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Have you read The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett? It is a novella and is definitely laugh-out-loud, especially for someone who works in a library! The premise involves the Queen of England discovering books and reading via a travelling library van that comes to the palace for the staff.


I recently read Poet's Pub by Eric Linklater and it was definitely laugh-out-loud funny at some parts. Before that, erm…I read Spurious by Lars Iyer in April and found it really entertaining, though my boyfriend was not amused/didn't finish it.

Hm, I guess I don't read that many laugh-out-loud funny books either!


I'm addicted to my library too so you are not alone...ha! Seriously, the library is such a great place to explore new books. I never feel any pressure if I don't love them because I haven't purchased them. I feel like my reading choices really expand when I step foot into my library.

Josh's mom

Have you read Anne of Green Gables? I needed something light, fun but well written and this did the trick. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.


How about combining laugh out loud funny with your love for books about life between the two world wars?

I think E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia would fill the bill admirably.

Nowhere outside the pages of this novel do the Moonlight Sonata, a lobster recipe, selecting Christmas cards and being shipwrecked (among many other things) seem so hilarious.

Buried In Print

Here's to that lovely swish-swish sound. You've probably already read some/all of the Provincial Lady's diaries?


I'd second The Provincial Lady as well as Mapp and Lucia. How about Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love, and Love in a Cold Climate?


Rest assured, you are not the only book obsessed person out there and please, do continue to share your library finds - they always inspire me.


Cathy--By coincidence I actually read An Uncommon Reader last month! That doesn't often happen where I can say that--and it was indeed totally delightful and very humorous! It is on my reread shelf actually so I'll get around it again at some point! :)

Heather--You're tempting me with a book that I can't get my hands on until next year! :) Why does Spurious sound familiar to me? That is one I can get my hands on sooner than later--I'll check it out. I'm not familiar with Iyer, but I'm always willing to give new authors a try. And I need to find more laugh out loud books--I don't have enough of them in my life.

Kathleen--It always makes me feel better to know there are other library addicts out there who can appreciate how I feel! I am also very willing to try books I wouldn't otherwise when I can get them from the library--nothing lost and they can always go back if they are not to my liking!

Josh's Mom--I actually have not yet read any of the Anne of Green Gables books, but I have the first one on hand and am planning on reading her as part of an upcoming reading challenge. Maybe I should start there rather than with the other classics I've set aside. I like having books like it on hand and am looking forward to it.

Junie--That sounds good to me! :) I have the first few Miss Mapp books--not sure why I've not yet read any of them--I'm going to dig my copy out--wherever I put it. You make it sound so very appealing! It sounds a little like silly humor (in a good way), but I love silly humor! I watched a Vicar of Dibsley episode a few weeks back and thought it was absolutely hilarious!

Buried in Print--That swish swish sound happens pretty much daily I admit. Often the books sit on my desk at work as I decide whether I Must have it or whether it can wait (usually the former). I have read the first Provincial Lady Diary, but it seems like it would be good for multiple rereads. I think I have the London PL book as well--maybe it's time to dig that out. Those books have the added benefit of being comfort reads, too.

Lisa--I read The Pursuit of Love years ago and my edition has both novels in it, but I didn't get around to reading it. I'm sure I've forgotten enough that I could start from scratch with it! I've already decided that I'm going to pull Mapp and Lucia and PL from my shelves. They seem both well-regarded, which is always a good thing.

Penny--I'm so glad to hear that. I was working on my post last night wondering it if I was sounding like a huge bore by talking about them. I need to vary my subjects but I always like talking about the new books I am hoping to read. And it's nice to think someone else might also find a book they might want to try as well! :)

Jan S.

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel is the first book that came to mind when you mentioned laugh out loud funny. Another one that hit me the same way is Cherry by Mary Karr. She also wrote Liar's Club, which I would assume to be similarly amusing, but I haven't read it yet.


Jan S.--I actually read Zippy and was just thinking earlier that that is probably the last laugh out loud book that I read-and that was a number of years ago! I should look for more by Kimmel--though I am not sure all her books are funny. I've never tried Mary Karr, though, so will look for her books--thanks!


How about Lucky Jim? I always hear it is so funny.
I personally really laughed the most with Bridget Jones but you've probably read that.
And I found the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy hilarious.


I'll second E. F. Benson. I think you've read Barbara Pym? I often turn to her for comfort reading. Also I find Alison Lurie and Anne Tyler very enjoyable, also David Lodge. Oh and I did enjoy Patrick Dennis' Auntie Mame last year. All of these authors are ones I chuckle to rather than laugh out loud, but I like gentle humour.I completely agree that this is the time of year to find amusing novels! Oh and a final mention- Elizabeth von Armin, who I know you've also read, is generally very wry and entertaining too.

Kathy Johnson

Please, please always share with us your finds, library or otherwise. I love reading about what other people are readng, even though it's dangerous to my own TBR list. I love laugh-out-loud funny books of all types, and will eagerly troll your comments for suggestions. My own suggestions are: I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (short non-fiction pieces, so easy to dip in and out of. I've liked all of Bill Bryson's work, but this is my favorite); It's Not That I'm Bitter by Gina Barreca (again short pieces that are easy to dip into--you can read some of her pieces online at; P.G. Wodehouse is a great idea, and James Thurber is often good for a chuckle.


The library is a place full of temptation for me too. Even when I plan just to go to return books I've been seen coming home with one or two. I've now finished my third Rankin, like them a lot, and am halfway Rosie Alison The Very Thought of You. I promised myself to read from my own shelves in december, but who knows? I still have Vera Brittain Testament of Youth waiting for me, but alas too small print and too many pages just now.


I think there should be absolutely no guilt involved in borrowing lots of books from the library. As for funny books, Wodehouse makes me giggle. And I can't remember if you have read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. If you want to venture into fantasy, I always find Terry Prachett's Discworld books good for a chuckle.


How about The Diary of a Nobody? I can't even type "Pooterish" without laughing.

I second others' suggestions of Anne Tyler, Jerome K. Jerome and James Thurber.

And please, no more worrying about boring us. I'd read your grocery list if you'd post it.


(PS, I think Spurious might sound familiar because Rebecca at Of Books and Bicycles also read it/posted about it this year.)


Caroline--I did read Bridget Jones--I wonder if any of the other books she wrote were as amusing? I'm curious about Lucky Jim--I'm not all that familiar with the story, so I will have to look it up. And I have never read the Douglas Adams book, but it has been recommended to me before!

Litlove--I loved Auntie Mame and the sequel--maybe I am due for a reread--I recall being very amused by them both! Gentle humor is a good thing actually. I am going to have to try Benson, I see. So many people recommend the books--why have I waited? And EvA is always good. I'm saving The Enchanted April for a reread in dreary February! Thanks for the suggestions--I think I have books by all you list--mostly as yet unread... :)

Kathy--Okay, I will. I don't need too much convincing! :) I will do so sparingly though. I think I have read only one Bill Bryson book but I always mean to read more, and I have heard of Gina Barreca but never have read her. I don't mind a book that elicits a few chuckles or even a guffaw--I'll settle even for a smile at this point! :) Love Thurber and I think I have a book of his stories, will go pull it out.

Catharina--I need to read more from my own shelves, too. I am so easily tempted by library books, though. I do try and balance it out as much as I can. I'd like to read Rosie Alison's book--have it on hand as a matter of fact! :) I also want to read Vera Brittain as you see. And Ian Rankin is on my list. Are you reading the books in order?

Stefanie--I don't and I do feel guilty about library books. I feel bad I have to return them unread but I don't want to check out fewer books either--that I can actually read in the check out period. Wodehouse came to mind first and I have a couple of lovely hardcovers that are screaming for attention. Now I have so many good suggestions I'm not sure which to pick up--maybe a few shorter pieces for instant gratification. I loved the Jerome K Jerome book by the way--good call. Terry Pratchett has been recommended to me before--I need to read the summaries as I am not very familiar with his work--only his name.

Junie--I know what Pooterish is but I have yet to read the book. I bet I can load it onto my Nook for free, too! Anne Tyler. I AM going to read her next year--I have never read any of her books, though I seem to collect them. And I think I am going to look for a story by Thurber--I am sure I have a collection somewhere. And thanks for the kind words. I promise I won't post a grocery list, but I suspect I'll keep sharing all my books! :)

Heather--Now that you say it, I think you are right and I read Rebecca's review. I bet I even wrote the title down somewhere--I always have slips of papers with book lists laying about!

Liz F

I have been trying to wean myself off the library as I have so many books of my own to read but as you can probably guess, I'm not doing too well.
I HAVE given Junior Daughter her library card back so I am not tempted to use that, but I still use Senior Daughter's card as well as my own (she lives and works in London now) so I have plenty of scope for piling up the borrowings! The current pile isn't the biggest it has ever been - but the results of some over enthusiastic on-line reservations are now landing so it will be increasing again!

I don't read many funny books either really - I would add my vote to Diary of a Provincial Lady and Bill Bryson's Neither Here Nor There which is a sort of travelogue, and the early Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovitch are very funny in places.
The funniest book I have read though, is a childrens picture book called Dr Xargle's Book of Earth Tiggers - a sort of handbook about cats for extra terrestrials. I discovered it when I was helping in my son's infant school class about 15 years ago and it reduced me to helpless giggles - much to my son's intense embarrassment!


Liz--Yes, Stephanie Plum! I think I have found my book. I knew there had to be something a little mindless but amusing and Janet Evanovich is just the ticket. Of course all the suggestions are wonderful and I have already pulled a few authors out--the ones I could easily find, and I am sure Thurber is somewhere on my shelves though so far I cannot locate him. I was also looking at the PL but as I have two other Delafield books either started or ready to start I had better resist a reread. As for the library--I go in cycles. At the moment I only have three (yes only three) checked out from the public library and only maybe two more on reserve--waiting for them to arrive and be processed. Now the library where I work--that's another story entirely. I brought most of them back only to start bringing yet more home again. I can't resist and always figure it is easy enough to return them since I go there everyday (during the work week) anyway. I get mad at myself but I also can't stop myself. And then I go and make a list that I think I am absolutely going to stick to, and then don't. Will I ever be reformed?? Probably not. I will see if we have that juvenile book on hand--that sounds like instant gratification! :)

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