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Born to Be Public

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In this unique and hilarious debut memoir, writer and comedian Greg Mania chronicles life as a "pariah prodigy." From inadvertently coming out to his Polish immigrant parents, to immersing himself in the world of New York City nightlife, and finding himself and his voice in comedy. "Born to Be Public" is a vulnerable and poignant exploration of identity (and the rediscover ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by Clash Books
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Greg Mania
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Five stars, because of course.
Katherine D. Morgan
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very charming and very funny. I actually laughed out loud multiple times and I don’t normally do that because I’m tired and bitter. Mania made me want to move to NYC, which I’m shocked about (we have all seen the “Why I’m moving away from NYC” essays). It’s short, sweet, and to the point. I would DEFINITELY recommend it if you like Samantha Irby.
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
A punk recollection of a time spent in nightlife, school, and comedy, Greg Mania's [Mahn-ya or Mania] "Born to Be Public" is reflection on the last decade of greatness in New York City.

A son of polish immigrants born outside Trenton, NJ, Mania embraced his unique take on the world from a young age and burst onto the New York scene playing the role of hair stencil artist, Bjork-esque go-go boy, and studious student. "Born to Be Public" tells the story of a New York on the brink of change, a New Y
Jenny Lawson
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Funny and vulnerable all at once.
Kristen Anderson
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over the course of one was un-put-downable. Full of heart, vulnerability, raunch and New York City references that make you feel like you’re sweating in Penn station and somehow loving it, Born to Be Public is hilarious and captivating. Greg Mania lives up to the title as someone whose name we’re going to be hearing for a long time.
Katie Smith-Siegel
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Greg Mania is, in many ways, a paradox. An effortlessly gifted student by day and a club kid by night; a connoisseur of highbrow art and culture who is also fluent in reality TV and Applebees menus; a towering, intimidating physical presence (even without the 11-inch mohawk) who makes you feel anything but small while talking to him. Above all else, he's always wearing his heart on his sleeve...even if he's only wearing a sleeveless fishnet crop top.

Greg has managed to neatly package these beau
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book and couldn’t put it down, although, I had to because I want to milk every page as long as I could. I laughed out loud, and got choked up multiple times (in a good way!) I related to this book on some levels, it made me reminiscent of my time spent in NYC nightlife, and the ackward dating experiences I’ve had. So thank you Greg for writing this book. For being vulnerable, and showing humor in those ackward situations we all experienced at least once in our life. Please ...more
Pete Medrano
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It should go without saying that 2020 has been a literal landfill, however, if you're looking to lift your spirits and LOL IRL then look no further than Greg Mania's stunning and heartfelt debut memoir, Born to Be Public. It is rare to find an author who is able to have their written text come alive as if they were in the room with you— But in Greg Mania's case, HE'S RIGHT IN YOUR FACE AND HE SHOWS NO SIGNS OF HOLDING BACK! Do yourself the favor and purchase my favorite book and join the beloved ...more
Lindsay Hunter
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this, and the chapter on Roy spoke to me deeply. There are tons of moments like that: insights so real, so moving, that laughing through tears became the norm.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is literally the funniest book I've ever read. ...more
Kelly Vignola
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that everyone should read. It's honest, hilarious and heartwarming. There's not many books I read multiple times, but this one has already been read twice. The author takes you on his journey of growing up, coming out, learning to live with anxiety and all the other rights of passage we all battle with while finding out who we truly are. ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Born To Be Public is a super funny coming-of-age memoir, but also a ‘cementing of stardom’ memoir, if there is such a thing. The best way I can describe this book is that it feels like when your really funny, slightly depressed and low key smartest friend recounts the events of their life while y’all share a bottle of wine, and at the end you realize that this friend is pretty much Bette Midler. Greg Mania is so funny, especially when getting real about experiences that can be tricky to talk abo ...more
Wendy Cornwall
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the book to grab when it's been a rough week, and you need total immersion in funny, authentic gay humor. Greg's descriptions are hysterical making you feel like a live action voyeur.
I bought six copies for friends who need to laugh and ones that need an honest attitude adjustment for their overly judgy pompous brains.
I'm still waiting to see how my religious zealots take to the book. I sent them to Mr. Mania and he signed and forwarded them. This is one time I would love to be there f
Andrew Adam
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This guy is like David Sedaris meets Samantha Irby: extremely funny, poignant, and heartfelt, the latter of which I was pleasantly surprised by. I was not expecting this level of vulnerability; he is open about his struggles with mental health, toxic relationships, and sexual blunders, all while being extremely relatable and hilarious. I'm a middle-aged straight guy, and I picked this up because a friend recommended it. Just judging by the dude on the cover, I thought we couldn't be any differen ...more
Charlene Elsby
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Greg Mania explains, in this book, how he came to be able to express himself in the correct rhythm and with the exact number of syllables required to elicit laughter from his audience, and dagnabbit it works! He’s hilarious, no matter what he’s talking about. There’s also an element of “getting some insight into the behind the scenes of the cool kid group” throughout this book, but Greg’s prom picture is enough to convince me that one day I could be cool too.
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I laughed my way through this hilarious and poignantly honest memoir. How often can you say a book makes you laugh out loud? If you’re a fan of Greg Mania’s internet presence (how could you not be?), this book is a delightful door into a long form tweet. It has the same sharp humor we all love interspersed with thoughtful anecdotes and glimpses into Greg’s self-discovery. I loved every chapter and can’t wait to see his career in comedy take off!
Idelle Nissila
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book lives up to its hype. I knew it was going to be funny because I've been following the author on Twitter for some time (if you haven't yet followed him, you should), but I wasn't expecting such heart and sensitivity to shine through. It's tucked neatly into the book, preserving the author's brazen humor, yielding the perfect harmony between heart and humor. It's also a quick read, which are my favorites. ...more
Olivia Whitener
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jon Stewart—watch out! You won’t be the only comedy star hanging in Lawrence High School’s Alumni Hall of Fame for much longer. In this debut book, Greg Mania has developed his authentic writing voice and it is funnier than his hair is tall. But it is also full of so much heart. I loved getting to start my year reading this memoir, and I can’t wait to see what else Mania has up his yellow-leather-sleeve!
Naviya Singla
-i hate comedy and biography so, i wasnt expecting to like it and i was right
- just blah, i read it for a bookclub
- hate to be humorless but the book reads like one giant clout tweet // it's not witty or observational it's just formulaic in the way it tries to be funny // predictable
- there are no other people in the book, he talks alot abt himself and it's not even introspective
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: books2020
"But that's the thing: identity is never neat. It's messy, ever-changing, grainy, unpredictable, frenetic, all over the place, and we'll never be able to reconcile ourselves because we're not supposed to. Every time we think we have ourselves figured out, we go and change again." (29)

"From the first night, Magic Monday had this familiar sense of family, like these were people I've known my whole life and that night was just a missing piece of the puzzle I was trying to find in the scheme of tryi
Jul 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There are few writings so intimate as the musings of Greg Mania, in his newly-released memoir. This past week, I was afforded the opportunity to sit down with his first-born child (not once, but TWICE) and truly cannot say enough good things about this book. From his dating advice to his battles with OCD to his list of ways to validate your true New Yorker status to the INCREDIBLY heartwarming retelling of his best friend's wedding : this is worth your time. He is worth your money. Go snatch up ...more
Ashley Denning
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love Mania’s writing and humor style! it was well written with so much honesty and nostalgia and the last chapter basically had me crying because even though my twenty something story is different than his, I think the story of connecting with the people who helped us grow into adults and seeing each other be successful even when we grow apart is so beautiful and universal. Thank you for sharing your story!! Really impressive especially for a first book. Can’t wait to see Mania’s career contin ...more
Destinee Sutton
I usually like comedian memoirs, but I could not get into this. Maybe because I hadn't ever heard of Greg Mania? I think I picked this up because it was on an NPR best of 2020 list. But the voice sounded kind of generic to me, like so many social media accounts making the same kind of jokes over and over. Maybe I'm not giving Mania credit for creating this voice that has now been copied to death? Maybe I'm just not the audience for this.

Mania jokes that his book is a 200,000-character tweet and
Joan Kleinmann
I loved this short and poignant memoir. As someone who works in mental health, I appreciated the author discussing his struggles with his depression, anxiety, and OCD. I also appreciated his insight on therapy and toxic relationships. Parts of it definitely had me laughing out loud. I didn't too much relate to the references of NYC culture but those who live there Im sure who appreciate those references. Easy read, flew through it in less than 24 hours. ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Someone cast 50-something Sarah Jessica Parker as 20-something Greg Mania in the HBO adaptation Gay and the City ASAP. This book had me rolling on the floor.

Greg Mania is one of the funniest people writing. Full stop. His interviews have a bite that makes you want to reread them. His tweets will have you clutching your chest. His memoir will have you rolling on the floor. His memoir is big, gay, and hilarious.
Maison Ray
Jun 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A lovable, laughable, and painfully accurate depiction of entrance into New York. Mania’s humor had me audibly cackling (and sometimes crying) with his punchlines. This book was the actual literary embodiment of a hug from your best friend. Enough kindness to brighten your mood, enough reality to make it authentic, and the perfectly placed comedic relief that can only come with the experience of a seasoned comedian. I’ve already told multiple friends to get ahold of a copy.
Beth Brewer
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in a day. I don't really laugh out loud, even at funny books, but this one had me cracking me up almost every other sentence. You don't need to be queer or live in NYC to enjoy this book, which is what makes "Born to be Public" so special–there's something for everyone.

I know this will be a book I revisit in the future, especially anytime I need a pick-me-up.
This is one of Auntie's top 10 of 2020. It's fabulous, wonderful, hilarious and quotable.

It's probably my most highlighted kindle book, EVER.

You need to buy this. Also, Greg Mania needs to be more well known.
Alice Ziemlinski
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I read a lot of amusing books, but this one had me laughing out loud. He knows when to put a brake on the humor and hit you with something powerful and insightful. I am looking forward to following this young author's career. ...more
b aaron talbot
Aug 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
good for him for writing a memoir and i did enjoy parts. but i guess i was expecting less defensive humor and more insight. however, if you are looking for more humor and one liners, you will love this.
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Greg Mania is a New York City-based writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, O, The Oprah Magazine, Out, PAPER, among other international online and print platforms. "Born to Be Public" is his first book.

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When author TJ Klune was growing up, he never saw queer characters in books in a way that felt true to his experience.  “They were the...
224 likes · 14 comments
“But that’s the thing: identity is never neat. It’s messy, ever-changing, grainy, unpredictable, frenetic, all over the place, and we’ll never be able to reconcile ourselves because we’re not supposed to. Every time we think we have ourselves figured out, we go and change again.” 0 likes
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