My mom recently introduced me to Fran Lebowitz, and I have been slowly working my way through The Fran Lebowitz Reader, a collection of hilarious essays. How have I lived 33 years without knowing about Fran Lebowitz? Every page makes me either (a) laugh out loud, (b) shake my head in awe/admiration, or (c) seethe with jealousy because Ms. Lebowitz is so effing smart, funny and original.
I've added The Fran Lebowitz Reader to my growing list of "books by female authors who make me laugh out loud." Here are some other books I highly recommend if you are a woman in need of some laughter (or if you are man who appreciates misadventures that involve cheating husbands, Prada purses and UTIs):
- Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned To Knit After He Split, by Laurie Perry. With a title like that, I have nothing to add, except to say I loved this book.
- Any of the memoirs written by Jen Lancaster, especially Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office and Such A Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not The Answer. Apparently I have a weakness for memoirs with long titles. Jen Lancaster has also written some novels, but I have not read them yet.
- The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life, by Laurie Notaro. Holy crap, do I read any books with short titles that do not involve colons?? Laurie Notaro has written a lot of other books which are on my "to read" list.
- Bossypants, by Tina Fey. A short title! Rejoice!
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I went to college with Mindy. We lived in the same dorm freshman year and took several classes together, including Creative Writing. I think she's brilliant and deserves all the success she's had on the The Office and her other projects. So of course I had to read this book, and it was hilarious. (Also, I'm not just shamelessly promoting a friend. I haven't been in touch with Mindy in over ten years. Although I did email her once after seeing her play, Matt & Ben, to tell her how awesome it was, and she never wrote back. Bitch. But still, her book is funny as hell. Read it.)
- Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, by Rhoda Janzen. This book is half funny, half moving. I just remember loving it. I have drastically reduced my collection of paperback books, because if I kept all my books, we would have no where to live. But I bought this book in an airport and it has survived all my paperback purges because I intend to reread it someday soon. (Books that did not survive my paperback purges: Gravity's Rainbow, Ulysses, and Wuthering Heights).
Can you recommend any other books that I should add to my list of funny books by female writers? If so, please leave a note below in the comments - thanks!