The best off-the-wall romance literature to surprise, delight, and challenge your perceptions

Alan Daniels Author Of Spank: The Improbable Adventures of George Aloysius Brown
By Alan Daniels

The Books I Picked & Why

The Miller's Tale

By Geoffrey Chaucer, Michael Alexander

The Miller's Tale

Why this book?

Chaucer didn’t invent erotica, but he must be the all-time bestselling writer of medieval smut. He wrote The Miller’s Tale to entertain fellow travellers on a pilgrimage. I bet they lapped it up. This bawdy celebration of lust and trickery is as rude — and hilarious —  as it was 400 years ago.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

A Confederacy of Dunces

By John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of Dunces

Why this book?

Believe me, you don’t want to hang out with Ignatius J Riley. Fat, delusional, slothful, indolent, insufferable — even his mother struggles to love him — yet you will find yourself cheering him on as he trundles a hotdog cart through the streets of New Orleans in search of love and meaningful employment. Sadly, the author committed suicide eight years before his widely rejected manuscript was eventually published and he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize. 


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Vernon God Little: A 21st Century Comedy in the Presence of Death

By D.B.C. Pierre

Vernon God Little: A 21st Century Comedy in the Presence of Death

Why this book?

 Pierre’s adolescent high schooler makes JD Salinger’s protagonist in Catcher in the Rye look like a valedictorian. Just as (finally) he is about to score with a teenage crush, who has hitherto rejected him, he ejaculates prematurely. 

"My world dissolves under my belly with a jet like stung snakes squirting out through their own eye holes. Then quiet. Just a slow ocean moving slowly, and spit-curry after-poon drying cold on my face."

What’s worse, at that precise moment, cops burst into the room, catching him with his pants down, and arresting him for a mass killing he didn’t commit.

You couldn’t make this stuff up unless you’re a comic genius like DBC Pierre


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Barney's Version

By Mordecai Richler

Barney's Version

Why this book?

Everything you want to know about being Jewish, brilliant, vengeful, Jewish, neurotic, charming, and being a Canadian writer in Bohemian Paris in the fifties. Richler’s hero Barney Panofsky is the portrait of a man who wasted his life, but had a great time doing it. A self-proclaimed ‘impenitent rotter’, he is redeemed by his unwavering regret at losing the love of his third wife. Oh, the carousing, the romance, the revelry. How I wish I had been there.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

By Marina Lewycka

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Why this book?

Forget everything you know about farm machinery manufacture in Ukraine, this is a story of growing old disgracefully (woohoo!) in which a randy old widower of 84 weds a voluptuous 36-year-old blonde “golden hair, superior breasts... when you see her you will understand,” he tells his daughter. After all, he’s known her for three months and she has a penchant for green silk underwear.

Wise, funny, warm, bitchy, author Lewycka absolutely nails this story about old country familial love and frailty.

Not sure what she knows about Ukrainian tractors, but who cares? She has a poet’s love of language and humanity.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists