The best books for my offbeat sense of humor

Amethyst Marie Author Of A Snag in the Tapestry: Thalia's Musings Volume 1
By Amethyst Marie

Who am I?

When people ask what kind of books I like to read, I can’t answer with a genre. As a kid, I’d come home from the library with mysteries, Westerns, fantasies, non-fiction books, and comic books in the same stack. I’ve always liked books that introduce me to fun characters, take these characters on fantastical adventures, make me laugh at least a little, and leave me with a sense of hope and triumph. They can be anything from cheesy romcoms to dark thrillers to complicated biographies. This is reflected in my fantasy series, Thalia’s Musings, which has been praised for its realistic treatment of abuse and also compared to Friends.

I wrote...

A Snag in the Tapestry: Thalia's Musings Volume 1

By Amethyst Marie,

Book cover of A Snag in the Tapestry: Thalia's Musings Volume 1

What is my book about?

Thalia is the Muse of Comedy. She doesn’t affect real life with her powers the way the Twelve Olympians do. She spends her days making mortal playwrights jump through hoops in exchange for comedic inspiration, and totally not flirting with the god Apollo. But when Thalia helps Apollo raise a cursed nymph from the dead, the Fates want to test her limits. Thalia takes the Fates’ tests in stride with the same glib, bubbly snark that she brings to the Olympian Court’s drama—until her sister becomes a target for Zeus’s attention and Hera’s vengeance, and Thalia’s growing powers may be the only thing that can protect her.

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The books I picked & why

A Prince on Paper

By Alyssa Cole,

Book cover of A Prince on Paper

Why did I love this book?

It was so hard to pick just one of Cole’s royal romances. This one has elements that I don’t often see in contemporary romance. The heroine, African royal Nya Jerami, is a virgin. It’s not because of cultural demands, and it doesn’t make her less of a sexual person. She’s believable as an equal partner to her more experienced love interest, European step-prince Johan von Braustein, who identifies as “not straight.” This romcom gave me so many laughs. Not one was at the expense of Nya’s virginity or Johan’s queerness. And these factors don’t define them. We mostly know Nya as a shy gamer girl who wants to take a more active role in governing, and Johan as a charming extrovert who’ll do anything to protect his younger sibling.

By Alyssa Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Prince on Paper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of Amazon's Best Romances of May!

The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that's not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her...

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal-in bed-with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg,…

Fortune Favors the Dead

By Stephen Spotswood,

Book cover of Fortune Favors the Dead

Why did I love this book?

This murder mystery deals with some dark topics. But the snarky narrator, Willowjean “Will” Parker, brings an upbeat, devil-may-care vibe to the book. I love Will for being clever and hilarious. I also love her for presenting as gender-nonconforming, not in an “ahead of her time/normal for our time” way, but in a way that’s historically accurate for a butch girl in the 1940s. And rather than framing Will as Not Like Other Girls, the book gives her a badass matronly mentor, a femme fatale, and a whole world of women, men, and others who live outside of 1940s gender norms in spite of the consequences.

By Stephen Spotswood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fortune Favors the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wildly charming and fast-paced mystery written with all the panache of the hardboiled classics, Fortune Favors the Dead introduces Pentecost and Parker, an audacious new detective duo for the ages.

“Razor-sharp style, tons of flair, a snappy sense of humor, and all the most satisfying elements of a really good noir novel, plus plenty of original twists of its own.”—Tana French, bestselling author of The Searcher

It's 1942 and Willowjean "Will" Parker is a scrappy circus runaway whose knife-throwing skills have just saved the life of New York's best, and most unorthodox, private investigator, Lillian Pentecost. When the dapper…

Book cover of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Why did I love this book?

You know how Star Trek can have you pondering the human condition one moment and laughing at the antics of a quirky, diverse crew the next? This science fiction novel gave me that same feeling, and I loved every minute of it. There’s action, adventure, and, if you look closely enough, a plot. But the heart of this book is its ensemble cast. I kept coming back to it to see how the different personalities, backstories, and creative fictional cultures of the Wayfarer’s crew would guide their interactions with each other. The scenes where everyone converses over a dinner lovingly prepared by their alien chef don’t feel like fillers or segues. They’re every bit as vital as the epic space chase scenes, if not more.

By Becky Chambers,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'A quietly profound, humane tour de force' Guardian

The beloved debut novel that will restore your faith in humanity


When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The ship, which has seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix,…

Book cover of How to Be Fine: What We Learned from Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books

Why did I love this book?

This non-fiction book is probably the most categorically comedic on my list. Greenberg, a comedian, and Meinzer, a critic, are the hosts of a podcast called By the Book, in which every episode documents their attempt to follow a new self-help book to the letter for two weeks. After a few years of doing this, they co-wrote their own self-help book based on their experience and narrated the audio version. The result is insightful, irreverent, and hilarious.

By Jolenta Greenberg, Kristen Meinzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humorous and insightful look into what advice works, what doesn't, and what it means to transform yourself, by the co-hosts of the popular By the Book podcast.

In each episode of their podcast By the Book, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer take a deep dive into a different self-help book, following its specific instructions, rules, and advice to the letter. From diet and productivity to decorating to social interactions, they try it all, record themselves along the way, then share what they've learned with their devoted and growing audience of fans who tune in.

In How to Be Fine,…

Dial A for Aunties

By Jesse Q. Sutanto,

Book cover of Dial A for Aunties

Why did I love this book?

You would think a book in which a woman accidentally kills the man who tried to date-rape her and enlists her mother to help hide the body would be a gritty, intense thriller or a thought-provoking work of literary fiction full of social commentary. Sutanto turns this premise into a comedy about intergenerational female bonding, and it freakin’ works. Meddlin Chan’s manslaughter and cover-up take place against the bubbly backdrop of a Chinese-Indonesian resort wedding and a reconnection with her first love. What even is this book’s genre? Crime? Romance? Chick lit? Whatever it is, I laughed out loud through the whole thing.

By Jesse Q. Sutanto,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dial A for Aunties as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Sutanto brilliantly infuses comedy and culture into the unpredictable rom-com/murder mystery mashup as Meddy navigates familial duty, possible arrest and a groomzilla. I laughed out loud and you will too.”—USA Today (four-star review)

“A hilarious, heartfelt romp of a novel about—what else?—accidental murder and the bond of family. This book had me laughing aloud within its first five pages… Utterly clever, deeply funny, and altogether charming, this book is sure to be one of the best of the year!”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read

One of NPR's Best Books of 2021!

One of PopSugar’s "42 Books…

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