Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Reading List: Erica

The CCA Blog Contributors are creating lists of their top recommendations for a "Summer Reading List." Here are my recommendations for some fun reads with a relevant message for the 18+ set.

My summer reading list had a nice theme this year: Comedians. I chose these books because I admire all of the women who, in some way, each overcame (enjoyed?) awkward childhoods with humor. And I am totes obsessed with comedy right now!

Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns)? 
Mindy Kaling
Kaling's book is a little definitely softball for my style, but it's a good read that highlights the power of supportive friends and family.

Kaling's isn't really my type: she's a romantic and believes a chapter can consist only of a list (No!) while I'm more of a pragmatist and who can't post a blog under 1000 words. However, despite our differences, Kaling's love for family and friends is heartwarming and comforting. This book is perfect for a beach read or, as Kaling would likely suggest: that first week of college when you don't have any plans or homework yet, so you need an acceptably nondescript book to read in the student union while you wait for someone from your dorm to show up, so you can accidentally bump into them and suggest grabbing a coffee. It's like the perfect romantic comedy set up, y'all!

Favorite quote from the book: 
"Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair." 

Tina Fey

Tina Fey for Mayor of Life! Fey is amazing. She's funny, sincere, and a good advice giver. This book made me laugh and cry. If Mindy Kaling would make a great bestie, Tina Fey would be a stellar life coach. In between hilarious jokes about fashion fails and in-general awkwardness, Fey peppers in solid advice. One of my favorite stories was when Tina decided to compete for a job that she knew would knock another, very deserving woman, out of the running. Workplace ethics interest me and kind of I love this quote: [Stealing that job] "makes me sound like a jerk, I know," she writes. "But remember the beginning of the story where I was the underdog? No? Me neither." This book is more than a great read; it's a a collection of little life lessons.

The Bedwetter 
Sarah Silverman
Confession: I am only halfway through this book, but Silverman's struggle with enuresis -- bedwetting -- lasted into her teenage years and she also describes, in the lightest manner, her ongoing depression. This book is by far a raunchy romp, so delicate readers, run back to Kaling! Silverman's description of moving to NYC (another common theme in all three books) is easy to read, fun, and full of comedy tidbits.

Current favorite quote from the book:
"My stepfather, John O'Hara, was the goodest man there was. He was not a man of many words, but of carefully chosen ones. He was the one parent who didn't try to fix me. One night I sat on his lap in his chair by the woodstove, sobbing. He just held me quietly and then asked only, 'What does it feel like?' It was the first time I was prompted to articulate it. I thought about it, then said, 'I feel homesick.' That still feels like the most accurate description - I felt homesick, but I was home." 

-- Erica

PS: All of these are somewhat insensitive, especially Silverman, about people with differences and tossing around the word retarded. I just grin and bear it, but it miffs me. I understand you can't police comedy, but I hope that younger comedians grow more aware and replace outdated terms and stereotypes. :) 

Thinking about buying these books instead of renting? Order online via iGive.com and CCA will receive a portion of the sales! 

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