Books That Make Me Laugh
It’s a toss-up: Do I want a romantic comedy to read? Or anything that’s funny? The answer is YES.
I grabbed a small stack of books that made me laugh, and only two (arguably three) are romcoms. Here’s the drill:
Jennifer Crusie: I happened to have had “What the Lady Wants” at hand, but if you haven’t read any Jennifer Crusie, I think I’d advise you to start with “Welcome to Temptation” or “Charlie All Night.” They’re honestly funny, and steamy in the best way. Well done!
Janet Evanovich: The Stephanie Plum series (at least up to numbers eight or nine) are simply riotous. Lulu, Grandma Mazur, Stephanie herself are purely giggle-fests. And I’m such a fan of Ranger (Joe’s fine, but Ranger? Oh, man!) that I’ve actually written fan fiction. Because I couldn’t help myself.
Paul Rudnick: He wrote the Addams Family movies and Jeffrey and other witty things, but early on, he wrote several riotously funny books. “Social Disease” is a more-or-less romance (call it a half-romcom, half-absurdist delight), and “I’ll Take It” is nothing short of brilliant. Treat yourself!
Jean Shepherd: If you like the movie “A Christmas Story,” fear not. There is more joy in your world! The movie was based on Jean Shepherd stories, like the ones found in “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories.” You’ll find the father with the fra-gee-lay lamp, and Ralphie laying there like a slug (it was his only defense) and the bunny suit for Christmas. Honestly snort-inducing reading.
James Thurber: I have a tattered old copy of “The Thurber Carnival,” and have read the “My Life And Welcome To It” section to shreds. “The Night The Bed Fell” is four or five pages of the most glorious comedy. I actually bought alphabet stamps and used the back of a roll of gift-wrapping paper; I stamped most of “The Night The Bed Fell” and hung it up in my guest bathroom. It’s a good four feet long, and so engaging that sometimes unsuspecting guests go in and then don’t come out for a REALLY long time. That, too, makes me laugh.
Patrick Dennis: This is the guy who wrote “Auntie Mame” and trust me: The books are better than any of the movie versions! I’ve got “The Joyous Season” in my stack because that’s glorious, too…and because my copy of “Auntie Mame” and “Around the World With Auntie Mame” have both lost their spines and don’t look nice in a stack.
Douglas Adams: I’ve got my copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in my stack, but my favorite is actually a nonfiction book called “Last Chance To See” that is filled with so many incredible ways of describing the natural world (and the threat to endangered species) that I once wrote to the author (before he, alas, died) to tell him I was cribbing from him for fundraising letters for various wildlife groups. He wrote me back (EEEEEE!) and told me that was fine; anything that would help. MY HERO. Sigh….
God, I love a funny book. What have I missed? Got a favorite