The Funniest New Books to Read This Summer

When we think “beach reads,” we think about thrillers and mysteries and the like. But it turns out there are lots of new books that are less pee-your-pants scary and more pee-your-pants funny. Here, nine new (or new-ish) books to pick up immediately for a good laugh.

The Best Beach Reads of Summer 2018

my life as a goddess guy branum
Cover: Atria Books; Background: Twenty20

my Life As A Goddess By Guy Branum

In this essay collection, comedian Branum talks about everything from the pitfalls of being typecast as the “Sassy Gay Friend” to how going to law school made him decide to try stand-up. 

my beautiful despair kim kierkegaardashian
Cover: Touchstone; Background: Twenty20

my Beautiful Despair By Kim Kierkegaardashian

Based on a popular Twitter account, this slim volume contains mashups of Kim Kardashian tweets and Soren Kierkegaard’s philosophy. Think: “I have majorly fallen off my workout-eating plan! AND it's summer. But to despair over sin is to sink deeper into it.”

unwifeable mandy stadtmiller
Cover: Gallery Books; Background: Twenty20

unwifeable By Mandy Stadtmiller

Candid, messy and outrageously funny, Unwifeable is a memoir by witer and comedian Stadtmiller. Come for the wild, name drop-y stories about high-profile hookups and stay for the author's roundabout path to self-discovery.

so close to being the shit retta book cover
Cover: St. Martin's Press; Background: Twenty20

so Close To Being The Sh*t, Y'all Don’t Even Know By Retta

The hilarious star of Parks and Recreation and Good Girls, Retta knows how to get a laugh. Her debut essay collection tackles everything from abandoning her med school plans to stalking the cast of Hamilton.

calypso david sedaris
Cover: Little, Brown and Company; Background: Twenty20

calypso By David Sedaris

With his trademark dark wit, Sedaris confronts middle age and mortality through the experience of buying a beach house with the intention of learning to relax.

i can t date jesus michael arceneaux
Cover: Atria; Background: Twenty20

i Can't Date Jesus By Michael Arceneaux 

Growing up black and gay in Houston, Texas, writer Arceneaux had to learn to accept himself in a world that wanted him to change. In his debut book, he touches on everything from coming out to his mom to how he almost ended up in the priesthood.

30 before 30 marina shifrin
Cover: Wednesday Books; Background: Twenty20

30 Before 30 By Marina Shifrin

Fresh out of college and working in NYC, Shifrin was uninspired. That is, until she made—and completed—a list of 30 things she wanted to do before turning 30. From riding a bike over the Brooklyn Bridge to becoming internet famous, her new memoir is funny and inspiring.

hits and misses simon rich
Cover: Little, Brown and Company; Background: Twenty20

hits And Misses By Simon Rich

In this 18-story collection, former Saturday Night Live writer Rich reflects on the absurdity of fame and realities of a world dominated by social media influencers and real housewives.

maeve in america maeve higgins
Cover: Penguin Books; Background: Twenty20

maeve In America By Maeve Higgins

Higgins was a best-selling memoirist and comedian in her native Ireland when, at 31, she moved to NYC for a change of pace. Her essays are a funny and smart look at everything from renting a gown for her first New York ball and learning to love yourself to dating someone who’s a loud clapper.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...