What have you read that makes you laugh?

I need your help. Not for psychological reasons (well, not today at least), but for book titles. I’m collecting excepts from books that are humourous.

As you may know, I write humour, mostly personal essays and memoir. But I’m looking for excerpts from all genres, including fiction. Essentially, I’m justifying spending $25 on a large Moleskine journal by copying humourous passages into it and analyzing them. I know: I’m a goof, but it’s amazing what I’m learning through this effort of geek-ocity.

So, this wordbitch wonders: What books have made you laugh (even if it was just for a page)? Think about fiction, young adult, picture books, nonfiction…essentially anything with a narrative thread.

Please leave any titles and/or authors in the comments.

Thanks for helping.

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About Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom)

Leanne Shirtliffe (a.k.a. Ironic Mom) is a humor writer who lives by the motto, "If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids." She is the author of DON'T LICK THE MINIVAN: Things I Never Thought I'd Say To My Kids, the picture book THE CHANGE YOUR NAME STORE (May 2014), and MOMMYFESTO: We Solemnly Swear...Because We Have Kids (Nov 2014).
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32 Responses to What have you read that makes you laugh?

  1. Cyndi says:

    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (or any other Douglas Adams title)

  2. @BlueRaveFinn >Lisa says:

    I evidently haven’t read many funny books in the last few years. Only one springs to mind. It’s one in the picture above. Best Laid Plans. Although technically I haven’t even read it! I listened to it as a CBC podcast before it was published. I’m thinking of suggesting it for my book club.

  3. deyank says:

    Anything done by Tim Dorsey. His Flori-duh books with serial killer Serge Storms in it is hilarious.

  4. Three Men in a Boat (To Sat Nothing of the Dog)–Jerome K. Jerome
    To Say Nothing of the Dog — Connie Willis
    Catch-22 — Joseph Heller
    Carl Hiaasen’s novels

  5. christicorbett says:

    Marley and Me: Life and Love with the world’s worst dog

    This book has some really funny phrases, sentences, and observations. I laughed out loud several times while reading so I highly recommend!

    Christi Corbett

  6. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    Anything by Christopher Moore, and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. And yes, Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. You’ll have a blast researching. Let me know if you need help. Have fun reading!

  7. edrevets says:

    Catch 22 and anything by Kurt Vonnegut. I bet you already read McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Onion. On that note, are there any humor sites that you go to online that use words and stuff that I should know about?

  8. Dawn says:

    I see you have Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”. I read “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid”, and laughed from start to finish. Bonus: it’s a very nostalgic look at pop culture of the ’50’s and ’60’s.

  9. mairedubhtx says:

    Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sadaris are both very funny books, collections of essays.

  10. I second the nomination of Bill Bryson, especially “In a Sunburned Country.” When he talks about how Australia “lost” a prime minister, he had me laughing out loud. Very similar to his books are the books of Farley Mowat, especially “The Dog that Wouldn’t Be.” The images he creates are hysterical. Two of my favorite books that are both roaringly funny and heartbreakingly tender are “Six of One” by Rita Mae Brown and “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. I re-read these almost yearly and still laugh/cry out loud. Thanks for all the other good ideas!

  11. Sara says:

    I love Douglas Adams but the book that springs to mind is his Last Chance to See. I heard him read a segment and I laughed so hard. Then I would say the second book of his Dirk Gently books – there is a side story about a fridge that makes me laugh every time I think of it.

  12. Amy says:

    Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. I laughed constantly while reading that book and, at the same time, learned so much about the early days of the space program.
    The Dexter books (that the Showtime series is based on) by Jeff Lindsay are funny, but very dry and dark.
    I’ve read some funny short stories by T.C. Boyle, but they are mostly situationally funny (like the one that’s written like an episode from Lassie, but at the end the dog runs off with a wolf instead of saving Timmy).

    • Dexter was based on a book? I didn’t know that. And I’ll check out Roach. I loved her first book…about death (?) I think.

      • Amy says:

        Stiff, by Mary Roach is hilarious as well. But, reading about decomposing bodies isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, so I just mentioned the space one.
        And, yes, there is a whole series of Dexter books! The first one is Darkly Dreaming Dexter, I believe. I’ve read two of them and they were both quick, fun reads.

  13. Jen Lancaster’s Such A Pretty Fat and Bitter is the New Black. Love those! Hiaasen is great too, my favorite is Sick Puppy.

  14. nancymhayes says:

    “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by debut novelist Helen Simonson is a delightful witty read. I read it recently and loved every word.

  15. Jess Witkins says:

    Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, as well as his Holidays on Ice. But I’m telling you, he’s best on audio book.

    I also like Wigfield: The Can Do Town That Just May Not by Amy Sedaris (his sis), Stephen Colbert, and Paul Dinello. Or either of Amy’s craft books are good.

    And I LOVE the memoir, A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. You’ll appreciate the imagination on this girl.

  16. Sam says:

    Janet Evanovich of the Stephanie Plum novels always makes me laugh out loud.

  17. I won’t go into Douglas Adams or David Sedaris, since it looks like you are covered there. I love Vonnegut, although some are funnier than others. Try Slapstick.

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