Must-Read Memoirs That Are FunnyBobby Box

I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for personal essays. More specifically, humorous personal essays. I appreciate the skill, since making someone laugh (in print) is a very difficult task. This is why I’ve compiled a short list of must-read memoirs–that are truly funny. I’ll keep the descriptions brief, as I know Amazon covers that stuff pretty well. And until Hannah Horvath (GIRLS) releases her collection of essays, we can keep ourselves busy with these literary treasures.


“How to Piss in Public” by Gavin McInnes

Often referred to as “the Godfather of hipsterdom” Gavin McInnes and his tell-all-and-then-some novel is about as fun as they come. If you aren’t a fan of vulgarity, I’d recommend you steer clear. From drug-induced debauchery to nearly losing his foreskin in an aggressive hand-job incident, the contents of this novel are not for the faint of heart. There are some heart-felt moments throughout the memoir however, like finding love, experiencing 911 in New York City and leaving Vice Magazine (which he co-founded) on rocky terms. Read the book—laugh, cringe, vomit, whatever—and just enjoy it.

 

“Jew and Improved” by Benjamin Errett

For the more tasteful reader, I would suggest Benjamin Errett’s book, Jew and Improved– recounting one man’s conversion to Judaism. Errett’s journey is just as funny as it is educational. The content isn’t bland and its’ passages aren’t preachy. Errett is first confronted with the notion of conversion when he decides to marry his artist girlfriend, Sarah (who also happens to Jewish, and illustrates the novel).  I don’t want to give anything else away so I’m going to stop there and say: pick up the book, a bagel, maybe some latkes and educate yourself with a modern take on Jewish religion.

“My Horizontal Life” by Chelsea Handler

Let’s face it: all of Handler’s books are gold. Only this one—her debut memoir recounting some of her many one-night stands—shines the brightest. People who aren’t fans of her TV persona will still enjoy this book, trust me, my mom was one of them. I mean, how could you resist reading a tome that refers to redheads’ pubic hair (cough, cough) as “a clown in a leg lock.”

“How Did You Get This Number?” by Sloane Crosley

To be current, I’ve included Crosley’s latest book, “How Did You Get This Number”, instead of “I Was Told There’d Be Cake”—both of which are very good. Besides being extremely attractive, Sloane Crosley is also very bright and (in my opinion) a great writer. Her first novel is an insight to working entry-level jobs in NYC, “glamorous” city parties and missing the easy-going vibe of suburbia, something of which most can relate to—and very similar to the plot of the aforementioned series, Girls. In her second book however, Crosely takes us to Paris, Portugal, Alaska and back to New York, right where we like her.

“What’s Not to Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer” by Jonathan Ames

Ames writes about absolutely everything, no matter how embarrassing—mortifying being more appropriate—the subject matter may be. The publisher refers “What’s Not to Love” as “a twisted man’s version of Candace Bushnell’s classic, “Sex and the City.” Though I very much doubt SATC has covered half of what Ames has. Here’s a list of—summarized—subject matter he covers in a mere 288 pages: enemas, prostitutes, farting, diarrhea, his first erection (which he showed his mother), puberty and much, much (I can’t stress this enough) much more. Ames also wrote the absolutely amazing HBO series “Bored to Death” starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson.

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  1. Anything by David Sedaris.

  2. It is a crime that Bossypants as not included- it was so funny I would start cracking up while reading- drawing crazy looks from strangers

  3. “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran is brill!!!!

  4. The New York Regional Mormon Single’s Dance by Elna Baker = absolutely hilarious.

  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey

  6. “me talk pretty one day” David Sedaris

  7. I don’t do memoirs as a rule…I am not big on celeberties, etc. BUT I have read Both Chelsea Handler’s and John Barrowman’s books and the all were wonderfully funny…but if I had to choose I would say Chelsea’s.

  8. LOVE Sloane Crosley – some of the best memoirs for women my age. Thanks for listing her.

  9. “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson is the single most hilarious book I’ve read in a long time.

  10. Also, “Boy” and “Going Solo” by Roald Dahl are pretty much the funniest things I’ve ever read. Can’t believe those were true stories.

  11. Great list! I have never read Chelsea Handler but in this context, it makes me want to finally read her. And I love GIRLS but yeah, it’s a COMPLETE bite off Sloane Crosley and I Was Told There Would Be Cake. I think of it every time I watch. Still funny. Will read How Did You Get This Number now, so thanks!

  12. I would also suggest “Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen” by Reverend Jen to add to this list. It’s a hilarious romp into the part of NYC we don’t usually get to see.

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