cover image I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

Rachel Bloom. Grand Central, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5387-4535-9

Actor and Emmy winner Bloom combines irreverent humor with childhood journal entries in this entertaining essay collection. The cocreator of TV show My Crazy Ex Girlfriend traces her search to feel “normal” back to middle school, when she was “pretty insufferable” and also the victim of bullies. Bloom’s humor, however, survived, and can be appreciated in amusing notes to her therapist, her journal entries (such as a list of all the “bad words” she knew at age 12), and a reprint of a high school newspaper editorial she wrote titled “Inside Jokes Can Leave Many Outside.” In an “interview” conducted by her 13-year-old self, Bloom captures her experience working as the sole woman in male-dominated writers’ rooms, telling teen-Bloom that “a few of them are SO funny that I often can’t even get a word in.” She recaps her rapid success (My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was ordered for series “blindingly fast”), and while a few of her bits fall short—in “My Official Celebrity Cause,” she writes that it’s important for stars to use their platform to speak out on issues; hers is “amusement parks should be smarter”—many of her reflections are spot-on. Fans of My Crazy Ex Girlfriend will want to give this a look. (Nov.)