With 2017 careening toward its season finale and 2018 just waiting on that premiere date, its entirely plausible that you’re looking for a little something to take your mind off the this topsy-turvy of chaos, unnecessary tweets, and unexpected bits of bad news (“Game of Thrones” season eight may not air until 2019 – what the hell, HBO?). What we all need, at least in this writer’s humble opinion, is a little levity. A healthy comedic break to ease some of that tension and remind us that hilarity still abides along this mortal coil. To that end, here are few of favorite humor-laden reads from 2017.
Alright, so technically this one didn’t debut in 2017. It arrived in hardcover in November of 2016, but it hit paperback shelves back in October and the late, delightfully quotable Carrie Fisher was not exactly one for strictly adhering to the rules. Also, with “The Last Jedi” officially making landfall in theaters, what better time to check out Carrie Fisher’s own behind the scenes take on the filming of “A New Hope”?
A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
If there was ever a year to not take one’s self too seriously, it’s 2017. If there were also ever a time to locate your best, most awesome self – well, that’s also 2017. This handy field guide from the creators of “Good Mythical Mornings” is full-to-bursting with ways to lead a life of shenanigans, tomfoolery, brouhaha (honestly, I just wanted an excuse to use that word), and general mythicality. Give it a chance; you’ll be a better person for it.
The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as PresidentDonald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody)
Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen
If you’re looking for a straight-up-no-chaser, upfront, decidedly un-PC account of the 2016 election – and you’re willing to accept a few alternative facts – then You Can’t Spell America Without Me is the book for you. It’s really very great. I mean, it’s a tremendous book that has sold unbelievably well. People tell me they’ve never seen anything like it. It has all the best words, believe me. You’re going to be very happy.
Cocktails to Celebrate a Woman's Right to Booze
I need a drink. Do you need a drink? I think its time to drink. Thankfully, this brilliantly punny book from Merrily Grashin is the perfect pairing of feminist icons and boozy libations for every taste. What better way imbibe than with such wonderfully named drinks as “Joan of Arc & Stormy,” Margaret Sanger-ia,” and “Rose the Riveter”?
The Life, Wit, and (Sometimes Accidental) Wisdom of Joe Biden
Full disclosure: I am one of Joe Biden’s biggest fans in all of his incarnations – whether the surprisingly wonky policy expert, the guy with the working class roots who can actually pull off saying “malarkey,” or the hilariously plausible Diamond Joe from the pages of The Onion. Just ask Barack Obama; this is a man who will Biden his way into your heart. This only sort of tongue-in-cheek memoir is an ode to the many facets that make up Joe Biden. Give it a look.
A Fable of Resistance
This delightfully raucous tale from Bill McKibben is, in many ways, the perfect balm for the tumultuous political landscape of 2017. Its geriatric hero is hilariously acerbic, but none the less engaging, and its populated by an eclectic cast of colorful characters intent on furthering their own home-spun revolution. As an added bonus, it’s also a pretty solid survey of Vermont’s craft brewing scene.
Based on the popular segment from “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert, in all his satirical and irreverent glory, has compiled a collection of midnight confessions for the errant sinner in all of us. With contributions from Stephen, the writing staff of “The Late Show,” and a few from loyal fans, Midnight Confessions is one of those books you didn’t realize you needed.
There’s little question that David Sedaris is one of the funniest people on the planet. His scattered musings, essays, and books are often as cutting as they are hilarious. With Theft by Finding, Sedaris lets us all in a secret. For the last forty years, he’s kept a diary of everything that catches his attention – salacious gossip, overheard comments, bizarre secrets, you name it. This is the bedrock of Sedaris’s career. Buckle up.
Its sort of difficult to call Sarah Knight’s works self-help, at least in the traditional sense. It’s more like reading something by your best friend who occasionally gets a little tipsy and tells you why you should you get your shit together. And sometimes, that’s precisely what you need. You know I’m right.
The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking
Marissa A. Ross
This is the second book explicitly about drinking to make this list. Don’t read too much into it. I really don’t have a problem – this book is just genuinely humorous and helpful. The world of wine can be daunting. Tasting notes, pairings, grapes, glassware – it’s a lot to take in, particularly if you just want to get a little tipsy. Fortunately, this guide from Marissa A. Ross, the official wine columnist for Bon Appetit, is both accessible and full of practical tidbits. Perhaps more importantly, it’s also pretty funny.