A celebrated scholar's rich account of Jewish humor: its nature, its development, and its vital role throughout Jewish history.
In a major work of scholarship both erudite and very funny, Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Organizing his book thematically into what he calls the seven strands of Jewish comedy (including the Satirical, the Witty, and the Vulgar) , Dauber explores the ways Jewish comedy has dealt with persecution, assimilation, and diaspora through the ages. He explains the rise and fall of popular comic archetypes such as the Jewish mother, the JAP, and the schlemiel and schlimazel. He also explores an enormous range of comic masterpieces, from the Book of Esther, Talmudic rabbi jokes, Yiddish satires, Borscht Belt skits, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm to the work of such masters as Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Sarah Silverman, and Jon Stewart.
W. W. Norton & Company
Opening Wednesday at a Theater Or Drive-In Near You
By Taylor, Charles
"Movie criticism's Dostoyevsky . . . Taylor reveals a national identity forged from the innocence we claim to have lost but never had in the first place." --Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville
When we think of '70s cinema, we think of classics like TheGodfather, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch . . . but the riches found in the overlooked B movies of the time, rolled out wherever they might find an audience, unexpectedly tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Revisiting the films that don't make the Academy Award montages, Charles Taylor finds a treasury many of us have forgotten, movies that in fact "unlock the secrets of the times."
Celebrated film critic Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation "angel avengers," and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful B films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Eyes of Laura Mars. He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity.
Adulthood for Beginners
By Boyle, Andy
A smart, funny, and essential survival guide that you didn't know you needed. But you do.
As any current or former 20-something knows, adult life can get a bit weird because no one tells you what to expect. Many of us spend a decade or more figuring out how the world works, hoping that by age 30 our friends are too old to remember what happened.
Unfortunately, Andy Boyle does not have it all figured out. But the funny and useful advice and observations in this engaging book will help any newly minted adult get through the hard parts faster, guaranteed. (Note: not literally guaranteed.)
- Empathy, or why Nickelback fans are the best - Making dates suck less - What Would Tom Hanks Do? - How not to be an asshole - Should you get back together with your ex? (No) - Resume Dos and OMG DO NOTs
By Iii, Loudon Wainwright,
Loudon Wainwright III, the son of esteemed Life magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright, Jr., is the patriarch of one of America's great musical families. He is the former husband of Kate McGarrigle and Suzzy Roche, and father of Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Lexie Kelly Wainwright. With a career spanning more than four decades, Wainwright has established himself as one of the most enduring singer-songwriters who emerged from the late 1960s. Not only does he perform regularly across America and in Europe, but he is a sought-after actor, having appeared in many movies and TV series.
There is probably no singer-songwriter who has so blatantly inserted himself into his songs. The songs can be laugh-out-loud funny, but they also can cut to the bone. In this memoir, Wainwright details the family history his lyrics have referenced and the fractured relationships among generations: the alcoholism, the infidelities, the competitiveness - as well as the closeness, the successes, and the joy. Wainwright reflects on the experiences that have influenced his work, including boarding school, the music business, swimming, macrobiotics, sex, incarceration, and something he calls Sir Walter Raleigh Syndrome.
Wainwright writes poignantly about being a son - a status that dominates many of his songs - but also about being a parent, a brother, and a grandfather. His lyrics are featured throughout the book, amplifying his prose and showing the connections between the songs and real life. Wainwright also includes selections from his father's brilliant Life magazine columns - and, in so doing, reestablishes his father as a major essayist of his era. A funny and insightful meditation on family, inspiration, and art, Liner Notes will thrill fans, readers, and anyone who appreciates the intersection of music and life.
Blue Rider Press
By Lockwood, Patricia
From Patricia Lockwood - a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice - a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about having a married Catholic priest for a father.
"Destined to be a classic. . .this year's must-read memoir." - Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church's country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents' rectory, their two worlds collide.
In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence - from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group - with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents' household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother.
Lockwood pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood. Priestdaddy is an entertaining, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won identity with the weight of family and tradition.
Would Everybody Please Stop?
By Allen, Jenny
"One of the funniest writers in America."
That's what The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz calls Jenny Allen -- and with good reason. In her debut essay collection, the longtime humorist and performer declares no subject too sacred, no boundary impassable.
With her eagle eye for the absurd and hilarious, Allen reports from the potholes midway through life's journey. One moment she's flirting shamelessly -- and unsuccessfully -- with a younger man at a wedding; the next she's stumbling upon X-rated images on her daughter's computer. She ponders the connection between her ex-husband's questions about the location of their silverware, and the divorce that came a year later. While undergoing chemotherapy, she experiments with being a "wig person." And she considers those perplexing questions that we never pause to ask: Why do people say "It is what it is"? What's the point of fat-free half-and-half ? And haven't we heard enough about memes?
Jenny Allen's musings range fluidly from the personal to the philosophical. She writes with the familiarity of someone telling a dinner party anecdote, forgoing decorum for candor and comedy. To read Would Everybody Please Stop? is to experience life with imaginative and incisive humor.
Sarah Crichton Books
Waiting for the Punch
By Maron, Marc
"I'm British, so I'm medically dead inside, but even I can't help but open up whenever I talk to Marc. He uses his honesty like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he's talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same. " -- John Oliver
Each week over a million and a half listeners tune into WTF with Marc Maron to hear Marc and a guest do something remarkable: talk.
Waiting for the Punch is not simply a collection of these interviews, but instead something more wondrous: a running narrative of the world's most recognizable names working through the problems, doubts, joys, triumphs and failures we all experience. With each chapter covering a different topic: parenting, childhood, relationships, sexuality, success, failures and others, Punch becomes a sort of everyman's guide to life. Barack Obama candidly discusses the challenges of the presidency, and the bittersweet moments of seeing your children grow up and away from you. Bruce Springsteen speaks on the dual nature of desperation to both motivate and devastate. Amy Schumer recounts the pain of a parents' divorce.
At once laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreakingly honest, joyous, tragic and powerful, Waiting for the Punch is a book to be read from cover to cover, but it is also one to return to again and again.
Falling into the Mob
By Zousmer, Steve
At fifty-nine, facing a dull and lonely future, Phillip Vail yearns for a way to put vigor and purpose into his remaining years. Then he finds the Mafia.While riding a commuter train, enjoying a chat with a younger woman sitting next to him, he encounters three violent drunks. Phil is powerless and terrified but the woman is neither; her father is the caporegime of New York's Sforza crime family and a quick call brings her three mobster brothers who deal out brutal punishment. Phil is appalled but fascinated. In subsequent contacts with the woman, he finds himself falling in love and deeper into the Mob. Then comes the game-changer: a crazy-seeming offer to become a crime boss himself, an offer he cannot refuse.Phil sees the dark comedy in his situation but tells the story earnestly describing his emotions, reflections, and surprising leadership, As well as his adventures--including a sensational brawl with a Mafia kingpin in a posh Manhattan restaurant, a near-death experience in a karate dojo, and a spectacular stunt to force the hand of the FBI.
The Permanent Press
By Lange, Artie
When Artie Lange's first book, the #1 New York Times bestseller, Too Fat To Fish, hit the top of the charts, audiences learned what Howard Stern listeners already knew: that Artie is one of the funniest people alive. He is also an artist haunted by his fair share of demons, which overtook him in the years that followed. After a suicide attempt, a two-year struggle with depression, and years of chronic opiate addiction, Artie entered recovery and built himself back up, chronicling his struggle in brave detail in his next book and second New York Times bestseller, Crash and Burn.
In his hilarious third book, the two-time bestselling author, comedian, actor, and radio icon explains the philosophy that has kept his existence boredom-free since the age of 13 -- the love of risk. An avid sports better and frequent card player, Lange believes that the true gambler gets high not from winning, but from the chaotic unknown of betting itself. He recounts some of his favorite moments, many of which haven't involved money at all. In this candid and entertaining memoir, he looks back at the times he's wagered the intangible and priceless things in life: his health, his career, and his relationships. The stories found in Wanna Bet? paint a portrait of a man who would just as quickly bet tens of thousands of dollars on a coin toss as he would a well thought out NBA or NFL wager. Along for the ride are colorful characters from Artie's life who live by the same creed, from a cast of childhood friends to peers like comedian and known gambler Norm McDonald. The book is a tour of a subculture where bookies and mobsters, athletes and celebrities ride the gambling roller coaster for the love of the rush. Through it all, somehow Artie has come out ahead, though he does take a few moments to imagine his life if things hadn't quite gone his way. Unrepentant and unrestrained, the book is Lange at his finest.
St. Martin's Press
By Daniel, Douglass K
"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" These famous lines from The Graduate (1967) would forever link Anne Bancroft (1931-2005) to the groundbreaking film and confirm her status as a movie icon. Along with her portrayal of Annie Sullivan in the stage and film drama The Miracle Worker, this role was a highlight of a career that spanned a half-century and brought Bancroft an Oscar, two Tonys, and two Emmy awards.In the first biography to cover the entire scope of Bancroft's life and career, Douglass K. Daniel brings together interviews with dozens of her friends and colleagues, never-before-published family photos, and material from film and theater archives to present a portrait of an artist who raised the standards of acting for all those who followed.
University Press of Kentucky
Thank You for Coming to Hattiesburg
By Barry, Todd
From the veteran comedian and actor from The Wrestler and Louie comes a hilarious book of travel essays from his time on tour through secondary markets in the US, Canada, and Israel.
Hello. It's Todd Barry. Yes, the massively famous comedian. I have billions of fans all over the world, so I do my fair share of touring. While I love doing shows in the big cities (New York, Philadelphia) , I also enjoy a good secondary market (Ithaca, Bethlehem) . Performing in these smaller places can be great because not all entertainers stop there on tour; they don't expect to see you. They're appreciative. They say things like "Thank you for coming to Hattiesburg" as much as they say "Nice show." And almost every town has their version of a hipster coffee shop, so I can get in my comfort zone.
My original plan was to book one secondary market show in all fifty states, in about a year, but that idea was funnier than anything in my act. So, instead of all fifty states in a year, my agent booked multiple shows in a lot of states, plus Israel and Canada.
Thank You For Coming to Hattiesburg is part tour diary, part travel guide, and part memoir (Yes, memoir. Just like the thing presidents and former child stars get to write) . Follow me on my journey of small clubs, and the occasional big amphitheater. Watch me make a promoter clean the dressing room toilet in Connecticut, see me stare at beached turtles in Maui, and see how I react when Lars from Metallica shows up to see me at a rec center in Northern California.
I'd love to tell you more, but I need to go book a flight to Evansville, Indiana.
By Rosenzweig, Laura B
Tells the remarkable story of the Jewish moguls in Hollywood who established the first anti-Nazi Jewish resistance organization in the country in the 1930s
So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know
In her hilarious book of essays,Parks and Recreation star Retta shares the stories that led to her success in Hollywood.
In So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know,Parks and Recreation star Retta takes us on her not-so-meteoric rise from roaches to riches (well, rich enough that she can buy $15,000 designer handbags yet scared enough to know she's always a heartbeat away from ramen with American cheese) .
Throwing her hard-working Liberian parents for a loop, Retta abandons her plan to attend med school after graduating Duke University to move to Hollywood to star in her own sitcom -- like her comedy heroes Lucille Ball and Roseanne.
Say what? Word. Turns out Retta might actually be on to something. After winning Comedy Central's stand-up competition, she should be ready for prime time -- but a fear of success derails her biggest dream.
Whether reminiscing about her days as a contract chemist at GlaxoSmithKline, telling "dirty" jokes to Mormons, feeling like the odd man out on Parks, fending off racist trolls on Twitter, flirting with Michael Fassbender, or expertly stalking the cast of "Hamilton," Retta's unique voice and refreshing honesty will make you laugh, cry, and laugh so hard you'll cry.
Her eponymous sitcom might not have happened yet, but by the end of So Close to Being the Sh*t, you'll be rooting for Retta to be the next one-named wonder to take over your television. And she just might inspire you to reach for the stars, too.
St. Martin's Press
By Bates, Laura
Already an international bestseller, this empowering survival guide provides no-nonsense advice on sex, social media, mental health, and sexism that young women face in their everyday life - from one of the emerging leaders in the feminist movement.
They told you that you need to be thin and beautiful.
They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night, and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.
They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to reveal too much.
They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it's fine for the boys, but you should know your place.
They told you "that's not for girls" - "take it as a compliment" - "don't rock the boat" - "that'll go straight to your hips."
They told you "beauty is on the inside," but you knew they didn't really mean it.
Well, screw that. Laura Bates is here to tell you something else.
Hilarious, bold, and unapologetic, Girl Up exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of sex and relationships, the trials of social media, and all the other lies society has told us.
Praise for Girl Up
"In Girl Up, Laura Bates has given women of every age a fast, frank, seductively readable guide to surviving in the time of social media, impossible body images, feminist hopes, internalizing fault, standing up for ourselves and each other, and yes, confronting Donald Trump. She leaves no doubt about what consent is, where the clitoris is, what our rights are, and what our hopes could be. This is an owner's guide to our world and our bodies. It will definitely save sanity, and might save lives." - Gloria Steinem
"Girl Up is an essential compendium of wit, wisdom, advice, and straight-talk. They should give out copies in the delivery room every time another girl enters the world. Or a boy, for that matter - they ought to be reading Girl Up too." - Sarah Knight, bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
"This is the book young women need - one that teaches them about the anatomy of their vulva instead of how to impress their crush. While many of the topics covered are still relevant to me now, I really wish I'd had this book as a young adult." - Beth Newell, editor/cofounder of Reductress
You Do You
By Knight, Sarah
You Do You is a down-to-earth, irreverent, and no-holds-barred guide to letting go of the weight of others' expectations and doubling down on your dreams to find real, lasting happiness. First, bestselling "anti-guru" Sarah Knight taught you to shed unwanted guilt and obligations like a year's worth of old socks in The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck. Then, in Get Your Sh*t Together, she taught you how to set goals for the life you want and really achieve them. Now she's back, with her most broadly-applicable "No F*cks Given Guide" yet: helping you let go of family, social, and existential pressures to be happy with yourself and the life you really want. In the down-to-earth, warmly irreverent tone that has become her trademark, Sarah Knight helps readers find the conviction that it's not just okay to be who you are and want what you want, but that it's great. In the bestselling tradition of Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes and Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass, You Do You is an unconventional yet universal guide to getting down with your bad self.