At this time of year, I am often reminded of how much we need laughter in our lives. All the stress of the holidays (much of it self-inflicted, naturally) piles up with the baking, cooking, shopping, holiday cards, package mailing, present wrapping, decorating, cleaning–and I haven’t even gotten to the family visits yet!
To help combat some of the stress I have been feeling, I chose to read humorous books this season. I decided to focus on women who write non-fiction, memoir-style comedies. Here are a few I read that made me laugh, and one or two classics you might recall and want to re-read…
If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck – Ms. Bombeck is the classic female master of this genre. When I was growing up, she was a household name. This is just one of her many, many titles, each one as good as the next.
God Save the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Browne – “If you haven’t met the Sweet Potato Queens yet, this is the introduction you’ve been waiting for.” You might want to give this book to your preteen daughter to prepare her for what’s to come in the world of dating and marriage. But then again, maybe you might not…
The Risks of Sunbathing Topless: And Other Funny Stories from the Road edited by Kate Chynoweth – This collection of travel-gone-wrong stories covers the entire globe. If you have ever had a bad travel experience, these tales will make you feel better, either because you can laugh and commiserate, or because there’s no way your incident was worse than the ones these gals had.
13 Is the New 18: And Other Things my Children Taught Me while I was Having a Nervous Breakdown Being Their Mother by Beth J. Harpaz – Harried and heartsick mother stories are a whole sub-genre of this group. Ms. Harpaz is trying to raise, and understand, her teenage son in this hilarious and completely current set of stories. Come along with her as she makes her way through the world of MySpace, enormous cell phone bills, and the ever-present teenage slang.
Tales of Graceful Aging from the Planet Denial by Nicole Hollander – No topic is sacred, from inappropriate dressing to sex on airplanes to hormone replacement therapy. This is an outrageous look at growing older, and hopefully, but not always, wiser. Plus, I love the little cartoon drawings scattered throughout the book.
We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive by Laurie Notaro – Ms. Notaro is fast becoming one of the most popular women in this genre. Her observations of life are those that we usually think but would never have the nerve to say out loud. Thankfully, she does, and we can read and laugh along with her.
Not Tonight, Honey: Wait ‘Til I’m a Size 6 by Susan Reinhardt – Ah, the perils of married life! Follow along as we navigate these treacherous waters with wit, wisdom, and a little bit of wantonness.
You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning by Celia Rivenbark – OK, I admit it. I picked up this book because of the title. Wouldn’t you? It completely fit how I feel about this time of year. And I wasn’t disappointed by what was inside. This is a great example of the southern belle version of this category. With utmost honesty and a little bit of potty mouth, Ms. Rivenbark takes us through a view of life below the Mason-Dixon line. Bless her heart!