The best books which claim to be funny, but actually are

Who am I?

As a stand-up comedian myself, I find a lot of so-called funny books to be hugely disappointing. In these days of authors wanting their amazing works listed in every possible category on Amazon, you often find books in the humor sections which have severely mistaken ‘a somewhat light tone’ or ‘occasional moments of levity’ for being actual comedies. And don’t even get me started on the reams of literotica with covers featuring musclebound torsos that fill up any search for something supposedly funny. Kindly f*ck off, writers of the latest Billionaire Bad Boy Romance—you do not belong here. Instead, here are some books that will actually make you laugh.  


I wrote...

Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money: A Badly Behaved Comedy

By Sam Bowring,

Book cover of Sam, Jake and Dylan Want Money: A Badly Behaved Comedy

What is my book about?

When a failed writer, a part-time redhead and a violent jerk all live together in the worst apartment block in the known universe, what desperate degeneracy will result? Will they be able to make a buck selling illegal seafood to children in the park? Or solve the problem of their broken air con by blowing up the very sun itself? Or avoid their spineless waft of a landlord, to whom they’ve never paid a shred of rent? Or what?

Find out the answers to these, and other dumb questions you would have never thought to ask, in this stupid collection of unnecessary tales.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

Sam Bowring Why did I love this book?

Written by legendary Saturday Night Live writer Jack Handey, this is a trippy book dense with hilarity, quite literally joke after joke, which still somehow flows into an actual story, albeit a weird one. I’d suggest that you only need to read the first sentence of the blurb to know if it’s for you or not. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!"

By Jack Handey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Stench of Honolulu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel-a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale.

The Stench of Honolulu

Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!

Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettable characters whose names escape me right now. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone…


Book cover of Everyone's Friendly and Nobody Gets Upset: The complete collection of email correspondences from the author of 27B/6 and The Internet is a Playground

Sam Bowring Why did I love this book?

If you’ve ever read the viral email correspondence by the unhinged (or perhaps, remarkably sane?) author David Thorne, of cult website 27B/6, about how he tried to pay a phone bill with a picture of a spider, you’ll know what you’re in for. Whether you have or not, this is a complete collection of Thorne’s hilarious email exchanges, which has on occasion reduced me to laughter almost painful—I do not recommend reading in public, unless you want everyone giving you crazy looks. 

By David Thorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everyone's Friendly and Nobody Gets Upset as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every existing, deleted, viral, popular & unpopular email correspondence ever posted on 27B/6 in one massive volume. That's right, even the one about ordering concrete from a florist that no-one liked.

"That's a fat book. Shipping will be expensive." Gary the accountant

"My 11-year-old thinks you're hilarious. He has autism." Michelle Thompson


Book cover of Armageddon

Sam Bowring Why did I love this book?

This fantastical story stars Elvis Presley and a time travelling Brussels sproutneed I say more?from one of the most celebrated humorist authors going. The good news is, if you like it, there’s more in the series, then heaps of other crazy books by Rankin to devour. 

By Robert Rankin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the point of view of 2050, you're history

Theological warfare. Elvis on an epic time-travel journey - the Presliad. Buddhavision - a network bigger than God (and more powerful, too). Nasty nuclear leftovers. Naughty sex habits. Dalai Dan (the 153rd reincarnation of the Lama of that ilk) and Barry, the talkative Time Sprout. Even with all this excitement, you wouldn't think a backwater planet like Earth makes much of a splash in the galatic pond.

But the soap opera called The Earthers is making big video bucks in the intergalactic ratings race. And alien TV execs know exactly what…


Book cover of Catch-22

Sam Bowring Why did I love this book?

A classic on the absurdity of war which remains relevant to this day. It also has a really interesting and unique structureno spoilers, but it’s not exactly linearwhich I think of more like a complex painting, each chapter filling in a bit more of the canvas, until by the end you feel like you have the complete picture. Plus, very funny, of course. 

By Joseph Heller,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Catch-22 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage.

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the…


Book cover of Dave Barry's Greatest Hits

Sam Bowring Why did I love this book?

A collection of American humorist Dave Barry’s newspaper columns, which I’m often re-reading and laughing a great deal. Definitely ‘of it’s time’ in parts (aka a bit dated), but it also contains plenty of general observations about life, family, and defending your home against tornados. A good one for the loo, as shaking with laughter might help you ‘move things along’. 

By Dave Barry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dave Barry's Greatest Hits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Dave Barry is on the loose, no one is safe!

What Dave Barry did for the men’s movement in his Complete Guide to Guys and for foreign relations when he did Japan he now does for . . . everything in America. The rapacious observer of Tupperware ladies and leisure concept salesmen sounds off on:

Football—Football is more than just a game. It is a potential opportunity to see a live person lying on the ground with a bone sticking out of his leg, while the fans, to show their appreciation, perform “the wave.”

Sailing—There’s nothing quite like getting…


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These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

By Sarah Loudin Thomas,

Book cover of These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

Sarah Loudin Thomas Author Of These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Appalachian West virginian Dog lover Hiker

Sarah's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna must seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced to confront the wounds of long ago. She'll have to risk the job that shapes her identity as well as the hope of friendship--and love--restored.

These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

By Sarah Loudin Thomas,

What is this book about?

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three young friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna sees no other way but to seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced…


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