I love a good laugh and I love reading, so of course I like books that can make me laugh.
I don’t simply mean books that I occasionally smile at while I read. I mean books that make me look like a crazy person in public because I keep laughing out loud.
This all stemmed from when I was a young child reading with my mother. The book was from the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series and I was a giggling mess. My mother and I couldn’t stop laughing at a certain section where a little girl was crying so hard the sugar cookies she was given were melting. That odd little story started my love for reading and writing humor.
Humor is a great way to drag yourself out of a bad mood. When I need a good laugh, I look to books.
Over the years I’ve encountered many funny books some of which are listed below, the most recent being The Martian, which convinced everyone in my house that I was choking.
If you’re afraid of looking like a laughing lunatic in front of other people, these are 43 fiction books you might want to read alone.
43 of the Funniest Books of All Time:
1. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller: 1961)
“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams: 1979)
“So this is it,” said Arthur, “We are going to die.”
“Yes,” said Ford, “except… no! Wait a minute!” He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur’s line of vision. “What’s this switch?” he cried.
“What? Where?” cried Arthur, twisting round.
“No, I was only fooling,” said Ford, “we are going to die after all.”
3. One More Thing Stories and Other Stories (B.J. Novak: 2014)
“I was sad that summer was over. But I was happy that it was over for my enemies, too.”
4. Venus Drive (Sam Lipsyte: 2000)
“Van Wort was fat and his name was Van Wort. With that combination, why would you pack your kid off to camp? Let him play with ladybugs in the safety of his own lawn.”
5. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Tool: 1980)
“I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate façade there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Boethius?”
“Who? Oh, heavens no. I never even read newspapers.”
“Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand the crises of our age,” Ignatius said solemnly. “Begin with the late Romans, including Boethius, of course. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medieval. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is mostly dangerous propaganda. Now that I think of it, you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians, too. For the contemporary period, you should study some selected comic books.”
“I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he’s found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman.”
6. Right Ho, Jeeves (P.G. Wodehouse: 1934)
“Beginning with a critique of my own limbs, which she said, justly enough, were nothing to write home about, this girl went on to dissect my manners, morals, intellect, general physique, and method of eating asparagus with such acerbity that by the time she had finished the best you could say of Bertram was that, so far as was known, he had never actually committed murder or set fire to an orphan asylum.”
7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Jesse Andrews: 2012)
“I entered Excessive Modesty Mode. Nothing is stupider and more ineffective than Excessive Modesty Mode. It is a mode in which you show that you’re modest by arguing with someone who is trying to compliment you. Essentially, you are going out of your way to try to convince someone that you’re a jerk.”
8. Cold Comfort Farms (Stella Gibbons: 1932)
“That would be delightful,’ agreed Flora, thinking how nasty and boring it would be.”
9. Fraud (David Rakoff: 2001)
“Sheila taught me a survival technique for getting through seemingly intolerable situations-boring lunches, stern lectures on attitude or time management, those necessary breakup conversations, and the like: maintaining eye contact, keep your face inscrutable and masklike, with your faintest hint at a Gioconda smile. Keep this up as long as you possibly can, and just as you feel you are about to crack and take a letter opener and plunge it into someone’s neck, fold your hands in your lap, one nestled inside the other, like those of a supplicant in a priory. Now, with the index finger of your inner hand, write on the palm of the other, very discreetly and undetectably, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you…” over and over again as you pretend to listen. You will find that this brings a spontaneous look of interest and pleased engagement to your countenance. Continue and repeat as necessary.”
10. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do (David Foster Wallace: 1997)
“I think the world divides neatly into those who are excited by the managed induction of terror and those who are not. I do not find terror exciting. I find it terrifying. One of my basic goals is to subject my nervous system to as little total terror as possible. The cruel paradox of course is that this kind of makeup usually goes hand in hand with a delicate nervous system that’s extremely easy to terrify.”
11. The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson: 2009)
“There are only two things I can do better than most people. One of them is to make vodka from goats’ milk, and the other is to put together an atom bomb.”
12. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal (Christopher Moore: 2002)
“I know that even now, having watched enough television, you probably won’t even refer to them as lepers so as to spare their feelings. You probably call them ‘parts-dropping-off challenged’ or something.”
13. Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Leading an Imperfect Life (Jason Gay: 2015)
“In recent years it has become popular for some retailers to begin their Black Friday sales on Thursday night. Do not support this inane trend. If you feel like you want to replicate the experience, blindfold yourself, tape $150 to your forehead and roll yourself down a hill in a shopping cart.”
14. Breakfast for Champions (Kurt Vonnegut: 1973)
“Vietnam was a country where America was trying to make people stop being communists by dropping things on them from airplanes.”
15. Someone Could Get Hurt (Drew Magary: 2013)
“Once they’ve borne children, mothers can construct virtually any costume using scissors, felt, Elmer’s glue, and a leftover pen spring. They’re like the Special Forces of crafts.”
16. A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson: 1998)
“I have long known that it is part of God’s plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth, and Mary Ellen was proof that even in the Appalachian woods I would not be spared. It became evident that she was a rarity.”
17. The Broke Diaries (Angela Nissel: 2001)
“Boredom is the bastard baby of Broke. I’m used to Broke living here, but when Boredom comes ’round for those weekend visits, things get a little crazy.”
18. Egghead (Bo Burnham: 2013)
“When I walk into a room, you’d think I was one of those long, straight Tetris pieces because everyone’s just like, “Oh great, you’re here! We’ve been waiting for you to show up.”
19. Go The Fuck to Sleep (Adam Mansbach: 2011)
“All the kids from day care are in dreamland. The froggie has made his last leap. Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom. You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.”
20. Cruel Shoes (Steve Martin: 1977)
“The problem with the diets of today is that most women who do achieve that magic weight, seventy-six pounds, are still fat. Dr. Fitzkee’s Lucky Astrology Diet is a sure-fire method of reducing with the added luxury that you never feel hungry.
Here’s how the diet works:
First Month: One egg
Second Month: A raisin
Third Month: Pumpkin pie with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
If after the third month you haven’t canada pharmacy onhealthy website gotten to your dream weight, try lopping off parts of your body until those sales tip just right for you.”
21. Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris: 2000)
“On my fifth trip to France I limited myself to the words and phrases that people actually use. From the dog owners I learned “Lie down,” “Shut up,” and “Who shit on this carpet?” The couple across the road taught me to ask questions correctly, and the grocer taught me to count. Things began to come together, and I went from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. “Is thems the thoughts of cows?” I’d ask the butcher, pointing to the calves’ brains displayed in the front window. “I want me some lamb chop with handles on ’em.”
22. Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis: 1954)
“A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
23. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman: 1990)
“Aziraphale collected books. If he were totally honest with himself he would have to have admitted that his bookshop was simply somewhere to store them. He was not unusual in this. In order to maintain his cover as a typical second-hand book seller, he used every means short of actual physical violence to prevent customers from making a purchase. Unpleasant damp smells, glowering looks, erratic opening hours — he was incredibly good at it.”
24. Freaks I’ve Met (Donald Jans: 2015)
“I was convinced that the proverb about money not buying happiness was written by a rich guy who didn’t want you to feel bad because you didn’t have any.”
25. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Douglas Adams: 1987)
“She tried to worry that something terrible had happened to him, but didn’t believe it for a moment. Nothing terrible ever happened to him, though she was beginning to think that it was time it damn well did. If nothing terrible happened to him soon maybe she’d do it herself. Now there was an idea.”
26. Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut: 1963)
“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”
27. A Dirty Job (Christopher Moore: 2006)
“Charlie had Sophie strapped to his chest like a terrorist baby bomb when he came down the back steps. She had just gotten to the point where she could hold up her head, so he had strapped her in face-out so she could look around. The way her arms and legs waved around as Charlie walked, she looked as if she was skydiving and using a skinny nerd as a parachute.”
28. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple: 2012)
“One of the main reasons I don’t like leaving the house is because I might find myself face to face with a Canadian.”
29. Dave Barry Slept Here (Dave Barry: 1989)
“The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.”
30. Side Effects (Woody Allen: 1980)
“What advice would I give the average homeowner to protect himself against burglars? Well, the first thing is to keep a light on in the house when you go out. It must be at least a sixty-watt bulb; anything less and the burglar will ransack the house, out of contempt for the wattage.”
31. Kill your Friends (John Niven: 2008)
“I do not understand the festival experience. These people, these disgusting lowlifes we’re driving through, they fought to get in here. They think they’re lucky. They spent hours on the phone trying to get tickets, happily paying hundreds of pounds for a pair when they managed to find some. Now they’re celebrating being here, celebrating the fact that they can lie around in urine-flavoured mud drinking warm lager and eating burgers prepared by some syphilitic gyppo while fucking Cast knock out their greatest hits in the distance.”
32. The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde: 2001)
“The Goliath Corporation was to altruism what Genghis Khan was to soft furnishings.”
33. I Love Everybody and other Atrocious Lies (Laurie Notaro: 2004)
“If another person got on that elevator to travel eight feet upward, I couldn’t have been responsible for what I did. I had been pushed to the limit. The next time it happens, I swore to myself, I’m going to reach out and pinch that One Floorer and say, “You get out there and walk! You won’t come close to burning a fraction of the three thousand calories you ate at lunch, but maybe by the time you reach the landing, you’ll pass out from exhaustion and get to go home for the rest of the day, you lazy little asshole, because that’s exactly what you want anyway!”
34. Something Fresh (P.G. Wodehouse: 1915)
“Joan was nothing more than a friend. He was not in love with her. One does not fall in love with a girl whom one has met only three times. One is attracted, yes; but one does not fall in love.
A moment’s reflection enabled him to diagnose his sensations correctly. This odd impulse to leap across the compartment and kiss Joan was not love. It was merely the natural desire of a good-hearted young man to be decently chummy with his species.”
35. Sellevision (Augusten Burroughs: 2000)
“Adam had smiled at him and Max had smiled back. And then they both just stood there in that awkward silence that happens when two people are attracted to each other but don’t know what to do about it because they are strangers.”
36. Straight Man (Richard Russo: 1997)
“Had I allowed him to become our neighbor, proximity would have provided him with a dozen more reasons to hate me. And , living right next door, where he could keep an eye on my comings and goings, he might even have found by this time some way of murdering me and making it look like an accident. Whereas, if he wanted to kill me now, he’d have to cross the street, pass houses occupied by Jacob Rose’s ex-wife, the ex-football coach’s ex-wife, and other ex-wives who know me. I consider these ex-wives my last line of defense.”
37. Why Girls are Weird (Pamela Ribon: 2007)
“One day the Barbie without a head convinced Donny and Marie to put pink and blue Life pegs through the holes in their hands. The Barbies pretended the pegs were hits of acid and got the Osmonds to think they could fly.”
38. The Martian (Andy Weir: 2011)
“He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”
39. The Bachelor Home Companion (P.J. O’Rourke: 1987)
“Bachelor cooking is a matter of attitude. If you think of it as setting fire to things and making a mess, it’s fun. It’s not so much fun if you think of it as dinner.”
40. Naked (David Sedaris: 1997)
“We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.”
41. It All Started with Columbus (Richard Amour: 1957)
“The great improvement of the radio over the telephone is that it may be turned off without offending the speaker.”
42. Riotous Assembly (Tom Sharpe: 1987)
“For a moment Kommandant drew fresh hope that Fivepence’s sudden death must have been the result of not any human agency, but some natural cataclysm in the order of a freak tornado that had passed through without a shadow of a doubt well noticed by Jacaranda Park but unremarkable in the rest of Piemsburg. That brief spasm of optimism died almost as soon as it was born. It was all too obvious that whatever gifts Miss Hazelstone had inherited from her illustrious Imperial forebears, Sir Theopolus had left her with a marked propensity for enormous firearms and their use at unnecessarily close range.”
43. Insane City (Dave Barry: 2013)
“You came to a strip club with a woman who is not your fiancée, and a gorilla on your wedding day.”