Welcome back to Week 4 of Working From Home…I mean, Top 5 Tuesday! This is the second T5T for April, and it involves one of my favorite categories: books that make you laugh. What’s even better about books like this is that they’re not always the books that you expect them to be.
Top 5 Tuesday is brought to us, as always, by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I tried my hardest to pick between this one and Furiously Happy, her second memoir, and I think Let’s Pretend This Never Happened wins, but not by much. (I mean, the second book has a taxidermy raccoon on the cover. What more can you want?) Jenny Lawson is the brilliant mind behind The Bloggess, and she is actually opening a bookstore in San Antonio, Texas, at some point (maybe this year, maybe next — whenever this pandemic lets us go back to our normal lives). I know that Jenny is one of those people that I practically worship on this blog, but honestly, this is one of the most well-written books I have ever read. The humor may not be for everyone (there’s a lot of cursing involved), but at one point I was gasping so hard while trying to read this book that my roommate asked if I was okay.
The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi
I’m probably beating a dead horse by this point, but I absolutely LOVE John Scalzi, and I think that The Android’s Dream is one of those that you should listen to the audiobook of instead of reading. (But you should totally read the book later, too. The narrator of this one just helps so much in terms of visualization and pronunciation.) And pronunciation is HARD because there are so many alien species represented in this novel. The prologue begins with an American diplomat killing an alien ambassador via fart-language, and the journey just gets crazier from there. Don’t worry, though — it’s not all fart jokes. The plot gets much deeper than that, and I promise you it’s the strangest but best alien story you’ll read this year. This is one of those rare books where I really wish it would be made into a movie, but you’d have to pick the right director to truly do it justice .
Off to be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
This is one that I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, but like above, you need to listen to the audiobook version of this one before reading. I listened to it while on long drives for a work commute a few years ago, and at points I realized I might have to pull over because I was laughing so hard. It follows the story of Martin Banks, who discovers a computer file that seems to control the entire world. Of course, he ends up getting into trouble with the law (I mean, wouldn’t you, if you could just whip up stacks of cash whenever you wanted to?), and ends up hightailing it back to the medieval era, where he thinks he’ll easily be able to blend in by presenting himself as a wizard to whatever peasants he happens across. His plans are derailed in the very first village he comes across, though, in the most surprising way.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
I’ve got two non-fiction books on this list! Look at me go! I don’t remember exactly where I picked this book up (library book sale?), but I got it secondhand. I wasn’t expecting too much out of it, but I decided to go ahead and try it because why not? The book is way better than I expected, and it follows the tale of a hiking amateur and his unprepared friend as they make their way up the Appalachian Trail, with a shockingly small number of Little Debbie snack cakes. Bill talks about the encounters he has on the trail, the fights he has with his friend, and reflects on his life after the trail. It was because of this book that I picked up several more Bill Bryson books, but I have yet to read them (and I’ve had them for like two years or more at this point…). I think this was made into a movie a few years ago, but I’ve never seen it and therefore cannot speak to its accuracy. Amazon seems to have it rated R, though, so peruse at your own peril.
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
This is the only graphic novel I’ve got on the list, and I seriously debated as to whether I wanted to include any on the list at all. When people think “comics,” they either think something dark and gritty like Batman or something made for jokes like Strange Planet (I love both of these, by the way). I first found Aminder’s comics on Instagram, and knew that as soon as she collected them all into a book that I would be purchasing them. (She’s working through a Cyclops series right now that I’m also going to order as soon as it’s announced!) Woman World’s plot revolves around the fact that all men have died out and only women are left in the world. The small community that Aminder focuses on has Beyoncé’s thighs on their flag! Honestly, it’s very hard to explain the concept, so I’d suggest picking up a copy of this book and seeing for yourself!
I keep looking at my bookshelves and finding another book that I could add to this list, but I’m going to go ahead and cut myself off at five because otherwise we’re going to be here all night and I don’t want to do that to y’all. I’m sure you have very important quarantine things to do. (I’m cleaning my closets this week, since I cleaned each individual room down to the carpet/baseboards last week.)
What about you? Have any of these books made you laugh? Do you have a suggestion for me? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.