The best laugh out loud comedies with heart and soul

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to make people laugh and cry and I love to read novels like this too, as I find they reflect life’s ups and downs so well. I like to read books that take me by the hand into a character’s world and leave me with more compassion and understanding towards the human race. As well as my novel called Are My Roots Showing?, I have done lots of stand up comedy and have some funny films on my YouTube channel (search Karola Woods) that I hope you can enjoy too. I studied physical theatre, mask and clown at Jacques Lecoq Theatre School in Paris. 


I wrote...

Are My Roots Showing?

By Karola Gajda,

Book cover of Are My Roots Showing?

What is my book about?

Thirty-something Magda, born in Yorkshire to Polish parents, has recently been dumped and needs a fresh start. Quitting her job, she sets off to Warsaw to teach English, While her Mama thinks she is off to find a Polish husband, Magda wants to explore her roots, and explore her parents' homeland. 

To her horror, Magda discovers that her bossy cousin Dagmara has put her on a dating site. Does Magda stay in Poland? Does she find a Polish husband - or not? And what does she learn about her mama's tragic past? Are My Roots Showing? is about identity, family, the fleetingness of life and love.

Magda learns how history affects the present, but that where there are roots, new shoots can grow.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Bridget Jones's Diary

Karola Gajda Why did I love this book?

This is the hilarious diary of a thirty-something-year-old woman’s attempts to ‘sort out her life’ whether that’s by losing weight, stopping smoking, or finding happiness and fulfillment in love.

It’s chatty and intimate and Bridget bares her soul to you, fathoming family, friends, and romantic relationships.

By Helen Fielding,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Bridget Jones's Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The multi-million copy number one Bestseller

A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

As Bridget documents her struggles through the social minefield of her thirties and tries to weigh up the eternal question (Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy?), she turns for support to four indispensable friends: Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay.

Welcome to Bridget's first diary: mercilessly funny, endlessly touching and utterly addictive.

Helen Fielding's first Bridget Jones novel, Bridget Jones's Diary, sparked a phenomenon that has seen…


Book cover of Heartburn

Karola Gajda Why did I love this book?

Nora Ephron’s Heartburn is hilarious but also full of pain.

It is the account of the breakdown of her marriage. Totally raw and chatty, you feel as if you’re sitting with Nora as she pours her heart out to you.

I loved this book because it showed me how good it is to be real and personal in a book, as it evokes emotions you can identify with.

By Nora Ephron,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Heartburn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If I had to do it over again, I would have made a different kind of pie. The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess, but a blueberry pie would have been even better, since it would have permanently ruined his new blazer, the one he bought with Thelma ... I picked up the pie, thanked God for linoleum floor, and threw it'
Rachel Samstat is smart, successful, married to a high-flying Washington journalist... and devastated. She has discovered that her husband is having an affair with Thelma Rice, 'a fairly tall person with a neck as long…


Book cover of I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections

Karola Gajda Why did I love this book?

This is a chatty and intimate fly-on-the-wall book look at everyday things through the lens of aging and mortality.

Nora Ephron makes the bittersweet mix of chattiness and philosophy seem so easy. The engrossing, snippet-write-ups of her friends, family, and career in New York give you a vivid snapshot into her heart and soul.

By Nora Ephron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Remember Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Here is the beloved, bestselling author of I Feel Bad About My Neck at her funniest, wisest, and best, taking a hilarious look at the past and bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life—and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.

In these pages she takes us from her first job in the mailroom at Newsweek to the six stages of email, from memories of her parents’ whirlwind dinner parties to her own life now full of Senior Moments (or, as she calls them, Google moments), from her greatest career flops to her…


Book cover of Gone With the Wind

Karola Gajda Why did I love this book?

I love Gone with the Wind because it is witty and entertaining but it also has depth.

The main character, Scarlett O’Hara, is unpretentious and funny. It is a gripping story with romance and war running through it. There’s no doubt why this is a classic that still works today because it’s about human nature.

By Margaret Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the tempestuous romance between Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara is set amid the drama of the Civil War.


Book cover of The Tent, The Bucket And Me

Karola Gajda Why did I love this book?

I laughed so much at The Tent, The Bucket and Me, a chatty account of hilarious, true life camping stories (and disasters) based on the author’s childhood in seventies Britain.

As a child of the 70s I could really identify with these holiday tales. It’s a great one to take on holiday (especially if you’re camping!)

By Emma Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tent, The Bucket And Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Emma Kennedy's hilarious memoir of wet and windy family trips, NOW ADAPTED FOR THE MAJOR BBC ONE SERIES THE KENNEDYS.

For the 70s child, summer holidays didn't mean the joy of CentreParcs or the sophistication of a Tuscan villa. They meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. With just a tent for a home and a bucket for the necessities, we would set off on new adventures each year stoically resolving to enjoy ourselves.

For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went.…


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Book cover of This Animal Body

Meredith Walters

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Neuroscience PhD student Frankie Conner has finally gotten her life together—she’s determined to discover the cause of her depression and find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But the first day of her program, she meets a group of talking animals who have an urgent message they refuse to share. And while the animals may not have Frankie’s exalted human brain, they know things she doesn’t, like what happened before she was adopted.

To prove she’s sane, Frankie investigates her forgotten past and conducts clandestine experiments. But just when she uncovers the truth, she has to make an impossible choice: betray the animals she’s fallen in love with—or give up her last chance at success and everything she thought she knew.

By Meredith Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Animal Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frankie Conner, first-year graduate student at UC Berkeley, is finally getting her life together. After multiple failures and several false starts, she's found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her.

But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who claim to have an urgent message for her. The problem is, they're not willing to share it. Not yet. Not until she's ready.

While Frankie's new friends may not have her highly evolved, state-of-the-art, exalted human brain,…


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