Looking for books to make you laugh? Here are our picks for comedic literature.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Wilson (2013)
The Don Tillman series, book 1.
Summary by Goodreads: Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner.
Rosie Jarman is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)
Summary from Goodreads: Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (2017)
Summary from Goodreads: Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (1996)
Bridget Jones series, book 1.
Summary from Goodreads: Bridget Jones is a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could: a. lose 7 pounds, b. stop smoking, and c. develop Inner Poise. The book is a daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.
Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (2016)
Summary from Goodreads: When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches. Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer. As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend.
How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush by Emmy Abrahamson (2016)
Available as a book.
Summary from Goodreads: Julia is a Swedish transplant who spends her days teaching English to unemployed Austrians and her evenings watching Netflix with her cat or club hopping with a frenemy. An aspiring novelist, Julia’s full of ideas for future bestsellers…that have already been done before. Ben is handsome, adventurous, sexy as hell, planning to shuffle off to Berlin, and lives in a public park. Thus begins a truth stranger than any fiction Julia might have imagined: a whirlwind relationship with a guy who shares her warped sense of humor and shakes up the just-okay existence she’s been too lazy to change. Ben challenges her to break out; she challenges him to settle down. As weeks turn to months, Julia keeps telling herself that this is a chapter in her life, not the whole book. If she writes the ending, she can’t get hurt. But what if the ending isn’t hers to write?
Less by Andrew Sean Greer (2018)
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Summary from Goodreads: You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town? ANSWER: You accept them all. Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last. Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, LESS is, above all, a love story.
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (2017)
Summary from Goodreads: Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom–or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max–this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree. From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.