A Book that Made You Laugh: Staff Picks for the TPL Reading Challenge
We could all use a laugh right about now, so we've asked library staff and members of the Reading Challenge Facebook group to recommend books that made them laugh. Some of these books are giddy, silly fun; some are dark; some are dry, some are goofy. We hope you find something on this list that works for you.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This is my comfort read: an old, familiar favourite, available in ebook, audiobook, radio play, text-based video game and movie formats. It's goofy and philosophical and laugh-out-loud funny on almost every page, and it reminds me that even the end of the world isn't necessarily the end of the world.
- Wendy, Digital Content Lead
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard
The tone and pacing of the book keeps it moving quickly despite a number of quotations from major authors. The seemingly cavalier attitude and the nature of the literature he cites as models for non-reading will make you laugh and learn at the same time.
- Michael, Librarian
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty
I snorted with laughter within the first 10 pages. But I do have a very morbid sense of humour! That being said I was eating when I first started reading this book... maybe don't do that. It's also kind of gross.
A great compilation of answers to questions from children about death. This could also be used for "A book about something that scares you" (if you're scared of death) or "a book you found helpful" (if you want to know more about what happens when you die). I'd also make the decision to say that it's "a book under 200 pages long" too - although it says 208 pages in the catalogue, several pages are only images and the main content is exactly 200 pages long. So you have my blessing to use it for that category too!
- Amy, Communications Officer
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
This memoir about growing up the daughter of a married Catholic priest (they exist!) had me constantly laughing out loud.
- Myrna, Librarian
The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll
I had tears of laughter with the description of the toilet paper being like a packet of potato crisps! I remember those toilet rolls that provided sheets of almost waxlike shiny paper.
- Mary Ann, Branch Head
Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
I'm a big fan. Funny, sweet, and super smart.
- Jennifer, Librarian
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (series) by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
One of my all-time favourite superheroes, and Ryan North brought her back to life with tons of laughs and squirrel puns.
- Natalie, Librarian
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
At just 124 pages I laughed my way through Queen Elizabeth's discovery of the joy of reading.
- Sarah, Public Service Assistant
The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby
It's about a vegan New Yorker who inherits a farm on Vancouver Island and thinks she'll be able to learn how to run an organic farm with no experience. She ends up befriending a cast of quirky locals to help her: a grumpy old-timer who lives in her shed; an alcoholic 20-something internet-fiend who is trying to move out of his mother's house across the road; and an extremely intelligent 12-year-old girl who needs land to house her prize-winning chickens. Highly recommended!
- Nancy, Senior Department Head
Christmas at Thompson Hall and Other Stories by Anthony Trollope
The title story had me giggling hilariously on the subway one day, to the extent that another passenger asked "Whatever are you reading?". I have loved Trollope ever since.
- Marie, Librarian
No Relation by Terry Fallis
- Despina, Branch Head
Lucky Jim by Kingley Amis
Still laugh out loud funny over 50 years after it was published.
- Carolyn, Senior Collections Specialist
Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey
One piranha tries to get the rest to try fruits and vegetables, but the rest explain which body parts they prefer. A wonderful rhyming book for Kindergarten/Grade Ones, when humor is emerging.
- Katherine, Library Assistant
The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero
It details the troubled production of the now infamous, unintentionally hilarious cult classic film known as The Room and offers a glimpse into Sestero’s relationship with the riddle wrapped in a mystery that is Tommy Wiseau. Fresh from my viewing of The Room, I dove into this one and both winced and cracked up harder at Sestero's anecdotes and unflinching descriptions than I have at any book I’ve picked up before or since.
- Nicky, Librarian
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
I've read (actually listened to it) about 10 times. a specific sense of humour, maybe not for everybody, but I found it hilarious.
- Anna, Public Service Assistant
Chet and Bernie Mystery series by Spencer Quinn
For dog lovers. The titles of the books give you an indication of the level of humour: A Fistful of Collars, Heart of Barkness, Scents and Sensibility, The Dog Who Knew Too Much, etc. I've been listening to them through RBDigital and have been chuckling away to myself on the subway.
- Moira, Senior Department Head
Available in Print Only
Little Miss P by Ken Koyama
This graphic book is hilarious and many of us women can relate. Little Miss P symbolizes "that time of the month" and shows up at the most inconvenient times to literally sucker-punch her friends and to deliver healthy doses of both fatigue and comfort! I absolutely loved this book.
- Lisa, Library Assistant
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick
This made me and my son laugh. Watching Baby Monkey desperately try to get his pants on before solving each case had us in tears, and at one point my 7-year-old had to run for the bathroom, he was laughing so hard. He must have read that book about 50 times over the course of a few days. Reading is just starting to click for him, so I’m glad this book gave him such a joyful experience!
- Sarah, Library Service Manager
Evie and the Truth about Witches by John Martz
Has the funniest ending I've ever read.
- Elaine, Senior Library Assistant
Recommendations from the Facebook Group
These are just some of the recommendations from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2020 discussion group.
- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
- The Sellout by Paul Beatty
- Hark, a Vagrant! and Step Aside, Pops! by Kate Beaton
- Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
- Humble Pi by Matt Parker
- Lamb by Christopher Moore
- Frankly in Love by David Yoon
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
- Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
- Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
- Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen
- Less by Andrew Sean Greer
- Let’s Pretend this Never Happened- Jenny Lawson
- Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
- Days by Moonlight by Andre Alexis
- Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor
- Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
- Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
- Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
- The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
- Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt
- Hyperbole and A Half by Allie Brosh
- Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee
- The Witches are Coming by Lindy West
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
- Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
- Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy
- Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
- Thurber Carnival by James Thurber
- Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler
- The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
- Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
What did you read for this category? What books make you laugh? Share in the comments below, or join our Facebook group!