Ben Karlin (ed.), Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me, 2008.
This book is an anthology of comedic pieces from Andy Richter, Will Forte, David Wain, Stephen Colbert (heavily censored), Dan Savage, AJ Jacobs, Patton Oswalt, and others. The title gives you a good sense of the subject matter: every piece is somehow about break-ups and past relationships. Unsurprisingly, they’re variable in quality and humour. The essays from Savage, Jacobs, and Colbert were my favourites. Savage thanks an ex for helping him to realise his own sexuality; Colbert shares (and his wife censors) a reminiscence of a former lover; Jacobs recalls the woman he wanted to date but never could. Each one writes in his distinctive style and with the clever humour the reader expects.
It’s a book that you can enjoy some essays from, be surprised and perhaps discover comedians in others, while not feeling guilty about skimming over the pieces that don’t hold your attention.