body to help him pay off a debt. Terrified and ashamed, Sophie worked the dangerous Italian streets without rest, seeing as many as 30 clients in a night. She was completely at Bledi′s mercy for food, clothes and shelter. And without money, friends or family, she was trapped.But Sophie found the strength to keep going, clinging to life by a single thread of hope: that somehow she′d find a way to escape.
My Point... And I Do Have One
Ellen DeGeneres - 1995
With the unpredictable wit and engaging warmth that has won her a loyal following, and the undeniable star quality that has made her television series an instant hit, Ellen DeGeneres brings her unique comic perspective to the page in a book of simple yet brilliant observations, outrageous dreams, and hilarious life stories.
Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery
Rhett McLaughlin - 2017
Today, their daily YouTube talk show, Good Mythical Morning, is the most-watched daily talk show on the Internet, and nearly 12 million subscribers tune in to see the guys broadcast brainy trivia, wild experiments, and hilarious banter (not to mention the occasional cereal bath). Now the award-winning comedians are finally bringing their “Mythical” world to the printed page in their first book.A hilarious blend of autobiography, trivia, and advice, Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery will offer twenty ways to add “Mythicality” to your life, including:Eat Something That Scares YouMake a Bold Hair ChoiceInvent Something RidiculousSay “I Love You” Like It's Never Been SaidSpeak at Your Own FuneralThe goal of these offbeat prompts? To learn new things, laugh more often, and earn a few grown-up merit badges along the way. Heartfelt and completely original, this book will be the perfect gift for anyone looking for a fresh dose of humor and fun.