It’s the last Saturday of the month, which means it’s Give a Sh*t Book Club time! Since we all need a boost this time of year, I wanted a book with some laughs. So I picked The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. It shocked me, it surprised me, it moved me, and yes, it made me laugh several times, so I think this pick was a success!
One of the reasons I was interested to hear more of Tiffany’s story is because I knew she had spent time in foster care, and I love reading about people who succeed despite difficult circumstances. But I was not prepared for just how difficult her life has been. Her mother was in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury when Tiffany was a child, and the results of that accident continue to affect them to this day. Tiffany’s relationship with her dad has been complicated, too, and he was absent for most of her life. What struck me, though, is how willing she always seems to forgive her parents because she wants to have relationships with them. She seems to offer her parents unconditional love even when neither of them have shown the same to her. I’m not sure I’d be strong enough to do that myself, and I admired her for her commitment to her family.
Because she’s had some tough experiences, a lot of the stories in the book are both funny and not funny at the same time. The story of her mom beating her in the Walmart parking lot because Tiffany tried to throw away her bag of trash made me laugh in the way she told it, but at the same time it was heartbreaking because her mom was so clearly not in her right mind and all Tiffany was trying to do was be generous with her. And of course the chapter about her abusive ex-husband was difficult--she wasn’t sure she even wanted to include it in the book. But as she says at the end, she wanted to write about her life to encourage other people who are in similar situations.
My favorite part was the story about going on the swamp tour with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. I haven’t seen any of her stand-up comedy other than her SNL monologue, but after listening to that section of the audio book, I can totally imagine her onstage telling how she explained to Jada what a Groupon is. I also cracked up at the story from her bar mitzvah hype man days when she booty popped on an old man and he had a heart attack. I believe the phrase “booty assassin” was used.
One of the few things I didn’t love about the book was the chapter about Roscoe. Making fun of people with disabilities is never a good idea. Tiffany obviously had fond feelings for Roscoe, but I don’t think there is a way to tell that story without making him the butt of the joke.
I hope you had fun reading this one! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Looking ahead to 2018, the Give a Sh*t Book Club will be continuing with some much-hyped and award-winning novels that I’m really excited about. I hope you'll join me for more fun, enlightening reads that celebrate diversity! Happy New Year and happy reading!