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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Books that make you laugh out loud

There's a new issue of the Wet Noodle Posse e-zine up for your reading pleasure, and one of the things we cover this month is our favorite nonfiction books in the Top Faves listing. My contributions to that list were a couple of hilarious travel books by Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country (about his travels in Australia) and A Walk in the Woods (about his trek along the Appalachian Trail). Both of these books, along with his Notes from a Small Island and I'm a Stranger Here Myself, made me laugh out loud. I'm talking snorting out the nose here.

It takes a lot for an author to be able to make me laugh out loud while reading, but Bryson always manages to. As does Janet Evanovich in her Stephanie Plum series. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another author who regularly makes me laugh out loud (well, except for e-mails I read from fellow Noodlers Esri and Janet). But I love it when I find them because if you're in a bad mood, these are the types of books to read. Heck, even if you're not in a bad mood, they're great to read.

So my question to all of you is, who are some laugh-out-loud, "snortworthy" authors -- either fiction or nonfiction? I know humor is different for everyone, but I trust you. :)

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At 6:46 AM, Blogger Jennifer Shirk said...

For fiction, Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
I can't read her books in public places without embarassing myself. LOL!

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Norah Wilson said...

Great topic, Trish! Hands down, Carl Hiaasen is my go-to guy for a laugh-out-loud read. Then there's Dave Barry. His blog entries leave me rolling on the floor, but he also writes very funny novels. Do not read these guys in public!

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Anna Campbell said...

Trish, great question. There's an Australian writer called Clive James who wrote a book called Unreliable Memoirs about growing up in Sydney and then going to Cambridge that had me in stitches. Not sure if you can get it in the States but it's laugh out loud funny. Bill Bryson - absolutely! Perhaps because I've lived in the UK too, his Notes from a Small Island has me in stitches. Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips had me snorting with the best of them. Just checked my keeper shelves - the tragic outweighs the comic in spades. Is it because humor is so hard to do well? And you're a foolish girl to trust us, Ms Milburn!

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Christine Wells said...

At her best, Loretta Chase can have me snorking aloud--even on the three hundredth read if it's Lord of Scoundrels. But you're right--humor is so hard to get right. I think I've read more books that make me cry than laugh out loud.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Caren Crane said...

OH, yes, Christine, Lord of Scoundrels! I love that book for so very many reasons. (The glove scene in the cafe--oh my!)

It really takes A LOT for me to LOL. But one author who can do that is Michael Malone. His book "Handling Sin" is the funniest book I ever read in my life. I think it's probably much funnier if you're Southern, but I haven't asked any Yankees. *g*

Another LOL is Liz Carlyle. Although her writing tends toward the dark, she zips off lines that make me spew. She had a line in the PROLOGUE of "Never Deceive a Duke" that slayed me. She was talking about an opportunistic family and said they worshiped at the Church of the Impertinent Presumption. That one makes me giggle every time I think of it. *g*

Oh, and Liz is a friend of mine and she found out today that Never Deceive is #10 on the NYT. Even better!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Tawny said...

Hmmm, laugh out loud funny? Jennifer Crusie does it for me for sure. And although she's not a 'humor' writer, the last Harry Potter, Jk Rowling had me laughing out loud, too.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Donna MacMeans said...

I've been a Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan from FANCY PANTS. I'm with Norah as well, Dave Barry always gets me chuckling out loud.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Anna Sugden said...

Definitely Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Natural Born Charmer's first chapter is awesome!!

Janet Evanovich's first romance novel is a hoot - and the scene about Grandma Mazur and the funeral parlour is an all-time classic!

Anna C - Clive James always cracks me up!

Otherwise, it's more one-liners that catch me by surprise. Susan Mallery does that - especially in her single titles (Falling for Gracie and the Buchanan series!) And Michelle Cunnah's 32AA - for those who like Brit humour.

Keep an eye out for Terri Garey's Dead Girls are Easy too!

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Suzanne Welsh said...

Julie Garwood's The Wedding had me laughing so hard once on a plane that the lady sitting next to me asked if she could have the book when I was done. It was a hardback I'd promised my mother so I had to say no.

One of the noodlers always has me laughing aloud, Sandy Blair and her Men In A Kilt series. Good thing since I have to critique them! But there hasn't been one of her books that I didn't find something making me stop reading long enough to stop laughing so I could keep reading!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Great topic, Trish! Janet Evanovich and Meg Cabot are both authors that leave me in stitches.

For nonfiction, Dave Barry always cracks me up as does the late Erma Bombeck.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Cassondra said...

Okay, for non fiction, I have to say noone has made me laugh as long or as hard consistently as the late, amazing Erma Bombeck (not even sure I spelled her name right). It's been a long time since I read her books, but she could be counted on. YOU WOULD laugh, and sometimes until you cried, at her imagery and sarcastic wit.

For fiction...Tanya Michaels always got me snorting when she was writing for the Duets line. She's got a great way with setting up the perfect situation for humor. And yes, I laugh at SEP sometimes too. Not as consistently as some other authors. Jennifer Crusie gets me several times per book.

Interesting isn't it? How we're all so individual in the way things "hit" us.

My hubby laughs at The Three Stooges after all--and he's in his forties! Me--I haven't laughed at them since I was ten. :0/

At 7:05 PM, Blogger jo lewis-robertson said...

I'm with you, Trish. Evanovich made me burst out laughing the first time I read her. Another one is the "Running with Scissors" guy.

My husband treasures his copy of George Carlin's book, something about asking Jesus to bring the pork chops, but ONLY if you like very irreverent humor.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Trish! What a fun topic. I've got to agree with the Susan Elizabeth Phillips fans. I just re-read Ain't She Sweet and was laughing out loud at the dialogue. She's so funny and clever.

Julie Garwood and Susan Mallery always make me laugh, too. And Maureen Child's More Than Fiends was hilarious.

For nonfiction, I like the Bill Bryson books, too.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Thanks for all the additional suggestions. I agree, Tawny, there were some LOL moments in Deathly Hallows. My favorite lines always come from Ron or the Weasley twins.

Will have to check out some of these others. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, everyone.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Crusie, absolutely. And More than Fiends. And the Weasleys in HP.

Eileen Rendahl can have me laughing one minute and crying the next.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

I love David Sedaris's humor. I remember crying with laughter the first time I read "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Thank god I wasn't in public.

Bill Bryson and Crusie--yes! There are two pages of Getting Rid of Bradley--when the cop hero enters the heroine's house and is "attacked" by her dogs--that I can read over and over and marvel at her comic skill. And the donut scenes in Bet Me. Wow!

Anna, you'd probably like John Mortimer's memoirs too. He wrote the Rumpole series and I think he was also the defense lawyer in the Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial.

And may I, ahem, recommend my August release as a funny book?--The Rules of Gentility.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

ps. And how about Terry Pratchett, anyone?

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

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