Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted as always by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s theme is Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud, and I have to be honest with you, every week I say “Oh, this one is going to be so hard” but I get into a groove and it works, but this week is going to be complicated, I think. I’m probably going to be using books from the same author (is that cheating?) and trying to figure out how to do this without just using comic collections.
I don’t know how I first came across Jenny Lawson, but her blog is a bookmark in my bookmarks folder from years ago, where I bookmarked one of her blog posts for my now-ex-boyfriend who was in basic training, so I could send him the link when he got back home. I then found her book, and while I was working at the bookstore her second book came out and that was it. While Lawson’s humor isn’t for everyone, if it’s you’re style of humor, you’re going to be crying on the floor with laughter.
Yeah, so I’m cheating by using multiple books from the same author. While just glancing over the summary isn’t going to make you think it’s funny (what’s so funny about medical issues and mental illness?), Lawson’s ability to describe things in a way that make you think Wait, this is absolutely me, and I’m not alone in my struggle is so comforting. Even if it’s done with a lot of cursing.
I’m sure you’ve seen that comic floating around about Jules Verne writing a “Please be my pen pal” letter to Edgar Allen Poe, or that one panel from that comic where Poe squints at a letter, and then squints harder. It came from this book. I found it on my husband’s shelves a few years ago and sat down to read it, and I think I laughed the entire way through.
I first discovered Noelle Stevenson via Tumblr and her Lord of the Rings tumblr posts. I’m not even sure if they’re still up, but her style of drawing was so beautiful that I wanted anything and everything done by her. I don’t know how I found Nimona – I was probably working at the bookstore and saw the cover – but it is one of the greatest graphic novels I’ve ever read, and I hope that we get a sequel at some point.
One of the accounts I follow on Instagram reposted one of Aminder’s Woman World comics, and I followed the account immediately. (She’s since done a cyclops book, too, which I’ve preordered.) Woman World deals with the post-apocalyptical world where the men have died off and all that’s left are the women, and the ever-present Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I actually read this twice last year, because I needed a pick-me-up after the world crashed and burned and I came close to losing my wedding.
I found this in a house I once rented a room in, and I wasn’t expecting much out of it. I had just finished a class on the National Parks, and had enjoyed reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, so I wanted a different perspective: the Appalachian Trail vs the Pacific Crest Train. I wasn’t expecting to be so entertained by the story of two men bumbling their way through the wilderness. I don’t know how much is fact and how much is fiction, but if you’re looking for a funny non-fiction book that’s not about mental illness, check out Bill Bryson’s works.
I’m pretty sure I’ve had this one a list in the past, but I will always return to the land where the Humbug and where Tock the Watchdog wait patiently for Milo to return, where Milo has to rescue the Princesses Rhyme and Reason, and where anything can happen, because everyone takes everything you say literally. It was my first foray into absurdity in children’s books, and I’ve been chasing that high ever since.
Any book that starts off with the sentence “I’m fucked” is a book that I want to read. Mark Watney is trapped on Mars, presumed dead by everyone, and no way to contact NASA and tell them he was left behind. What follows is a story of potatoes, lost Mars rovers, and 70s sitcoms as he tries to engineer a way to tell the world he’s still alive. I re-read this when I’m feeling down because it’s just a great story of survival. I’ve also watched the movie and while it’s good, too, the book is far and above better.
Yeah, I’m going to put the entire Bone graphic novel collection on here, because my husband I still quote “Stupid, stupid rat-creatures!” any chance we get. I think I only own a few of these, and I don’t think he owns the entire set yet, so this is a series for us to collect at some point.
You can’t have a list of funny books without listing the entirety of Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. I remember a few years ago looking at a C&H comic on my phone (the one about death metal) and turning to my husband and going “Wait, is this a real comic?” and he goes to his shelf and hands me the entire collection to busy myself with. I’ve read a lot of them in the past, but not all of them (my parents didn’t have all the books, just some, and I read those almost to shreds). And let me tell you, Calvin and Hobbes is way funnier when you read them as an adult.
So there you have it – my selection of ten amazing books (well, eight books + two comic collections) that you need to read if you’re missing humor in your life. (Also, Jenny Lawson’s newest book, Broken, is coming out in April!)
What’s your favorite humorous book? Have you read any of the ones on this list? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.