100 books like The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde,

Here are 100 books that The Importance of Being Earnest fans have personally recommended if you like The Importance of Being Earnest. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Anton Chekhov's Masterpieces: Short Stories ( An Avenger, Gone Astray, A Slander, Frost ) - PART 7

Alex Bernstein Author Of Miserable Holiday Stories: 20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours!

From my list on century old humor that remains funny today.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a humorist and lover of all things comedy, I know how quickly a good joke can feel dated. (Heck, lots of great bits from last year don’t even work anymore.) Drama almost always holds up better than comedy. For example, you can still get swept up in dramatic narratives as ancient as The Odyssey. But do Aristophanes’ or Shakespeare’s “comedies” elicit even the slightest guffaws? Not from me. So, I hear you cry, are there any written works from more than 100 years ago that remain lol funny today? Well, don’t cry. Because yes, there are quite a few literary treasures that are still hysterically funny. The good news is that I’ve done some of that research for you.  

Alex's book list on century old humor that remains funny today

Alex Bernstein Why did Alex love this book?

Hold on! Anton Chekhov? Not that giant of Russian literature who gave us some of the most poignant, brooding, melancholy views of family life in dramatic works like The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard? Probably the biggest surprise on this list, Anton Chekhov wrote comedy for years and as a young adult supported his family by writing humorous sketches about Russian life for the magazine Oskolki. While most famous for his plays, Chekhov was an incredibly gifted short story and humor writer. In one of his tightest yarns, “An Avenger,” confused young Fyodor Sigaev goes shopping for an appropriate revolver to mete out justice after he discovers his spouse cheating on him. But once at the shop, the sheer number of firearm choices he’s presented with quickly overwhelm him. 

“. . . I would advise you, M'sieur, to take this superb revolver, the Smith and Wesson pattern, the…

By Anton Chekhov,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anton Chekhov's Masterpieces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anton Chekhov's Masterpieces

Short Stories ( An Avenger, Gone Astray, A Slander, Frost ) - PART 7 -

-  The inspirational short stories of Anton Chekhov are famous around the World. Some of the best loved stories and tales have been penned by this remarkable Russian author considered as one of the best short story writers in history and by some as the founder of short stories! The following selection of his famous short stories will provide hours of reading pleasure.

Read in this issue:

An Avenger Gone Astray A Slander Frost

Book cover of Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog

David Baboulene Author Of Ocean Boulevard

From my list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I only read humour, and it was my passion to write humour. When I was lucky enough to find myself travelling the world and working on cargo ships, the source material presented itself, and I took my chance. Publishers were wary of the crudity inherent to a sailor’s life, so I present myself as if P.G. Wodehouse himself had gone to sea. I am the butt of all the pranks, and horrified by what I see around me. So I was able to write a book that addresses the truth of a shipboard life… but leaves the suggested extremes to your imagination!

David's book list on humorous travel that also deliver great stories

David Baboulene Why did David love this book?

Growing up, I only read humour.

I just love to laugh and when a book has you making the pictures in mind for yourself and laughing out loud, there really is nothing better. And Three Men in a Boat sends me directly to the floor every time I read it, and I will never stop reading it as long as I live.

It is rightly a classic and still in the shops nearly 140 years later. My book is a homage to Three Men in a Boat. I followed the style and form, and acknowledge Jerome K Jerome in my front-matter.

My book is really 15 Men in a Boat, and if it is even 10% as good as Three, I will rightly be very proud of myself (if not my mathematics).

By Jerome K. Jerome,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Three Men in a Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), published in 1889, is a humorous account by English writer Jerome K. Jerome of a two-week boating holiday on the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford and back to Kingston. The book was initially intended to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history along the route, but the humorous elements took over to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages seem a distraction to the comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it…


Book cover of Roughing It

Fedora Amis Author Of Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James

From my list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history and I love to laugh. That’s why I brand myself as a writer of Victorian Whodunits with a touch of humor. I’ve spent decades learning about 1800s America. I began sharing that knowledge by performing in costume as real women of history. But I couldn’t be on stage all the time so I began writing the books I want to read, books that entertain while sticking to the basic facts of history and giving the flavor of an earlier time. I seek that great marriage of words that brings readers to a new understanding. As Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” 

Fedora's book list on that bring a touch of humor to the Old West

Fedora Amis Why did Fedora love this book?

Mark Twain is my writing idol. Before Roughing it, I’d never read a book written during the Civil War era which didn’t take sides and grind axes. From it, I learned detachment, that personal adventures can live side-by-side with even the most earth-shattering events. And that hilarious stories like “Bemis and the Buffalo” are the best antidote for the chaos and pain of war.

By Mark Twain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Roughing It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The celebrated author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn mixes fact and fiction in a rousing travelogue that serves as “a portrait of the artist as a young adventurer.”*
 
In 1861, young Mark Twain found himself adrift as a newcomer in the Wild West, working as a civil servant, silver prospector, mill worker, and finally a reporter and traveling lecturer. Roughing It is the hilarious record of those early years traveling from Nevada to California to Hawaii, as Twain tried his luck at anything and everything—and usually failed. Twain’s encounters with tarantulas and donkeys, vigilantes…


Book cover of The Pirates of Penzance

Alex Bernstein Author Of Miserable Holiday Stories: 20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours!

From my list on century old humor that remains funny today.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a humorist and lover of all things comedy, I know how quickly a good joke can feel dated. (Heck, lots of great bits from last year don’t even work anymore.) Drama almost always holds up better than comedy. For example, you can still get swept up in dramatic narratives as ancient as The Odyssey. But do Aristophanes’ or Shakespeare’s “comedies” elicit even the slightest guffaws? Not from me. So, I hear you cry, are there any written works from more than 100 years ago that remain lol funny today? Well, don’t cry. Because yes, there are quite a few literary treasures that are still hysterically funny. The good news is that I’ve done some of that research for you.  

Alex's book list on century old humor that remains funny today

Alex Bernstein Why did Alex love this book?

Before sitcoms, stand-up, SNL, and absolutely any great comedy movie you can name – there was Gilbert & Sullivan. Okay, yes they wrote operas (“light operas” technically; really more like our musicals today), but these works were created to be popular, scandalous, funny, and with hummable tunes for the masses. G&S operas were absurd, fantastic, politically incorrect, hysterical, “topsy turvy” extravaganzas that satirized (much like Wilde) the bourgeois mores of the day. Astonishingly, most of it holds up today, which is why you can still see Gilbert and Sullivan's productions being perpetually staged across the globe. If you can see one of their productions live – or on YouTube – go for it. But the libretto’s themselves are highly readable and funny. The Pirates of Penzance is a good gateway to their other works. It’s full of sex, crime, cops, pirates, bathing beauties, and non-stop earworms; and includes two of…

By W.S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When a pirate's apprentice tries to leave the high seas and build a new life, his hopes are dashed when a secret comes to light. The man's plans are shattered as he's forced to return to his old stomping grounds. Frederic is a 21-year-old who has spent his life working as a pirate's apprentice. Now an adult, he's free from his commitment and able to venture out on his own. He eventually stumbles across a group of women including the beautiful Mabel. They immediately fall in love and plan to spend their lives together. Unfortunately, Frederic discovers that his birthday,…


Book cover of Cress

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Author Of Wilde Wagers

From my list on historical novels that are light and silly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach writing and children's literature at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and for many years worked as a librarian. (Once a librarian, always a librarian!) First and foremost, I'm a reader. The real world can be an unpleasant and depressing place, so I regularly escape inside books. Although serious books are great, it's also nice to escape to a world where you can laugh and not worry about anything too bad happening.

Elizabeth's book list on historical novels that are light and silly

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I may be cheating here. Rapunzel is an old-time fairy tale, and Cress is a science fiction re-writing of that story, so I'm going to count it in this list as "historical." This is the third book in Meyers' Lunar Chronicles and it is my favorite of the bunch. Cress (Rapunzel) is incredibly smart and completely naive to the world. Her romantic interest is a completely dopey bad guy, who you shouldn't waste your time disliking. The odd situations they get themselves into mirror, to an extent, the famous fairy tale. Lots of fun.

By Marissa Meyer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Cress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Cress is the third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, following Cinder and Scarlet.

Incarcerated in a satellite, an expert hacker and out to save the world - Cress isn't your usual damsel in distress.

CRESS grew-up as a prisoner. With only netscreens for company she's forced to do the bidding of the evil Queen Levana. Now that means tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai. But little does Levana know that those she seeks, and the man she loves, are plotting her downfall . . .

As paths cross and the price of freedom rises, happily…


Book cover of Sprig Muslin

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Author Of Wilde Wagers

From my list on historical novels that are light and silly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach writing and children's literature at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and for many years worked as a librarian. (Once a librarian, always a librarian!) First and foremost, I'm a reader. The real world can be an unpleasant and depressing place, so I regularly escape inside books. Although serious books are great, it's also nice to escape to a world where you can laugh and not worry about anything too bad happening.

Elizabeth's book list on historical novels that are light and silly

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I'd list every one of Georgette Heyer's romance novels if I could. She's the master of creating plots so entangled you have no idea how they'll be pulled apart. Her characters are unique, if not exactly crazy, and love is always in the air. Heyer's world is Regency England as it never really was.

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A charming "accidental" love triangle enchants readers in this delightful romp by the Queen of Regency Romance, bestselling author Georgette Heyer.

A dashing man of honor...

En route to propose to his sensible acquaintance Lady Hester, Sir Gareth Ludlow finds young, pretty Amanda wandering unattended and knows it is his duty to bring her back to her family. This turns out to be a challenge as Amanda seems to possess an imagination as intriguing as it is dangerous.

A shocking refusal...

Lady Hester stuns both him and her family when she refuses him. At her age, no one would expect…


Book cover of Playing the Part

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Author Of Wilde Wagers

From my list on historical novels that are light and silly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I teach writing and children's literature at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and for many years worked as a librarian. (Once a librarian, always a librarian!) First and foremost, I'm a reader. The real world can be an unpleasant and depressing place, so I regularly escape inside books. Although serious books are great, it's also nice to escape to a world where you can laugh and not worry about anything too bad happening.

Elizabeth's book list on historical novels that are light and silly

Elizabeth Caulfield Felt Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Turano's historical romances. Playing the Part is my favorite; it is about a 19th-century New York City actress who hides away at a friend's country estate. Every character is quirky and engaging. I laughed out loud, over and over, at the myriad of crazy situations they got themselves into.

By Jen Turano,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre."--Booklist

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucetta's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no…


Book cover of A Brazen Curiosity

Nancy MacCreery Author Of Andromache's Story: What Really Happened in Troy

From my list on stories that make you smile.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are many reasons to read, one of them is to escape from day-to-day life. As an avid reader and author of five novels, I think the ideal books for a mental getaway contain not only a good story and engaging characters, but also touches of humor. These bright spots can make you smile or even laugh out loud, heightening your reading pleasure. When I write, I try to give my readers a chuckle or two, like the books I’m recommending here. I hope you will enjoy them! 😊

Nancy's book list on stories that make you smile

Nancy MacCreery Why did Nancy love this book?

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the imagined food fight in the beginning of this cozy mystery that shines with social satire, witty tongue-in-cheek dialog, and situational humor. The mystery is entertaining and the characters of Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare and the Duke of Kesgrave are both well developed and amusing.  

By Lynn Messina,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Brazen Curiosity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing ruins a lovely house party like bloody murder.

At the decrepit old age of six-and-twenty, Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare has virtually no hope of landing a husband. An orphan living off her relatives' charity, her job is to sit with her needlework and to keep her thoughts to herself.

When Bea receives an invitation to an elegant country party, she intends to do just that. Not even the presence of the aggravatingly handsome Duke of Kesgrave could lead this young lady to scandal. True, she might wish to pour her bowl of turtle soup on his aristocratic head - however,…


Book cover of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

Cinda Gault Author Of A Small Compass

From my list on going on the road.

Why am I passionate about this?

Historical fiction meets the picaresque in many novels about going on the road. As a fiction writer, my narrative tools are not forged in a vacuum. I stand on the shoulders of centuries of writers who invented the novel form and developed it through its beginnings in romance and all its permutations since. In my new book, I am following innovations in two genres. In historical romance, romance “fell” into history. What was lost in the historical world could be made up in the romance of heroic characters. In the picaresque, characters belonging to the lower echelons of society “go on the road” for all sorts of reasons, mostly to survive.

Cinda's book list on going on the road

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

Although published long ago, it is remarkable how easy it is to become involved in this book and be charmed by its main character, Tom.

Orphans abound in 18th and 19th-century fiction. What happens to him in an upper-class environment is inevitably unfair and hypocritical, so when he gets on the road—whether as a result of desire or force—the fun truly begins.

Tom says at the beginning that his tale has the purpose of understanding “human nature”, and after spending time with him on his adventures, from the estate where he grows up to his romp in London, we have a sense of the good nature of human nature. Tom’s sense of life infuses his life on the road, offering a character to celebrate despite his flaws.

By Henry Fielding, Alice Wakely (editor), Tom Keymer (editor)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry Fielding's picaresque tale of a young man's search for his place in the world, The History of Tom Jones is edited with notes and an introduction by Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely in Penguin Classics.

A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighbouring squire - though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. But when his amorous escapades earn the disapproval of his benefactor, Tom is banished to make his own fortune.…


Book cover of The Same Stuff as Stars

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

Life is tough for Angel—her dad is in jail, her mom is irresponsible, and she has to take care of her seven-year-old brother. Paterson doesn’t hold back in this unflinching look at family brokenness, but as sad as the circumstances are, there is hope! Angel meets some new adults and through their small kindnesses, she learns that she is stronger than she ever knew. It’s a great message for any kid who is struggling with too much responsibility. It has a redemption arc that I also loved. 

By Katherine Paterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Same Stuff as Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Angel's dad is in jail and her mum's abandoned her and her little brother at their great-grandmother's crumbling farmhouse. Grandma can't even look after herself, let alone two children, so Angel finds that it's left up to her. In a dreary and lonely world there is only one bright spot - a mysterious stranger who appears on clear nights to teach Angel all about the stars. Katherine Paterson is an internationally acclaimed author who has won the Newbery Medal (twice), the National Book Award for Children's Literature (USA) twice, and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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