Celebrity-penned novels are good for many reasons. They allow us to see these people as people rather than two-dimensional faces we recognize from our television screens. Once we’re able to relate to the struggles and joyful stories they share with us, we’re able to humanize them and gain an appreciation for the work they do.
1. “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling describes the social trials and tribulations of her childhood and her start in the entertainment business in a very relatable and very funny way. Kaling learns to love who she is and get ahead doing something she loves, all while making the reader empathize with her struggles and laugh at her spunk. This was the first in a long line of humorous essay books I have read. For my first book, Mindy Kaling set the bar very high.
2. “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” by B.J. Novak
In this delightful collection of prose, B.J. Novak manages to pack more wit, depth and creativity into each short story than some do in entire books. As he spins the yarns of the rematch between the tortoise and the hair and describes a young woman’s date with a warlord, Novak gives us insight on how our minds work, making each tale just as delightful as the last.
3. “Bossypants” by Tina Fey
Tina Fey has created a masterpiece where every other sentence is a punchline. As she jumps through the phases of her life, it’s extremely hard not to laugh. I first listened to “Bossypants” as an audiobook on a
long family car trip. I was laughing so hard at this fantastic piece of writing that my father forced me to relinquish my audiobook so that everyone in our vehicle could see what was so hilarious. That’s the power of Tina Fey.
4. “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo” by Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer successfully separates her raunchy onstage persona from her everyday self in this
collection of personal essays. Although her writing style is jaunty and amusing, there is potent meaning behind each chapter. Schumer teaches us how laughter can make even the most difficult event hurt a little less.
5. “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling
In her second book, Kaling returns with new insight on friendship, fame and her love for McDonald’s. As she describes her ever-changing relationships and the fact that it’s rude to barter if you’re famous, she allows us to enter her world in ways that are amusing and sometimes painful. I waited a very long time for the release of this book, and it was worth every minute I spent tracking the progress of its publication.