Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.
So, as it turns out, I don’t read many funny books. I don’t choose not to read them; I suppose they’re just not usually what catch my attention. I’m trying to make sure I don’t put the same books on my lists over and over again, but for this category, it seems I don’t have as many options!
These are not all the same kind of funny, but they are all books that get me somewhere between a frequent chuckle and full-on hysterics.
Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton—I had the sequel, Step Aside, Pops on another list pretty recently, but (1) see above and (2) with this topic, it’s just absurd to leave Kate Beaton off the list. For the sake of maintaining dignity, I never read her comics around other people.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey—One of the first TV memoirs I read, and still probably the best overall. She hits the right combination of funny, great social commentary, and interesting behind-the-scenes. An especially good audiobook option, as she narrates it herself.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson—I discovered Jenny Lawson toward the end of last year, so her books have shown up on almost every list I’ve posted in the past few months, and I kind of can’t help it. They were important to me (especially Furiously Happy), but what she’s really known for is exceptional hilarity.
How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran—Easily one of the funniest feminist books I’ve read. It’s not without its problems, I suppose because of that thing where people feel like “comedy” gets a pass to say things people shouldn’t say. I don’t agree with every one of her points, but goddamn does she make me laugh, and I really appreciate talking about vaginas and periods and masturbation like they’re not shameful secrets. Her piece on abortion is one of the most meaningful I have ever read.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson—Look, if your first thought is that a superhero with squirrel powers can’t possibly be interesting, I was right there with you. I’m not going to lie; I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if my husband hadn’t told me how funny it was. And it is funny, not only in the way of superheroes with their “witty” banter—I’m really not a fan of the puns, ahem, Spiderman—but just genuinely amusing. I particularly enjoyed the tweets between Squirrel Girl, Iron Man, and Galactus.
Paddle Your Own Canoe, by Nick Offerman—The three words I used in my review of this book are “hilarious, thoughtful, and disgusting.” I stand by them.
Guards! Guards! or anything else by Terry Pratchett—I make this recommendation especially if you like audiobooks. Pratchett’s incredibly clever humor will still come across in print, but the narration is such a fantastic added element. Most of the ones I’ve read were done by Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs, and the voices are excellent. Pratchett is a favorite when Mike and I are on road trips, often saving us from the monotony of fourteen hours through Texas and New Mexico.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison—Another of the ones I include way too often on lists, and I can’t help it. It’s a YA series of ten books, but they’re written like journal entries, so they go really quickly; you could probably read all ten books in a week without really trying. I first read them in college but find myself wanting to start the series again basically every time I think about it. From the beginning of the first book:
There are six things very wrong with my life:
1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
2. It is on my nose.
3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.
5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.
Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover—Bandette is a master thief, leaping totally carefree across Paris rooftops and power lines, thieving and quipping and battling foes. She is such a great character, and her story is both fun and mysterious.
Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut—You probably won’t laugh aloud, but I always find Vonnegut’s books funny in an incredibly smart way. If you enjoy a satirical look at the ridiculousness of humanity, try any of his excellent books.