IT’S APRIL FOOLS’ DAY! WHEE!
…I’m not much of a prankster and besides, you’ve probably seen enough hoaxes and joke posts today. (Maybe you’re tired of them? I know I am – not at first, but I am now. #partypooper) So I thought I’d do something a little bit different! April Fools’ Day is, no matter what, a day of laughter – so why not write a list of ten books/series/authors that made me laugh out loud?!
Also, this gives me an excuse to fangirl and flail about humor. I LOVE HUMOR. I wanted to be a comedian at one point! (Now I want to write – among other things – funny books.) I love laughing. I love sarcasm. (My whole family is sooooo sarcastic ALL OF THE TIME.) When I’m feeling down, reading humorous books is my go-to method of trying to cheer myself up.
1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
I’d like to thank Ms. Bray for BEING AWESOME and INCLUDING LITERALLY EVERYTHING I WANT IN ANY STORY EVER: Satire, feminism, lots of jokes that made me laugh out loud, girls kicking butt, canon queer characters (including some really really good trans representation!), a large cast of characters, awesome friendships, and well-written romantic subplots. MY ONLY COMPLAINT IS THAT THERE’S NO SEQUEL.
2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
“The apocalypse has never been funnier,” one reviewer wrote, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s sarcastic and weird and… gah. It’s great, trust me. If you think you don’t like fantasy because most of it bores you, then you need to try this book.
3. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Greek mythology and humor are two of my favoritest things on the planet! I love these books. Percy’s a dork, and the retellings of old myths are hilarious – I love reading Riordan’s interpretations of how the gods and goddesses would live in the modern world. Also, his chapter titles are LITERALLY THE FUNNIEST AND THE BEST.
4. A Long Way From Chicago, A Year Down Yonder, and The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck
The first two books are about a brother and sister who spend summers with their grandmother in rural Illinois in the 1930s, while the third tells the story of a boy growing up in a tiny Indiana town at the turn of the century. I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THESE BOOKS OK. Yes, they’re folksy, but in only the best ways. The Teacher’s Funeral is my favorite book about my state!
5. The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
OH THE SASS. Basically I just want to travel back in time and be bros with Oscar? Because he makes me laugh. Actually, I want to BE the modern-day version of Oscar Wilde. He’s a master of sarcasm and witticisms – the anecdote about the widow whose hair turned “quite gold from grief” is a particular favorite of mine. If you think classics aren’t your cup of tea, these books should change your mind. Seriously, Wilde is sooooo much better than any modern-day comedian.
SKULDUGGERY MAKES ME LAUGH SOOOOO MUCH. He’s a walking, talking, wise-cracking, fireball-throwing, sharply-dressed skeleton detective and together with his teenage assistant, Valkyrie Cain, he saves the world. Many times over. That duo, and all the supporting characters, MAKE ME CRACK UP. These books are also very sad/dark at times, though, which I love – reading them is like riding a roller coaster of up-and-down emotions!
7. The Girl, 15, Charming But Insane series by Sue Limb
The protagonist, Jess Jordan, is basically me. She’s super-creative but kind of a dork, and her life is one series of (hilarious) mishaps after another. I mean, at one point she makes fake boobs for herself using bags of soup?! SHE NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE AND AMUSE ME.
8. Bill Bryson’s books
I didn’t list a specific book because I couldn’t decide which one I enjoyed more! Bryson writes for adults, and his work is nonfiction (more or less), which may not sound appealing to some of you at first. But trust me – he’s good. I started with his travelogues, then moved on to his books about the English language, and am currently working on his books about history. Like Wilde, Bryson is a master at witty turns of phrase, and he excels at finding weird, wonderful, and amusing facts about history and whatnot.
- The Lost Continent (rural America)
- A Walk in the Woods (Appalachian Trail)
- In A Sunburned Country (Australia)
- Neither Here Nor There (Europe)
- Notes From A Small Island (UK)
- I’m A Stranger Here Myself (experiencing the US as a returning expat)
- The Mother Tongue (British English)
- Made in America (American English)
- A Short History of Nearly Everything (history of science)
- At Home: A Short History of Private Life (history explored through common objects in one’s house)
- One Summer: America, 1927 (…do I really need to spell out what this book is about?)
Note: These are not ALL of Bryson’s books – but it’s a good start, no?
9. The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
Once you’ve finished the Jess Jordan books, you should try these! They’re a long long series of YA chick lit about a British girl with lots of admirers, a group of awesome friends, and no shortage of attitude. I practically DEVOURED this series a few summers ago!
So these are comics and not prose novels – who cares? They’re still awesome. Calvin and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes – who comes to life in Calvin’s imagination – are goofy and adventurous and mischievous. And sometimes very, very profound. Which I LOVE: Sometimes Watterson’s comic strips make me laugh until both my sides and my face hurt, but sometimes he said very deep things about friendship and growing up and all that jazz.
Books aren’t your thing? THEN I STILL HAVE HILARIOUS OPTIONS FOR YOU. The Princess Bride is terrifically funny, and I’m particularly fond of the Miss Congeniality movies. And, um, let’s see, what else? …Monty Python. MONTY PYTHON FTW. (Maybe I should rewatch Life of Brian just in time for Easter?!
God, I’m such a heathen.) Marvel movies can be good for a laugh too – IMO, the funniest are The Avengers and Agent Carter.
Also, this doesn’t really fit anywhere else in this post but while writing it, I found a list of “best LGBTQ+ humor novels” on Goodreads and it looks SO GOOD. A lot of LGBTQ+ books are quite serious, if not downright sad (SO MANY TRAGIC/DEAD LESBIANS UGH WHY), and… and I’d like more lighthearted stories. Lighthearted coming-of-age stories and romances! Also, my love of humor doesn’t always mesh well with all the SADS prevalent in LGBTQ+ fiction, and that really sucks.
What books make you laugh out loud? (Can you narrow it down to the single FUNNIEST book you’ve ever read?!) Be sure to tell me – I’d love to know!