Before I begin this review, I would like to say that I am 1,000% bias towards Aisha Tyler. I ADORE her! I have even stated on my home page that I feel like she is my Super Sayan or for those of you who didn’t watch” Dragon Ball Z”, she the Raichu to my Pickachu, an evolution of sorts. (I mean, look at that picture, she seems so nice, just a cool chick on a rooftop, laughing, drinking a beer. Who wouldn’t want her as a friend?) I fell in love with her stand up years ago and the more popular she gets and the more interviews, podcast, books,etc that she does, the more I really feel like she gets me. I know this seems like the making of a stalker, but I don’t have the skill to hone a craft such as stalking. There is too much time and hacking invested in stalking that I don’t care for.
For those of you who are like, “Who the hell is Aisha Tyler?” Well, I’ll give you a brief biography. Aisha Tyler grew up in the bay area of California, she is a hilarious comedian with a few stand up specials. She has 2 books out (one of which I will review) and does lots of work on TV. She is the voice of Lana Kane for spy the cartoon “Archer”, as well as being a co host of the talk show “The Talk” and she is the new host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and was the host of “Talk Soup”. Along with her television jobs, she also hosts a weekly podcast named “Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler” where she talks to celebrities about assorted shenanigans. Most people may recognize her from her role as Charlie on the TV show “Friends”(which the WHOLE world is streaming right now) as she was Joey, then Ross’ girlfriend. She fearless, brazen, inappropriate, hilarious, intense gamer, confessed nerd and an all around awesome badass chick, who based on her principle alone, I would like to emulate one day when I figure out how to get my sh*t together.
The book of hers that I listened to, then later bought a physical copy, was Self Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation. How can you not like that title? Anyways, I “read” (a.k.a. listened) to this book for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for a collection of short stories portion of it. I recently watched one of the Book Riot contributor’s videos where the guy recommended this book as part of his self help book challenge, but I don’t know how I feel about that, I can accept his reasoning, but it’s a bit of a stretch. The audio book was narrated by Aisha herself, which is always a great thing, because the listener can get the intended meanings or get easily incorporated footnotes when the author reads their own books. (This is actually the one downside to reading the book versus listening. There are A LOT of footnotes and it can be distracting, so I recommend the audiobook, but I still bought it to support her.) The book is pretty self explanatory, as it is a collection of her most embarrassing and humiliating epic fails and how she got back up, dusted herself off and continued her journey. The stories start in her childhood, so it is not a “how I persevere in showbiz” type book, although her later chapters do offer advice for baby comics and how to make keep going after you continually bomb all your sets, but more of life lessons and screw what that other guy says about you. It’s a “you do you, boo boo” type encouragement, but with much more eloquence, humor, and much better advice. My favorite parts of the book are the beginning of each chapter. Each chapter starts with a deep and profound quote by great historical figures, followed by a not as poignant quote from Aisha. Such as : ‘“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”—BUDDHA “Mean girls suck.”—AISHA TYLER”’
The other thing I liked most about this book was the advice. She is genuine and her stories are relatable. I, too, have barfed on a date but my date wasn’t so cool as to call me back afterwards. It happens, lesson learned, no pre -gaming. In between laughs she offers great nuggets of wisdom like ” A rebel is just a guy who doesn’t have the good sense to go the same way the crowd is going, and the composure to act like that was his idea all along.” So true, right? I have never heard it put like that. Maybe you have and this sounds cheesy, but to me it was a cool perspective. Without getting delving into my personal life too much, this book came at the right time. I was feeling down and confused about what I was doing and if I was going in the right direction and whatnot and her book gave me some guidance and laughs. I love to laugh! If you know me, I laugh all the time. ALL THE TIME! I find the funny in everything. I am a firm believer in “if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?” and I do enough stupid things to keep myself laughing forever and I think that’s what attracted me to this book. She’s not afraid to share her humiliation, but most importantly she’s not afraid to laugh at herself and learn a lesson from her humiliation.
I know there are a lot of comedians writing books lately and this one, for me, is right up there with Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. It’s funny, witty, engaging and leaves you feeling good about your day. You’ll remember jokes said in the book and laugh to yourself about them later, like a crazy person. So, if you like laughter, smart women, stories from teh 70’s, epic fails, tales of embarrassment, profanity, drinking, Dartmouth, San Francisco, Oakland, or just a generally happy person that like to smile and laugh, then this book is for you! And in the words of Aisha Tyler ““Get up, go out into the world, and do awesome shit.” (How can you not love that?!) I feel like I want that to be my signature to this blog and to my emails. As always, leave me a comment below! Read it? Want to read it? Hate that I’m such a gushing fangirl and wish I would review a different book? Hated it? Hate her? Let me know!