The most recommended books with deadpan humor

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to deadpan humor, and here are their favorite deadpan humor books.
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What type of deadpan humor book?


Rewrites of the Heart

By Terry Newman,

Book cover of Rewrites of the Heart

Susie Black Author Of Rag Lady

From Susie's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Irreverent Funny Sarcastic Compassionate Honest

Susie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Susie love this book?

Romance author JJ Spritely’s life is turned upside down when two of her fictional characters seemingly jump out of her manuscript and appear in the author’s home. Author Terry Newman penned a rip-snorter of a well-written plot chock full of comedic coincidence with an exquisite sense of timing.

Newman’s sharp-tongued dialog is crisp and snappy. Sassy JJ’s zingers and character Blake’s deadpan commentaries have more than enough snark to make readers laugh out loud.

Part paranormal, part rom-com, Rewrites of the Heart is a fast-paced, fun trip to never-neverland.  

By Terry Newman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rewrites of the Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

JJ Spritely, romance author, writes characters that jump off the page. Figuratively, that is. She never expects them to make a literal leap smack dab into her world. But Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale do just that. And they're on a mission to help JJ write her own personal love story with a man she recently met, Kennedy King Cooper. A history professor, Cooper doesn't see the value of romance novels and he has even less regard for those who write them. Until he meets a woman who haunts his thoughts. There's only one small snag in Alex's and Blake's…

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Book cover of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

Brandon Todd Author Of Bright Star: An Acorn Book

From the list on finding adventure in your backyard.

Who am I?

My family and I moved to a new neighborhood a few years ago and for the first time we discovered what a community can feel like. We feel connected to a diverse group of people. We explore our park and surrounding streets, regularly supporting local shops and frequently bumping into our neighbors and other familiar faces. It’s given us a sense of place. All these books, as well as The Adventure Friends series, encourages this sense of wonder for your local community. You don’t have to go to far off lands to find adventure. Often, it’s right in your backyard!

Brandon's book list on finding adventure in your backyard

Why did Brandon love this book?

All a kid needs for an adventure is a tool and the tool Sam and Dave have is a shovel.

I personally spent multiple recesses trying to dig a hole to the other side of the world or underground cave so this took me right back to that time. The words and pictures are in perfect balance with each other and each page turn reveals new and fun surprises, all the way to the very end!

This is a book that celebrates kids being kids and highlights the optimism and perseverance they have. Barnett and Klassen are probably also my favorite duo making books today.

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sam & Dave Dig a Hole as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With perfect pacing, the multiple award-winning, best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humour.

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour. Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find ... nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all.…

Frank and Bean

By Jamie Michalak, Bob Kolar (illustrator),

Book cover of Frank and Bean

Sandra Nickel Author Of Big Bear and Little Fish

From the list on friends that bring on all the best feelings.

Who am I?

I hold a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. In addition to the usual two-year program, I studied an extra semester, where I read all the best children’s books about friendship. I wanted to learn how the great authors such as A. A. Milne, James Marshall, and Arnold Lobel wrote stories full of so much heart and humor. My love of friendship stories burgeoned from there. And now, it’s with great delight that I offer you my Best Children’s Books About Friendship—and, of course, my very own friendship story, Big Bear and Little Fish.  

Sandra's book list on friends that bring on all the best feelings

Why did Sandra love this book?

Frank and Bean opens with Frank, who visits the great outdoors to find peace and quiet. Then, Bean shows up. He is literally a one bean band, with a drum, trumpet, triangle and more. Needless to say, they don’t initially hit it off. But then it gets dark, and fears bring them together. Before you know it, they are making beautiful music together. The text is full of wry humor presented with a wink for adults, while the illustrations are pitched perfectly to make five- to eight-year-old readers giggle along. I love this friendship story because it’s so much fun to read out loud. 

By Jamie Michalak, Bob Kolar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the introspective Frank meets the gregarious Bean, can they find a way to make beautiful music together? Dry wit and hilarious illustrations introduce a new unlikely pair.

Frank likes peace and quiet. He likes his tent, his pencil, and writing in his secret notebook. Bean likes noise. He likes his bus, his trumpet — toot, toot! — and making music. Loud music. But Bean is missing something: he does not have words. What will happen if Frank shares his words with Bean? With a laugh-out-loud narrative by Jamie Michalak, author of the Joe and Sparky series, and Bob Kolar’s…


By Tom Mccarthy,

Book cover of Remainder

Martin B. Reed Author Of The Hammond Conjecture: The Third Reich meets the Swinging Sixties, cyberpunk meets neuroscience, in a comic meta-thriller

From the list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality.

Who am I?

I was a student in 1968-71 (see photo) and the memories of that vanished world still haunt me. When I was supposed to be studying relativity and topology I was reading Blake and Jung, Marcuse and Mao—all misfits in their own way. After a long and undistinguished career as a mathematics lecturer in far-flung locations—Lesotho, New Guinea, Uxbridge—I retired in 2019 to write speculative comic fiction which would bring the Swinging Sixties back to life. Something of a misfit myself, I look at today's world and ask despairingly, “Is this really happening?” The books on my list provide me some solace.

Martin's book list on neurotic misfits conjures dream and reality

Why did Martin love this book?

If you were suddenly awarded 8.5 million pounds, what would you do with it? Would you take the advice of the financial consultants and invest it sensibly? How boring. If you were a visionary you might create a sensual paradise of your imagination. But if you are just an ordinary young working-class Londoner? You might remember an instant—on holiday, or at a party—when you felt happy and content, and decide to recreate it. 

This time the writing is sparse and matter-of-fact. I hardly noticed as the hero’s project proceeds gradually, logically into realms of absurdity, told with deadpan humour. For me, speculative fiction involves a world that is recognisable and familiar—but which gradually becomes ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

It’s a story that makes you think—though without telling you what to think.

By Tom Mccarthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Traumatised by an accident that involves something falling from the sky and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer, our hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting memories and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them...But, when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, including hold-ups and shoot-outs.

Book cover of Press Enter to Continue

George Wylesol Author Of 2120

From the list on graphic novels that reinvent the book (literally).

Who am I?

I’m an artist who likes to write, but I’ve never been interested in classic superhero or pulp graphic novels. Early in my career, the word “comics” felt like an insult—it's not “real art,” right? Too childish! While that instinct was definitely wrong, I found a (small) world of experimental, abstract, genre-breaking graphic novels that combine art and writing in a wholly unique way. This is a list of some of my recent favorites that have inspired my drawing and writing practice, and will hopefully inspire you. 

George's book list on graphic novels that reinvent the book (literally)

Why did George love this book?

Press Enter to Continue is incredible on every level. The art is beautiful, with a technicolor palette and skillful drawing that belies the corporate horror in the narratives. We see humiliating job interviews, vampiric computer viruses, and cosmic labor camps that feel a little too close for comfort in our online world. It’s a collection of short stories told with a deadpan minimalism that makes the reader think, sweat, and maybe put their phone away for a while.

By Ana Galvañ,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Press Enter to Continue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Spanish cartoonist Ana Galvañ charts an often-psychedelic and existential course for modernity in her English language debut, utilizing swaths of electric and florescent colors to create a series of short stories that intertwine and explore the dehumanizing effects of contemporary society. Like a candycolored collection of Black Mirror episodes, Galvañ’s world, set in the very near-future, is familiar and cautionary at once. Galvañ’s unwitting and addictive characters navigate a world of iridescent pastels and geometric energy like puppets. Departments of inhumane resources dehumanize the people it is purported to protect; information is determinedly mined like the gold of the 21st…

Book cover of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

Judy Alter Author Of Saving Irene: A Culinary Mystery

From the list on outrageous cozy mysteries.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong fan of cozy mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew. Although I have written primarily about women of the 19th-century American West, I always longed to write mysteries. The Irene in Chicago Culinary Mysteries is my fourth series but the first outrageous one. The books combine my love of all things culinary (I’ve even written cookbooks) and my love of Chicago, my hometown. What makes them outrageous? Irene’s diva-like deceptions and Henny’s snarky commentary.

Judy's book list on outrageous cozy mysteries

Why did Judy love this book?

Anastasia Pollock is caught in an outrageous situation. Husband, Karl, is at a sales meeting in Harrisburg. No, wait! He drops dead in Las Vegas where he has gambled away their nest egg, tuition for their sons’ college, and $50,000 he owes a loan shark. Lucille, Anastasia’s hateful mother-in-law, an outspoken eighty-something card-carrying Communist, has moved in with Anastasia because she’s broke and has nowhere to go. Anastasia designs projects for a craft magazine, and Marlys, her self-centered fashion editor, is found dead, glued to Anastasia’s office chair. When it turns out that Karl and Marlys were having an affair, Anastasia is the prime suspect in the murder. Anastasia survives all this with sarcastic humor, deadpan comments, and a parrot who quotes Shakespeare. First in a highly successful series.

By Lois Winston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life in New Jersey craps out. She’s left with two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, and her hateful, cane-wielding Communist mother-in-law. Not to mention stunned disbelief over her late husband’s secret gambling addiction, and the loan shark who’s demanding fifty thousand dollars.

Anastasia’s job as crafts editor at American Woman magazine proves no respite when she discovers a dead body glued to her desk chair. The victim, fashion editor Marlys Vandenburg, collected enemies and ex-lovers like Jimmy Choos on her ruthless…

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Book cover of I Don't Want to Be a Frog

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

From the list on children and their fathers.

Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.

Janet's book list on children and their fathers

Why did Janet love this book?

I Don’t Want to be a Frog is a hilarious conversation between a young frog and his dad. When the young frog wants to be a cat, rabbit, pig, owl, or really anything but a frog, it’s up to his dad to stay calm and remind him why it’s so great being exactly who he is. I love that the dad is so matter-of-fact. That he never loses patience, and he never tells his son to just stop. True dad love is sometimes as simple as being there and answering questions. Oh, and the awesome ending will crack you up! Such a fun book.

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Don't Want to Be a Frog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hit book about a willful young frog with a serious identity crisis and his heard-it-all-before father is now available in paperback. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back!

Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that being himself isn’t so bad after all. In this very silly story with a sly message, told in hilarious dialogue between a feisty young frog…


By George Saunders,

Book cover of Pastoralia

Harrison Demchick Author Of Reptiles: A Short Story

From the list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way.

Who am I?

I'm perhaps the inevitable result of a lifetime spent on a steady diet of magical realism, literary fiction, science-fiction, and Spider-Man comics. Fortunately I’ve been able to channel my simultaneous loves of storytelling and structure into a life as a developmental editor. And where my own work is concerned, I’ve been able to do a lot of those things my childhood self might have hoped for: a novel in The Listeners, a feature film in Ape Canyon, and a litany of strange and usually distressing short stories. These days I do those things from my Washington, D.C. apartment with my wife and our two cats with a combined seven legs.

Harrison's book list on short horror stories on why my brain works this way

Why did Harrison love this book?

Specifically, I'm recommending the short story "Sea Oak." In the expanse of horror fiction, it has to be said that there are very few stories about a kindly old woman who returns from the dead as a pissed-off, vulgar, rotting corpse demanding her nephew start showing his cock (Saunders’s phrasing, not mine) for extra money so that his family can stop being pushovers and start earning some cash. George Saunders, it should be noted, is not remotely a horror author—rather, one of the more offbeat, distinctive writers of short literary fiction of the last quarter century—and Pastoralia is determinedly not a horror collection. But it’s exactly this that makes “Sea Oak” the strangest, least likely zombie story, if you can call it that, that you’ll ever read.

By George Saunders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon

In PASTORALIA elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their…


By Julio Cortazar, Gregory Rabassa (translator),

Book cover of Hopscotch

David Flusfeder Author Of Luck: A Personal Account of Fortune, Chance and Risk in Thirteen Investigations

From the list on luck: winning, losing, and seeing opportunity.

Who am I?

My father, when he consented to talk about all the moments in his life when the odds against his survival were so small as to make them statistically non-existent, would say, ‘I was lucky.’ Trying to understand what he meant got me started on this book. As well as being a novelist, I’m a poker player. Luck is a subject that every poker player has a relationship to; more importantly it’s a subject that every person has a relationship to. The combination of family history and intellectual curiosity and the gambler’s desire to win drove me on this quest.

David's book list on luck: winning, losing, and seeing opportunity

Why did David love this book?

Argentinians in 1950s Paris argue about art and philosophy. They fall in and out of love to a jazz soundtrack. The novel itself is in love with the modern city and the secret patterns of chance. Prefacing it is a ‘table of instructions’ in which the author writes that "this book consists of many books, but two books above all. The first can be read in a normal fashion and it ends with Chapter 56... The second should be read by beginning with Chapter 73 and then following the sequence indicated at the end of each chapter."

There’s an exhilaration of structure, a deadpan formal playfulness that still thrills. It’s the book that taught me the most about reading. And, not entirely coincidentally, it’s the book that made me realise I was going to become a writer.

By Julio Cortazar, Gregory Rabassa (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Cortazar's masterpiece ... The first great novel of Spanish America" (The Times Literary Supplement) • Winner of the National Book Award for Translation in 1967, translated by Gregory Rabassa

Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can…

The Magic Kingdom

By Stanley Elkin,

Book cover of The Magic Kingdom

Carol LaHines Author Of Someday Everything Will All Make Sense

From the list on funny books about serious subjects.

Who am I?

For me, the most affecting stories are those that are leavened with a sardonic sensibility. Italo Calvino, one of my favorite writers, notes “th[e] particular connection between melancholy and humor,” speaking of how great writing “foregrounds [with] tiny, luminous traces that counterpoint the dark catastrophe.” I’ve always veered toward the great literary comic writers—from Cervantes to Laurence Sterne to Pynchon, with a particular reverence for Nabokov. For me, there is no greater exposition of the underbelly of love and madness than Lolita; of artistic obsession than Pale Fire.  Nabokov believed that the best writing places the reader under a spell, enchanting them with the magic of words — and I concur!

Carol's book list on funny books about serious subjects

Why did Carol love this book?

Eddy Bale becomes a crusader for children after the death of his own young son and decides to take a group of terminally ill children to Disneyland for a holiday. The antic hyperbolic tone of the narration is utterly at odds with the grave subject matter and the novel is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.  

By Stanley Elkin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abandoned by his wife and devastated by the death of his twelve-year old son, Eddy Bale becomes obsessed with the plight of terminally ill children and develops a plan to provide a last hurrah dream vacation for seven children who will never grow-up. Eddy and his four dysfunctional chaperones journey to the entertainment capital of America--Disney World. Once they arrive, a series of absurdities characteristic of an Elkin novel--including a freak snowstorm and a run-in with a vengeful Mickey Mouse--transform Eddy's idealistic wish into a fantastic nightmare.

Book cover of The Cornish Wedding Murder

Nina Kaye Author Of Take a Moment

From the list on strong female leads who’d make great dinner guests.

Who am I?

I spent my twenties mostly devouring women’s fiction and romance novels with female leads, but I also stepped outside my preferred genre. Being a strong lead doesn’t necessarily mean saving the world or doing something heroic (though obviously that helps!), it’s about strength of character, being real, and being able to fight on when things get difficult. I always dreamt of being an author, but only started writing properly when I developed a debilitating long-term health condition. I used writing to support my rehabilitation and this led to me finally achieving that dream – so in a way, I see myself as a strong female lead in my own story. 

Nina's book list on strong female leads who’d make great dinner guests

Why did Nina love this book?

The Cornish Wedding Murder is the first installment of Fiona Leitch’s wonderful cosy mystery series. It features Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker, ex-copper turned caterer, who butts heads with handsome DCI Nathan Winters to prove a childhood friend’s innocence, after an unexpected guest is found dead at his wedding. It’s an entertaining read with plenty of twists and turns and some added romantic tension to keep you wanting more. 

Jodie’s on my list as a female lead who’d make a great dinner guest because she’s bold, fiercely loyal and she doesn’t let others push her around. She’s also one to raise a smile with her deadpan humour and she’d have many a story from her police days to share. Oh, and with her being a caterer, I might not even have to cook!    

By Fiona Leitch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

‘A sparklingly delicious confection to satisfy the mystery reader’s appetite’ Helena Dixon, bestselling author of the Miss Underhay Mysteries

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing quite like having your first job back at home be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your…

Mr. S

By Monica Arnaldo,

Book cover of Mr. S: A First Day of School Book

Lee Edward Födi Author Of Spell Sweeper

From Lee's 5-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Dad Educator Traveler Maker of dragon eggs

Lee's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Lee's 5-year-old's favorite books.

Why did Lee's 5-year-old love this book?

This book takes the concept of the first day of school and turns it into an imaginative and humorous romp.

From the under-the-flap and end-page artwork to the story within the story taking place through the classroom window, this book leaves nothing “on the table”—well, except the classroom teacher. Who is a sandwich? Yes, a sandwich.

By Monica Arnaldo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prepare for plenty of giggles as a kindergarten class arrives for their first day of school, but can't find their teacher-only a delicious-looking sandwich and the words "Mr. S" scribbled on the chalkboard. Chaos ensues as the kids argue whether or not the sandwich must be their teacher. A comical, first day of school book of mayhem and chaos by Monica Arnaldo, perfect fans of Miss Nelson Is Missing.

"This might be the funniest first-day-of-school book I've ever read." -Adam Rex, New York Times bestselling author of School's First Day of School

It was the first day of school.


I Was Born a Baby

By Meg Fleming, Brandon James Scott (illustrator),

Book cover of I Was Born a Baby

Lori Degman Author Of Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!

From the list on humorous pictures in rhyme.

Who am I?

I’ve always written funny, rhyming poems so, when I began reading picture books to my kids, I decided to give writing one a try. I now have seven published books (six are in rhyme). I love creating humorous, alliterative stanzas – I think that’s what makes rhyming picture books so much fun to read aloud! Here's an example from my book Cock-a-Doodle Oops: “I know that I’m quiet, but I’d like to try it. Here goes said a shy little sheep. / Her cock-a-doodle baaaa didn’t travel too faaaa. In fact, she made barely a peep.” I hope you enjoy reading the books I’ve listed and other humorous, rhyming picture books!

Lori's book list on humorous pictures in rhyme

Why did Lori love this book?

I Was Born a Baby is my favorite Meg Fleming book – and that’s saying a lot! The rhyme and meter are wonderful! “I was born a baby. I was born a colt. / I was born a piglet. I’m a billy goat.”

The illustrations are so adorable and add to the humor! Not only will kids love listening to the rollicking rhyme, but they’ll also learn the names of animal babies! It’s the kind of book you love reading again and again and again! 

By Meg Fleming, Brandon James Scott (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was Born a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss this irresistible read-aloud in the vein of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-with catchy rhymes and bold, silly art about baby animals and the names they share!

I was born a baby and grew into a kid...

Soon all the other baby animals can't help but share what they are called and what they grew up into! Readers will learn about owlettes, pufflings, and more. But when the chick, calf, cub, and pup realize they share their names with several other species, they can't believe it. "No way! No how! That can't be true!" becomes a catchy, energetic refrain readers…

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Book cover of We Don't Eat Our Classmates

Leslie Kimmelman Author Of The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

From the list on more elusive than ever kindness.

Who am I?

I am no expert on kindness—though more than twenty years at Sesame Workshop, working on a TV show that focuses on kindness, may give me a slight edge. And I am not unfailingly kind, though I try my hardest. But I am passionate about nurturing this quality in children. At the risk of sounding naive, I feel that it’s our last best hope of solving some of the world’s biggest problems.  

Leslie's book list on more elusive than ever kindness

Why did Leslie love this book?

Yes, kindness is essential. But it’s even better when served up with a huge side serving of humor.  A young T-rex named Penelope can’t understand why she’s unable to make friends. Perhaps if she didn’t find them so delicious, it would be easier.  The author takes a universal situation—going off to school for the first time—and turns it into a hilarious lesson (and I hesitate to even use that word) about kindness and empathy. It’s all done with an economy of word and a deadpan tone. Pitch perfect!

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Don't Eat Our Classmates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. But it's hard to make human friends when they're so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

Almost French

By Sarah Turnbull,

Book cover of Almost French: Love and a New Life In Paris

Jessica Mudditt Author Of Our Home in Myanmar: Four years in Yangon

From the list on living abroad.

Who am I?

I left home in Melbourne to spend a year travelling in Asia when I was in my mid-twenties. I ended up living abroad for a decade in London, Bangladesh, and Myanmar before returning to Sydney in 2016. My first book is about the four years I lived in Myanmar and I’m currently writing my second, which is about the year I spent backpacking from Cambodia to Pakistan. My third book will be about the three years I worked as a journalist in Bangladesh. My plan is to write a ‘trilogy’ of memoirs. Living abroad has enriched my life and travel memoirs are one of my favourite genres, both as a reader and a writer.

Jessica's book list on living abroad

Why did Jessica love this book?

What’s not to love about a book set in Paris about a journalist who falls in love with a Frenchman? This book is a delight. Turnbull writes beautifully, and with modesty and humour about making every faux pas imaginable in Paris. It’s light and insightful at the time. The pages practically turned themselves.

By Sarah Turnbull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Almost French takes readers on a tour fraught with culture clashes but rife with insight and deadpan humour - a charming true story of what happens when a strong-willed Aussie girl meets a very French Frenchman.

Backpacking around Europe, twenty-something Sarah Turnbull meets Frederic and impulsively accepts his invitation to visit him for a week in Paris. Eight years later, she is still there - and married to him. The feisty journalist swaps vegemite for vichyssoise and all things French, but commits the fatal errors of bowling up to strangers at classy receptions, helping herself to champagne, laughing too loudly…

Unreliable Memoirs

By Clive James,

Book cover of Unreliable Memoirs

David Baboulene Author Of Ocean Boulevard

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

Who am I?

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

Why did David love this book?

Clive James is one of those writers whose voice you hear as he writes.

His journey from childhood in Sydney to adulthood at Oxford University in England is beautifully written and so very funny. The entire trilogy is good, but this first one – it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

And if you have heard him speak, his dry, clever wit, and his ability to pick precisely the right word rides through and adds a lovely Australian spark to it all. A brilliant work. 

By Clive James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Before James Frey famously fabricated his memoir, Clive James wrote a refreshingly candid book that made no claims to be accurate, precise, or entirely truthful, only to entertain. In an exercise of literary exorcism, James set out to put his childhood in Australia behind him by rendering it as part novel, part memoir. Now, nearly thirty years after it first came out in England, Unreliable Memoirs is again available to American readers and sure to attract a whole new generation that has, through his essays and poetry, come to love James's inimitable voice.

Heartbeat Braves

By Pamela Sanderson,

Book cover of Heartbeat Braves

Christina Berry Author Of The Road Home

From the list on Native romance by Native authors.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning author of sex-positive contemporary romance and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. As a reader, I’ve grown weary of Native American romance characters who are mostly caricatures and stereotypes. Last year, I went on a quest to find romance stories that portrayed contemporary Native characters experiencing love as they navigated real life in the 21st century. And who better to tell those stories than Native authors using their own voice? Now that I’ve found several great Native romance authors, I want to share these recommendations far and wide. Come, come, read Native romance!

Christina's book list on Native romance by Native authors

Why did Christina love this book?

I don’t usually read sweet, fade-to-black romance (I’m a fan of the full-steam-ahead stuff), but there is so much deadpan Native humor I was howling with laughter the whole time. The Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center staff and regulars are wonderful characters. How they establish this new community in the city, displaced from their tribal communities, is so recognizable for someone who lives 500 miles away from my tribe.

By Pamela Sanderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There’s never a dull moment at the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center. Rayanne Larson knows firsthand the struggles of native people. Working at Crooked Rock gives her the chance to do good work for Indians living in the city. She has high hopes for the Center’s progress until its new leader hands her special project over to his underachieving—and distractingly sexy—nephew. Henry Grant’s life is going just fine. Though he knows rez life, he’s always been an urban Indian. He has no interest in the Indian Center job his uncle pushes on him. That is, until he meets Rayanne. She’s…

Quick Change

By Jay Cronley,

Book cover of Quick Change

Howard Michael Gould Author Of Last Looks

From the list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies.

Who am I?

I’ve made my way in the world as a writer, mostly of TV and movies, mostly of comedy of one stripe or another. As a consumer, though, I’ve always been more drawn to cops and robbers than to material designed primarily to make me laugh. Then, in my 50s, I made an unexpected turn to detective fiction, with a series shaped like traditional, serious mysteries but with satirical undertones and, hopefully, plenty of smiles along the way. My new career made me start thinking more attentively about how comedy and crime worked together, how my work built on what came before, and how it differed from it.

Howard's book list on comic crime that inspired comic crime movies

Why did Howard love this book?

Like Dortmunder, Grimm is an idea man, and his idea for the perfect bank robbery is a doozy: he’ll dress as a clown, hold all the workers and customers in the vault, shoot out the video cameras, negotiate with the cops, take off the clown suit and makeup, “release” himself and his two accomplices as “hostages,” and waltz out of the bank and right past the entire NYPD. The only problem is, getting out of the city proves a lot harder than getting out of the bank. Cronley owes a lot to Westlake, but I picked Quick Change because he repays that debt and then some, with a smirking wit that lights up every page. 

By Jay Cronley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Grimm was the only one in town who knew he had them where he wanted them - overconfident."" The hero of Quick Change is just twenty minutes into a bank robbery, and so far everything is going according to his brilliant, meticulously thought-out plan. The bank's employees and customers are in the vault, the security cameras have all been shot out, and he's bagged close to a million dollars. But the police and a SWAT team are already outside. Can Grimm get out of the bank and out of New York, with the money and his two accomplices, and pull…