Top ten books that will make you laugh

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  The blog hop features lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to connect with bloggers who love the books you do.

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This week’s theme is Books that will make you laugh, or at least chuckle. This is right up my alley, because I love humorous books. The proof is that I actually have ten books this time. Usually I stall out at five or six.

And so, in no particular order, here are some tomes worth a chuckle or a guffaw. Some are classics everyone will recognize, but lots of them are little gems that didn’t make as big a splash as they deserved.

The Unknown Ajax, by Georgette Heyer. My favorite Heyer book also features her funniest character, Major Darracott.  He is so different from how he appears that this is almost a book of mistaken identity. The early going, in which he misleads his family by fulfilling their every stereotype of ignorant Yorkshire men, made me chuckle — but then the wild and hilarious ending drove me to loud laughter.

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To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.  Ms Willis does gentle comedy better than most, and this is one of my favorites. A comic time-traveling adventure, disguised as a Victorian novel, and all wrapped up in a romantic mystery. How’s that for a mashup?

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Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Humor about the horrific fire bombing of Dresden in World War II?  Unthinkable! Yet Vonnegut manages the unthinkable with this dark-hued tale that became a cultural touchstone. Vonnegut strikes me as one of those authors who are literally crazy, but make it work.

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Celestial Bodies, by Laura Leone. I’d be amazed if any of you have read this book — but you should! I laughed harder during this strange little romance than I did for any of these other books. It centers on a firmly grounded young woman with a psychic father who’s being investigated by a private eye who doesn’t believe in that sort of garbage. The story makes delicious sport of the idea of belief/disbelief.

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Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carrol. An oldie but goodie.

Surely I don’t have to justify including it on my list? Good, then I won’t bother trying.

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Prostho Plus, by Piers Anthony. This book is from Anthony’s early days before he became PIERS ANTHONY!  Have you ever wondered how alien creatures get their dental work done? Me neither … until I read this book about an Earthling who is abducted by aliens because he’s such a great dentist. Unfortunately I can’t re-read it because I loaned it to my dentist and he never returned it.

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Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi. Another science fiction book — you may be noticing a trend in my reading patterns. Scalzi’s Redshirts may be better known and more clearly a comedy, but personally I enjoy his first book more. He wrote this on his blog and let reader feedback tell him whether he should bother with writing. Their answer: yes.

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. The spelling of Fforde’s name alone is worth a chuckle (though with a name like “Hoornaert” I shouldn’t point fingers at anyone). In this madcap fantasy, books come alive and can be changed by altering the original copy. Want to know the real reason why Rochester’s horse slipped at the beginning of Jane Eyre?  Read this book to find out.

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Stuck with You, by Vicki Lewis Thompson.  I could’ve picked any of a dozen of Vicki’s books — any of her Nerd series, for example — but I was in a critique group with her when she wrote this one, so it’s special to me. I mention above like I admire humor that isn’t mean and doesn’t make fun of someone. Vicki is superb at ‘nice’ humor, probably because she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.

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The Trial of Tompa Lee, by Edward Hoornaert.  Yes, this is one of my own books, but the main reaction from reviewers has been how humorous and lovable my alien creatures, Shons, are. That isn’t my opinion, it’s theirs — personally I think Shons are kinda bloodthirsty, ganging up on the heroine in a trial by combat with 300 of them against her — but read the books and tell me if you agree.

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What about you? What are some of the funniest books you’ve read? Tell us about it in the comments.

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7 comments

  1. readerbuzz · · Reply

    Good grief. I left off Alice in Wonderland. What was I thinking?

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/04/books-that-make-me-laugh.html

    1. You left off Alice? A better question: WERE you thinking? This and the Heyer were the first books that leaped to my mind.

  2. I love that Georgette Heyer is on your list! The Unknown Ajax is one of my favorites! Such a farce!

    1. A farce, yes — but Heyer makes us care about all her characters as serious people, and the ending pokes fun at no one. Humor that isn’t mean is even rarer than humor, period.

  3. Piers Anthony! Ya-hoo! (Side note, not a single picture in your post loaded for me.) My TTT.

    1. Yep, Piers Anthony pre-Xanth. He wasn’t well known at all back then, and wrote primarily science fiction.

      1. I’ve read a bit of one of his other works. Can’t think of the title for the life of me but it was about a girl that couldn’t communicate well or something

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