Discussions & Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that made me laugh!

We have a fun Top Ten Tuesday this week from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, it’s books that made us laugh out loud. The first thing that comes to mind is, given I review Crime Fiction here on this blog, books that made me laugh out loud? You’re joking right? I better go look to another genre to find anything that made me smile, let alone laugh.

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Books that do come to mind are those I read by Terry Pratchett, books chock full of his quirky style and sense of humour. So, in that vain here we go, books that either made me chortle or laugh out loud for a variety of reasons.

  • THE COLOUR OF MAGIC by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy) — The first book in Pratchett’s long running series, and the first book I ever read of his. I bought the large illustrated copy (which I still have, signed) complete with fabulous artwork. But it was the inept wizard, Rincewind, who is hired by the naive Twoflower, who in turn, is followed everywhere by the Luggage, that provide the humour via a series of ensuing disasters.
  • THE LIGHT FANTASTIC by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy) — Yes, the sequel and book #2 in Pratchett’s weird fantasy series set on Discworld, a planet-sized flat disc carried through space on the backs of four gargantuan elephants—Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Phon and Jerakeen—who themselves stand on the shell of Great A’Tuin, a gigantic star turtle. The surface of the disc contains oceans and continents, and with them, civilizations, cities, forests and mountains.
  • THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams (Science Fiction) — Just like Pratchett, Adams created a quite unique very English science fiction series which chronicles the journey of Arthur Dent and Ford Perfect after Earth is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace highway.
  • I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK by Nora Ephron (Memoir) — This is a rueful candid collection of essays on ageing as a woman by the bitingly funny Ephron and, in my humble opinion, a must read.
  • WISHFUL DRINKING by Carrie Fisher (Memoir) — Like Ephron above, it’s impossible to do a list like this without including at least one autobiographical tome from the self deprecating Fisher. And this one is painfully funny and another must read.
  • LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED by Jenny Lawson (Memoir) — Like the above two ladies, Lawson too has her own clutch of ardent followers. And after reading this, ‘mostly true’ memoir, you too will be a convert to her droll, dark sense of humour.
  • IF LIFE IS A BOWL OF CHERRIES, WHAT AM I DOING IN TE PITS by Erma Bombeck (Essays) — If, like me, you are of a certain age, then you will not only know of Bombeck and her darkly droll observations of life in 50s suburban America, you will also remember having watched her way back when, on TV.
  • CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan (Novel) — Yes, yes I am going to include this one because it made me laugh out loud, a lot. And because I understand where this one is coming from, and the characters and situations are not so far fetched as you might think. This one is right out there funny!
  •  A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson (Non-fiction) — There has to be at least one Bryson in everyone’s list just because, like Ephron, Fisher, and Lawson, his self deprecating sense of observational humour never fails to make me laugh or, at the very least, chortle to myself.
  • THE ESSENTIAL CALVIN AND HOBBS by Bill Watterson (Comic Strip) — Yes, I’m having a comic book in my list, so sue me already. But this one is the perfect antidote to life at the moment. And the comic stripe is still as funny now as it ever was.

So, there you are, 10 very different, diverse books. A selection wit, wisdom, and humour, coming from non-fiction through to fantasy, and science fiction, with a few memorable memoirs thrown in for good measure. And you, what made it onto your own list?

14 comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that made me laugh!

  1. Avatar

    I really should try Terry Pratchett’s books sometime. I’ve only seen the miniseries version of Good Omens so far.

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-made-me-laugh-out-loud/

    • Alex

      Funnily enough, Lydia, I haven’t seen Good Omens. I’ve heard it has mixed reviews. And you should really try at least one Terry Pratchett book.

  2. Avatar

    Nice list! Carrie Fisher had the most wicked sense of humor. I loved her interviews.

    • Alex

      Doesn’t she! I so miss her, and and her honesty. Like Ephron, it was a bitter sweet humour, and darkly funny at times because of the truth of it. Honest and raw.

  3. Avatar

    This is the second list I’m reading and also the second with Pratchett on it. I love it! THHGTTG is another good one! I still have to finish reading the last two of the series and after will probably reread them all over again because just like Pratchett, Adams never bores. (It’s also a very good way to measure how my English is evolving, since I’m not a native speaker/writer/reader)

    • Alex

      Pratchett is always a good choice for humour, as is Adams, though not to everyone’s taste. And yeah, one day I must get around to finally finishing reading all of Pratchett. One day …

  4. Avatar

    I also enjoyed the humor in Crazy Rich Asians, though I didn’t continue the series (yet). And I definitely need to try a Terry Pratchett book!

    • Alex

      My friend said why did I put this one on my list and I said, because, for me, it was very funny. I’m glad someone else found it as much fun as I did. Again, I think you have to appreciate the style of humour. And Terry is always worth a read.

  5. Avatar

    Same. I read mostly mysteries and thrillers and they don’t tend to be laugh-out-loud funny! I had to go to different genres, although I did include several mystery series with funny characters.

    I’ve never read anything by Bryson, believe it or not, BUT I just ordered A WALK IN THE WOODS. Bryson sounds delightful, so I’m excited to give this book a go.

    Happy TTT!


  6. Alex

    I do read a lot of different genre, and use to read a lot of memoir and non-fiction, at one time. Which is why I was able to cobble together this list. And yeah, crime fiction isn’t known for it’s humour! Ha! Ha!

    Oh, I do hope you like Bryson as much as I do, his books on England are really funny too. His observational humour is spot on.

  7. Avatar

    I tried reading Jenny Lawson’s work, but somehow it left me feeling too raw. But Calvin/Hobbes, Pratchett, Bryson and Hitchhiker were so much fun! And just discovered Bombeck, thanks to you. Happy TTT 🙂

    • Alex

      I would have to agree with you there. Memoirs can have that affect especially if you identify with any events these people describe having lived through. Oh, I am so glad you discovered Erma, I remember her from my childhood, my mother was a big fan. Do enjoy!

  8. Avatar

    I preferred Furiously Happy to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but I love Jenny Lawson 🙂 x

    • Alex

      Funnily enough, I haven’t read that one, obviously I need too after that endorsement. 😀 I have you tried reading Carrie Fisher at all? I think you’d love her as well.

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