Navel Gazing: True Tales of Bodies, Mostly Mine (but also my mom's, which I know sounds weird)

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New York Times bestselling author and stand-up comedian Michael Ian Black (author of A Child’s First Book of Trump) delivers a “memorable and funny” (Kirkus Reviews) memoir about confronting his genetic legacy as he hits his forties.

Black pulls no punches in this hilariously honest memoir, a follow-up to the acclaimed You’re Not Doing It Right. When Michael’s mother receives a harrowing medical diagnosis, Michael begins a laugh-out-loud examination of health, happiness, and the human body from the perspective of a settled (and sedentary) husband and father of two. With the trademark wit that has made Michael’s other books popular favorites, Navel Gazing is a heartfelt and poignant memoir about coming to terms with growing older and the inevitability of death. It is also a self-deprecating and deliciously frank remembrance of exercise failures, finding out he is part Neanderthal, and almost throwing down with fellow author Tucker Max.

Michael Ian Black may not have the perfect body. Or be the perfect father. Or husband. Or son. But you will laugh as you recognize yourself in his attempts to do better. And, inevitably, falling short. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll call your mom.
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About the author

Michael Ian Black is a writer, comedian, and actor who currently appears on Another Period, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. He created and starred in many television series, including Michael and Michael Have Issues, Stella, and The State. He wrote the screenplay for the film Run, Fatboy, Run and wrote and directed the film Wedding Daze. Michael regularly tours the country as a stand-up comedian and is the bestselling author of the book My Custom Van (and 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face), the memoir You’re Not Doing It Right, and the children’s books Chicken Cheeks, The Purple Kangaroo, A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea, I’m Bored, Naked!, and Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop. Michael lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

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4.6
5 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 5, 2016
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781476748849
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / Form / Anecdotes & Quotations
Humor / Form / Essays
Humor / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the creator of the hugely popular @thefatjewish Instagram comes an outlandish collection of hilarious personal essays and images, which might be the most ridiculous book in the history of arts and letters.

If Steven Seagal and Barbara Streisand had drunken sex and conceived a baby boy, he would have show business chops and be proficient in martial arts. That boy would become Josh Ostrovsky, often known as "The Fat Jew."

Born and bred in New York City, Ostrovsky's overbearing mother entered him into "the biz" as an 8-year old with exquisite cheekbones and the singing voice of an angel. He appeared in a plethora of television commercials, and after his child-acting career fizzled, Ostrovsky took 20 years away from the limelight to focus on finding himself, eventually opening a yoga center in Toronto, and receiving his MFA in pottery at Middlebury College. JK, he mostly just did drugs.

But in 2009, when social media became a thing, he triumphantly returned to a life in the spotlight. He exfoliates daily, plays the harp, bakes his own croutons for every salad he eats, once saved a baby deer with a broken leg who had fallen into a stream, and speaks fluent Portuguese. With an army of followers on social media that often border on fanatical and creepy, he is a "rising" "star" whose backup plan is to marry Suri Cruise when she's of legal consenting age.

Channeling the brilliance of his online presence, MONEY PIZZA RESPECT rolls out one ludicrous story after another-from puking on his grandfather after a debaucherous drunken night to saving his deaf neighbor from a burning building, to hiring prostitutes for the sole purpose of reenacting scenes from Mel Gibson's Braveheart. In this, the next milestone of his glorious life, Ostrovsky will attempt to reinvigorate the dying medium of books.

Writer.
Plus Size Model.
Horseback riding enthusiast.
Instagram Legend.
Josh Ostrovsky: The Fat Jew.

How does Steve Almond get himself into so much trouble? Could it be his incessant moralizing? His generally poor posture? The fact that he was raised by a pack of wolves? Frankly, we haven’t got a clue. What we do know is that Almond has a knack for converting his dustups into essays that are both funny and furious. In (Not that You Asked), he squares off against Sean Hannity on national TV, nearly gets arrested for stealing “Sta-Hard” gel from his local pharmacy, and winds up in Boston, where he quickly enrages the entire population of the Red Sox Nation. Almond is, as they say in Yiddish, a tummler.

Almond on personal grooming: “Why, exactly, did I feel it would be ‘sexy’ and ‘hot’ to have my girlfriend wax my chest? I can offer no good answer to this question today. I could offer no good answer at the time.”
On sports: “To be a fan is to live in a condition of willed helplessness. We are (for the most part) men who sit around and watch other men run and leap and sweat and grapple each other. It is a deeply homoerotic pattern of conduct, often interracial in nature, and essentially humiliating.”
On popular culture: “I have never actually owned a TV, a fact I mention whenever possible, in the hopes that it will make me seem noble and possibly lead to oral sex.”
On his literary hero, Kurt Vonnegut: “His books perform the greatest feat of alchemy known to man: the conversion of grief into laughter by means of courageous imagination.”
On religion: “Every year, when Chanukah season rolled around, my brothers and I would make the suburban pilgrimage to the home of our grandparents, where we would ring in the holiday with a big, juicy Chanukah ham.”

The essays in (Not that You Asked) will make you laugh out loud, or, maybe just as likely, hurl the book across the room. Either way, you’ll find Steve Almond savagely entertaining. Not that you asked.

“A pop-culture-saturated intellectual, a kindly grouch, vitriolic Boston Red Sox hater, neurotic new father and Kurt Vonnegut fanatic… [Almond] scores big in every chapter of this must-have collection. Biting humor, honesty, smarts and heart: Vonnegut himself would have been proud.”
—— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



Get ready for the read of your life. Never before has a single book combined awesome vans, unicorns, Billy Joel, and erotic fiction in such a potent combination. A writing tour de force? Perhaps. A reading experience that will sear itself into your consciousness like a red-hot branding iron? Without question.

Comedian and basic cable superstar Michael Ian Black unleashes the full fury of his astonishing intellect in this collection of short comic essays. My Custom Van is a no-holds-barred assault to the funny bone that will literally beat you into submission with hilarity*.

How did he do it? How did he create such a fine anthology? Answer: With love. Michael opened his heart and used the magical power of love to write more than fifty thought-provoking essays like, "Why I Used a Day-Glo Magic Marker to Color My Dick Yellow," and "An Open Letter to the Hair Stylist Who Somehow Convinced Me to Get a Perm When I Was in Sixth Grade."

Maybe you think love is not a substitute for "good writing skills" and "spell check." Bull pucky! When it comes to writing books, love is the most powerful word processor of all.

Sounds pretty great, right? And yet...something is still holding you back from paying the full purchase price of this book. What is it? Perhaps you secretly believe you do not deserve a book this good. Nonsense -- you deserve this book and so much more. In fact, if Michael could have written you all the stars in the sky, that's what he would have done. But he couldn't do that, due to his lack of knowledge in the area of astronomy. So he wrote this book instead.

And this flap copy.

Enjoy.

* Michael Ian Black is not responsible for any actual injuries caused by reading this book.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE A.V. CLUB • Includes new interviews!

From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).

Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.

Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.

Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.

Praise for Sick in the Head

“I can’t stop reading it. . . . I don’t want this book to end.”—Jimmy Fallon

“An essential for any comedy geek.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century.”—The Washington Post

“Open this book anywhere, and you’re bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”—The New Yorker

“Fascinating and revelatory.”—Chicago Tribune

“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book.”—Will Ferrell
“With this charming, sardonic debut, stand up comedian and actor Todd Barry makes readers laugh as hard as the audiences at his shows” (Publishers Weekly) in this hilarious book of travel essays from his time on tour in the US, Canada, and Israel.

Hello. It’s Todd Barry. Yes, the massively famous comedian. I have billions of fans all over the world, so I do my fair share of touring. While I love doing shows in the big cities (New York, Philadelphia), I also enjoy a good secondary market (Ithaca, Bethlehem). Performing in these smaller places can be great because not all entertainers stop there on tour; they don’t expect to see you. They’re appreciative. They say things like “Thank you for coming to Hattiesburg” as much as they say “Nice show.” And almost every town has their version of a hipster coffee shop, so I can get in my comfort zone.

My original plan was to book one secondary market show in all fifty states, in about a year, but that idea was funnier than anything in my act. So, instead of all fifty states in a year, my agent booked multiple shows in a lot of states, plus Israel and Canada.

Thank You for Coming to Hattiesburg is part tour diary, part travel guide, and part memoir (Yes, memoir. Just like the thing presidents and former child stars get to write). Follow me on my journey of small clubs, and the occasional big amphitheater. Watch me make a promoter clean the dressing room toilet in Connecticut, see me stare at beached turtles in Maui, and see how I react when Lars from Metallica shows up to see me at a rec center in Northern California.

I’d love to tell you more, but I need to go book a flight to Evansville, Indiana.
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