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Topic: Need recommendations for Funny books

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Subject: Need recommendations for Funny books
Date Posted: 12/9/2009 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2006
Posts: 20
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I just finished "Wecome to Higby" by Mark Dunn.  Tried his "Ella Minnow Pea" - couldn't get into it.  Am desparately looking for books that make you smile, chuckle and laugh out loud.

Any and all recommendations accepted.


Barbara I.


Date Posted: 12/9/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2005
Posts: 449
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I really enjoyed (and laughed out loud while doing so) "Can You Keep a Secret" by Sophie Kinsella.

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2005
Posts: 7,796
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 I always laugh out loud reading Laurie Notaro's books.  Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy is a memoir that made me laugh out loud at times.  If you're into the English language & its idiosyncracies, Eats, Shoots & Leaves:  The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss made me laugh, but was a bit dry at times too.  I listened to a Garrison Keillor book on tape and it was hilarious.  I think him reading it helped.  Pamela Ribon wrote Why Girls are Weird and a follow-up, Why Moms are Weird and those were cute as well. I read David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and didn't think it as funny as a lot of people did.  I think the Chelsea Handler books look funny but haven't tried them yet.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,577
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Lamb by Christopher Moore.  I rarely laugh out loud when reading, but this one caused many a laugh out loud outburst.  

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
Posts: 438
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Anything  written by David Sedaris -- Holidays on Ice is especially appropriate this time of year, but is extremely short.

I also loved Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  The apocalypse has never been funnier.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,851
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Shakespeare's Dog by Leon Rooke

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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Anything by Bill Bryson, anything by A.J. Jacobs, P.S., I Love You by Cecelia Ahern....even if you saw the movie the book is so much better and hilarious!...any of the Brendon O'Carroll books (The Chissellers, The Mammy, The Granny), or any of the Homer Hickham memoir triology (Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone).  I totally agree with the Haven Kimmel books, also.

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2009
Posts: 53
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the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich are uproariously funny; have laughed til I cried; others by her are not funny; this series rocks; Fran Rizer is really good tho only 3 books; A tisket a tasket, a fancy stolen casket; hey diddle diddle, the corpse and the fiddle; and casket case;

Anne Georges "sisters" series are humourous as well; one sis is nick named "mouse" while in church for her sister says "mouse" and everyone runs in fear!

Date Posted: 12/12/2009 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,633
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The funniest, laugh til you cry book that I have ever read was "They Shoot Canoes, Don't They" by Pat McManus. I am not an outdoor sports enthusiast (hunting and fishing etc) but it  didn't matter - this book is hilarious!

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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Gotta agree with Bill Bryson--My husband and I listened to the audio version of "Walk in the Woods"--in one part, I was laughing so hard I was crying.   Loved "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" by him as well.

I also second the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series--especially the early ones.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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anything by Christopher Moore or P.G. Wodehouse

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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A Prayer for Owen Meany....one of the best/funniest books I've read. I laughed out loud through the whole thing. I'm actually planning on rereading it in the near future.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2009
Posts: 3
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Sammy's Hill, by Kristen Gore (yes, one of Al's daughters).   If you are at all into politics and/or chick lit, I'd recommend it.  It's laugh-out-loud in the bookstore so you get stared at funny. 

Date Posted: 12/15/2009 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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A humor writer that may remind you a bit of the late Erma Bombeck is Firoozeh Dumas.  She writes with gentle affection of the hilarious behaviors of her Iranian-American family in California.  Her engineer-father brought his family there to live when Firoozeh was a non -English-speaking elementary school pupil, and the hilarious episodes she relates in Funny in Farsi  come from her family history, as she is growing up and going off to university and marrying her French-speaking husband.  In Dayton, we made it one of our annual "Community Read" books.   The book was so well-received that Firoozeh was urged to continue writing, so she has also penned Laughing Without an Accent.

Another book that will bring smiles and chuckles to the reader is The Year of Living Biblically, by A. J. Jacobs.   He recounts what happens when he tries to live by ALL the admonishments and injunctions in the Bible.  Some of the six hundred or so (?) "rules" are kinda . . . . . .well, impractical, in this 21st century.

Last Edited on: 12/15/09 6:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2009 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 1,739
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 The Ride of Our Lives by Mike Leonard

Date Posted: 12/17/2009 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 20,968
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I agree with Laurie Notaro.  Can't remember the name but she wrote one about Christmas that was hysterical.

Jennifer Lancaster is pretty funny too.

Date Posted: 12/30/2009 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2006
Posts: 146
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Most of Christopher Moore's books especially Lamb, Dirty Jobs, Blood Sucking Fiends and  You Suck! a Love Story.  Bill Bryson's Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I second the recomendation of They Shoot Canoes, Mcmanus is very funny and you dont have to be an outdoorsman to enjoy them. And the only Dave Berry book that I ever thought was funny, Big Trouble.

Subject: PS Your Cat is Dead by James Kirkwood.
Date Posted: 12/30/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2009
Posts: 13
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I laughed so hard the minute I finished it I went straight back to the beginning and reread it immediately.  It's pretty short.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,535
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Have you read the Agnes Browne books? They are about a widow raising her children alone in Ireland during the 1960s-1970s.  I usually don't laugh with fiction, but Agnes Browne made me laugh. 

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Jean Shepherd's books.  Do you like the movie "A Christmas Story"?  (Ralphie, the BB gun, etc.)?  Jean Shepherd wrote the story this movie was based on.  It's in his book "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" and he has written 3 or 4 more books in this style.  I gave my Mom the book "In God We Trust..." for Christmas and she loved it! 

I also enjoyed the book "Hunting For Unicorns" by Bella Pollan.  Set in England, some dry English humour, kinda picking on the "upper class"-fun book to read!  Also any Lucia books by E.F. Benson-they read like a British sitcom, IMO! 


Last Edited on: 1/6/10 10:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 3:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
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James Herriott, James Herriott, James Herriott.

oldies but still VERY goodies. These are the universal books that I recommend to everybody who doesn't ask for a more specific recommenation. I re-read them myself quite frequently.

Subject: Fun Science Fiction
Date Posted: 1/13/2010 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
Posts: 202
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I appreciate the other posts. I'm always looking for humor and have had to go to different genres to satisfy my appetite. Sometimes it's strictly humor but mostly is humorous situations and characters that make me smile at the absurdity or foolishness portrayed.

SciFi and Fantasy seem to be able to "create" their own reality and it shows. Some really good authors I'm reading, or have completed, are Piers Anthony (Xanth series + others), Robert Lynn Asprin (M.Y.T.H series + others), Alan Dean Foster (Spellsinger series), Lionell Fen (Everything), Craig Shaw Gardner (Everything), Keith Laumer (Retief: Intergalactic Diplomat series), and Orson Scott Card (Alvin series) for starters.


Date Posted: 1/14/2010 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 46
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I don't know if this is up your alley, but I found that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams made me laugh so hard I had to stop reading at times.

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 67
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Skipping Christmas by Grisham - it's a short read.

they made the movie with the Kranks w/Tim Allen

Date Posted: 1/15/2010 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Also any Lucia books by E.F. Benson-they read like a British sitcom, IMO!

Yes! Yes! Yes!  They still stand as the only books that have ever made me miss my subway stop.  And they did it twice.  They are just completely and absolutely hilarious.  There are also some parts of Mervyn Peake's strange and wonderful "Gormenghast" books that forced me to stop reading so that I could howl with laughter.