11 Great Memoirs By Funny Women

Beach read season is upon us and rather than picking up the compulsory (and mind numbing) romance book you usually reach for… why not spend a few hours with some of the funniest and most intelligent women the current pantheon of comedy has to offer?

  1. Girl Walks Into a Bar… by Rachel Dratch – Rachel Dratch is the iconic comedian and actress from early 2000’s SNL. After leaving the show her career hit a slump and her personal life went from non-existent to action-packed after she meets her future baby-daddy, John. This book is funny and heartwarming and completely surprising. A must read.
  2. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – Amy Poehler opens her mouth and wisdom falls out. The comedy superstar, of Parks and Recreation, SNL, and Mean Girls fame, tells stories from her life that are not only funny and irreverent but also full of experience and wisdom that can only be gained by a life thoroughly lived. This sounds insane, but I feel like there was my life before this book and my life after this book and I know you will too.
  3. I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner – Julie Klausner is a writer and comedian whose life has seemed to be the eclectic and exciting epitome of what a woman could want from New York City. She takes you on a tour of her failed relationships and flings with an assortment of guys. Not only do you get the insane stories and sordid details but Julie also furnishes each guy with an autopsy of sorts that will leave you analyzing some of your romantic misadventures.
  4. Bossypants by Tina Fey – Tina Fey is the mastermind behind 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and most recently Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Fey takes her time to flesh each chapter of her book into a self contained short story so completely dense with jokes and clever lines that it will take you multiple passes through the to truly appreciate. A lifetimes of weird stories and anecdotes makes a fairly light-hearted book feel like a full literary meal.
  5. I Like You by Amy Sedaris – Amy Sedaris wrote this entire guide to entertaining in her usual over-the-top batshit fucking crazy style of staying in character until the bitter end. This book is utterly devoid of heart-warming anecdotes and tales of teen years past. Instead you will learn several depraved things you can do to party guests and read some of the most gut-bustingly funny one-liners I have ever seen printed and bound. It’s also a pretty good guide to the true spirit of entertaining, so I suppose that make it covertly-sincere? It’s at the very least masterful.
  6. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae – Issa Rae is awkward and awkward is objectively funny. Issa skips all the advice giving and the picking apart of her hilarious experience and just gets out of the way to bare her honest and mortifying stories of awkwardness. A memoirist you can root for.
  7. Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler – Aisha Tyler is a tastemaker for women of all ages for a reason. She’s thoroughly herself, no gimmicks needed. Her memoir is a collection of stories about confusion and identity told from the wiser, more informed woman she is today. A book you can easily hand to friends and family and compare notes on as they read, which is sometimes the best kind of book.
  8. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – Unlike many of the women on this list who work as full time performers, Caitlin Moran’s a writer first and foremost and just happens to be funny and charming as an added bonus. Her book is a modern feminist tome. Is it gospel? No. This book is a political and opinionated and loud and all that things can be appreciated even if you don’t agree with all her assertions. Her smart and articulate way of explaining her perspective on the world is both informative and exciting. A must read.
  9. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling – Mindy Kaling’s unapologetically feminine and aspirational personal life are what make her so completely magical on our screens when we tune into The Office or The Mindy Project. Her memoir is honest and funny, sure, but the biggest takeaway from this book is it’s completely fresh perspective on modern millennial life. I don’t know how to explain it other than to say that an earnest memoir devoid of overly self-deprecating details that somehow still manages to be funny is a complete breath of fresh air right now.
  10. I Know I Am But What Are You? by Samantha Bee – Samantha Bee, of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, has for years been one of the most underrated women in comedy. Take some time to catch up with her and perhaps get to know her sharp tongued style a little better. I guarantee you’re in for a surprise.
  11. Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin – Things you can rely on: Death, taxes, and Kathy Griffin talking some shit about celebrities. This book has plenty of that, but it’s also full of stories from Kathy’s colorful past. Her struggles with self-image and plastic surgery, her darkest and her most hilarious family stories, and her rise from underdog to comedy queen are all laid out for you to look at in what feels like one of the most crushingly honest memoirs by a modern entertainer. Dense but hilarious, just like her stand-up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog