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Self-Help Humor


I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons Lowest new price: $13.66
Lowest used price: $10.76
List price: $26.99
Author: Kevin Hart

INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”

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Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me Lowest new price: $8.49
Lowest used price: $7.45
List price: $12.95
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Brand: Haymarket Books

"This slim book—seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez—hums with power and wit."—Boston Globe

"The antidote to mansplaining."—The Stranger

"Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions."—Salon

"Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power in these accessible essays. Honest and full of wit, this is an integral read that furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society."—San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf

"Solnit [is] the perfect writer to tackle the subject: her prose style is so clear and cool."—The New Republic

"The terrain has always felt familiar, but Men Explain Things To Me is a tool that we all need in order to find something that was almost lost."—National Post

In her comic, scathing essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

This updated edition with two new essays of this national bestseller book features that now-classic essay as well as "#YesAllWomen," an essay written in response to 2014 Isla Vista killings and the grassroots movement that arose with it to end violence against women and misogyny, and the essay "Cassandra Syndrome." This book is also available in hardcover.

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in DisasterA Field Guide to Getting LostWanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

Features:

  • Haymarket Books

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Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life

Norbert’s Little Lessons for a Big Life Lowest new price: $7.13
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List price: $12.99
Author: Julie Steines

Norbert, the Internet’s cutest and most popular therapy dog, shares the lessons he’s learned from being a three-pound hero and philanthropist, demonstrating that you don’t need to be big to make a big difference in the world.

Philosopher, intuitive healer, and fashion-forward snappy dresser, Norbert the tiny, mixed-breed therapy dog with a big heart shares his lessons on friendship, individuality, family, love, and more to help you shift your perspective and focus on what really matters in life. With fifty accompanying photographs throughout the book, Norbert hopes to continue his goal to spread smiles, inspire kindness, and bring comfort to those in need.

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F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That's Screwed

F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That's Screwed Lowest new price: $17.70
List price: $26.99
Author: Krystyna Hutchinson

Are You a Dirty, Nasty Slut? Or a Sexually Repressed Nightmare?

Regardless of your background or bedroom resume, someone or something has probably made you feel that way at some point. This was what Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson discovered when they created the wildly popular Guys We Fucked: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast. What started as an outlet to interview—

You guessed it!—guys they'd fucked, quickly evolved into an enormous community of Fuckers around the world, and a place to share stories of kinks gone wild, trauma, assault, and the overall confusion among people who don't know what the fuck they are doing (in other words, everyone). 

F*CKED brings these raw, ridiculous, and serious conversations from the podcast to the page. It is a guide to love and sex for anyone -- female, male, trans, or undecided—who is fed up with double standards and the stigma surrounding sexual beings. It is for anyone who has ever felt afraid to be their authentic self. Corinne and Krystyna won’t talk down to you or coddle you because you’re better than that. They won’t explain why he’s just not that into you, because it doesn’t fucking matter. This book will teach you how to deal with shit, brush your shoulder off, and move on. You'll also learn about:

  • Why shame is completely made up and how we can stop giving into it
  • Sexual exploration and how it sometimes ends in a trip to the ER
  • Stuff we should stop doing: Snooping, nitpicking our bodies, and faking orgasms
  • Asking your sexual partner uncomfortable questions
  • How to get yourself out of an unsafe situation
  • Masturbation, threesomes, porn, sex toys, butt stuff, and much, much more

Despite what Rom-Coms and magazines tell you, you can handle sexual exploration without the assistance of a man, a glass of rose, and a Xanax. More importantly, you’re fine all by yourself. This is the book Bridget Jones should’ve read instead of writing that shitty diary in the first place.

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The Nix

The Nix Lowest new price: $5.31
Lowest used price: $5.52
List price: $17.00
Author: Nathan Hill
Brand: Nathan Hill

New York Times 2016 Notable Book
Entertainment Weekly's #1 Book of the Year
Washington Post 2016 Notable Book
Slate Top Ten Book


Nathan Hill is a maestro.” —John Irving 

It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn’t seen his mother, Faye, in decades—not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.

An Amazon Best Book of September 2016: The Nix is a surprising novel that you didn’t know you were waiting for until you start reading. At its center is Samuel Andresen-Anderson, a failed writer and increasingly apathetic college professor, who gets a second chance at literary fame from the most unlikely source—the mother who abandoned him as a child. The American public is up in arms about a rather absurd crime that Samuel’s mother committed against an obnoxious politician. While Sam is shocked and surprised to learn the whereabouts of his estranged mother, he also realizes it’s the chance of a lifetime to tap into the zeitgeist with some choice tidbits about her, if he can write it before media A.D.D. sets in. But in order to write the book that will revive him, Samuel is forced to dig into her life, and he discovers a completely different version of the woman he thought he knew; it turns out he’s not the only one who’s life is carved out of traumatic events. Nathan Hill is incredibly perceptive, as in this, which I can’t stop thinking about: “The things we love the most are the most disfiguring. Such is our greed for them.” Hill has created a brilliant junction of mother-son saga and comic satire about our self-righteous and obsessive society. This is a big, clever novel that wraps itself around you until you never want to leave. --Seira Wilson, The Amazon Book Review

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  • The Nix

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture Lowest new price: $3.59
Lowest used price: $0.10
List price: $22.00
Author: Randy Pausch
Brand: PowerbookMedic

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Questions for Randy Pausch

We were shy about barging in on Randy Pausch's valuable time to ask him a few questions about his expansion of his famous Last Lecture into the book by the same name, but he was gracious enough to take a moment to answer. (See Randy to the right with his kids, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe.) As anyone who has watched the lecture or read the book will understand, the really crucial question is the last one, and we weren't surprised to learn that the "secret" to winning giant stuffed animals on the midway, like most anything else, is sheer persistence.

Amazon.com: I apologize for asking a question you must get far more often than you'd like, but how are you feeling?

Pausch: The tumors are not yet large enough to affect my health, so all the problems are related to the chemotherapy. I have neuropathy (numbness in fingers and toes), and varying degrees of GI discomfort, mild nausea, and fatigue. Occasionally I have an unusually bad reaction to a chemo infusion (last week, I spiked a 103 fever), but all of this is a small price to pay for walkin' around.

Amazon.com: Your lecture at Carnegie Mellon has reached millions of people, but even with the short time you apparently have, you wanted to write a book. What did you want to say in a book that you weren't able to say in the lecture?

Pausch: Well, the lecture was written quickly--in under a week. And it was time-limited. I had a great six-hour lecture I could give, but I suspect it would have been less popular at that length ;-).

A book allows me to cover many, many more stories from my life and the attendant lessons I hope my kids can take from them. Also, much of my lecture at Carnegie Mellon focused on the professional side of my life--my students, colleagues and career. The book is a far more personal look at my childhood dreams and all the lessons I've learned. Putting words on paper, I've found, was a better way for me to share all the yearnings I have regarding my wife, children and other loved ones. I knew I couldn't have gone into those subjects on stage without getting emotional.

Amazon.com: You talk about the importance--and the possibility!--of following your childhood dreams, and of keeping that childlike sense of wonder. But are there things you didn't learn until you were a grownup that helped you do that?

Pausch: That's a great question. I think the most important thing I learned as I grew older was that you can't get anywhere without help. That means people have to want to help you, and that begs the question: What kind of person do other people seem to want to help? That strikes me as a pretty good operational answer to the existential question: "What kind of person should you try to be?"

Amazon.com: One of the things that struck me most about your talk was how many other people you talked about. You made me want to meet them and work with them--and believe me, I wouldn't make much of a computer scientist. Do you think the people you've brought together will be your legacy as well?

Pausch: Like any teacher, my students are my biggest professional legacy. I'd like to think that the people I've crossed paths with have learned something from me, and I know I learned a great deal from them, for which I am very grateful. Certainly, I've dedicated a lot of my teaching to helping young folks realize how they need to be able to work with other people--especially other people who are very different from themselves.

Amazon.com: And last, the most important question: What's the secret for knocking down those milk bottles on the midway?

Pausch: Two-part answer:
     1) long arms
     2) discretionary income / persistence

Actually, I was never good at the milk bottles. I'm more of a ring toss and softball-in-milk-can guy, myself. More seriously, though, most people try these games once, don't win immediately, and then give up. I've won *lots* of midway stuffed animals, but I don't ever recall winning one on the very first try. Nor did I expect to. That's why I think midway games are a great metaphor for life.

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  • Lecture

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How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life Lowest new price: $11.45
Lowest used price: $9.95
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Author: Lilly Singh
Brand: Ingramcontent

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the 2017 People’s Choice Award winner for Favorite YouTube Star comes the definitive guide to being a bawse: a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly, and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side.

Lilly Singh isn’t just a superstar. She’s Superwoman—which is also the name of her wildly popular YouTube channel. Funny, smart, and insightful, the actress and comedian covers topics ranging from relationships to career choices to everyday annoyances. It’s no wonder she’s garnered more than a billion views. But Lilly didn’t get to the top by being lucky—she had to work for it. Hard.

Now Lilly wants to share the lessons she learned while taking the world by storm, and the tools she used to do it. How to Be a Bawse is the definitive guide to conquering life. Make no mistake, there are no shortcuts to success, personal or professional. World domination requires real effort, dedication, and determination. Just consider Lilly a personal trainer for your life—with fifty rules to get you in the game, including

• Let Go of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Temptation will try to steer you away from your goals. FOMO is just a test of your priorities, a test that a bawse is ready to pass.
• Be Nice to People: Treat niceness like an item on your daily to-do list. People will go out of their way to help and support you because you make them feel good.
• Schedule Inspiration: Lack of motivation isn’t permanent or a sign of weakness. Expect it and proactively schedule time to be creative.
• Be the Dumbest: Challenge yourself by surrounding yourself with people who know more than you do. It’s a vital way to learn and improve.

Told in Lilly’s hilarious, bold voice and packed with photos and candid stories from her journey to the top, How to Be a Bawse will make you love your life and yourself—even more than you love Beyoncé. (Yes, we said it!)

WARNING: This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, or cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else you want in life need to be worked for, not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no escalators, only stairs. Get ready to climb.

Praise for How to Be a Bawse

“Singh segues from her inspirational and uber-watched YouTube videos to essays on how to become a bawse, that is, a supremely self-confident person. She’s been named one of Time’s 2016 ‘30 Most Influential People on the Internet,’ Variety’s ‘10 Comics To Watch for 2016,’ Forbes’s ‘30 Under 30,’ Vogue’s ‘8 YouTube Stars That Are Taking Over the World,’ and more.”Library Journal

“Lilly is a bona fide #girlboss, boss, and bawse. Her meteoric rise has come with so many incredible lessons that we are all lucky to have access to. This book is a must-have for the hustler in all of us.”—Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO, Girlboss

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  • How to Be a Bawse A Guide to Conquering Life

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Everything Is Awful: And Other Observations

Everything Is Awful: And Other Observations Lowest new price: $19.80
List price: $22.00
Author: Matt Bellassai

From the break-out star of BuzzFeed and the People’s Choice Award-winning comedian behind the web series “Whine About It” and “To Be Honest” comes a collection of hilariously anguished essays chronicling awful moments from his life so far, the humiliations of being an adult, and other little indignities.

Matt Bellassai has no idea what he’s doing. Well, to be fair, he did become semi-Internet famous by getting drunk at work, making him a socially-acceptable—nay—professional alcoholic. He’s got some things figured out. But the rest is all just a terrible, disgusting mess.

This is Matt’s book. Just to clarify, though, it is absolutely not a memoir; Matt is far too young to have done anything worth remembering (though he did win an actual People’s Choice Award for his BuzzFeed web series, “Whine About It,” which is pretty good, if you ask his mother). This is also most certainly not a book of advice; he is too woefully ill-prepared for life to offer anything in the way of counsel (though that won’t stop him from talking). Call this a collection of awful moments that led to his grumbling, blundering adulthood—a chronicle of little indignities that, when taken together, amount to a life of hilarious anguish.

With keen wit and plenty of self-deprecation, Matt reveals how hard it is to shed his past as the Midwest’s biggest nerd, that one time a taquito nearly murdered him at his brother’s surprise birthday party, and the time he came out to his friends and family (the closet was a bit messy). Matt also wrestles with the humiliations of adulthood, like giving up on love in New York City, living alone with no one to heat his microwave dinners, and combating the inner voice that tells him to say aloud all the things the rest of us are smart enough to keep to ourselves.

You probably don’t need this book, but let’s be honest—you do. Since you’re already reading, you might as well pull up a chair, grab your glass(es) of wine, and enjoy.

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Fight Club: A Novel

Fight Club: A Novel Lowest new price: $7.69
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Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Brand: Chuck Palahniuk

The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

In his debut novel, Chuck Palahniuk showed himself to be his generation's most visionary satirist. Fight Club's estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret boxing matches in the basement of bars. There two men fight "as long as they have to." A gloriously original work that exposes what is at the core of our modern world.

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps Lowest new price: $4.06
Lowest used price: $1.15
List price: $15.99
Author: Kelly Williams Brown
Brand: Grand Central Publishing

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING GUIDE, WITH UPDATED MATERIAL AND A NEW FOREWORD

If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it's OK. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Just because you don't feel like an adult doesn't mean you can't act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown's popular blog, ADULTING, makes the scary, confusing "real world" approachable, manageable--and even conquerable. This guide will help you to navigate the stormy Sea of Adulthood so that you may find safe harbor in Not Running Out of Toilet Paper Bay, and along the way you will learn:

  • What to check for when renting a new apartment--not just the nearby bars, but the faucets and stove, among other things.
  • When a busy person can find time to learn more about the world (It involves the intersection of NPR and hair-straightening.)
  • How to avoid hooking up with anyone in your office--iImagine your coworkers having plastic, featureless doll crotches. It helps.
  • The secret to finding a mechanic you love--or, more realistically, one that will not rob you blind.

From breaking up with frenemies to fixing your toilet, this way fun comprehensive handbook is the answer for aspiring grown-ups of all ages.

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  • Grand Central Publishing

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