Top Ten Books When You Just Want to Laugh

Image by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, has us talking about moods. There’s a book for every emotion your heart desires: anger, sadness, and even fear (Side note: Why in the world do people like to feel terrified? I will never understand you, horror fans!)

So what should someone read if she just wants to laugh? Here is my list of my top ten funniest books–and if you can get them on audio, even better!

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Celebrity memoirs

  1. Tina Fey, Bossypants
  2. Amy Poehler, Yes Please
  3. Chelsea Handler, Uganda Be Kidding Me
  4. Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?
  5. Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck

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Love, lunacy, and LOLs

  1. Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  2. Alida Nugent, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse
  3. Sophie Kinsella, I’ve Got Your Number
  4. Vicki Lewis Thompson, Talk Nerdy to Me
  5. Mallory Ortberg, Texts from Jane Eyre

So which books have you rolling on the floor laughing? Recommendations are always welcome!

Audiobook Review: Why Not Me?

Image via Goodreads

 Review: 4 out of 5

When I heard that actress Mindy Kaling was writing another memoir, I didn’t think twice about buying it. I had enjoyed her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, but had hoped for less childhood stories and more gossip about her celebrity life. Why Not Me? is a great sequel that divulges more of these details.

Kaling focuses on the ups and downs of fame and how exhausting it can be as a role model to curvy women of color. She has a refreshingly honest perspective on living in Hollywood: she looks good because she has a horde of people to make her attractive, and she puts on a smile even when she’s having a bad day, because there’s nothing that pisses off the masses like an extremely wealthy person with an awful attitude.

Even though she’s the creator of her own show with her own name in its title, at the heart of it all, she’s another 30-something woman who just wants to make friends and fall in love. I admit that I don’t follow her closely on television since I gave up watching “The Office” and have never seen an episode of “The Mindy Project.”

However, the reason why I like her memoirs is that she’s relatable, hilarious, and the kind of woman I’d like to go shopping and grab frozen yogurt with. Spending extra money on the audiobook version is worth it, because it further enhances the feeling that you’re listening to a good friend.

And perhaps if I were one of her besties, then she would give me the real scoop on her relationship with B.J. Novak. Because as adorable as her “soup snakes” versus soul mates metaphor was, I just want to hear the hookup stories. Kaling reveals that she loves doing sex scenes on camera, but won’t spill about what goes on behind the scenes? Talk about disappointing!

As much as I love to read about drunken escapades and one-night stands a la Chelsea Handler, that’s not who Kaling is. She’s a theater nerd/sorority dropout/hopeless romantic, and that’s what makes her endearing. I wish her show the best of luck on Hulu and hope to read more of her memoirs in the future!

The Latest in Literary News!

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’ve been busy lately. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I’m going through a stressful transition, so apologies for missing blog opportunities like Top Ten Tuesday!

I’m currently reading Sisterhood Everlasting, the 2011 sequel to the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares. In the meantime before I post my review, I thought that I would pop in to share some tidbits of literary news that I’ve come across:

Image via Amazon

1.    Mindy Kaling’s second memoir Why Not Me? will be published on September 29, and is currently available for pre-order. I loved listening to the audiobook of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? so I’m sure that I’ll scoop this book up as well. It’s unfortunate that her show, “The Mindy Project,” was recently canceled, because I believe that Kaling is an under-appreciated comedic voice. She seems like such a sweet person, and I wish her success with her upcoming book!

Image via Rotten Tomatoes

2.     Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of “Far From the Madding Crowd” was released in limited theaters on May 1. Although I was not a fan of Thomas Hardy’s poetry or writing of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, this looks like a beautiful film. I can’t resist period dramas, especially those that star the exquisite Carey Mulligan. It has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 83%, so perhaps I should give Hardy another shot before seeing this adaptation!

Image via Monkeys Fighting Robots

3.     Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic Brave New World is coming to the small screen with a TV series on Syfy. The network is collaborating with Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin Television. No word yet on its release, but the bar will be set awfully high for one of my favorite books of all time.

Are you as excited as I am about these three new and upcoming releases? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Audiobook Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ever since I listened to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I loved how audiobooks made my commute more enjoyable. Only interested in light-hearted books that require little concentration (because how hard would it be to pay attention to Moby Dick while avoiding crazy text-and-drivers?), I decided that Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) would make a good follow-up.

Mindy Kaling became famous for playing Kelly Kapoor on the American version of “The Office.” Her character is so obnoxiously shallow and narcissistic, but Mindy is actually someone most women could relate to. She’s a 30-something size-8 who likes gossip, guys with chest hair, and sneaking out of parties. I loved learning all the quirky tidbits about her, like how she creates revenge fantasies for her workouts, or how she hates the color navy.

Mindy talks about her childhood friends, her jobs leading up to “The Office,” and how she handles fame. She dishes on her co-stars Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson. Even her friends BJ Novak, Mike Schur, and Brenda Withers provide the other various voices on the audiobook.

Bossypants literally made me laugh out loud, but Is Everyone… still got me to chuckle every now and then. Even though Mindy’s not as funny as Tina in my opinion, I think younger readers will appreciate Mindy’s struggle to date men not boys, over Tina’s frustrations with the mommy wars. But if you’re a fan of female comedians, you’ll probably love both of them.

So got any more great audiobooks ideas? Only requirements: must be read by the author and offer lots of laughs!

Favorite Quote: “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.”

Weekend Update!

So I feel bad that I haven’t started off the new year with a bunch of blogging, but that’s because I’m currently reading Ally Condie’s sequel Crossed and listening to Mindy Kaling’s audiobook Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? So far both are going ok, but Mindy’s is definitely more entertaining. Hopefully, I’ll be posting both reviews next week.

I’ve also started my last semester of grad school: I’m taking a class on Media Ethics (no, not an oxymoron!), and I’m also the social media specialist and student grader for a professor in my program. Not to mention, I’m still working as an academic tutor, and preparing for my two-month-long comprehensive exam. Phew! Just typing this paragraph stresses me out! But come May 19, I will be DONE! Watch out real world!

Ok, one more thing about myself and then I promise I’ll bring the discussion back to books. I recently spent a relatively insane amount of money on Rocket Languages Japanese (still cheaper than Rosetta Stone!), a program with dozens of speaking, writing, and cultural lessons. It’s got PDFs I can print out, and mp3s I can transfer to my iPod.

Why did I do this, you ask? Well, it’s not official yet, but for my graduation present, my younger brother and I are going to Tokyo to visit one of my best friends who lives there! We won’t be travelling until the end of June, but I want to learn as much Japanese as I possibly can before we go. It’s a challenge with everything else I have going on, but studying the language has become my favorite extracurricular activity!

Alright, back to the main attraction: this week I read on The Huffington Post that Candace Bushnell’s The Carrie Diaries has been picked up by the CW. Not a huge surprise, since “Sex and the City” was one of the hottest shows ever, and its teenage prequel will be perfect for the CW’s demographic. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the creators of “Gossip Girl,” will be producing the show. Much like my opinion of the Gossip Girl novels, I have a feeling that The Carrie Diaries may be better on screen than in print–mostly because all that high school melodrama seems more tolerable when you can stare at gorgeous guys like Ed Westwick.

So which actress do you think should play 17-year-old Carrie Bradshaw? Blake Lively’s got the look, but is too mature now to pass for a teenager. Dakota and her sister Elle Fanning are the right age, but look way too innocent to pull off Carrie. After a Google search of “blonde actresses under 20,” I found some worthy choices. These girls all have Disney/Nick backgrounds, so going to the CW will give them that “I’m not a little kid anymore” vibe. Plus, they’re all 18-19 years-old.

AnnaSophia Robb (“Soul Surfer,” “Bridge to Terabithia”) 

Image via DenimBlog

Meagan Martin (“Camp Rock,” “10 Things I Hate About You” TV show)

Image via IMDb

Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana,” “Spy Kids” 2 and 3D)

Image via TeenIdols4You

So who deserves the coveted role of Miss Carrie Bradshaw? One of these young women, someone else, or someone completely unknown? Let me know!

Minna-san sayonara! (Goodbye everybody!)