I’m always on the look out for funny and wise books about comedy and art. And sharing books is sharing love. So here are some picks, that I read this or last year:
Bridget Christie. A Book For Her. 2016.
Funny and wise words about being a woman in comedy and how to talk about topics that matter. Thanks Martin Niemeyer for recommending!
Stewart Lee. How I Escaped My Certain Fate –
The Life and Deaths of a Stand-up Comedian. 2011.
The best book about stand-up as a craft and artistic integrity. I underlined stuff on every single page as if I prepared for the stand-up college finals. I also love the way he disses himself in the footnotes.
Julia Cameron. The Artist‘s Way. 1992.
All time classic and the only self-help book I am willing to read. Healing steps for artistic creative recovery. I don’t know anyone who disliked it. (Who the hell borrowed this from me, though?)
Kit White. 101 Things to Learn in Art School. 2011.
The quick art rules in this little book can be applied 1:1 to stand-up. The short rules have the perfect length for my limited attention span. And, as a multiple art school reject, it gave me some piece of mind.
Austin Kleon. Show Your Work. 2014.
If you, like me, distrust social media and yet want to use it wisely as an artist. He also has a good blog for creatives: austinkleon.com
Scott McCloud. Understanding Comics – The Invisible Art. 1994.
For anyone interested in storytelling and visual art. Enchanting edutainment.
Dying Laughing. 2016.
No book, but a movie and must-see for comedians and congeners. I think I cried.
Charms Halpern, Del Close, Kim H. Johnson. Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation. 1994.
In this short manual improv pioneers examine the core of humor: truth. (Sorry Regina that I „borrowed“ it so long and tried to sneak it in your shelf as if I never had it.)
Ton Kurstjens. The Clown, from Heart to Heart. 2011.
Recommended by my clown teacher Ulrike Henseler. It includes games to find your inner clown and truly connect with people, heart to heart. I know some stand-ups who hate and want nothing to do with the concept of clowning. But finding your inner clown is core to finding your voice on stage and this book can help.
Brigitte Peter et al. Das Sprachbastelbuch. 1975.
Working in comedy means to connect to your inner child and use words. This brilliant Austrian language book for kids contains creative games for both. Inklusive Schimpfwort-ABC! Thank you again Regina!
On my current reading list are „The Subtle Art of how to not Give a F*ck (Manson)“, „Über das Geistige in der Kunst (Kandinsky)“ and „Bicycle Diaries (Byrne)“.
I’m always happy for new recommendations for wise and funny non-fiction!