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  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 6:58 pm on 2016/11/11 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-funnywomenlol, funny women, , make 'em laugh   

    7 Hilarious Gift Books by Funny Women 

    Coming as they do at the end of the year, the holidays are as much a time of joy and togetherness as they are a time of last-minute bustle and unfestive stress. There’s no better time to slow down and look for a reason to laugh. This collection includes hilarious books from some of our favorite female comedians, actresses, and authors, women who aren’t afraid to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. Give the gift of laughter this year and brighten someone’s day (or treat yourself, if you need a pick me up).

    I Had a Nice Time, and Other Lies: How to Find Love and Sh*t Like That, by The Betches
    The Betches are the creators of an online advice column that doesn’t skimp on the funny or the insight, and they’re back with a new book about navigating the modern world of love and romance. Dating apps are a prime target, but this is a must-read for any “betch” looking for love. Even if they can’t help you get a date, you’re at least guaranteed a few laughs.

    How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows, by Jacqueline Novak
    You know what’s gut-bustingly hilarious? Crippling sadness. Ok, maybe it’s not the most obvious subject for a humor book, but Jacqueline Novak knows from funny at least as well as she knows from feeling miserable, and in this memoir-cum-self help tome, she gives depression double barrels of wry humor laced with rock salt. If she’s not revealing her secrets for motivating yourself to actually get dressed and leave the house, she’s teaching you how to enjoy a good cat hair–covered wallow.

    Bossypants, by Tina Fey
    No list of funny female authors is complete without the inimitable Tina Fey. Yes, Bossypants makes it onto lots of must-read lists, but there’s a reason why. This self-deprecating memoir produces uproarious laughter, which is something to keep in mind if you’re on a crowded train or in a quiet waiting room. In Bossypants, Fey details her lukewarm college love life, her early years of improv and working at the Y, her admission into the ranks of SNL, and her disastrous honeymoon. She also dishes plenty on the battle of the sexes, her unorthodox style of parenting, and best friends (see: Amy Poehler). An absolute requirement for your shelf of comedy she-roes.

    Mother, Can You Not?, by Kate Siegel
    The laughter is coming from inside the app! Confounded and deeply amused by the epic text conversations she shared with her, er, concerned mother, Kate Siegel decided to share them with the world via Instagram, birthing the @CrazyJewishMom account. It quickly became a viral sensation, and is now a LOL-worthy book. From visits to the OB-GYN, to menstrual cycles, to a few discussions that somehow don’t involve intimate details of the female anatomy, nothing is off limits for these two. While their convos might inspire some to forge a closer bond with their mothers, some of us will choose to stick to living vicariously.

    I Want My Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting, by Karen Alpert
    If you’re a parent who knows the sting of an epic Pinterest fail, this is the book for you. Alpert strikes back at the legion of online sanctimommies and daddies who swear they’ve mastered the formula for perfect parenting (spoiler: it involves lots of quinoa and organic, GMO-free cotton) with an ode to those of us who end the day with a nice pat on the back as long as we’ve managed to get through it with our children alive and accounted for. If you’ve ever worried about being bad at that lifelong job we call “nurturing the next generation,” this book will assure you that sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with being a “mediocre” parent, and at the end of the day, your kids will settle for just being loved (and maybe an extra cookie).

    Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much, by Faith Salie
    We’ve already witnessed Faith Salie in “serious” mode as a journalist on CBS News Sunday Morning, and gotten an earful of her sense of humor on the wacky NPR news quiz show Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, but we’ve never before been given as much access to the weird and wonderful workings of her brain as we are in this confessional new biography, in which she describes her lifelong struggle with being a people pleaser. From scoring perfect grades to impress her parents to enlisting the help of an exorcist to save her marriage and avoid the shame of a divorce, she has spent her entire life worried about what others think of her—even when it meant thinking less of herself. While you’re laughing, you’ll also nod in recognition of her insights into why people pleasers are compelled to do what they do—even when it involves humble-bragging about how you excelled at those fertility treatments and looked smashing when you strode into the courtroom to finalize that divorce.

    You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), by Felicia Day
    The first book from actress, writer, and social media superstar Felicia Day is highly amusing, yes, but also touching, insightful, and, incidentally, newly available in paperback, with a never-before-published bonus chapter to boot. The memoir offers a wry, insightful look at her life, from an eccentric childhood through her unusual rise from humble roots to the head of an entertainment empire as an actor, writer, and comedian. From the wild, untamed days of the young internet, to her obsessions with online gaming and math, Day’s story will inspire anyone who ever feared their quirks would keep them from finding their place in the world—even as it makes them cry tears of laughter in recognition of the weirdness that unites us all.

    The post 7 Hilarious Gift Books by Funny Women appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Whitney Collins 9:00 pm on 2016/08/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , funny women, , , , , tell-alls   

    Honest, Tender, Normal, Dark: 4 Ways Amy Schumer’s New Memoir Is Not What You’d Expect 

    The inimitable Amy Schumer, known for her brash and unabashed standup comedy (as well as her Emmy-winning show Inside Amy Schumer and Hollywood blockbuster Trainwreck), has published a memoir, and it’s not what you’d expect. Yes, it’s full of humor and, yes, Schumer has plenty to say about sex, but The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo surprises readers by introducing them to an Amy fans and critics have never met. Schumer’s autobiography reveals a woman both more complex and more ordinary than the persona seen on stage and screen. Here are four ways The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo will astound you.

    It’s Honest
    Anyone familiar with Amy Schumer’s standup knows she doesn’t sugarcoat her intimate escapades or her love of pasta with parmesan cheese. But beyond the frankness of her sex life and food cravings, audiences have never been privy to her world laid bare. In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy gets real about her teenage shoplifting habit, her mother’s unorthodox style of discussing the facts of life, and her botched bat mitzvah. She also talks about her family’s financial woes, as well as that time, when she was 9, that she demanded to see a shrink so she could name ALL her fears, specifically earthquakes and getting a tapeworm.

    But one of the funnier instances of honesty in Schumer’s book is her chapter titled “What I Want People To Say At My Funeral.” This gem of a section humanizes superstar Schumer and shows how she wants others to see her (as endlessly generous), how she hopes to be remembered (as making everyone feel better), and how she’d liked to be honored (guests should bring pasta dishes to the funeral and pour them into her coffin).

    It’s Normal
    Amy Schumer is no diva; she’s just your average self-described “introverted,” “half-Jew,” “Long Island trash receptacle” who struggles with things regular people struggle with: making small talk, enduring family gatherings, sitting through long meetings, and managing weight gain, bad hair, and trying to keep it real. Wealth is novel to her (she has an entire chapter “On Being New Money”), and she doesn’t take her success for granted. In fact, she gives lots of her income away, sometimes tipping outrageously, sometimes taking her sister to Europe, sometimes giving generously to families affected by PTSD.

    Amy has also had a lot of everyday jobs. She’s been a bartender at a lesbian bar, a fry cook, a hot dog seller, a barbershop sweeper, a steakhouse server, a basketball referee, and a fitness instructor, so Hollywood fame is still something of a shock. All that said, the best instances of Schumer’s normal-ness shine through in the old diary excerpts sprinkled (and hilariously footnoted) throughout the book. If you weren’t convinced of Schumer’s girl-next-door status, one read of her 1994-era journal entry and you’ll be convinced.

    It’s Dark
    It’s easy to think famous folks, particularly funny ones, live lives full of sunshine and frivolity, but Schumer’s memoir can go surprisingly and refreshingly dark. For starters, she tells all about her ailing father’s battle with multiple sclerosis. Like the heartbreaking times he publicly soiled himself, the last time she was able to go bodysurfing with him, and how a stem cell advancement brought him to tears. She also dishes on her long history of binge drinking and blackouts, the troubling way she lost her virginity, and how the victims of gun violence have changed her life permanently.

    Most dark is her chapter about Dan, a man who physically and emotionally abused her. Her candidness about domestic violence, and how even strong, outspoken women like herself can become victims, is a compelling and important read. Schumer’s honesty isn’t just unexpected, it could potentially save a life.

    It’s Tender
    Schumer may be known for speaking her mind, telling people off, and pulling the Irish goodbye, but she’s also incredibly loyal and tender. In her memoir, she consistently gushes over her brother and sister and niece, clearly adores her Inside Amy Schumer staff and assistants, and waxes wistful about her childhood and parents and high school friends. She also devotes an entire (outrageously funny) chapter to her ugly stuffed animal collection, and shares cherished memories of the time she spent working at a summer camp for people with special needs.

    Schumer is able to get sweet without being sappy; she’s able to show us her soft side without compromising her grit. And we get to see this best in a section titled “Things That Make Me Happy.” We won’t pull a full spoiler here, just leaving you with a small sampling of things that make Amy not just joyful, but more accessible to her fans, like: “My toddler niece laughing or doing pretty much anything.” “Riding a horse.” “Hearing my brother Jason play his horn.” “Scones.” “Smoked salmon.” “Telling a new joke that I’m excited about onstage, even if it doesn’t do well,” because “telling a new joke never gets old.”

  • Whitney Collins 5:40 pm on 2016/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , funny women, , , ,   

    Unforgettable Stories from a Hilarious Mother/Daughter Duo 

    The dynamic mother-daughter duo of Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, New York Times bestselling authors known for teaming up to write their hilarious Philadelphia Inquirer column “Chick Wit,” are back with another collection of short, humorous essays. I’ve Got Sand In All The Wrong Places is the seventh installment in the entertaining memoir series by this prolific pair, and it’s the perfect take-along for wherever you’re headed this summer, beach or otherwise. With stories averaging about four pages, every one full of laugh-out-loud scenarios, this bright and breezy selection is custom-crafted for those in vacation mode.

    Within, readers will find touching and hilarious entries on everything from A(ging) to Z(oology), with stops at bachelorette party bouncers, Cartier excursions, and exes along the way. Need a giant laugh? Be sure to read Lisa’s “With Apologies to Mother Mary,” an entry on her unwillingness to wear anything but fleece. Need another? Don’t miss Francesca’s “A Thing of Beauty,” a piece on how clubbing and vodka Red Bulls are meant for an age group that somehow escapes hangovers that feel like “the afterlife.” Other lolworthy essays inlude ruminations on cremating pet chickens instead of barbecuing them, a homemade butternut soup disaster, and taking up golf at 60.

    Many of the essays are both wistful and witty. Lisa discusses her beloved parents’ deaths. Francesca opens up in a series of entries about an assault and mugging. And both women are fiercely honest (and funny) about sex (or lack thereof), anxiety (specifically panic attacks and bridge-crossing phobias), and feminism…not to mention male strippers dressed as handymen and Pope Francis’ message of love.

    While Lisa might be best known for her impressive bibliography of bestselling legal thrillers, and Francesca was thrice honored at Harvard University for her creative writing, we’re grateful these two have found their stride with humorous nonfiction. Chosen as “Best Beach Book” by People Magazine, the “Perfect Summer Must-Read” by O, The Oprah Magazine, and “the perfect present for moms, grandmas, and aunts” by CosmopolitanI’ve Got Sand In All The Wrong Places has earned a place in your travel tote.

    I’ve Got Sand In All The Wrong Places hits shelves July 12, and is available for pre-order now.

  • Joel Cunningham 9:47 pm on 2014/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , funny women, , michel faber, , , , , , , , ,   

    What to Read Next If You Liked As You Wish, Yes Please, The Peripheral, The Book of Strange New Things, or The Secret History of Wonder Woman 

    wtrn116Every fan of The Princess Bride is sure to fall in “twue wuv” with As You Wish, a loving memoir of the making of one of the most universally adored movies in history by the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, Cary Elwes. If you’re still not satisfied, you can ask your grandpa to read to you from Which Lie Did I Tell?, by William Goldman, who wrote both the screenplay for the film and the novel upon which it is based, featuring an account of how the film’s surprising success saved his floundering career. Don’t miss either of these—I mean it! (Anybody want a peanut?)

    After the smashing success of best-pal Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I can’t imagine the pressure Amy Poehler was under to deliver with Yes Please, but her hybrid memoir/showbiz insider account more than delivers. It’s one of the funniest books of the year, packed with insights on life, motherhood, marriage, and making it as a woman in the cutthroat world of comedy. If you’ve already shown love to Tina and Amy, go straight to the source with I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts About Being a Woman, by Nora Ephron, a trailblazer whose remarkable career set the stage for so many funny ladies who followed her.

    In 1984, William Gibson’s Neuromancer managed to more or less accurately predict exactly the ways the rise of the not-yet-invented Internet would change all of our lives (even if some of the more outlandish sci-fi trappings, like neural implants, haven’t come to pass quite yet). The jury is still out on whether his newest work, The Peripheral, which deals in quantum theory, augmented realities, immersive gaming, advanced drones, and global catastrophe, will be regarded as prescient one day. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to read both of these books, just to be prepared.

    The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber, is lyrical literary sci-fi, the epic story of a missionary sent to spread the good word to the alien inhabitants of a distant planet, even as the Earth he’s leaving threatens to crumble away in a global environmental and political disaster. Mary Doria Russell’s 1996 debut novel, The Sparrow, similarly imagines the hardships and communication barriers faced by a band of Jesuits who travel to make contact with a distant star and discover that some cultural divides may simply be too great to bridge.

    The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore, uncovers the feminists roots of the world’s most famous superheroine via the strange history of her polygamist, counter-cultural creator. For another book that takes a look at female heroes, feminism, and sexism in comics, The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, by Mike Madrid, is an engaging, pop-academia read.


  • Emma Chastain & Melissa Albert 6:56 pm on 2014/10/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , funny women, , , , ,   

    Lena Dunham on Storytelling, Diary-Keeping, and Not That Kind of Girl 

    Lena Dunham and Not That Kind of Girl

    Lena Dunham’s eye makeup is perfect. She’s beautiful and smart and warm, and she generously poses for pictures with her creepy fans (me and Melissa Albert. We insisted on interviewing her together, out of nervousness and adoration).

    EC: Tell us what your writing routine was like for the book.

    LD: I wish that I could say that I had some wonderful writing routine. I asked Judy Blume in an interview I did with her about her writing routine. And it was amazing, she was like, “I get up, I have these very specific cornflakes, I go into my office for three hours.” It was so regimented and beautiful. I actually read this book called Daily Rituals, which is about the routines of artists. It talks about the brilliant way in which many artists go about their day and sit down to work in a very organized fashion. But unfortunately, since I’m doing the show, it all has to be pretty haphazard. So sometimes I binge-write all weekend, sometimes I get home from set and bang out an essay or an edit, sometimes I get up early before I go to work, sometimes I go into my trailer at lunch, sometimes it’s on an airplane. This book has been cobbled together all over the world at odd hours of the day.

    MA: I love that; no superstition.

    I try to avoid superstitions mostly because I can’t afford to have them. Sometimes I have to write in a director’s chair in the middle of the day and sometimes I have to write at six in the morning right before we’re about to have a table read. I need to be able to be flexible about it.

    EC: Always on your laptop?

    Always on my laptop. I hate my own handwriting. I think it might be a generational thing, because I know a lot of other people who feel the same way. They’ve had so much distance from their own handwriting that it doesn’t look like their own to them. I don’t connect to my own handwriting. To me, my handwriting is Times New Roman.

    EC: What was the difference between writing this book and working on your show?

    What I love about writing a book, and what has been the most satisfying to me, is the amazing, private relationship you form with your editor and later with your reader. TV is such a collaborative experience, which is a blessing in many ways. I started out writing prose. That’s what I went to college to do. I studied creative writing, and it was my main passion from the time I could write, so I really missed the privacy and seclusion of that relationship, and I really got it back in the process of writing this book. My editor, Andy Ward, and I barely shared the work with anyone. We established this great trust, passing stuff back and forth, and so suddenly it felt like writing was mine again and that was amazing.

    EC: Did  anyone in your personal life read your book in chapters before it went on your editor?

    LD: My editor and also my partner in Girls and my producing partner Jenni Konner. She read a lot because she knows my voice so well and can always push me further and tell me if something I’m doing doesn’t feel authentic. And I also shared it with my family, with my mom and my dad and my sister. They’ve always read my stuff and so it’s sort of force of habit that I keep giving it to them.

    EC: I read that you kept diaries as a child and that some of the book is based on them. Do you remember what they looked like?

    I did keep diaries as a child. Because I was so in need of attention I would often leave my diary open in hopes my parents would find it. I was a very sporadic diary keeper, but I would go to Kate’s Paperie, which was on my block in SoHo, and just the more flowers, the better. If there was anything that looked like it had been crafted in a fairy glen, I wanted to write in it. And it’s funny when I look at my diaries because they start out so serious and then the last third of the book is just empty. Giving up on diaries all around town.

    MA: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

    I do, and it’s funny because I’ve had the same therapist for a long time, so she remembers it, too. I was eight and I said it was a novel but it was actually about eleven handwritten pages of a legal pad, double-sided. And I had done no research, but it was about a boy named Prinesh who lived in a ruins in Pakistan—he and his mother were too poor to live in a house, so they lived in ruins. And he was bitten by a snake and his mother couldn’t get him to a doctor because they were too far away, so his mother had to crush a rock and apply it to him to heal the snake bite. I remember calling my aunt, who’s a doctor, and being like, “How would you handle a snakebite?” And she was like, “Well, you need to get an epinephrine injection immediately,” and she explained it to me. And I was like, “Great, they crush up a rock and apply it to his leg.”

    MA: So you fact-checked that, it’s basically correct.

    Yes. I had all the Indian names, in Pakistan, nothing made any sense, and it all involved going to the open market in Marrakech, which is not in Pakistan or even on the same continent, so it was really…. But I remember being very proud of it. My next book, I remember, was a historical fiction about a man who thought his wife had died and so he married a new wife and then the old one came back. And I remember I was really proud of a sentence: “She lay prone on the ground.” I remember saying to my friends, “She lay prone,”  and being really proud. Ridiculous. There was another girl in my class named Legacy Russell who was also a writer, so we were very competitive and she was better than me. Actually, she’s still a really good writer and a curator. I basically plagiarized her all the time.

    MA: What were the books that you, as a kid, read so many times they fell apart? 

    I was really into historical fictions and I loved terminal illness books. So I was super into Lurlene McDaniel—you remember the One Last Wish series? It was like kids who were going to die and needed one last summer of hope. I would never let my children read these books. They were good, but now I would never let my child read a terminal illness book. I loved Letters from Rifka, A Pocket Full of Seeds. Both of those were Holocaust books. I was obsessed with Catherine, Called Birdy, which is still my favorite book. And was obsessed with the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and all Judy Blume, even the adult Judy Blume. Once I hit sixth grade I was really into Toni Morrison, I was really into reading poetry like Nikki Giovanni and Sylvia Plath. I never did exactly YA books. I kinda made the leap from kids’ books into, like, Lolita. I took a weird veer. But there were so many books—I read anything and everything that was put in front of me. I remember reading Bastard Out of Carolina in sixth grade and being like, “Well, I’m gonna kill myself now, but what an amazing book.” And Cavedweller. I loved Dorothy Allison and still do. I went to an amazing school where they had us reading Faulkner in ninth grade, so I was really encouraged to challenge myself reading-wise and to not only read things I could understand, and that was awesome.

    EC: What books do you reread when you’re feeling sad or just need some comfort?

    That’s the best kind of book. Some of the books I read when I’m feeling sad…My Dog Tulip, by J.R. Ackerley, is so good and I love a good dog book. I love What She Saw by Lucinda Rosenfeld. It’s the history of one girl, and each chapter is devoted to every relationship that she’s had in her life. It’s really beautifully done, and to me it just says something about twentysomething life that I find fascinating and cozy. And I’ve definitely done a lot of rereading of The Bell Jar, although if you’re sad, that will make you sadder.

    EC: Sometimes that’s nice, though.

    Yeah, sometimes you need it. Sometimes it really feels good. Those are three that I adore. I also love to reread poetry—Marie Howe is a favorite poet of mine. I really love her stuff. Anne Sexton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, her letters and her poems. Eileen Myles. Those are places I go for coziness.

    EC: Who are your literary heroes?

    My literary heroes…there’s a range, because I love both writers who are really committed to the word and to prose and writers who sort of created a beautiful cult of personality. I’m a huge Edna St. Vincent Millay fan, I’m a huge Nora Ephron fan—she was someone who was very meaningful to me both in my personal life and as a writer. I love David Sedaris, I love George Saunders, I love Dorothy Parker…. My favorite book in the past year was The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. I felt like, I want to read every book that this person writes forever. I just think whatever Adelle Waldman does, I’m with her. My other favorite female writers right now: I love Sheila Heti, I love Miranda July’s short stories, and I had the privilege of reading her novel that’s coming and it’s incredible.

    MA: I got it yesterday. I saw it on the floor somewhere and I waited ten minutes and no one came back so I grabbed it.

    You’re going to die. Those are some female writers working now who really blow you away. Joanne Frye. Mary Karr. I loved memoirists.

    MA: Do you remember the first sex scene you ever read?

    I remember a couple. I think the first one was Forever, which is everyone’s. I stole it from my babysitter. Then I brought the book White Oleander to camp and it was just like, sex, sex, sex. I remember sitting on my bunk being like, “These girls do not know that I am currently reading about a girl having hot sex with her stepdad.” It was really freaking intense. I remember being like, “Oprah recommended it, how crazy can it be?” But it was crazy. Also, I made make a huge mistake. My mom is friends with A.M. Homes, who’s an amazing writer. But she wrote this book, The End of Alice, which is about an adult female pedophile, and I thought, “Alice, like Alice in Wonderland!” I picked it up and started to read it and I was shaken to my core. This had to be in fifth grade. It was graphic scenes of an adult woman having sex with a boy. And I was so confused, plus when you’re little you’re kind of aroused by any mention of sex, whether it’s pedophilia or not. So I was like, “Maybe I’m a pedophile! But I’m eleven!”

    EC: So we’re blog writers and we get a lot of mean comments on our stuff all the time. I wonder if you read comments on interviews you do, and if you’re able to brush them off.

    Mostly I can brush it off. I don’t read the comments. But this week, I posted a picture of a dog bite I got on my butt on Instagram and all these people were like, “Your dog should be put down.” And literally, I found my weak spot. Which is that I cannot deal with a negative comment about my dog. It was like, it’s gone too far. I felt like I was gonna be like Jennifer Lopez in Enough. I was gonna cut my hair and get my revenge on people for talking about my dog. But no, blog comments are horrible. But then what you have to think, which I know is so repetitive, is who has the time to leave a negative comment on the blog? All the people that read it and loved it went, “This is great; I’m going to go use this information and go have an enriching day.”  Whereas people who are sitting there writing negative comments, registering for an account—that takes a long time. You could be eating or doing anything else.

    EC: That is good advice.

    Not That Kind of Girl is out now, and it is SO GOOD. You won’t believe the honesty. It’s brave without flaunting its braveness, and it’s also hilarious, and filled with good advice. Read it! 

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