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Over the past year, stand up comedy has been in short supply, as the pandemic has shut down live shows and the laughs that go with them. This hasn’t stopped the comedy, of course. Some, like Darcy Michael, have grown huge followings on social media (he now has over a million followers on TikTok), while others have been busy creating unique, solo-filmed specials, like Bo Burnham’s Netflix hit Inside.

And of course, there are always comedy books and memoirs for fans of those comedians who haven’t been creating new content this year, or in some cases, who turned their talents to the page! Daniel Sloss, for instance, has spent much of the pandemic working on his upcoming book Everyone You Hate Is Going To Die (due for release later this year). From essays to memoirs to hilarious snippets of comedic life events, these books from some of the biggest names in comedy are sure to make anyone laugh.

 

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

In this memoir, Tiffany Haddish explores her early life, some of the struggles she faced as a child, and how a comedy camp helped her realize what she wanted to become. It’s the perfect read for fans of Haddish who want to know more about her, and how she got to where she is today. But be warned, those looking for a laugh-a-minute book may be disappointed. While there are brilliantly funny moments here, The Last Black Unicorn is definitely a memoir that has some difficult moments, as well as lighter ones.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade

British comedian and director Richard Ayoade is known for The IT Crowd, panel shows, and for his work in cinema, and all of these come into play in Ayode On Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey. One of many books that he has penned over the years, this look at cinema and humor is wry, witty, and impossible to read without hearing Ayoade’s voice behind it.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

Ali Wong’s new book (the follow up to the wildly successful special, Baby Cobra) takes the format of a series of letters to her daughters, giving them advice on absolutely anything - which of course, means that the reader gets some great advice themselves! From being an Asian mother in America to career and comedy, Wong covers everything with humor and heart. Fans of Baby Cobra will undoubtedly love the book as much as the special.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling has written multiple books, starting with Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, followed up by Why Not Me?, and most recently, a series of Amazon Original Stories—shorter books about her life, love, and success story. Each of these offerings is written with Kaling’s unique humor that blends self-deprecation with (rightfully earned) pride in the work that she does, and perfectly balances relatable stories about anxiety and real life with wild celebrity moments.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah references the idea of being "born a crime" in his stand up specials, and it became the title of his memoir about growing up as the child of a Xhosa mother and a Swiss father in South Africa during apartheid. Like The Last Black Unicorn, this is more of a straightforward memoir than a book of comedic stories, although Noah’s sense of humor always shines through. The audiobook is also a treat, narrated by the man himself.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

Issa Rae’s book is the perfect read for anyone who is looking for laughs, but can’t connect to the kind of comedian who has always found it easy to be an extrovert. A shy and (self-confessed) awkward girl, Rae talks about navigating a world where she never felt like she fit in - and the result is absolutely hilarious.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

Which books written by comedians will you always recommend? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!