You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas


Augusten Burroughs - 2009
    With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.You better not cry --And two eyes made out of coal --Claus and effect --Ask again later --Why do you reward me thus --The best and only everything --Silent night

Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges


Jen Mann - 2012
    On Mann’s naughty list: mothers who go way overboard with their Elf on the Shelf, overzealous carolers who can’t take a hint, and people who write their Christmas cards in the third person (“Joyce is enjoying Bunko. Yeah, Joyce, we know you wrote this letter.”). And on her nice list . . . well, she’s working on that one. Here, no celebration is off-limits. The essays include:• You Can Keep Your Cookies, I’m Just Here for the Booze• Nice Halloween Costume. Was Skank Sold Out?• Why You Won’t Be Invited to Our Chinese New Year PartyFrom hosting an ill-fated Chinese New Year party, to receiving horrible gifts from her husband on Mother’s Day, to reluctantly telling her son the truth about the Easter Bunny, Mann knows the challenge of navigating the holidays while keeping her sanity intact. And even if she can’t get out of attending another Christmas cookie exchange, at least she can try again next year.Praise for Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat “Mann’s writing has transcended from witty anecdotes and complaints to notable satire. Hidden among the many laugh-out-loud zingers are lessons on how we relate to each other, and how ridiculous parenting culture has become.”—Associated Press “Following the success of her first book, she is now punching throats at holidays, starting from her being age two and continuing to the present, where she is a harried mother bemoaning not just Christmas but all holidays. . . . Harried holiday haters will chuckle and perhaps see themselves somewhere in Mann’s lifetime dislike of and misbehavior during America’s increasingly commercialized celebrations.”—Booklist “The cure for my cold holiday spirit this year is the sidesplitting new book by Jen Mann. . . . Mann delivers her signature punch lines and sharp critique on the oftentimes ridiculous shenanigans of the modern family. Her ability to make an otherwise boring subject come alive with colorful personalities, biting sarcasm, and impressively astute observations on suburban culture is what makes Mann so much fun to read and so easy to relate to.”—The Huffington Post “A lighthearted, laugh-out-loud book . . . with a feel of peeking into a diary.”—Mommy’s Memorandum “It really does make you laugh out loud.”—Shooting Stars Mag “A quick and delightful read that you can sneak in right before bed or when the kids are finally napping.”—FangirlNation “Grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back and enjoy Jen’s latest collection of humorous rants dissecting the ‘most wonderful time’ of the year. She unleashes her biting wit and hilarious opinions on everything from cookie exchanges to annual humblebrag Christmas letters from overachieving moms to horrifying Christmases of her childhood.”—Creating Serenity “[Mann] has really mastered the short story format. . . . She packs the maximum amount of funny into the fewest words, and many of these essays are downright hilarious. . . . If you’ve read and liked her other books, you will definitely want to read this one, too.”—Bug Bug Book Reviews

Fraud: Essays


David Rakoff - 2001
    Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays, climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, or learning primitive survival skills in the wilds of New Jersey, Rakoff clearly demonstrates how he doesn't belong-nor does he try to.In his debut collection of essays, Rakoff uses his razor-sharp wit and snarky humor to deliver a barrage of damaging blows that, more often than not, land squarely on his own jaw-hilariously satirizing the writer, not the subject. Joining the wry and the heartfelt, Fraud offers an object lesson in not taking life, or ourselves, too seriously.

I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas


Lewis Black - 2010
    Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace on earth and goodwill toward all. But not for Lewis Black.He says humbug to the Christmas tradtitions and trappings that make the holiday memorable. In I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas, his hilarious and sharply observed book about the holiday, Lewis lets loose on all things Yule. It's a very personal look at what's wrong with Christmas, seen through the eyes of "the most engagingly pissed-off comedian ever."*From his own Christmas rituals—which have absolutely nothing to do with presents or the Christmas tree or Rudolph—to his own eccentric experiences with the holiday (from a USO Christmas tour to playing Santa Claus in full regalia), I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas is classic Lewis Black: funny, razor-sharp, insightful, and honest.You'll never think of Christmas in the same way.

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life


Laurie Notaro - 2002
    Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that’s before she even puts on a bra.For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it.

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

Meaty


Samantha Irby - 2013
    Every essay is crafted with the same scathing wit and poignant candor thousands of loyal readers have come to expect from visiting her notoriously hilarious blog.

Mr. Funny Pants


Michael Showalter - 2011
    The writer and star of various offbeat US comedy shows brings readers his uniquely absurd humour in his hilarious first book.

Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories


Mike Birbiglia - 2010
    Too on the nose? Sorry. Let me dial it back.  I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before. Naked. Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Also, if there were naked pictures of me, you definitely wouldn’t buy it, though you might sneak a copy into the back corner of the bookstore and show it to your friend and laugh. Okay, let’s get off the naked stuff. This is my first book. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a comedic memoir, but I’m only 32 years old so I’d hate for you to think I’m “wrapping it up,” so to speak. But I tell some personal stories. Some REALLY personal stories. Stories that I considered not publishing time and time again, especially when my father said, “Michael, you might want to stay away from the per­sonal stuff.” I said, “Dad, just read the dedication.” (Which I’m telling you to do too.) Some of the stories are about my childhood, some are about girls I made out with when I was thirteen, some are about my parents, and some are, of course, about my bouts with sleepwalking. Bring this book to bed. And sleepwalk with me.

Sh*t My Dad Says


Justin Halpern - 2010
    Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:"That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them.""Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking.""The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories


B.J. Novak - 2014
    Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in American fiction.Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, Novak's assured prose and expansive imagination introduce readers to people, places, and premises that are hilarious, insightful, provocative, and moving-often at the same time.In One More Thing, a boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins - turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. Author John Grisham contemplates a monumental typo. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who debate how to stage an intervention in the era of Facebook. We learn why wearing a red t-shirt every day is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just... down.Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, from the deeply familiar to the intoxicatingly imaginative, One More Thing finds its heart in the most human of phenomena: love, fear, family, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might make a person complete. The stories in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office


Jen Lancaster - 2006
    It's a modern Greek tragedy, as defined by Roger Dunkle in The Classical Origins of Western Culture: a story in which "the central character, called a tragic protagonist or hero, suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected."In other words? The bitch had it coming.

Seriously... I'm Kidding


Ellen DeGeneres - 2011
    (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously... I'm Kidding, Degeneres' first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn't want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

The Moth


Catherine BurnsWayne Reece - 2013
    Inspired by friends telling stories on a porch, The Moth was born in small-town Georgia, garnered a cult following in New York City, and then rose to national acclaim with the wildly popular podcast and Peabody Award-winning weekly public radio show The Moth Radio Hour. Stories include: writer Malcolm Gladwell's wedding toast gone horribly awry; legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' obsession with a Sarah McLachlan song; poker champion Annie Duke's two-million-dollar hand; and A. E. Hotchner's death-defying stint in a bullring . . . with his friend Ernest Hemingway. Read about the panic of former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart when he misses Air Force One after a hard night of drinking in Moscow, and Dr. George Lombardi's fight to save Mother Teresa's life. This will be a beloved read for existing Moth enthusiasts, fans of the featured storytellers, and all who savor well-told, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories.

Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar


Kelly Oxford - 2012
    From her beginnings as a wunderkind producer of pirated stage productions for six-year-olds, through her spirited adventures watching self-satisfying monkeys, throwing up on Chinese food deliverymen, and stalking Leo DiCaprio, here are the goofy highs and horrifying lows of life as Kelly Oxford.