Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler

December 16, 2013

self-inflicted wounds Summary (from the publisher): In her book Self-Inflicted Wounds, comedian, actress, and cohost of CBS’s daytime hit show The Talk, Aisha Tyler recounts a series of epic mistakes and hilarious stories of crushing personal humiliation, and the personal insights and authentic wisdom she gathered along the way.

The essays in Self-Inflicted Wounds are refreshingly and sometimes brutally honest, surprising, and laugh-out-loud funny, vividly translating the brand of humor Tyler has cultivated through her successful standup career, as well as the strong voice and unique point of view she expresses on her taste-making comedy podcast Girl on Guy.

Riotous, revealing, and wonderfully relatable, Aisha Tyler’s Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation is about the power of calamity to shape life, learning, and success.


I wouldn’t call myself an Aisha Tyler fan, per se. I mean, I’ve seen her in several things, including Friends, Ghost Whisperer, and CSI, and generally have enjoyed her performances in those shows. But I’ve never specifically sought her out or watched anything JUST because she was in it. And I certainly didn’t know anything about her stand-up career or about her personal life. So why did I pick up this book? Because my library had it and it looked interesting.

I actually listened to the audiobook, which was read by Tyler herself. I must say, I think this “performance” really enhanced my enjoyment of the book and made it exponentially better than it would have been had I simply read it on my own. I said this before about Ellen’s book, but it fits here as well: this was like being treated to a private performance by Tyler and it was awesome!

She writes in an exaggerated, hyperbolic style laced with intelligence and wit. I know this particular kind of writing is extremely overdone these days (see Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, and countless bloggers), but I love it — especially when applied to memoirs.

The stories Tyler tells are pretty typical of a middle class kid growing up in San Francisco (or any major city) in the ’80s and ’90s. Since I fit that demographic, I was able to relate to many of her tales — at least on a superficial level. This, and Tyler’s engaging oral storytelling style, kept me interested in the book from beginning to end.

I did feel that the stories of her early adulthood and career were more compelling than those centered on her youth, so I enjoyed the latter half of the book a bit better than the first. But again, I can’t say I was ever bored at any point, and zipped through the audio files in about a day and a half (choosing to spend extra time on the treadmill just to keep listening!).


Overall, I thought Self-Inflicted Wounds was a great book as far as celeb memoirs go. Aisha Tyler is smart, funny, and a talented writer to boot. I laughed out loud numerous times while listening to this book, which was, after all, her goal. Mission accomplished. I give this one 4 stars out of 5.

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