10 Books By Comedy Writers That Will Inspire You To Get It Together

A reading list that will get take your ass from grass to in-gear.

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling

If you haven’t figured out by now that Mindy Kaling’s words are gospel, then you deserve a swift kick in the behind. Kaling delves into topics from body image to career advice. Her discussion of the day she stormed out of The Office’s writers’ room. If you’re already a fan of Kelly Kapoor and Mindy Lahiri, you must read and re-read Kaling’s first book to hold you over until her next one, Why Not Me? comes out.

2. I Remember Nothing And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron

The last of Nora Ephron’s books is special, and not just because of it’s sleek minimalist cover. It’s almost meditative. Get immersed you in the voice of the woman who brought us You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally and start craving New York bakery treats.

3. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin

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This one is worth listening to in audio-book format. Martin’s voice recording lends all the intention and inflection that reading only comes close to. He tells of his vocational attraction to comedy and provides hands on advice on how to immerse oneself in his calling.

4. Sleepwalk With Me And Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia

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Birbig’s memoir, like his film of the same name and subsequent stand-up specials, reads like a one man show. It’s a strikingly personal and sweet account of all things love, comedy, and of course, actual sleepwalking.

5. The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is a queen. Her brash, charming style isn’t remiss in this book. She’s like a big sister confessing her most embarrassing secrets. And she hopes her readers will find piece and success the same way she did— through honesty and to not be afraid of anything.

6. I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner

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Julie Klausner is the voice behind the “How Was Your Week” podcast and the writing brain behind Billy On The Street the upcoming Mulaney, and the hopefully upcoming Difficult People. If you’re not clued in to her outrageous opinions and fearlessness in sharing them, then I feel bad for you. Klausner’s wit infuses I Don’t Care About Your Band. Her book is a must read for anyone who’s a fan of self-respect and also cats.

7. Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig

One of the masterminds behind Freaks And Geeks and the director of Bridesmaids shares the experiences that made him such an understated genius. A self-identified Geek, Feig encourages you to harness your insecurities sooner than later and use them to get to where you want to be.

8. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt offers up his memories in this comedic essay compilation. His droll, yet razor sharp wit proves that it can transcend any medium.
(PS- Please come back to Twitter. Love, Everyone.)

9. I Know I Am, But What Are You by Samantha Bee

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Samantha Bee is the The Daily Show’s longest running correspondent. If that’s not reason enough to read her book, consider her reflections on childhood and growing up to be one of the brightest, sharpest comedians working today.

10. And Here’s The Kicker by Mike Sacks

MRCPL / Via mrcpl.org

Pair this selection with Mike Sacks’s recent follow up Poking A Dead Frog, and you have a wealth of information about comedy writing. Sacks, a great writer in his own right, sat down with some of the best writers in the business to ask about their origin stories, their best days, and their worst all to find out more about the state of modern comedy. Start with this on and immediately follow it with Dead Frog to cure any lackluster motivation or self-doubt.

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