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New York Times bestselling author and stand-up comedian Michael Ian Black (author of A Child’s First Book of Trump) delivers a “memorable and funny” (Kirkus Reviews) memoir about confronting his genetic legacy as he hits his forties.
Black pulls no punches in this hilariously honest memoir, a follow-up to the acclaimed You’re Not Doing It Right. When Michael’s mother receives a harrowing medical diagnosis, Michael begins a laugh-out-loud examination of health, happiness, and the human body from the perspective of a settled (and sedentary) husband and father of two. With the trademark wit that has made Michael’s other books popular favorites, Navel Gazing is a heartfelt and poignant memoir about coming to terms with growing older and the inevitability of death. It is also a self-deprecating and deliciously frank remembrance of exercise failures, finding out he is part Neanderthal, and almost throwing down with fellow author Tucker Max.
Michael Ian Black may not have the perfect body. Or be the perfect father. Or husband. Or son. But you will laugh as you recognize yourself in his attempts to do better. And, inevitably, falling short. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll call your mom.
Actor and comedian Black delivers a solid, sensitive, and often appropriately silly look at "time and family and the body" in his second memoir (after You're Not Doing It Right, which focused on romantic relationships and marriage). Black discusses the ways he began to think about himself "from a physical perspective, as opposed to a more mental or creative perspective." This shift began when his mother was diagnosed with a degenerative, inoperable bone condition, and it deepened after he turned 40. Black uses his account of his mother's painful illness as a jumping-off point for hilarious and insightful riffs on religion ("Although I can't quite bring myself to believe in God, I pretty much believe in everything else"), why he hates running ("I, too, have experienced the runner's high. I get it every time I stop"), and buying life insurance ("A great way to guarantee I'll live, because I have never outwitted a corporation and I doubt I ever will"). Unlike many other books by comedians, this memoir never feels like a series of onstage routines transcribed to make a buck. Black's examination of the many meanings of being a middle-aged father, husband, and son is an insightful and eminently readable story.