The best books that made me laugh out loud

Sharon Dunn Author Of Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves: A Ruby Taylor Mystery
By Sharon Dunn

The Books I Picked & Why

Dad Is Fat

By Jim Gaffigan

Book cover of Dad Is Fat

Why this book?

My kids bought this book for me as a Christmas gift right before we left for a trip to see relatives. I embarrassed them by nearly falling off the airport chair from laughing. Jim Gaffigan’s dad humor and insights on family relationships are relatable. Though my kids are now young adults, parenting is hard work filled with much self-doubt. Jim Gaffigan uses humor to lighten that load. Plus, the chapters are short so you can get your laugh for the day before you have to deal with the first disaster created by living in a house with small children. Or like me, reading the book brought back memories of what it was like to have three small kids doing wall art with pudding. 

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Hazardous Duty

By Christy Barritt

Book cover of Hazardous Duty

Why this book?

Before Amy Adams made Sunshine Cleaning, a movie about a crime scene cleaner, Christy Barritt created Gabby St. Claire who took on the same job after dropping out of forensic science school. While cleaning a crime scene, Gabby finds a murder weapon the police missed. She realizes the wrong person was put in jail and that powerful people want to keep it that way. Like my book, Hazardous Duty is written in first person using humor and larger-than-life characters to drive the mystery forward. I love the deep connection with the character’s interior life (with all her insecurities) that I get when I read a first-person novel.    

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Missing Susan

By Sharyn McCrumb

Book cover of Missing Susan

Why this book?

Imagine being in a tour group with the most annoying person in the world, Susan. Every tour group has that one person who talks non-stop about things that don’t matter. The difference here is that the tour guide Rowan Rover is an inept hitman who can’t seem to bump Susan off. An added element of fun is that the group is touring England’s most famous murder sites. When I was learning to write mysteries, I had two prominent influences, Sue Grafton and Sharyn McCrumb. Both taught me how to construct a solid mystery. Sue Grafton opened my eyes to the power of connection created by writing in first person. And Sharyn McCrumb showed me the importance of using humor even when talking about dark subjects like murder. 

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney

Book cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Why this book?

My youngest son was a reluctant reader and the king of sarcasm at an early age. So finding books that had humor in them seemed to encourage him to read. What I hadn’t counted on was how funny I found this book. I kept this book even after he was grown. I pick it up any time I want to laugh and be reminded that if I could go back in time, the last place I would want to go to would be middle school. An easy read, complete with illustrations. I like books that have great family values but are not sugary sweet. This one does just that. 

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What a Girl Wants (Ashley Stockingdale Series #1)

By Kristin Billerbeck

Book cover of What a Girl Wants (Ashley Stockingdale Series #1)

Why this book?

I had been married for many years when I read this book and still found it to be funny, funny, funny. More than just a romance, I love the way she incorporates issues with family and job and life always in a humorous way. Written at the height of the chick-lit era ( a genre I love) the book follows Ashely Stockingdale, a successful 31-year-old woman wondering if she will ever find true love. 

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