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.
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?