The best humour books

Who picked these books? Meet our 1,607 experts.

1,607 authors created a book list connected to humour books, and here are their favorite humour books books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

What type of humour books book?


Book cover of There's a Wocket in My Pocket!

Aaron Zenz Author Of The Hiccupotamus

From the list on nonsense in children’s books.

Who am I?

I am the Illustrator of 45 books for kids, 9 of which I authored as well. I have always been attracted to joyful nonsense. I am drawn to books and writings that turn norms on their heads. From the time I was super young, my favorite poem has been Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” with its delightful slithy toves gyring and gimbling in the wabe. In fact, of the books I’ve written to date, every one has had some kind of nonsensical element to it.

Aaron's book list on nonsense in children’s books

Discover why each book is one of Aaron's favorite books.

Why did Aaron love this book?

The works of Dr. Seuss are known for their imaginative creatures, landscapes, and language. Why, his name has even led to the creation of the adjective “Seussian” to describe something playful, inventive, fantastical, or whimsical. Possibly the most purely Seussian Seuss is “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket” which consists solely of imaginary creatures, rhyming nonsense, and nothing else getting in the way. Some of the great words you’ll encounter: Wasket, Woset, Bofa, Yottle, and Nooth Grush

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked There's a Wocket in My Pocket! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join Dr. Seuss on the road to reading with a host of crazy creatures, from wockets in pockets to waskets in baskets!

Is there a woset in your closet, or a nink in the sink? As that would be rather nice, I think! Learn all about rhymes and fun with words in this classic Dr. Seuss title.

With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years. Creator of the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat, and ranking among the UK's…

Book cover of I Was a Potato Oligarch: Travels and Travails in the New Russia

Golda Mowe Author Of Iban Journey

From the list on to experience life-changing adventures.

Who am I?

I have been fascinated with travel and adventure stories since I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I finished a whole Walter Scott book; with a dictionary balanced on one knee because Jeanie Deans decides to walk from Edinburgh to London. Romance? Bah! Humbug! I’d rather journey into The Heart of Darkness, follow the hobbits to Mount Doom, or ride a sandworm with Paul Atreides. Show me a lone traveler thrown into the middle of an unfamiliar, confusing culture and you have my full attention. Naturally, when I started typing out my first manuscript, it just had to be a fantasy adventure about an Iban headhunter.

Golda's book list on to experience life-changing adventures

Discover why each book is one of Golda's favorite books.

Why did Golda love this book?

John Mole tells his stories the same way an Iban man would when he returns from a particularly harrowing work travel. I personally think that the memoir is a tragedy disguised as a comedy because some parts of his description of life in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union made my stomach cramp with emotion. At the same time, they also made me laugh because his imageries are so comical. His first-world naiveté either gets him scammed or rescued, but his survival instincts always kick in when it matters. So, if you are interested in a modern Wild-Wild-West adventure, this is the book for you.

By John Mole,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a charming saga of sun, sea, sand - and cement - John Mole tells of the back-breaking but joyous labours of fixing up his own Arcadia and introduces a warm, generous and garrulous cast of characters who helped (and occasionally hindered) his progress.


By Shashi Tharoor,

Book cover of Riot: A Love Story

Nev March Author Of Murder in Old Bombay

From the list on India blending history with gripping mysteries.

Who am I?

I lived the first 24 years of my life in Mumbai and traveled to many parts of India. I’ve had close friends of every community and religion and been fascinated by the incredible diversity. By studying historical crimes and how they were reported and investigated, I learned a great deal about the norms of Indian culture. Reading (and writing) historical mysteries allowed me to dive into past eras and immerse myself in the tumultuous events that have shaped our world today. While I’m obsessed with the turn of the 20th century, mysteries in later years also delight me. Enjoy this selection of mysteries set in India that reveal the inner workings of its diverse culture.

Nev's book list on India blending history with gripping mysteries

Discover why each book is one of Nev's favorite books.

Why did Nev love this book?

This book is misnamed Riot - A Love Story. But don’t be deceived. In fact it is the tale of an affair gone wrong: Page one starts with a news article about the death of an American student. Solving the puzzle sheds light on the Hindu-Muslim riots in India as well as the underpinning of Indian families and how they view foreign-born individuals.

The book is a murder mystery without a detective, or even a clear denouement. That put me, as the reader before a set of puzzle pieces, each from a different point of view, laid out unflinchingly to draw a picture of enormous betrayal. Murder Mystery readers expect a neat wrap-up at the end and a clean ending. Tharoor has none for us. Instead, murderers pray piously, wearing their religion with a self-righteous smirk. But no, I do not believe criminals go unpunished by the eternal eye,…

By Shashi Tharoor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who killed twenty-four-year-old Priscilla Hart? This highly motivated, idealistic American student had come to India to volunteer in women's health programs, but had her work made a killer out of an enraged husband? Or was her death the result of a xenophobic attack? Had an indiscriminate love affair spun out of control? Had a disgruntled, deeply jealous colleague been pushed to the edge? Or was she simply the innocent victim of a riot that had exploded in that fateful year of 1989 between Hindus and Muslims?
Experimenting masterfully with narrative form in this brilliant tour de force, internationally acclaimed novelist…

Book cover of The People We Hate at the Wedding

Lauren Edmondson Author Of Wedding of the Season

From the list on wild family weddings.

Who am I?

Weddings are stressful for even the most functional of families. I should know—it took me nearly two years to plan my own! The process of manufacturing the big day, and attending to all the trappings of the wedding industrial complex, really brings out our best and our worst. In my most recent novel, I found that a big, splashy wedding provided such a fun and fascinating way to explore the tensions and enduring love within families, friends, and couples. If done right, plots involving weddings can smash tired “bridezilla” and “monster-in-law” tropes. As we enter the summer wedding season, I hope this list of books keeps you laughing and loving! 

Lauren's book list on wild family weddings

Discover why each book is one of Lauren's favorite books.

Why did Lauren love this book?

Just like the title suggests, this novel is not all fragrant flower bouquets and three-tiered sweetness.

Thank goodness—we get enough of that on Instagram! But if you’re down for a rowdy romp that is both cynical and tender, do come along with Ginder to London, to a wedding filled with alcohol, sex, and catastrophe.

I love how Ginder crafts such compelling portraits of people who we might otherwise dismiss as shallow or unlikeable. 

By Grant Ginder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The People We Hate at the Wedding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul and Alice's half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at "it" restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn't hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a more than dysfunctional family as they reunite for the wedding of their oldest daughter. As the bride's walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most…

Senseless Confidential

By Martin Bannon,

Book cover of Senseless Confidential: A Neo-Noir Absurdist Romp Through the Oregon Cascades

Marty Beaudet Author Of By a Thread

From the list on real people, real jobs, real lives.

Who am I?

“Write what you know.” Every writer knows this. I have done that; first, in a novella, Losing Addison, which I recently made into a psychological thriller featuring Sherilyn Fenn (release date: June 28, 2022). The story is based on a nightmare I had in 2011. In addition, I have written two novels, By A Thread and The Falls, both of which involve Mormon missionaries caught up in events that test their integrity, forcing them to make difficult choices as said missionaries discover same-sex attractions more deeply rooted than they—and their superiors—would like to admit.

Marty's book list on real people, real jobs, real lives

Discover why each book is one of Marty's favorite books.

Why did Marty love this book?

Senseless is the embellished account of Nick Prince, a jaded census worker, who is required to prowl rural backwoods in search of the folks who, for one reason or another, didn’t return their completed census questionnaires as required by law. Bannon, who actually worked for over a decade in this role, explains that Title 13 of the U.S. Code forbids census employees from revealing anything they learn about the individuals they visit, under penalty of hefty fines and prison time. This conceit makes for some hysterical maneuverings that, according to Bannon, are based on some actual events he’s forbidden to relate in non-fiction prose. It’s hard to tell where fiction and non-fiction diverge as Nick encounters a sequestered polygamist compound far off the grid. Hilarity ensues when a desperate wife decides he’s her ticket out of captivity and she convinces him to help her rescue the rest of the clan…

By Martin Bannon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nick Prince just wants to go drown his sorrows at the Safari Club and pine for Beth, his lost college love. But before he can do that, his job with the U.S. Census Bureau requires him to face down reluctant respondents in the remote forests of Oregon, who repel him with everything from pit bulls to shotguns.

When a chance encounter in the tiny town of Elwood lands him in the midst of a loopy polygamist clan, it sets off a wild, wacky race to save himself, his job, and his bleeding heart. You won't know whether to laugh or…

Personal Days

By Ed Park,

Book cover of Personal Days

Weike Wang Author Of Joan Is Okay

From the list on workaholics who still have time to read.

Who am I?

I am fascinated by work, especially women at work. I am an immigrant, a child of immigrants, a former scientist, and for most of life, have been conditioned to work because if I could not work, then why else was I here? Yet work is not strictly an emblem of immigrant grit or the model minority mindset. It can be made funny, surreal, existential, and it’s a rich subject to tackle. More often than not, work is treated as taboo. It’s ignored or deemed too prosaic to discuss.  Who wants to see what goes on inside the factory? I do. I’m obsessed with stories that showcase the factory. 

Weike's book list on workaholics who still have time to read

Discover why each book is one of Weike's favorite books.

Why did Weike love this book?

Here is a dark comedy for the office worker. Office dysfunction is unique but also ubiquitous and lends itself well to, of course, Kafkaesque and Orwellian absurdity. One day, people just start getting fired, which leads to growing paranoia and more dysfunction. I like stories that don’t explain too much. Thanks to the pandemic, life, especially work life, has become increasingly amorphous and unreal. What is balance anymore? Where is the line? It’s refreshing to be immersed in a world even more bizarre than the one that workaholics now seem to be living in. 

By Ed Park,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever wondered what your boss does all day?Or if there is a higher - perhaps an existential - significance to Microsoft Word malfunctions? This astonishing debut is a scathingly funny look at a group of office workers who have no idea what the unnamed corporation they work for actually does.When it looks like the company may be taken over, fear of redundancy unleashes a deliciously Kafkaesque plot full of the tedium and mistrust of corporate life and the backstabbing bitchiness of our survival-of-the-fittest instincts. We meet Pru, the ex-grad student-turned-spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety follows him into…

Skeleton Hiccups

By Margery Cuyler, S D Schindler (illustrator),

Book cover of Skeleton Hiccups

Ian Dye Author Of The (not-so-scary) Book of Monsters

From the list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters.

Who am I?

As a parent, children’s book author, and fan of all things Halloween I have searched the globe for the best of the best when it comes to Halloween books for kids. Ok not really “the globe” but when the bookstore starts stocking the featured shelves with children's Halloween books around mid-August, I can’t resist either browsing or purchasing. These 5 are near and dear to my heart because instead of just a simple bedtime read, they all have something special and a memory attached to them. These are the books that are brought out year after year and still enjoyed by the kids, even when they are probably getting too old for bedtime stories.

Ian's book list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters

Discover why each book is one of Ian's favorite books.

Why did Ian love this book?

I read this book to a Kindergarten class in 2006 and then again this past year.

This book is a smash hit with the kids and stands the test of time. The book is simple and the humor is silly which is what makes this book a fantastic read before bed or anytime really. It sets the mood when the leaves start to fall and spooky season is upon us.

It is highly interactive and the kids love to make the “hic-hic” sound while you read. When reading the book out loud, it gives adults a chance to let their silly flag fly and the kids all respond in-kind.

By Margery Cuyler, S D Schindler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What's the best way to help a skeleton get over his hiccups?

The Lonesome Era

By Jon Allen,

Book cover of The Lonesome Era

Nick Abadzis Author Of Laika

From the list on a sensory reading experience.

Who am I?

I've been creating books, magazines, comics, and stories for both adults and children for more than thirty-five years. If you’re after more graphic novels with a certain textural and/or emotional depth and storytelling heft to them, I’ve also compiled the following list that might work as a starting point. The search for the archetypal “good” graphic novel is of course one that will be peculiar to one’s own tastes. While it’s primarily a visual medium, the best of them can be as nuanced and complex as storytelling in any other art form and means of communication. 

Nick's book list on a sensory reading experience

Discover why each book is one of Nick's favorite books.

Why did Nick love this book?

Jon Allen’s coming out and growing up story in his ongoing Ohio Is For Sale series, The Lonesome Era is, so far, his most complex and affecting work, but that’s not saying much for a cartoonist who expands his abilities and repertoire with each new book. The Lonesome Era is a rites-of-passage tale that showcases Allen’s customarily bleak outlook and dry wit, and it is, by turns, hilarious and poignant. I’ve called his work “Kafkaesque situation comedies” in the past, but that description belies the mordant emotional and observational sophistication on show here. He is simply one of the best young visual storytellers around.

By Jon Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A touching book that is sure to appeal to any reader who has tried to be the person they were meant to be." - BOOKLIST

Camden is a cat. Camden is also crushing hard on his best buddy and all-around terrible influence, Jeremiah. Young, bored, and trapped in their slowly decomposing Rust Belt town, Camden tamps down his burgeoning feelings for the local ne'er-do-well and allows himself to be dragged along with every awful idea, every hair-brained plan, and every threat to life and limb Jeremiah can come up with. As the dangers of Camden's risk-taking mount, an even more…

Camp Midnight

By Steven T. Seagle, Jason Adam Katzenstein (artist),

Book cover of Camp Midnight

Jude Atwood Author Of Maybe There Are Witches

From the list on treating the supernatural with a clever sense of humor.

Who am I?

I'd like to claim that my expertise in these matters stems from the fact that I am a supernatural entity—and a funny one at that. But my origin’s more mundane; when I was growing up on a corn & soybean farm miles outside of a rural village, I became a voracious reader. I was always intrigued by writers who could explore a world outside the bounds of reality and do it with style. Over the years, I’ve been a short-order cook, a corn detasseler, a summer camp counselor, a college professor, and a middle-grade author, and I’ve learned that you can find a little magic anywhere if you look hard enough.

Jude's book list on treating the supernatural with a clever sense of humor

Discover why each book is one of Jude's favorite books.

Why did Jude love this book?

In this graphic novel, Skye is a girl who would rather go with her mom to Rwanda than attend the summer camp her dad and stepmom have selected.

She’s determined not to have fun, even after (or especially after) she realizes she got on the wrong bus and is now at a camp for kids who reveal their “true” monster selves only when it’s safe to do so. But even when Skye is in way over her head, she never lets up on the snark.

Seagle’s dialogue keeps the lessons and serious stuff from sounding trite by framing it all in a steady stream of sarcasm and unexpected cultural references. Katzenstein’s art is filled with clever visual gags. (At one point, as Skye is faking tears, she’s holding an Oscar statuette.)

By Steven T. Seagle, Jason Adam Katzenstein (artist),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ben 10 and Big Hero 6 creator Steven T. Seagle returns to comics with New Yorker Magazine cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein for a new graphic novel!

Reluctant Skye is accidentally sent to the wrong summer camp. Not wanting to please her "step monster," Skye is dead-set on not fitting in. That won't be a problem, as everyone at Camp Midnight-with the exception of fellow camper and fast-friend Mia-is a full-fledged monster! The perfect book for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile, but wish it had more bowls of gooey eyeballs.


By Svetlana Chmakova,

Book cover of Dramacon

Stephen McCranie Author Of Space Boy Volume 1

From the list on graphic YA with slow-burning high school romances.

Who am I?

My name is Stephen McCranie and I'm currently working on Space Boy, a slow-burning high school romance that asks the question, "How do we bridge the gap between us?" I love working in this particular genre because high school is such a formative period for all of us. Also, when a romance burns slowly, the audience gets time to explore the world of the story, which can often be dynamic and lush with detail. And then, when our lovers find each other at long last, it is all the more sweet for having waited.

Stephen's book list on graphic YA with slow-burning high school romances

Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books.

Why did Stephen love this book?

As a cartoonist, the convention scene has always been nostalgic to me, and serves as the perfect backdrop for this slow-burning romance about a guy who cosplays and a girl who writes comics. Manga and anime, love and heartbreak, pocky and ramune, this love story hits all the nerdy notes in just the right way. 

By Svetlana Chmakova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Relive Christie's three-year adventure at the Yatta Anime Convention with this 15th-anniversary edition of Svetlana Chmakova's debut series: Dramacon. All three volumes are compacted into one pocket-sized edition. 

Vol 1 Summary: When amateur writer Christie settles in the artist alley of her first-ever anime convention, she sees it as an opportunity to promote the manga she had started with her artist boyfriend. But when she unexpectedly falls for a mysterious cosplayer, things become complicated. What do you do when you love someone who is going miles away from you in just a couple of days?! Web-comic vet Svetlana Chmakova gives…

Girl, Interrupted

By Susanna Kaysen,

Book cover of Girl, Interrupted

Trisha Cull Author Of The Death of Small Creatures

From the list on revealing the truth about mental illness.

Who am I?

In addition to my lived experience as someone who has struggled with mental health and addiction since adolescence, I'm passionate about social justice issues related to mental illness and substance use. In June 2021, I completed a post-graduate program in Mental Health & Addictions. Throughout my studies I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how my own struggles developed and what they have come to mean to me from both a personal and clinical perspective. Now, I endeavor to pursue future writing projects in various genres that illuminate mental health issues as a relevant and timely topic of interest. I also hope to work with disenfranchised populations while pursuing my creative writing.   

Trisha's book list on revealing the truth about mental illness

Discover why each book is one of Trisha's favorite books.

Why did Trisha love this book?

The prose style in the memoir, Girl, Interrupted, is clean, concise, and unembellished. The spare writing leaves no room for self-pity, yet still tells a vivid story of mental unraveling and convalescence concurrently. Kaysen meets a cast of vulnerable characters during her nearly year-long commitment in a psychiatric hospital. They form unlikely friendships, and we get to know all of their various neuroses in a stifling environment that is at once a cage and a path to self-discovery and health. 

I was reminded of my own two commitments to psychiatric hospitals, how strange and austere the world became in those weeks, how time became irrelevant with the breakfast, lunch and dinner announcements, medication time, nightly bed checks, and the ironic “fresh air breaks,” on the back steps of the ward where I and my own unlikely cast of characters smoked cigarettes and commiserated about our unique predicaments. 

I was…

By Susanna Kaysen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Girl, Interrupted as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Futaro Uesugi is a second-year in high school, scraping to get by and pay off his family's debt. The only thing he can do is study, so when Futaro receives a part-time job offer to tutor the five daughters of a wealthy businessman, he can't pass it up. Little does he know, these five beautiful sisters are quintuplets, but the only thing they have in common is that they're all terrible at studying! At this rate, the sisters can't graduate, and Futaro must think of a plan that suits each of them - which feels hopeless when five-out-of-five of these…

Grumpy Monkey

By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (illustrator),

Book cover of Grumpy Monkey

Jessica Sinarski Author Of Hello, Anger

From the list on children’s stories about anger.

Who am I?

I have always been a peacemaker, so anger can be a really uncomfortable emotion for me. I think that’s true of lots of people! As a mom and mental health counselor, it was important to me to write a book that honored the protective nature of anger. Feelings give us important information. Putting this book together felt like a big puzzle to solve, and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Bright and engaging illustrations, relatable characters, and tips for grown-ups in the back to help us all say hello to our anger and whatever might be hiding underneath! 

Jessica's book list on children’s stories about anger

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

What a delightful book on every level. Brilliant illustrations, relatable story, and it encourages sweet relationships even through difficult emotions. It’s great for 4-7-year-old children, playfully showing that even the best advice about helping people with big feelings doesn’t always meet the need…at least not as much as a little connection with someone who “gets it.” 

By Suzanne Lang, Max Lang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A hilarious and reassuring New York Times Number 1 bestseller about feeling your emotions - sometimes it's okay not to feel okay!

Meet Jim Panzee.

He's in a BAD mood.
Nothing feels right!
Nothing will do, and Jim just doesn't know why...

His friends give him tips and suggest things that make THEM feel happy, however poor old Jim gets overwhelmed and snaps . . .

Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

This modern classic is the perfect reminder that 'grumpy monkey' days never last for ever.

Book cover of Jumping Sharks and Dropping Mics: Modern Idioms and Where They Come from

David Crystal Author Of The Story of English in 100 Words

From the list on words and their history.

Who am I?

I grew up in a bilingual environment (Welsh and English) and have been fascinated by languages ever since, and the way they reflect thought, culture, and history. An English degree course at University College London gave me an academic grounding in language and literature, and I've been exploring and writing on those subjects ever since, eventually as a professor of linguistics, and these days as an independent scholar. My website provides a complete list of my publications, along with links to other materials. And the most fascinating thing about language? Its diversity and change. Whatever a language was like yesterday, it's different today, and will be different again tomorrow.

David's book list on words and their history

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

People have always been fascinated by well-established idioms, especially when their original meaning is obscure, such as "raining cats and dogs" and "kick the bucket." But new idioms continue to emerge, fuelled especially by films, television, and the internet, and this book brings together, for the first time, idioms that have arrived in the past fifty years or so. Not rocket science? Catch 22? Move the goalposts? And another sixty or so. Far more than I thought.

By Gareth Carrol,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jumping Sharks and Dropping Mics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gareth Carrol presents a collection of "modern idioms", which have become a part of our vocabulary in the past 50 years or so. In most cases, idioms such as "raining cats and dogs", that colour our everyday communication, are deeply rooted in culture and history. However, just like words, new idioms emerge in language, and many have entered our vocabulary through, TV, movies and the internet. These modern idioms can be dated very precisely. Jumping Sharks and Dropping Mics finds the origins of these idioms, and charts their development.

Identity Crisis

By Ben Elton,

Book cover of Identity Crisis

Judy Nunn Author Of Showtime!

From the list on embrace show business and history.

Who am I?

I’ve been an actor and a writer all my life. After many years performing in theatre and television in both Australia and the UK, I turned my hand to prose and revelled in the creative freedom. Thirty years and sixteen novels later I’m still revelling. As both actor and writer, the mix of fact and fiction has always intrigued me and I love travelling my characters through historical times of great impact, particularly upon Australia. In 2015 I was honoured to be made a Member of the Order of Australia for my service to the performing arts as an actor and to literature as an author.

Judy's book list on embrace show business and history

Discover why each book is one of Judy's favorite books.

Why did Judy love this book?

Identity Crisis is the most delicious satire! It is so much a send-up of modern times it will unfortunately date, and all too quickly become tomorrow’s history. But I don’t care. I will always find this one of the funniest books I have ever had the pleasure to read - indeed a wickedly witty laugh-out-loud on every page. Anyone who chooses to find the political incorrectness that abounds in Identity Crisis offensive really will need to delve deep in order to discover their obviously lost or sadly under-developed sense of humour.  

By Ben Elton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why are we all so hostile? So quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage.

A series of apparently random murders draws amiable, old-school Detective Mick Matlock into a world of sex, politics, reality TV and a bewildering kaleidoscope of opposing identity groups. Lost in a blizzard of hashtags, his already complex investigation is further impeded by the fact that he simply doesn't 'get' a single thing about anything anymore.

Meanwhile, each day another public figure confesses to having 'misspoken' and prostrates themselves before the judgement of Twitter. Begging for forgiveness, assuring the public "that…


By Josephine Wilson,

Book cover of Extinctions

Julia Glass Author Of Three Junes

From the list on surviving inconsolable heartbreak.

Who am I?

I grew up in a woodsy Massachusetts town, then spent the first decade of my adult life striving to succeed as a painter in New York--while reading fiction as if inhaling another form of oxygen. In my thirties I traded paintbrush for pencil, persevering until I published my first novel at 46. I've now written six novels and a story collection about the volatile bonds of modern families, through marriages, births, betrayals, illnesses, deaths, and shifting loyalties. I love to tell a single story from multiple perspectives, ages, and genders; to inhabit a different vocation in each new character: bookseller, biologist, pastry chef, teacher. Like actors, fiction writers love slipping into countless other lives.

Julia's book list on surviving inconsolable heartbreak

Discover why each book is one of Julia's favorite books.

Why did Julia love this book?

Confession: I bought this novel partly for its gorgeous floral jacket...a bait-and-switch for the emotional claustrophobia in which it begins. I fell in love with it because of how deep I was drawn into lives I didn't think I could care about. Fred, a retired engineering professor--wife deceased, son severely disabled, adoptive daughter estranged--has banished himself to wither self-righteously away in a retirement village. But circumstances force him to let someone in: his neighbor, Jan, who's suffered her own misfortunes yet leads the most engaged life she can.

Set in Australia, this increasingly exhilarating and witty novel shows how it's never too late to face down eviscerating truths, make amends, and flout conventions; also, how friendships can save us (as I learned during my year of heartbreak). As a writer, I was stunned by an extended real-time scene in which an automotive mishap lands Jan and Fred in a glamorous…

By Josephine Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award

Professor Frederick Lothian, retired engineer, world expert on concrete and connoisseur of modernist design, has quarantined himself from life by moving to a retirement village. Surrounded and obstructed by the debris of his life, he is determined to be miserable, but is tired of his existence and of the life he has chosen.

When a series of unfortunate incidents forces him and his neighbour, Jan, together, he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime's secrets and lies, and to comprehend his own shortcomings. Finally, Frederick Lothian has the…

Art & Max

By David Wiesner,

Book cover of Art & Max

Dorothia Rohner Author Of I Am Goose!

From the list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor.

Who am I?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.

Dorothia's book list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor

Discover why each book is one of Dorothia's favorite books.

Why did Dorothia love this book?

Art and Max is one of my favorite picture books because it contains humor, knowledge, great characters, and imagination. David Weisner is a master at capturing expression and pushing the limits of the imagination to amuse and surprise the reader. Art is a serious artist reptile, Max is an overexcited literal lizard that wants to learn to paint. He is a serious annoyance to Art. When Art finally agrees to let him paint, confusion on what to paint explodes into a mess. Each art mishap resembles famous artist styles and techniques. It’s a funny, clever, and imaginative book that both children and adults enjoy.

By David Wiesner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Max and Arthur are best friends who both want to make art. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner. Max's first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind adventure with paints, pastels and pencils, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls.

Heavily influenced by surrealist Salvador Dali, Wiesner has crafted a fascinating story about friendship, creativity and the mysterious place where these two forces meet.

Assassination Vacation

By Sarah Vowell,

Book cover of Assassination Vacation

Philip R. Stone Author Of 111 Dark Places in England That You Shouldn't Miss

From the list on 'dark tourism’ and our difficult heritage.

Who am I?

I first turned to the ‘dark side’ of travel when a student of mine introduced me to ‘dark tourism’. Sadly the world is littered with places of tragedy where our misfortunes are exposed by dark tourism. As a social scientist, I have been writing about visiting our significant dead for over 20 years. I am fascinated as to why particular deaths are remembered, by whom, and how our dead are (re)presented within visitor economies. I have lectured and published extensively within academia, as well as being a media consultant. I continue to tell tales of our dead and how we attach cultural importance to certain kinds of death. 

Philip's book list on 'dark tourism’ and our difficult heritage

Discover why each book is one of Philip's favorite books.

Why did Philip love this book?

With a healthy dose of gallows humour, Sarah Vowell explores glorious conundrums of American history, politics, and culture. As such, the book provoked me to appreciate how visiting sites of the significant dead has long been in the touristic imagination. The book takes you on a journey – part history lesson, part travelogue – through the black spots of American political violence. Through a bizarre road trip to places where American politicians met a bloody end, I found Vowell’s own thoughts on the American character both witty and quirky. I also love how she explodes myths and, consequently, exposes a profound level of hypocrisy in the quest for (American) political and cultural advantage.  

By Sarah Vowell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Transporting us from Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to Key West, Vowell has crafted a narrative that is much more than a historical travelogue - it is the disturbing and mesmerising story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including film, literature, and - the author's favourite - historical tourism. Skilfully belying the undercurrents of loss and violence that course through her journey, Vowell injects a range of lighter detours along the way, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult - and exactly how Lincoln's Republican Party became Bush's Republican Party. Assassination Vacation…

Book cover of Ciao, America! An Italian Discovers the U.S.

Susan Pohlman Author Of Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home

From the list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the transformational power of travel ever since my husband and I unexpectedly signed a lease to an apartment on the Italian Riviera instead of divorce papers. The power of that year abroad saved our marriage, united our family of four in a sacred way, and introduced us to the many cultures of Europe. I learned the crucial difference between taking a trip and embarking on a journey. Capturing a travel experience on the page for those who can’t journey to a destination themselves is a joy and a privilege I don’t take lightly. Publishing this memoir allowed me to pivot in my career to a full-time writer and writing coach/editor.

Susan's book list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel

Discover why each book is one of Susan's favorite books.

Why did Susan love this book?

This book helped me fall in love with travel memoir long before the thought of living in Italy ever crossed my mind.

Beppe Severgnini is laugh-out-loud funny. He and his wife move to Washington D.C. and must navigate and make sense of the American lifestyle. If you are looking for a few giggles, grab this one.

By Beppe Severgnini,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ciao, America! An Italian Discovers the U.S. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the wry but affectionate tradition of Bill Bryson, Ciao, America! is a delightful look at America through the eyes of a fiercely funny guest — one of Italy’s favorite authors who spent a year in Washington, D.C.

When Beppe Severgnini and his wife rented a creaky house in Georgetown they were determined to see if they could adapt to a full four seasons in a country obsessed with ice cubes, air-conditioning, recliner chairs, and, of all things, after-dinner cappuccinos. From their first encounters with cryptic rental listings to their back-to-Europe yard sale twelve months later, Beppe explores this foreign…

Chicken Thief

By Beatrice Rodriguez,

Book cover of Chicken Thief

Nancy Vo Author Of Boobies

From the list on with sideways humor and irony.

Who am I?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.

Nancy's book list on with sideways humor and irony

Discover why each book is one of Nancy's favorite books.

Why did Nancy love this book?

You know those car chase movies? Well, this is a picture book version featuring animal chases. The Chicken Thief defies stereotypes in a fun wordless sequence. The reader sees that a fox has stolen a chicken and is being pursued by potential liberators. And the reader might worry that foxes like to eat chickens! Wait for the surprise ending.

By Beatrice Rodriguez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chicken Thief

Death with Interruptions

By José Saramago,

Book cover of Death with Interruptions

M Dressler Author Of Our Eyes at Night

From the list on that will both haunt you and get you to think.

Who am I?

I am a writer of speculative novels, captivated by fictional worlds that resemble ours and don’t, stories that travel to places we find strange (sometimes even unsettling) but can’t look away from, tales we feel in our minds and in our guts. For me writing and reading, though they seem sedentary activities, are actually physical acts we experience with our entire being and body—before I became a writer I was a professional ballet dancer, and I’ve never lost the sense that stories are movement, making you feel like you’re flying even if you’re sitting still. I’ve written seven books, and love that my job is leaping with readers.

M's book list on that will both haunt you and get you to think

Discover why each book is one of M's favorite books.

Why did M love this book?

I’ve saved my “riskiest” pick for last—you might not like this one, or at least you might be wondering for two-thirds of the book what the heck is going on, other than that you are reading about a country in which no one dies. The book starts by earnestly (and sometimes humorously) asking and answering questions: what do you do with so many living people? What do you do with people who are say, gravely wounded in an accident but can’t die and also can’t recover? What are not just the logistical but emotional challenges of no one departing? Would people want to live in such a country? Or flee it? Saramago was a philosopher before he was a writer, and he loves pondering things... And then, all of a sudden, the book shifts, it switches into another gear entirely and becomes a beautifully moving story about Death taking a…

By José Saramago,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant novel poses the question—what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials…