Let's start a book club; the kind where we don't have to read the book but also don't have to go through the "WE READ MORE WINE LABELS THAN BOOKS" trope.
I'm going to post something about books or reading every Sunday, and if it ends up being me and my computer screen, well, that will be less airbrushed shirts to make when my book club goes on a weekend getaway together.
If the list of books I've read this year was my Netflix account, this category would be witty memoirs with a strong female lead. It seems like there's been a lot of those this year, don't you think? These are the ones I've read:
I thought maybe Issa Rae and I could be friends. A lot of her stories of growing up awkward resonated with me, but then I realized she created her own show on HBO and she is way cooler than me (the first episode of the show aired this month and I was very into it). I thought some of Issa's stories landed better than others and there were a few continuity things that annoyed me (it seemed like maybe some stories got moved around at the last minute and threw off the flow), but as a whole I enjoyed the book, which led me to her web series (way late to the game), and then her tv show, and I'm excited to keep following her career. IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: She has amazing teeth. (3/5 stars: I was a fan, but, a few months later can't remember specifically what I loved about it.)
I loved everything about Lindy West's book of essays about her life, rape culture, and fat-shaming—it made me laugh, cry, think, and it may have even made me a slightly better person. Basically, it's all I ever wanted in a book. (5/5 stars: I will be thinking about this book for a long, long time.)
Nora Purmort is a local celebrity here in Minneapolis—she's basically the new Prince. When her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, she started a blog called "My Husband's Tumor." He passed away not too long after, and the essays she wrote in the aftermath were unexpectedly funny and charming. This book builds on those. I read half on paper, and listened to the other half, and I think she is at her best performing her stories out loud.
Important sidenote: I met her one time and she immediately told me her eye was twitching, which means maybe she's just as awkward as I am. (3/5 stars: Highly recommended, but I wanted a little bit more from some of the stories)
Obviously, I picked up Amy's book because I thought it would be funny—but in the end I preferred her more serious chapters. I love Amy's standup and show but somehow, for me, her humor didn't translate well into her personal stories...which makes no sense since you'd think those two would intertwine naturally. Also, I was annoyed by the essays that were literally lists of facts. (2/5 stars: I liked it, but I didn't love it.)
Jessi Klein was the head writer and producer of Inside Amy Schumer, and their books came out within months of each other, so it's hard not to compare the two. Maybe I could relate to a lot more of Jessi's stories (there's one about Anthropologie that was basically a transcription of my thoughts inside that store), but I recommend this book over Amy's. (4/5 stars: I loved it, but it's not my favorite book of alll time.)
Any funny lady memoirs to recommend? Next on my list: Phoebe Robinson's book, Anna Kendrick's book, Lauren Graham's book, and I just heard about the upcoming One Day We'll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter. (because I'm a sucker for any blurb that starts out "For readers of Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson, and Roxane Gay.")