LOL Books?

What are your favorite laugh-out-loud funny books? I’m thinking about placing an order for some books to read this summer, and I sometimes like to read things that make me laugh. Novels, essays, humor, whatever.

My all time favorite for this is “The Comedy Writer: A Novel” by Peter Farrelly (Outside Providence, There’s Something About Mary). I’ve read it twice and loaned to to several friends and they also thought it was funny as hell. I’m not kidding about it, I would literaly laugh out loud a dozen times in one sitting (annoying my wife as I went!).

Let me know your favorites, thanks.

Well, it depends on your taste in “funny.” I loaned Sax my copy of “Vile Bodies,” and she’s been giving me odd looks ever since.

But Anita Loos’ “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes” are a hoot. They’re the “diaries” of illiterate, gold-digging flapper Lorelei Lee; much wittier than the show and movie they spawned.

Also, Patrick Dennis’ “Little Me,” another fake autobiography; much naughtier than the Loos books.

Part funny and part depressing: “The Collected Dorothy Parker.”

There are only three books I’ve ever actually laughed out loud while reading:

  1. Hitchiker’s Guide to the Glaxy (when the armada was eaten by the small dog)

  2. The Rants (by Dennis Miller)

  3. Dirty Jokes and Beer (by Drew Carey)

Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, has a nice message about the meaning of Christmas worked in with scenes of hypocrisy and childhood remembrances that will have you roaring, ending with Gladys Herdman yelling at the congregation “Hey, unto you a child is born.”

Also, Jon Scieszka, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. This is a children’s book for adults that I can never read out loud without my face hurting from laughing.

A Prayer for Owen Meaney, by John Irving. Tears of laugter rolling down my cheeks.

Catch 22, by Joseph Heller.

Anything by Kurt Vonnegut (I used to babysit his neices and nephew!)

And my high school graduation present from my sister: Susan Dey’s Book On Boys, Beauty, and Popularity. When I was working at a radio station, I lent it to one of the DJs, who proclaimed in “Radio Gold,” and read from it every morning. There’s a whole chapter entitled “For The Fatties.”

Ditto Eve’s Dottie Parker recommendation. I also suggest Marion Meade’s bio of the Divine Ms. P: “What Fresh Hell is This?” Dottie’s one of my heros, she taught me to not take cynicism to the maximum. The bio is terribly funny in parts, like when Dotty got kicked out of Catholic school for insisting the Immaculate Conception was really Spontanious Combusion.

Anything by Carl Hiaasen, but especially, Double Whammy.

Terry Pratchett. My wife doesn’t want to be in the room when I’m reading any of his books, since I’m laughing too much. Good choices are


My favorites are those that feature the Watch, or Death, and the various Granny Weatherwax Shakespeare parodies. I’m currently reading THE FIFTH ELEPHANT and was delighed by a completely out-of-nowhere parody of Checkov.

The funniest section of any book was the pages on British candies in Pynchon’s GRAVITY’S RAINBOW.

I concur on Catch-22. I read that again a couple years ago after reading it first in HS (15+ years ago).

I’d add David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” to my list, but only for the cruise ship essay and the state fair article. His description of cruise ship employees and passengers shouldn’t be missed.

Jean Shepherd’s “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” was also very funny and brings back many childhood memories, but it wasn’t quite LOL funny.

Anyone else?

Anything by Dave Barry, including his columns in the newpaper.

Candide by Voltaire
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
(these are hilarious in any language but particularly in the original French)
The Catbird Seat by James Thurber (or any other Thurber anthology)

Another vote for Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy here. Also, most of P.J. O’Rourke’s books are a hoot. (Even to a Democrat like me.)

Beat me to “Catch-22” and Vonnegut.

I also find P.J. O’Rourke’s stuff funny.

He cuts through the b.s. and tells it like it is with politics and the world in general.

Handling Sin by Michael Malone.

Anything written by Bill Bryson especially “A Walk in the Woods”.

Patrick F. McManus.

'nuff said.

I’ll second Bill Bryson. As well as A Walk in the Woods, there’s also Mother Tongue (on the english language) and travel books around the UK and the US.

Any of the “Headlines” books by Jay Leno.

Something light and funny for southern women:

“Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love” by Jill Conner Browne. I think you have to be a southern woman to like it though.

Ditto on Catch-22 - funny goddamn book.

Ditto on Dave Barry, but I’ll never admit it. :wink:

No one has mentioned the funniest freakin’ book I ever read - laughed so hard it hurt. Many times:

Portnoy’s Complaint, by Phillip Roth.

It might be funny only to Jewish men, but I’m guessing that its appeal is wider than that.

The Umpire Strikes Back by Ron Luciano. A book about the author’s career as a slightly crazy American League umpire, this one kept me in stitches. While the book is about life as Major League Baseball umpire, it is not a “sports” book. Some understanding of the game of baseball is helpful in getting the full benefit of Ron’s humor, but is a good read for anyone.