Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation
You know Aisha Tyler. She was host of Talk Soup, started out as a stand-up comic, and once penned an epic takedown of those questioning her gamer cred (go read it now: https://www.facebook.com/notes/aisha-tyler/dear-gamers/10151040991508993. I’ll wait). She’s the voice of Lana on Archer, one of the best shows on television. (Fun fact, my husband and I plan to name our next two kittens Lana and Archer, just so we can comically shout at them around the house. LANAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.)
I didn’t know that this is Ms. Tyler’s second book. I’ll have to check out the first one because this one? Is funny. It’s not a traditional memoir, although it does appear to vaguely follow a steady chronology. The whole point of the book is for Ms. Tyler to point out some of the epic fails of her life, embracing the choices that other people would shake their heads at. Instead of shying away from the ill-advised mock-turtlenecks of her early acapella career, or ignoring the multiple times she’s had some challenges with fire, she tells the tales of her errors with colorful language, self-deprecation (where warranted) and a whole lot of self-awareness. The point of the book isn’t ‘learn from my mistakes’ so much as ‘I made mistakes and it was awesome, so go make some of your own to learn from.’
Because I listened to instead of read the book, I’m not easily able to quote specific lines that made me choke on my lunch or have to stifle a laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe (the danger of listening at work). But they are there, and they are many. The specifics of stories may not be relatable to you in some ways (perhaps you’ve never attended a kegger at a college, or flipped ass over teakettle on a rusty hobby horse), but the feelings, the decisions, the consequences – those are infinitely relatable.
The audio was a pure joy to listen to as well. Perhaps due in part to her experience as a voice-over actor, and part because these are her words, the stories jumped out of the headphones as vividly as if I’d been watching them as a flashback. I was close to tears during the thirty seconds where she imitates her dad telling the primary school-aged Aisha motivational phrases that the tiny she then repeated back. It’s good. So add it to your list for the next road trip / long flight / commute to work, as long as you’re okay with people staring at you when you occasionally laugh until you snort.