Musings

A Laughing Matter

So I missed the boat on a “thankful” post this year. Oops.

But that’s okay; I think it’s pretty obvious in every post that I’m thankful for the authors of the world who create these incredible novels that I read and write about on this blog.

What’s fun, though, about Thanksgiving is everything that comes after. Most people usually tend to get the Friday after Thanksgiving off, which allows for plenty of family time afterward.

I think, for many people, family time often includes a lot of laughter.

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For example, I brought my puppy home with me for Thanksgiving this year. On Friday, my mom decided to treat us and make chicken parm, meatballs, and sauce. For the sauce, she required an onion. Many of you who have dogs will know that, for whatever reasons, our pups can’t have onions (which is such a shame, since they’re AWESOME). It was nice, so my mom went to cut onions outside on the deck to hang out with us. I was roughly 5 seconds past saying “hey can we make sure we’re careful about onion peels falling on the floor, Jasper can’t have them” when my mom stumbled, and proceeded to drop the entire unpeeled onion onto the floor, which rolled right in front of my feet.

All four of us – me, my mom, my dad, and my sister – immediately burst out laughing. What were the odds? No, an onion peel didn’t fall on the floor…the ENTIRE ONION did. I’m literally laughing just thinking about it!

Laughter is just one of those things; it’s almost impossible to feel negatively about stuff, whatever that may be, when you’re laughing.

I’m lucky to have found some funny authors and books to read over the years.

Christopher Moore has to be one of the greatest revelations of my reading life. When I found Serpent of Venice earlier this year, it totally turned my reading world upside down. In combining some of my favorite works by the Bard, and sprinkling some Poe in their as well, Moore truly opened my eyes to what it means to read a funny book. I laughed so much throughout Serpent, there were a few times I almost cried. While I’m not as much about vulgarity as Moore is, I could still appreciate how his language brought extra to his humor – even if I thought he was funny without it. But the amazing thing about Moore’s humor is his ability to translate it across vastly different subject matters. This year I also read his book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. And you know what? It was also really, really funny. Did I enjoy it as much as Serpent? Not exactly – but that’s because I understand the subject matter of Serpent so much more than I do Lamb. While Serpent was funny because of Moore’s abilities AND the fact that I knew the subject matter, Lamb was simply funny because of Moore. I was really thankful (see what I did there) to discover Christopher Moore this year, and I laughed a lot because of him.

When thinking about funny books, though, it’s easy to forget the classics that you read as a kid. One such book is Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire.

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This book is so clever, I remember laughing at it all the time when I was a kid. And if we’re being honest, when one of my coworkers had a child in 2014 and I bought this book for him and his wife as a congratulations present, I laughed through it when I read it then. It’s infectious. It’s so simple, I know, because it’s for toddlers. But who can’t love simplicity in rhymes and who can’t understand having a passion? This magical leopard and his spots always put a smile on my face and force a laugh.

An unexpected funny book I read this year, which I know I just recently talked about, was Andy Weir‘s The Martian. It’s a tall task to make the situation of “someone is literally stranded alone on Mars” funny. But Weir succeeded. His humor shines through main character Mark Watney, and it’s the self-deprecating, sarcastic humor that ultimately makes the book so enjoyable. Honestly, it’s a similar sense of humor to what I consider myself to have… though I’m also a huge fan of puns, and I don’t really think Mark Watney would be in the way I am. But that’s okay! Mark Watney had me laughing out loud at my desk some days, which is only slightly awkward. Being able to keep a book lighthearted and funny even if trying times is truly a mark (…no pun intended) of a great writer, and I look forward to Weir’s next novel to see if he keeps up his wit in a similar way.

So, lovely readers, what funny books and authors are your favorites?

 

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One thought on “A Laughing Matter

  1. ‘Yoga Bitch’ by Suzanne Morrison was hilarious! She has a typical New York/ Jersey sense of sarcastic and observational humor as she tells about her adventures in yoga. I almost peed my pants a few times trying NOT to laugh out load and disturb people around me. Please read it 🙂

    Another good one is “Sex Lives of Cannibals” by L. Maarten Troost. he wrote three books total about travels, this was his first and in my opinion the best. the other two felt like someone trying to bank on the “culture shock” humor. Sex lives of Cannibals is about him and his girlfriend moving to the Marshal Islands for her job and adapting to a culture that most people from the western world would not understand or know where to begin to understand. I laughed and learned a lot about a group of islands that I had only heard mentioned before.

    Like

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