Fall might be one of the best seasons for book lovers. You can curl up outside in the crisp cooler air or snuggle up inside on your favorite chair—not to mention, cozy clothes and warm drinks are the perfect book accessories. Those searching for reads that skew on the lighter side and offer up a bit of laughter will not be disappointed with the most anticipated humor coming in Fall 2023. You’ll find memoirs, short stories, fiction and more, all equal parts hilarious and insightful, relatable and honest.
Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere by Maria Bamford 9/5
Known as a comedian’s comedian, Bamford’s memoir puts herself and the reader on a quest to participate in a collective tribe of those looking to find a way to just belong. She channels the dark experiences of her youth, show business, mental health and more into a memoir where the reader certainly sees the light—and major laughter. By the end, you won’t subscribe to the thought that one has to be a perfect member of society, teams, or a recovery meetings, and that sometimes feeling isolated doesn’t equal being alone.
Museum Bums: A Cheeky Look at Butts in Art by Mark Small, Jack Shoulder 9/5
This light-hearted yet educational book is perfect for art lovers—or those all about the peach emoji—based on the viral Twitter account Museum Bums. Divided into six categories of derrieres, think Renaissance paintings to contemporary sculpture, readers get a crash course in the best bottoms in museums around the world, with historical context, images with captions and funny commentary.
Kill for Love by Laura Picklesimer 9/10
Imagine American Psycho with a female lead, set in modern-day Los Angeles. Enter Tiffany, an uppity sorority sister with sadistic tendencies, who realizes her lust for killing young men when a hookup ends in the bloodiest of affairs. This satirical dark comedy propels into the world of social pressures and toxicity facing youth today, and as Tiffany’s body count piles up, she faces a complicated growing relationship with possible “the perfect boyfriend” and a social media-fueled murder competition.
XOXO, Cody: An Opinionated Homosexual’s Guide to Self-Love, Relationships, and Tactful Pettiness by Cody Rigsby 9/12
Even those who don’t subscribe to the Peloton tribe have likely heard of beloved eccentric Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby. This memoir/humorous self-help guide follows his journey from growing up gay and poor in small-town North Carolina to New York City fitness icon, readers will find that amidst the hilarious, raw stories ranging from Backstreet Boys to grape jelly, the truth to living your best life is about letting go of fear—and that laughing at yourself is the best medicine.
Dracula Daily: Reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Real Time With Commentary by the Internet by Matthew Kirkland 9/19
You can never have too much Dracula, especially when it leans comical, a la What We Do In The Shadows. Dracula Daily was born from the “internet sensation” (The New York Times) by the same name, created in 2020 as a newsletter serialization that delivers Bram Stoker’s Dracula in bite-sized portions. The book combines Stoker’s original text with reader-generated artwork and memes, and witty commentary ranging from the vampire’s love triangles to funny comics.
Leslie F*cking Jones by Leslie Jones 9/19
It’s not easy being a woman in comedy—or as Jones calls it, “a tall-*ss Black woman with a trumpet voice”—and three-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Jones is ready to tell it like it is. Here she shares her truth to explore and expose “the fuckry” of multiple topics (born from her podcast of the same name). From growing up in the South to early gigs in shady places, to Ghostbusters and SNL and Whoopi Goldberg controversy, Jones lays it all on the table.
Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself, and Impostor Syndrome by Aparna Nancherla 9/19
Imposter syndrome spares no one, and this comical collection of essays by a comedian on the rise reflects on what it’s like to always feel like a fraud, feel bossed around by depression (named Brenda, in Nancherla’s case), suffer from anxiety, and come to terms with being a painfully shy comedian. And amidst the meditations on things like productivity culture and body image, it’s easy to finish the book and feel seen and heard.
The Perfect Amount of Wrong: The Rise of Alt Comedy on Chicago’s North Side by Arcadia Publisher Foreword by Pete Holmes 9/25
Chicago was an integral part in the development of an entire generation of comedy in the United States. We’re talking Hannibal Buress, T.J. Miller, Pete Holmes, Beth Stelling and Kumail Nanjiani—just to name a few—who came up in a ten-year span in a city that didn’t even have a comedy club. From this educational look at a scene, told by its veterans, readers get a fascinating look and hilarious look at a world that needs to be celebrated.
The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey through the Art and Craft of Humor by Keegan-Michael Key, Elle Key 10/3
If you’re craving your humor with a little education (productive reading—yes!) this book will appeal to all kinds of comedy fans. With priceless commentary the book traces back to 16th century commedia del arte, vaudeville and burlesque, and the rise of TV comedy. Between glimpses into Key’s childhood, influences and journey, readers enjoy original art and exclusive essays (think big names like Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more), and a look at the future of comedy on social media.
All Things Aside: Absolutely Correct Opinions by Iliza Shlesinger, Foreword by Margaret Cho 10/17
Iliza Shlesinger is an award-winning comedian known for her punchy wit, and this book of essays reads like her live no-bullshit brand of standup. Tackling topics from women-marketed scams and the question Am I actually an annoying person?, to personal moments like miscarriage and relationships, she offers unexpected truths and giggles. As Jimmy Kimmel says, “If this book doesn’t make you laugh, it means you can’t read. In which case, disregard.”
The Jolliest Bunch: Unhinged Holiday Stories by Danny Pellegrino 10/24
What is it about the holidays that results in so much dysfunction and stress; the term “unhinged” comes to mind. In this collection of hilarious (at times jaw-dropping) true holiday mishaps, New York Times best-selling author Danny Pellegrino acts as what he calls the “gay Ghost of Christmas Past”. There’s children’s Christmas pageant bloopers, gifts that result in emergency room misfortune, and family scandal. So, settle in for the nostalgia and mayhem, for all the warm and fuzzies about your own holiday memories.
This Won’t Help: Modest Proposals for a More Enjoyable Apocalypse by Eli Grober 10/24
Lover of dark humor? Look no further than these 100 satirical essays to help prep for the inevitable apocalypse. Eli Grober is a long-time humor contributor to The New Yorker of their most-popular humor pieces. And in this book, no one is safe—not mega-billionaires fleeing to Mars, nor pack-rat off-grid enthusiasts—but the sharp prose on our current issues, self-destruction and hypocrisy will at least give you a few laughs in the meantime.
Naked in the Rideshare: Stories of Gross Miscalculations by Rebecca Shaw, Ben Kronengold 11/14
This collection of short essays is best read in private; you may be laughing to tears. Written by Rebecca Shaw and Ben Kronengold—known for the viral Yale graduation speech, and being the youngest comedy writers ever for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon—it takes a look at their current generation and the ways they do it right, and wrong. It’s dripping with irreverence and satire, tackling memes, sex, politics, safe spaces, technology, and more.
I Wouldn’t Do That If I Were Me: Modern Blunders and Modest Triumphs (but Mostly Blunders) by Jason Gay 11/14
Have you ever heard “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” or wish that you asked advice in the face of societal change? Jason Gay gives us a thoughtful, funny look at where we are now, what’s expected and . . . where we go from here. From friendship, work, marriage and parenthood, constant digital landscape changes, Gay explores how to find optimism among tragedy and negativity with more than a few laughs.