The best books that blend humor and heart

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I didn’t read that much. My school-assigned books felt like enough. The turning point, as I remember it, was my introduction to Terry Pratchett. His Discworld novels were lighthearted and fun, but they still explored serious themes and presented honest reflections on humanity. That blend of levity and sincerity stuck with me and introduced me to the style of storytelling I now aim for in my own work. I find a lighter-hearted approach can make difficult or elusive topics more approachable, and mixing a little humor into the narrative helps us care. It connects us more deeply to the characters and makes a story’s heartfelt moments shine.


I wrote...

Being Fiction

By T.G. Sparrow,

Book cover of Being Fiction

What is my book about?

Gilbert is not the Chosen One...but when he’s unexpectedly pulled into a bizarre fantasy world, he can’t help noticing the signs. When he learns that a tyrant is rising to power, his suspicion only grows. And when the truth about Earth is revealed, he’s certain. He has all the makings of a Hero…or at least, he has the backstory of one. The rest is a work in progress.

Thrown into a baffling new land, as lively and eccentric as it is relentless, Gilbert befriends wizards, librarians, and one exceptionally intelligent butterfly to combat the threat of tyranny. All the while, he must confront questions of his own reality and decide just how much he’s willing to sacrifice to find a home again.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Guards! Guards!

T.G. Sparrow Why did I love this book?

My whole list of recommendations could be three times as long and still consist entirely of Discworld novels, but I've decided to focus on one.

Guards! Guards! is filled with Pratchett’s signature wit and humor, with characters that channel the kind of concentrated humanity Pratchett excels in. They’re larger than life, yet still true to it. In many ways, they exemplify it.

Through Captain Vimes, Sergeant Colon, Corporal Nobbs, and the naïve but charismatic Carrot Ironfoundersson (a human raised by dwarves), we get a story that tackles inequality, injustice, resilience, and responsibility, all while making time for a stubborn swamp-dragon breeder, a formidable librarian (who is also an orangutan), and Pratchett’s wonderfully unique and endlessly entertaining prose.

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Guards! Guards! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First book of the original and best CITY WATCH series, now reinterpreted in BBC's The Watch

'This is one of Pratchett's best books. Hilarious and highly recommended' The Times

The Discworld is very much like our own - if our own were to consist of a flat planet balanced on the back of four elephants which stand on the back of a giant turtle, that is . . .
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'It was the usual Ankh-Morpork mob in times of crisis; half of them were here to complain, a quarter of them were here to watch the other half, and the…


Book cover of Legends & Lattes

T.G. Sparrow Why did I love this book?

A recently-retired Orc adventurer opens a café in a city that’s never heard of coffee.

The premise is delightful in its simplicity and originality, but the focus is really on the characters. The entire cast overflows with personality and charm, and even in a setting as whimsical as this, Baldree treats them with sincerity. I cared as much about this fantasy café as I would’ve cared about a world-saving adventure, because it was important to the characters, and they were important to me.

Their growth felt earnest and genuine, and the story was absolutely engaging. Not to mention, a tale following someone’s struggles to enter an industry they know next to nothing about certainly resonates with me as I try to figure out self-publishing.

By Travis Baldree,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Legends & Lattes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fantasy, low stakes - with a double-shot of coffee.

After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can't go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune's shady underbelly could make it all…


Book cover of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain

T.G. Sparrow Why did I love this book?

A small crew of super-powered middle schoolers try to do some good and end up branded as super-villains...then they find out they rather enjoy it.

It’s an amusing premise filled with wacky inventions, silly antics, and a wealth of cute and creative superpowers. But the characters are also incredibly likable, and as we grow to care for them, we see them confront difficult ethical questions in a world that’s not as black-and-white as the superheroes might have you believe.

It’s a wildly fun world mixed with a heartfelt narrative carried out by characters you’ll love. What more could you want?

By Richard Roberts,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She's got superhero parents. She's got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets even she doesn't understand. She has two super-powered best friends. In middle school, the line between good and evil looks clear. In real life, nothing is that clear. All it takes is one hero's sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process, Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She's good at it. Criminal masterminds, heroes in power armor, bottles of dragon blood, alien war drones, shapeshifters and ghosts,…


Book cover of Good Omens

T.G. Sparrow Why did I love this book?

An angel and a demon work together to stop the antichrist from destroying the world. Simple enough. But things get off to a rocky start when they spend the first eleven years monitoring the wrong child.

I initially read this book on vacation, and while I don’t remember much about the trip itself, I remember the book! An otherwise-normal pre-teen with the power to shape reality takes this story to appropriate (and absurd) extremes, but at its core, it’s a narrative about good and evil, human nature, and free will—and it approaches these themes with sincerity, nuance, and care.

Come for the laughs, stay for the laughs…and for the profound reflection on humanity.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BOOK BEHIND THE AMAZON PRIME/BBC SERIES STARRING DAVID TENNANT, MICHAEL SHEEN, JON HAMM AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…


Book cover of The House in the Cerulean Sea

T.G. Sparrow Why did I love this book?

Love, kindness, and empathy are at the core of this story, and it all stands on an imaginative, unique premise unlike any I’ve read before.

It’s a story that delights in its quirky setting but thrives on its honest and earnest characters. A forty-year-old man visiting a school of marginalized orphans, which happens to include, among others, a strange green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. It’s certainly an eclectic bunch, but by the end of the story, you’ll love every one of them.

Our characters—kids and adults alike—confront very real, difficult issues, yet through it all, the story never loses its unique charm. The prose, the setting, and the characterizations all blend together seamlessly into something beautifully strange and strangely beautiful. 

By TJ Klune,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The House in the Cerulean Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he's given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not…


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Subjugation: Zanchier

By SG Boudreaux,

Book cover of Subjugation: Zanchier

SG Boudreaux

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Harper Brinley is running for her life.

After escaping from a government holding facility where she, along with other scientists, was being forced to build a deadly weapon. She headed for the most remote place she could think of, the wild Xantifal Mountains.

The one place where no one would think to search for her. There, she found a massive hollowed tree in which to survive the harsh mountain winter. If she can survive the four-legged, fire-breathing firebirds and the equally large wildcats of the mountain ridge, then maybe she can find her way back to her children. She was…

Subjugation: Zanchier

By SG Boudreaux,

What is this book about?

Harper Brinley is running for her life. After escaping from a government holding facility, where she along with other scientists were being forced to build a deadly weapon, she headed for the most remote place she could think of, the wild Xantifal Mountains. The one place where no one would think to search for her. There she found a massive hollowed tree in which to survive the harsh mountain winter. If she can survive the four-legged, fire-breathing firebirds, and the equally large wildcats of the mountain ridge, then maybe she can find her way back to her children. She was…


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