I’ll admit, I’m cheating a little this week – instead of following The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt this week, I’ve decided to make a small modification. This is mostly because I think humour is hugely subjective. It’s also because I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I have a simply dreadful sense of humour, so I feel it’s only fair that I not impose that on others. So instead of sharing ‘Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh’, I’ve decided to list the books that have made me laugh (or, at least, think ‘hey, that’s pretty funny’). Warning: the following may contain incredibly childish jokes, simply dreadful puns, and even a little toilet humour. You’ve been warned.
Top Ten Books That Have Made Me Laugh
1. Basically anything by Terry Pratchett. But especially Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. Because Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg kill me every time.
2. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Seriously, this may be one of the best apocalypses in the history of apocalyptic fiction. And I’m simply thrilled to hear that Gaiman himself is working on the script for the long-awaited miniseries. Fellow Good Omens nerds, rejoice!
3. Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding. Yes, I know, this is a problematic book on a number of levels, and I’ll admit that I haven’t read it in a few years lest I find myself repelled by the things that I used laugh about and identify with. But the last time I did read this book, I still found myself bursting out laughing at familiar jokes. v.v. good.
4. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I know you must all be sick of me banging on about Austen by now. But seriously – have you ever read the bit in Pride and Prejudice with Mr Collins? It really is gold. Particularly his proposal. Not to mention that Lizzie Bennet is snarky as hell, at least by the standards of the nineteenth century, and I love it.
5. Bossypants, by Tina Fey. It’s Tina Fey. Enough said.
6. Is It Just Me?, by Miranda Hart. I love Hart’s TV show Miranda. I do not exaggerate when I say that it literally had me rolling around on the floor laughing the first time I watched it. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word ‘literally’, not the way that US sitcoms use it. Hart’s book is not quite as funny as this; she excels at situational and physical humour, and one of the delights of her TV series is her pitch-perfect delivery, so this book doesn’t quite live up to the expectations I had when I first read it. But it’s still wonderfully funny and relatable. You just have to imagine Hart’s signature voice and style as you’re reading.
7. Notes From a Small Island, by Bill Bryson. Bryson’s latest book, The Road to Little Dribbling, was criticised for the fact that he pretty much sounds like a grumpy old man. Since I’m a grumpy young woman, I can get on board with this, but I had to admit that Little Dribbling was even a bit too cranky for me at times. That’s why his earlier book, Notes From a Small Island, is simply brilliant. There’s still plenty of snarkiness here, but it’s balanced by Bryson’s endearing enthusiasm about travel and the weird and wonderful places that he seeks out. This is the sort of book that will have your snorting into your morning coffee.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. This book is an absolute classic. Admittedly, I only read it after watching the movie, but the upside of this was that in my head, the narrator sounded like Stephen Fry. This is a wonderful thing and should happen to everyone more often.
9. The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde. Everyone knows that famous line, to be delivered with the appropriate level of snobbishness and condescension: “A handbag?!”. Not to mention the brilliant quip, “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”. Oscar Wilde is the king of such witticisms, and Earnest is one of his funniest and most enjoyable plays.
10. Twilight and Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer. I laughed. But for the wrong reasons.