Friday, August 23, 2013

Five top books by humorists

Whitney Collins is the author of The Hamster Won't Die: A Treasury of Feral Humor and the creator and editor of two humor sites -- errant parent and The Yellow Ham.

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog she tagged five books to read when you need a good laugh, including:
Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life, by Steve Martin

This is a tender, funny, achingly honest autobiography about Steve Martin’s standup years. Wait, you say. That doesn’t sound off-the-wall. Well, brace yourself, because Steve Martin’s approach to comedy, way back in the 1970s, was utterly groundbreaking. Weird? Arguably. Genius? Absolutely.

Born Standing Up details how Martin got his start at age 10 at Disneyland, selling guidebooks and eventually perfecting old-school magic tricks. From there, we learn about his philosophical pursuits in college, his tendency toward hypochondria and anxiety, and ultimately, his methodical, disciplined approach to writing the wackiest comedy shows anyone had ever seen. This highly intelligent book isn’t necessarily oddball in and of itself, but it’s about one of the wildest and craziest guys the comedy world has ever known.
Read about the other books on the list.

Born Standing Up made Will Dean's reading list on stand-up comedy.

--Marshal Zeringue