Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell

This book is a fascinating look into the comedy and television writing world.  Nell Scovell has accomplished so much and yet her name isn’t a household one, which is crazy to me.  Her stories are insanely topical at this time and it is amazing how much she has been able to get done in a world that is not really pro-women.  She is an inspiration and this book helped to reinvigorate my love of comedy and writing at a time when I was debating all of my life choices.

4-stars

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover has lived a like I could never imagine.  Growing up in a survivalist Mormon family, she never went to school and doesn’t even know the date of her own birthday.  Somehow she managed to teach herself enough to get into college.  Her story is both terrifying and inspirational. More than just a discussion of religion, Westover looks at mental health and family, questioning what it means to be a member of a family.  I can’t stop thinking about her and what she has been through.  I didn’t realize how much I have taken for granted in my life.  Westover is so incredibly inspirational.

4-stars

Odd Birds by Ian Harding

This book was a surprising joy!  My friend Katie and I picked it up as a laugh (because we are guilty-pleasure lovers of Pretty Little Liars) and ended up having such a great time getting to know Ian Harding!  His writing is smart and goofy and he isn’t afraid to make fun of himself. (Katie and I both appreciated it when he described his natural state as “sweaty.”  Finally!  Someone understands us!)

Harding gives us a fun look into birding as well, a hobby that I do not relate to at all.  By taking the reader through some of his birding experiences, he educates you about both the physical act of watching birds as well as the psychological upsides.

This book isn’t incredibly deep but it is a lot of fun.  I’m so glad I got to know more about Ian Harding.  (Also, you have to read it so that you can hear about the year he spent as a jellyfish.)

4-stars

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

In a world where terrible people fill our lives as well as the news, this book was a much needed reminder that there are good people out there.  Franken’s writing is an absolute delight and he is brutally honest throughout.  Following his time from being a comedian to being a US Senator, Franken always brings the conversation back to interpersonal relationships, showing how important it is to be nice to those around you.  His stories from within the Senate are both hopeful and heartbreaking and somehow managed to give me hope for the future. A must read, especially for people who need to feel like the world can possibly survive all of this mess.

5-stars

Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor

I am a huge Arrested Development fan so I was super excited when I got a galley of Jeffrey Tambor’s memoir.  And I was not disappointed.

This is a great memoir and, as someone trying to make it in the performing arts, a great reminder to never give up.  In a world where people are making it at younger and younger ages, it was so nice to hear about Tambor’s experiences. He is matter-of-fact about everything and doesn’t sugar coat how much work needs to happen.  He is also filled with tons of fun stories from all the different parts of his life!  This book made me want to go back and fill in my gaps in his acting history.

4-stars