Shelf Life

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What are Vikram Vij and Molly John­son read­ing? Plus, Jerry Se­in­feld’s mem­oir

Is This Any­thing? by Jerry Se­in­feld (Oct. 6). With his first com­edy spe­cial in 23 years on Net­flix this spring and Is This Any­thing?, his first book in 25, Se­in­feld is back, baby. Ever since he ap­peared at the New York night­club Catch a Ris­ing Star as a 21-year-old col­lege stu­dent, Se­in­feld has kept his best com­edy bits – which he wrote down on yel­low le­gal pads – in a file.

“I have ev­ery­thing I thought was worth sav­ing from 45 years of hack­ing away at this for all I was worth,” he says.

Or­ga­nized by decade, the book is a hi­lar­i­ous and in­sight­ful over­view of a comic who has al­ways been at the top of the game, from Se­in­feld to Co­me­di­ans in Cars Get­ting Cof­fee.

Is This Any­thing? re­minds us that Se­in­feld’s one-lin­ers from a show about noth­ing are so leg­endary, they’ve crept into the pop-cul­ture ver­nac­u­lar, from dou­ble dip­ping to Fes­tivus to yada yada yada. Not that there’s any­thing wrong with that.

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