Facebook
Skip to main content
PBS logo
 
 
Want fewer ads?

Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Laugh-out-loud nonfiction

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Jenny28 avatar
Subject: Laugh-out-loud nonfiction
Date Posted: 9/23/2007 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
Back To Top

So I was paging through the LOL novel thread and loving the suggestions - I was driving people crazy as I giggled my way through a Janet Evanovich - but the title was novels so I hesitated to list my favorite humor writers.   Which great humor writers am I missing?  My favorites so far are these:

Jill Connor Browne - any and all things sweet potato queens, don't read her anyplace that is supposed to be quiet due to the laughing, snorting, and tears running down your face.

Dave Barry - Some of the most valuable things I know about men I learned from this guy.

David Sedaris - Just ripped through Naked on a flight and completely forgot to be nervous taking off.

Any of these writers will take whatever mountain I'm obsessing over and reduce it to actual molehill size...what other writers are worth looking at?

 

 



Last Edited on: 10/15/07 11:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
SanJoseCa avatar
Date Posted: 9/24/2007 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
Back To Top

HYENAS LAUGHED AT ME AND NOW I KNOW WHY (the best of travel humor and misadventures) edited by Sean O'reilly

THE IG NOBEL PRIZES (the annals of improbable research)  by Marc Abrahams

LETTERS FROM A NUT (a hilarious exchanges of letters)  by Ted L. Nancy

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/24/2007 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
Back To Top

Bill Bryson's various titles are all hilarious.

Celia Rivenbark's books are very funny, too.   www.celiarivenbark.com

Gayden Metcalfe's Somebody Is Going to Die if Lily Beth Doesn't Catch That  Bouquet: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding and Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral  are both sidesplitting. 

And, if you haven't read any of the late Lewis Grizzard's books, then you are missing out on some true Southern humor. Roy Blount is another great Southern humorist.

 



Last Edited on: 9/24/07 9:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/24/2007 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 851
Back To Top

If you like David Sedaris, you might like Augusten Burroughs and/or Wade Rouse.

Jenny28 avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
Back To Top

Thanks for the suggestions!

nashvillethecat avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
Back To Top

The James Herriot "All  Things Bright and Beautiful" series has some funny stories.

jessielynn avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
Back To Top

I loved Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark

Also, Operating Instructions and most non-fiction by Anne Lamott.

All the Sweet Potato Queens books

Jenny28 avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 230
Back To Top

I LOVE the title for RIvenbark!!!  What's Lamott like?

SanJoseCa avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
Back To Top

Ann Lamott loves to "push a lot of buttons!"  She is funny and profound at the same time.  She looks at spirituality with a sense of humor!  She is very popular here in Northern California.

MediumDebbi avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 167
Back To Top

If you have'nt read George Saunders yet, He is very funny! I read "Pastoralia" and hooted out loud. Also Robertson Davies can be pretty funny too. I haven't gotten to "Naked" yet but you know you can count on Sedaris everytime! I also have something at home by Craig Ferguson (Late Late Show)  can't recall the title,but he is very funny as well

There's also a great selection of humor writers in the collection "Mirth of a Nation" but thats a keeper and I won't be posting, Sorry!

jessielynn avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
Back To Top

Here's an excerpt from Operating Instructions (less about religion/spirituality than some of her other works): http://www.randomhouse.com/anchor/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400079094&view=excerpt

I am so far on the other end of the spectrum than she is when it comes to religion, but I still find her writing fascinating and entertaining. She is just a really, really good nonfiction writer (and her book on writing, Bird by Bird, is also hilarious and very helpful).

That said, I have tried to read some of her fiction and hated it.

checkingmypulse avatar
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
Back To Top

Laurie Notaro is HILARIOUS!

Destructa avatar
Standard Member medalFriend of PBS-Silver medalPrintable Postage medal
Date Posted: 9/27/2007 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2007
Posts: 185
Back To Top

Ditto the Sweet Potato Queens.  I like James Herriot too but I don't recall laughing out loud.  James Finn Garner is a hoot: Apocalypse Wow, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, etc.  Made-up, but not usually filed in fiction.

A good friend swears by Anita Liberty: How to Heal the Hurt by Hating, etc.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/28/2007 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2007
Posts: 23
Back To Top

"My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell always makes me laugh. 

magicmama avatar
Date Posted: 9/28/2007 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 2,928
Back To Top

All moms and expecting moms should read Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs by Jenny McCarthy, so LOL funny.

summerlady46 avatar
Friend of PBS-Gold medal
Date Posted: 9/28/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
Back To Top

Jim Mullen's It Takes A Village Idiot will make you smile, grin, giggle and laugh.  Wish there were more books listed by him on here. 

Generic Profile avatar
Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
Back To Top

If you also like reading about food, Jeffrey Steingarten and Calvin Trillin are also pretty entertaining.  (Trillin doesn't write exclusively about food...)  My husband and I have enjoyed their books immensely.

LaurieAnne avatar
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2006
Posts: 4,972
Back To Top

She is funny and profound at the same time. 

 

I respectively disagree. I just don't care for Lamott at all. I tried to read two different books from her and I just could NOT get into them, despite two different people who know me and my sense of humor recommending her to me:(

To each their own.

 

Bonnie avatar
Standard Member medalFriend of PBS-Silver medalPrintable Postage medal
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 8,549
Back To Top

Annie Lamott, I love her non-fiction, and did think I loved her fiction, till one day I caught myself not reading while reading and realized I was truly bored.  I then gave it some thought and realized I'd felt the same for most of her novels. 

Even better though, l have an audio of one of her lectures and it is wonderful.

minathia avatar
Friend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 277
Back To Top

I'm reallly looking forward to "I am America, and So Can You!!" to come out! It's by Steven Colbert, and it'll be out in the next few days. *squee*

checkingmypulse avatar
Date Posted: 10/4/2007 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
Back To Top

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Anne Lamott. What a wonderful author

mckason avatar
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 66
Back To Top

Carl Hiaasen and Harlen Coben ARE laugh out loud funny! I enjoy both authors, ck em out!

psychobabbler avatar
Friend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
Back To Top

 

I recommend Jen Lancaster's "Bright Lights, Big Ass" .  It's the funniest non-fic book I've read all

year.  Her first book, "Bitter is the New Black" is not quite as funny but has its moments. 

endoux avatar
Date Posted: 10/5/2007 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
Back To Top

Paul Reiser's books Couplehood and Parenthood were laugh out loud funny for me.  And I'm not the laugh out loud type person. 

smith avatar
Date Posted: 10/21/2007 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 3
Back To Top
Laurie Notaro. She writes the Idiot Girls Books. Also, Hypocrite in a Puffy White Dress by Susan Gilman. Neither should be read in a library or funeral parlor waiting room as the un-stifle-able laughter will be inappropriate for either setting.
Page:
Want fewer ads?