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“Comedy is tragedy that happens to other people.” – Angela Carter. (A list of My Favorite Comedic Memoir Authors)

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Out of all the genres, comedic memoirs seem to be bursting at the seams shelves in bookstores these days…. and thank goodness. These are books that can inspire, uplift, and provide joy for many people. They can also be train-wrecks that make you feel much better about yourself. Either way.

While there may not be as many of these books out there as Harlequin romance novels, there are still quite a few. The covers aren’t as sexy, but let’s read them anyway. Here are just a few of my favorite sources for awkward laughs, unfortunate circumstances, and shopping tips (in the case of Kaling).

Let’s get this popularity contest started.

A List of My Favorite Comedic Memoir Authors | Painting Sunny

Laurie Notaro, author of I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl

Anything by Laurie Notaro is funny. And a little messed up. She has also written a ton of other books that are also worthy of your time. The titles alone suck me in. Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood had me bust out laughing in an airport once, and I’m pretty sure security tailed me for awhile.

Mindy Kaling, author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

A refreshing, laugh-out-loud, awkward story of a girl that may feel familiar, but also relatable. You may recall my obsessive ramble extensive review, earlier this year. Mindy is the little sister you wish you had, the best friend you find exhausting but can’t help but love, and the daring career woman you want to be inspired by. I’m also a little hooked on The Mindy Project, no lie.

Jenny Lawson, author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)

If you don’t read The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson’s blog, and the launch for her book) you should. Just google “beyonce the chicken” and clear your schedule for a few hours. Okay, I’ll fess up; I haven’t read her book yet. I’m on a tight budget, and honestly it is so new I still can’t afford to buy it. If someone wants to be my secret admirer and send me a copy, feel free. I do stalk read her blog regularly, though… and her posts are enough to land her on my comedic memoir fav list.

Wade Rouse, author of At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life

A Midwestern shout-out and a hilarious memoir. In all seriousness, you will take stock of your own dependence on technology and materialism. Then you will go back to laughing. Real, funny… I can’t wait to read more by Wade Rouse.

Tina Fey, author of Bossypants

… or a million hilarious SNL sketches. No list of comedic memoirs would be complete with Bossypants. A comedic goddess, she needs no introduction by me. Every bestseller by a female comedian for the rest of this decade will say “the next Tina Fey”. She is what every woman I know wants to be when they grow up.

David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day

The King of funny biographies, anything by this man is worth buying immediately and reading. Everyone I know has a collection of David Sedaris books, and brings up “the time they saw him speak in person” at every social gathering. It isn’t even obnoxious; he is just so funny. I think he invented this genre, since contributing a wealth of books including Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, and more. His sister is also one of the coolest people alive. If the United States turns into a monarchy, we could do worse than the Sedaris royal family.

Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake: Essays

Funny and intriguing. Sloane is just a smidgen younger than most comedic memoir authors, which adds a refreshing and slightly edgier quality to her writing. Even more intriguing is reading some of the critical feedback in response to some wondering how truthful the memoir is. If it makes you laugh, does it matter?

Sarah Thyre, author of Dark at the Roots: A Memoir

Sarah Thyre brings back every the feelings and emotional responses of every shameful, weird, and awkward moment you’re trying to forget from your youth. Dark at the Roots gets real, and doesn’t pretend those moments didn’t happen. Cringe-worthy and yet endearing, it’s worth reading.

Alright, what else should I be reading? Any really serious omissions to my list? Should I jump on the Chelsea Handler band-wagon, or can someone make me way more cool by cluing me into an up-and-coming fresh new author? Attracted security at an airport due to your social awkwardness? I’m sure it’s not just me…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


Author: Dani @ Painting Sunny

Hi there! I'm Dani, and it's lovely to meet you. My little family just moved to the quaint little college-town of Ithaca, NY and are loving it. Come hang out with me and talk about food, books, art, and other odd little things.

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