As another summer comes to a close, I’m trying to soak in the last bits of the long days and that warm evening sunshine. One of my favorite pastimes during this first summer of homeownership has been to lounge outside on the porch and read, even if only for ten minutes at a time.
I generally read a lot of magazines and blogs, but nothing beats a tangible paper book. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Not just reading them, but the feeling of flipping through the pages, totally engrossed, letting yourself escape into the words. I can’t help but be nostalgic.
Last week, I finished Tig Notaro’s book, I’m Just a Person. Wow. She’s been through some tough stuff. Her book, while much more serious than her stand-up, was equal parts emotional and humorous.
She fills us in on bits of her childhood while telling the story about the worst couple of months of her life, endured a few years back. First, Tig had a terrible bacterial infection from which she was hospitalized and made her believe she was dying. Soon after she was released from the hospital, still in rough shape, her mother passed away suddenly. And not long after that, the cherry on top, she found out that she had breast cancer. In both breasts. Oh, and somewhere in there, she and her girlfriend broke up too.
Eventually, Tig reveals a little bit about her infamous Largo set, which she performed just after finding out she had cancer in both breasts. She didn’t have a routine and candidly walked out on stage announcing her diagnosis. No one knew how to react, or whether or not she was joking. They quickly realized she wasn’t. She managed to captivate the audience with her raw, brave, and relatable performance. I’d heard that part of the story before, but not from her humbled perspective, which was fascinating.
I’m Just a Person is definitely worth a read if you like Tig Notaro’s stand-up and dry sense of humor. It’s doesn’t require a lot of extra thought. You might shed a tear or two if you’re an emotional sap like me, but brainpower really isn’t necessary. And I mean that in the most positive way. I did hear that a lot of the details in the book are the same as what’s in her documentary, but I haven’t seen it. Even if it is the same, I’m sure I’ll watch it anyway.
Last night, I started Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? I guess I’m on a roll with female comedian memoirs. I was a big fan of MK’s first book (the title alone cracks me up every time), so I have high hopes. If you’ve read it, what did you think? On page one, I was already laughing out loud. That’s always a good sign.
Have you read any good books this summer? I’d love your suggestions while there’s still time to enjoy some outside reading!