As this is posted, I am headed into the back-country to backpack for a week, so I am going to make this brief. I still have one great book to share with you today, and this post also comes with a special list. The book I read this week is a memoir by the comedian W. Kamau Bell, who focuses on politics and race in his work. I love these kinds of books, and because of this, I wanted to share some of my other favorites with you.
Books I finished this week (and a bonus list!)
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian by W. Kamau Bell (on audio-book)
If I have a weakness for any particular type of book, it would have to be funny celebrity memoirs, especially by comedians, and even more so when they read their own books. I already listen to W. Kamau Bell’s fabulous podcast Politically Reactive, and so when I saw this in my library list, and saw that he read it himself, I immediately knew I would love it.
First off, I will say that as an audio-book this is not the most successful comedian memoir I have listened to, but it was still really good. What I loved most in this book was Bell’s balanced and yet unflinching view of racism and other isms in the United States. He calls it like he sees it, but he also welcomes and even seeks other minority views, something I don’t always see in progressive comedians.
This book is not perfect. It is a series of linked essays, and because the same examples are sometimes referred to more than once, it can start to feel repetitive. However, I think he says some important things, and he says them well.
The way I would recommend this book is that I would first recommend that you listen to a podcast of his show Politically Reactive, or watch an episode of his TV show, United Shades of America. If you like what you hear or see, you will probably like this book.
Funny Celebrity Memoirs That Are GREAT on Audio
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day
Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys by Billy Crystal
Anything Written and Read by Billy Bryson
What went well
I am still loving what I am reading, and this book made me really think. I also found out about really interesting organization through The Awkward Thoughts called SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) which is an organization that describes itself as “a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.” I am excited to learn more about them.
What did not go well
I mean, I always want to read more, and I didn’t finish a print book this week, so that could be better. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy.
What I am reading next week
I’m in the back-country camping this week, and I am bringing my kindle and Women Who Run With Wolves, so I’m hoping to finish that book at least.