If you like 30 Rock and books, you’ll enjoy Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

The first few chapters are very funny in a self-deprecating David Sedaris anecdotal-memoir way. My theory: the key to becoming a comedy writer isn’t having a miserable childhood (she didn’t), but a good memory for specific shames.

Any aspiring TV writer should check out the later chapters, in which Fey makes clear her ambition and ambivalence about her career. The way we make television isn’t healthy. 1 Yet the success of one’s career tracks closely to the sacrifices one makes.

And there are great lessons to learn: Watch as Amy Poehler alpha-rolls Jimmy Fallon. Listen as Lorne Michaels defuses and disarms. Explore the right mix of Harvard and Chicago talent in the writers’ room.

Very much worth the read.

  1. Granted, you could say the same for how we make food, energy or automobiles.