#TPQ5: GREG MANIA

Meaty – Samantha Irby

Like any sane person, I am deeply in love with Samantha Irby, but there’s one line in MEATY — “I’M BLACK, HO. FUCK EARTH — that is forever etched in my memory because the first time I read this book, in 2014, I got reprimanded by my boss at the time for “laughing too loud.”

The Idiot – Elif Batuman

Batuman is a master of the craft, and every once and a while she will blindside you with a line — “I had a slab of German chocolate cake the size of a child’s tombstone” — that will just unexpectedly expel a laugh out of you. Like, what?! How is anyone allowed to be that smart and funny? Stop that!

Out East – John Glynn

I’m so honored to call John a contemporary. His ability to navigate the complexity of the intersection of a promising professional life and a dislocated personal life is a whole other level of nuance I have yet come across in a memoir.

Shrill – Lindy West

The queen of oscillating between funny and insightful. How blessed are we to have someone willing to look at the deficiencies of our culture through a critical lens, all while promising us the respite of a laugh?

Call Me by Your Name – Andre Aciman

Oh, man. This book doesn’t just pull at my heartstrings; it plays a game of Cat’s Cradle with them. Each sentence isn’t crafted as much as it’s composed, one note after another, one sentence flowing into the next. There isn’t even an emoji to describe what this book does to me!


Greg Mania is a writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter. His first book, BORN TO BE PUBLIC, will be published by CLASH Books in spring 2020.

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