So today we’re thinking about humorous books or books that, while perhaps not comedies in themselves, made us laugh whether that be one big, full belly laugh or a series of nearly constant titters.
I feel like there are a lot of kids books I could list here, but I’m leaving them out of this list.
All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
I’ve talked about Kaufman before. I have read three of his four novels now and he is definitely my type of humour (a bit silly, but smart? a little random, but directed) and I compare him all the time (as I will do now) as an author for adults who liked Lemony Snicket as children (and currently…?). Puns to be had.
Laugh-o-meter: smiles at ‘punny’ silliness and consistent titters
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I love the wryness of Brave New World and its absurdity. It’s hard to explain why I found this funny… But it’s similar, maybe, to the way I find many classic dystopias funny. People have described books like this as ‘haunting’ or ‘frightening’ or ‘disturbing’ and all of these other hyperbolic adjectives that I don’t think do the works real justice. I think those descriptions are more accurate for books like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (if you ever make it out of the jungle of metaphor and superfluous description, that is…pun intended). The way a lot of classic dystopia is often written doesn’t really conjure a reaction of ‘horror’. An annoyance, maybe. A defiance, possibly. A frustration at how backwards society can be, perhaps. But, to me, I think the absurdity is definitely funny. It’s the outlandishness of the situation (however realistic it might be) that is humorous in that same way that a terrible thing that you could have predicted and that was completely preventable is humorous.
Laugh-o-meter: smiles of disbelief
Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen by Marilyn Chin
This series of shorts just feels so RAAAAN-DOM. It’s like Chin just wrote as she thought, as a stream of funny, randy weirdness. It is odd. It is good. It is hard to describe. The first story is not funny. It is sad and humiliating, but it sows the seeds of defiance that will fire our protagonists up for the rest of their lives.
Laugh-o-meter: consistent titters
Leave it to Psmith by PG Wodehouse
I might just be an old man in a young woman’s body, but there’s this one bit where I had to put down the book because the giggles just built up too much and I needed to take a little breather to reflect on how funny that ridiculous situation would be in real life.
Laugh-o-meter: consistent giggles with the occasional belly laugh
How I Became Stupid by Martin Page
I wouldn’t say this book is hilarious…and it’s the only one on this list that isn’t in my list of favourite books…but there are a lot of funny parts and it’s worth checking out because satires, while funny, are also intended to make social commentary (or political commentary or some other kind of commentary) and this book does that fairly successfully.
Laugh-o-meter: smiles and an occasional ‘heh heh‘
I have a bit of an odd sense humor, but I think these following books are good representations of the things that make me laugh.
Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix
This book and series is fun for one reason, and one reason alone: the Mogget. Mogget is amazing. He is funny, witty and full of wicked humor. Everything this cat says makes me burst into giggles, whether it is Sabriel, Lirael or Abhorsen. I vote for Mogget!
Laugh-o-meter: quick giggles and bursts of loud guffaws.
Saga, Volume 1 (Saga: Collected Editions #1) by Brian K. Vaughan , Fiona Staples
Everything about this series is hilarious. It’s great because it’s so different and unexpected. Plus the art’s really amazing. It isn’t kid-friendly but if you want a healthy laugh filled with the most ridiculous characters that manage to get themselves into some funny, confusing situations.
Laugh-o-meter: truly scandalous (which means that you have to read it).
Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aavoronovitch
An irreverent and sarcastic London-er makes this book a funny one. It’s all about the magic and the stupid situations that Peter gets himself into- I don’t know how he does it but he blows everything up. Constantly.
Laugh-o-meter: inappropriate giggles.
*Claire’s 5-cents* I am an awkward comedy person so I’ve only got 3 giggles for you today.
Share some giggles with us! What Books have made you laugh??