HomeCultureBooksBook Reviews

7 Funny books by funny girls and boys


1st Jan 2015 Book Reviews

7 Funny books by funny girls and boys

This article contains books by some funny girls and boys, that will make you laugh your socks off (Not guaranteed. Humour is very subjective).

Bridget Christie – A Book for Her (and Him if He Can Read)

Bridget Christie's A book for Her

Christie’s book is a mini-memoir spanning twelve years of her stand-up career. It is also a feminist awakening (yeah, feminist, scary right – down with men and that sort of thing). 

A Book for Her manages at once to be both shambolic and sharp. Christie astutely manages to funny-up the political, in a clumsy but provocative way. She tackles some inherently difficult topics with a naïve curiosity which is cringingly funny.

Her definition of feminism is perfectly amusing, because it simultaneously confirms and challenges every stereotype of feminism there is. Come on girls, let's do like Christie: do some man hating, get hairy, and listen to some KD Lang.


Francesca Martinez – What the **** is Normal?

Francesca Martinez – What the **** is Normal

Martinez is the only woman to ever win the Open Mic Award at Edinburgh.

You might know her as Rachel Burns from her sixty appearances in Grange Hill. Or know that she writes a blog for the Huffington Post. Or that she is a supporter and fundraiser for the Green Party and a staunch protestor against NHS Privatisation. But what you might not know is that she is a very good, very challenging, and very funny comic.

Martinez’s comedy is philosophical and political, and if you don’t believe me, take Steve Coogan’s word for it. He thinks she is ace. Martinez’s 2015 book What the **** is Normal? Is a hilarious and deeply moving look at life with a disability. Well worth a read.


Sarah Silverman – The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee 

Sarah Silverman - The Bedwetter

Silverman is an American stand-up and writer who gets irony. She has written a very funny autobiography that deals with—although not very funny sounding subjects, I assure you they are—clinical depression, entertaining her father by swearing, and wetting the bed till her late teens.

Released on Adolf Hitler’s birthday (on purpose), Silverman’s book is majestically provocative and inherently hilarious. The fiercely funny and popular comedian, also boasts a celebrity endorsement from none-other than God, who kindly provided the book an afterword... from the future.   


Tim Minchin –The Storm

Tim Minchin is the Australian, eye-liner wearing, piano playing, Matilda the Musical writing comedian who has just written a graphic novel based on his own jazz-backed beat-poetry.

The poetry is supported by the phenomenal aesthetic scaffolding of artworkers D. C. Turner and Tracy King.

Storm’s hippy chick vs cynical guy storyline has some absolutely marvellous poetic flourishes and is occasionally super funny. But it can never ever be as funny as Tim Minchin’s original version of the work backed by jazzy piano. So as a compromise, slick on some kohl and scruff up your hair, and read it to yourself in an Australian accent.


Stewart Lee – How I Escaped My Certain Fate

Stewart Lee's How I escaped my certain fate

How I Escaped My Certain Fate explores Lee’s zenith of 90's stadium-comedy and his nadir of early 00's average-city comedy-circuit. While partial memoir, it also includes transcripts of his stand-up shows, and exists as a more academic consideration of comedy than any other books on the list (often a single footnote will span more than a page).


Al Murray – Watching War Films With My Dad

Al Murray's Watching War Films With My Dad

Murray is NOT and I repeat NOT a pub landlord! Although Murray has made his career playing the xenophobic licensee, he is in fact Alastair James Hay Murray. Murray went to Oxford and performed in a production directed by the young Stewart Lee.

In his memoir Watching War Films With My Dad Murray discusses his dad's penchant for watching war films he can’t help critiquing. The haircuts are wrong, the formation of the troops isn’t correct… It makes for a very amusing and very interesting addition to the comedy writing genre. Observational comedy about observation.


Aziz Ansari – Modern Romance: An Investigation (written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg)

Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance

You should read this book because it is good and it mingles social science with comedy. Who doesn’t want to read a well-researched book about social science and romance that is funny? Don’t answer that.

Ansari is perhaps better known for his character Tom in Parks and Recreation, and being a phenomenal stand-up in his home country America. Modern Romance will alter that; it is an intelligent conceit—a book that takes a light-hearted look at some serious opinion polls and data about how dating has changed after the explosion of social media technology.

Not only is it humorous and insightful, it is also a credible and academic piece of research. It is clever, it is cool and it is very funny.