Thursday, August 9, 2012

Funny you should ask…

Several customers have recently been asking for humorous or lighthearted books for themselves or friends. Well written, engaging books with humor can be hard to find. Meanwhile these are some of the titles and authors that I have found. Please feel free to add to the list.

Skinny Dip is a perfect way to begin reading Carl Hiaasen’s crazy stories that take place in southern Florida. This title has a husband pushing his wife over the ship’s railing, hoping to collect the life insurance, but forgetting that she was the captain of her college swim team.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz features a wacky detective agency where parents run background checks on the adult daughter’s boyfriends.

Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander is a hilarious true story of an orthodox, but rather unruly, Jewish kid.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is my favorite book by David Sedaris. He is a satirist who milks his life for unbelievable (but true) tales.

Jennifer Government describes an America where everything has been privatized, including the government. Max Barry’s books are well written and devilishly funny.

Thank you for Smoking was written by Christopher Buckley, son of the late conservative impresario William F. Buckley. This title became a hit Hollywood adaptation about truth in advertising.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich starts the Stephanie Plum series featuring a female New Jersey bounty hunter with an erratic love life. You’ll find all the sequels to be equally entertaining.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, tells the story of a young woman visiting her eccentric aunt living in the South. (i.e. While the mayor lustily chases a neighbor in the backyard next door, a brassiere is tossed over the hedge in front of CeeCee)

A Visit from the Goon Squad, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has Bennie as the music producer (with a talented assistant who is also a kleptomaniac.)

In the far reaches of satire are, of course, Jon Stewart’s Earth, which teaches aliens all they need to know about humans. Anything by The Onion is funny. Our Dumb Century is a great place to start, with its fictional descriptions and pictures from every country.

There are dozens more that can be added to the list, and I would enjoy seeing your additions. Meanwhile these can get you started on a humor junket.

Jim is a bookseller at Warwick's


  1. A few more:
    FOOP! by Chris Genoa - An absurdist tale of time travel tourism. One of the most hilarious books I've read.

    The Tetherballs of Bougainville by Mark Leyner - Hard to begin to describe. Part novel, part screenplay, part book review. Perhaps a novel that begins at an execution shouldn't be so much fun.

    Bear v Shark by Chris Bachelder - A very quick read. 100 mini chapters satirizing our hyper-media culture.

  2. Great list!

    Also :Three Men and a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) by Jerome K. Jerome. Tom Stoppard's plays. Anything by P. G. Wodehouse. Jasper Fforde.

    Mark Twain is still devastatingly funny, and James Thurber too. H. L. Mencken. Eudora Welty is hysterically funny. Jonathan Swift, if you like acerbic.

    Stephanie Freeman