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Monday, November 11, 2013

Short & Sweet #2- Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler

Book: Self- Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler
Publisher: It Books, ISBN 978-0062223777
Hardcover, $24.99, 256 pages (Ebook available)
Genre: Humor, Memoir, Essays

Plot: Aisha Tyler is a standup comedienne, co-host of TV's The Talk, voices a character on FX's Archer, hosts Whose Line Is It Anyway and has a hugely popular podcast Girl on Guy. (She is a bit of an overachiever.) One of the features of her podcast is asking guests to recount a self-inflicted wound, something incredibly stupid that they have done in their lives. She turns the table on herself in this book, recounting her own self-inflicted wounds in humorous and touching essays.

Short & Sweet:  I have seen Tyler at her various jobs, and always thought she was funny, but I never realized how smart she was. She is a terrific writer, and her misadventures on the way through life had me laughing out loud. 
She says that she wants "this book to inspire you to be yourself. I hope this book will encourage you to follow your dreams." It does do that. If this too tall, intelligent, nerdy girl with a smart mouth can succeed in a business where women are not often welcomed, you may have a shot at success in life too.
She opens each chapter with a quote from someone smart, such as "The wound is the place where the light enters you"-Rumi, then one from her- "This thing is gonna need ointment", which opens the chapter "The Time I Cut Myself in Half", about the time when, as a child, she rode on a rusty, broken rocking horse she found in an alley and fell off, cutting her stomach wide open.
You'll laugh and feel empathy for Tyler, and even recall your own self-inflicted wounds and realize they weren't that bad after all, and just maybe they help to make you the person you became. (A note to anyone who goes to lunch with Tyler- she has been known to throw up on people. Consider yourself warned.)
I saw Tyler this summer at Bryant Park discussing her book, and she is as funny and direct in person as she is on the page.

rating 4 of 5

Aisha Tyler's website is here.

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