We all have our favorite genres for different moods. Perhaps you like to read the classics when you're feeling pensive, or grand sci-fi adventures when you're a little stir crazy. Maybe you turn to romance or arm chair mysteries when you need to distract from your latest break up/work disaster/roommate dispute. But in my completely subjective and yet totally correct opinion, there is no better cure-all than the funny woman's memoir. Here are a few hilarious memoirs by equally hilarious women, for every literary mood.
A good comedy memoir is that perfect blend of "this can't be real" and "oof I've been there." Through essays, lists, and comics, these funny women bring us into their sometimes messy, always hysterical lives. There are heartbreaks and struggles with sexism, racism, and mental health along the way, of course, because a good memoir doesn't shy away from the truth. But each of these authors tackles their demons and mines them for pure comedic gold.
These memoirs are by turns laugh out loud funny, darkly humorous, and embarrassingly relatable. I can't promise that reading them will give you a perfect love life, career success, and well-moisturized skin, but I can promise that any one of them will brighten your mood with a well needed laugh:
1'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns' by Mindy Kaling
If you believe that rom-coms are a sub-genre of science fiction (but you love them anyway), then Mindy Kaling is the author for you. She's openly into cute clothes and romance, and she's wickedly intelligent, witty, and full of inspiration for anyone at the start of their career. Her memoir collects her thoughts on everything from television to dating to childhood swimming pools, and you'll want to pick it up again and again.
2'Let’s Pretend This Never Happened' by Jenny Lawson
Whether or not you know Jenny Lawson as "The Bloggess," you're going to find her memoir cringe-worthy (but in a good way). Lawson digs through the most hilarious, mortifying moments in her life, retelling them as delightful essays with titles such as, “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.”
3'The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl' by Issa Rae
For anyone who ever went through an awkward year (or five), actress and writer Issa Rae can relate. You might recognize her from her brilliant HBO show, Insecure. In Misadventures, Rae recounts stories from her life as an introvert, like having to eat alone in public or accidentally catfishing a guy online as a sixth grader. We've all been there, right?
4'Hyperbole and a Half' by Allie Brosh
If you've somehow gone this far in life without reading Hyperbole and a Half... congrats, I guess. Now go read it. Allie Brosh has an off-kilter sense of humor and a uniquely exuberant style of illustration. She also has a dog that's slightly below average, a story of how she become God of Cake, and a wonderfully candid chapter on living and coping with depression.
5'Bossypants' by Tina Fey
Bossypants is just great. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of SNL and 30 Rock or not. Tina Fey can make anything funny, whether she's discussing her first period, that time her cruise ship almost sank, or the entertainment industry's ludicrous beauty standards. A must-read for funny women everywhere.
6'Self-Inflicted Wounds' by Aisha Tyler
Aisha Tyler is a comedy great, so it should surprise no one that her memoir is brutally honest and ridiculously funny. Tyler can turn the most egregious mistake into a hilarious story (like the time she set the kitchen on fire). I wouldn't suggest emulating all of her behavior, but I would suggest dropping everything and picking up this book.
7'Wishful Drinking' by Carrie Fisher
I mean, look, it's Carrie Fisher. She's witty and irreverent. She's full of insights on what it's like to grow up a celebrity and then be cast as the most recognizable princess in the galaxy. She's perfectly happy to share all the gory, heartfelt details of her family and her lifelong struggles with mental health and addiction. She's smart and courageous and just plain funny.
8'You Can't Touch My Hair' by Phoebe Robinson
Comedian and podcaster Phoebe Robinson, of 2 Dope Queens fame, is just as excellent on the page as in your earphones. You Can't Touch My Hair collects her thoughts on race, gender, pop culture, and everything in between. She turns exasperating experiences into hilarity, including the politics of hair and some non-traditional advice for a future female president.
9'Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom' by Sara Benincasa
Sara Benincasa excels at finding humor in life's weirdest, darkest corners. Agorafabulous! is, as the title suggests, a fabulous memoir recounting Benincasa's struggle with agoraphobia and depression. It might not sound like the cheeriest subject matter, but, as the author puts it, “I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them.”
10'It's All Absolutely Fine' by Ruby Elliot
Ruby Elliot is infuriatingly young and deeply hilarious. Her comics on the ups and downs (and deep depressions) of life will make you laugh and then cry and then follow her blog. Some of this book deviates from memoir into nonsense, but every last scribble of it is ridiculously funny.