The Best Books of the Year So Far: Humor & Entertainment

Jon Foro on July 02, 2018
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If evaluating books wasn't already a highly subjective pursuit, try putting together a list of the the most humorous and entertaining books of the year, even if it's just the year so far.  Here are just a few of our favorites for 2018, including a memento mori for a generation of rock icons, the career and creative secrets of two pioneering artists, and the secret, debauched lives of panda bears. Browse all of our picks, and find more editors' picks across a dozen categories in the Best Books of the Year So Far.

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Twilight of the Gods by Steven Hyden

A heroic "journey to end of classic rock," Twilight spans five decades of bombast and bad behavior that asks more essential questions: Did any of us ever really escape from "Hotel California"? (No.) What is the secret of a "good-bad" record? (See below.) Is rock dead? (Read the book.) Of course, this isn't the first time anyone's written about the Beatles on Ed Sullivan or the Stones at Altamont, but as a generation of Classic Rock stars begin their final farewell tours, Hyden's book contemplates the biggest question: What happens when the gods themselves are proven mortal, and what does it mean for their fans?

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Just the Funny Parts: ...And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boy's Club by Nell Scovell

As a writer for The Simpsons, Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, The Muppets, and more, Scovell has been a fixture behind the scenes at some of the funniest and most influential television shows of the last three decades. But Just the Funny Parts is not all jokes. In addition to her extraordinary career, Scovell speaks about the challenges of working in a heavily male-dominated industry and offers a kind of how-to to other aspiring entertainment writers. 

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Creative Quest by Questlove

It's hard to imagine having either the time or energy to do everything that Questlove does. But on top of that, how does he muster the creativity to drive his projects as a musician, designer, producer, and at least three other things totally unrelated to those? While everyone must find their own wells of inspiration, Creative Quest lays out Questlove's own philosophies and methods, as well as what he's learned from the likes of David Byrne and George Clinton. It's fascinating reading for anyone choosing an unconventional path.

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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

You might have heard recently that panda bears are savage, sex-crazed beasts. (If not, satisfy your curiosity with a quick internet search). Well, apparently that's just the tip of the iceberg. Lucy Cooke take readers on a tour of surprising-if-sometimes-unnerving-or-unseemly animal behavior, from beavers to eels to sloths to chimpanzees (which we already knew were depraved). And if we see a bit of ourselves in her weird bestiary, it's because we're animals, too. Science is funny! Sometimes.

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Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America's Sport of the Future Since 1972

Roger Bennett and Michael Davies are the bald and blazered chorus of modern soccah, and their Encyclopedia contains the essential details of the Men in Blazers universe, including: the greatest penalty kick misses, the best nicknames (Brian "Toilet" McClair), self-loathing/depressing poet Philip Larkin, the game's most impactful "Gingers," and, of course, tweed.


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