The saying “reality is stranger than fiction” is a well-known one, but there are occasions when it may also be even funnier. We’ve chosen hilarious reads that are sure to keep you interested and delighted, ranging from raucous celebrity autobiographies to hilarious stories of relationship problems. Here are our picks of humorous nonfiction books and essay compilations below!
Wow, No Thank You.
Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby’s new life. Wow, No Thank You. is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable.
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Broken (in the Best Possible Way)
As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.
With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office.
Release Date: April 5, 2022
All About Me!
All About Me! charts Mel Brooks’s meteoric rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers’ room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks’s stellar film career took off.
Release Date: November 30, 2021
Solutions and Other Problems
Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life. This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has “the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian”.
Release Date: January 1, 2020
You Can’t Be Serious
You Can’t Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal Penn’s idiosyncratic life.
It’s about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far—and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in the raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie Van Wilder…or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country’s first Black president.
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Everything I Know About Love
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends.
Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough.
Release Date: February 9, 2021
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology.
Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and “danger tree” faller blasters.
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Please Like Me (But Keep Away)
Freaked out by her fortieth birthday, the creator and executive producer of Never Have I Ever reflects on the importance of good friends—and the mortifying obligations it takes to keep them.
Yes, Mindy Kaling is the genial Hollywood celebrity who posted twelve selfies from a single Oscar party, but that smile took work. In this hilariously honest essay, Mindy reflects on the social anxiety that she traces back to the slices of white cheese her parents served at her ninth birthday party.
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes
In her brand-new collection, Phoebe shares stories that will make you laugh, but also plenty that will hit you in the heart, inspire a little bit of rage, and maybe a lot of action.
That means sharing her perspective on performative allyship, white guilt, and what happens when white people take up space in cultural movements; exploring what it’s like to be a woman who doesn’t want kids living in a society.
Release Date: September 28, 2021
A Carnival of Snackery
If it’s navel-gazing you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, his observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers leaping to his death. There’s a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party—lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.
These diaries remind you that you once really hated George W. Bush, and that not too long ago, Donald Trump was just a harmless laughingstock, at least on French TV.
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn’t “look” autistic. But, as he’s quick to point out in this memoir, autism “looks” different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain e into something empowering.
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Where the Deer and the Antelope Play
Nick Offerman has always felt a particular affection for the Land of the Free—not just for the people and their purported ideals but to the actual land itself: the bedrock, the topsoil, and everything in between that generates the health of your local watershed. In his new book, Nick takes a humorous and elucidating trip to America’s trails and frontier to examine the people who inhabit the land, what that has meant to them and us, and to the land itself, both historically and currently. With witty, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into the human problems we all confront.
Release Date: October 12, 2021