• The cover of the book Homes and Other Black Holes

    Homes and Other Black Holes

    This was the first funny book I ever read. I received it from a really nerdy friend who gave it to me as a going away present when my family and I moved in 1st grade. The book is just a series of disastrous home improvement stories and Dave Barry’s personal hatred of the name Ashley. Sometimes I will just think about the fact that, in this book, Dave Barry says that babies look like Vaseline-smeared ferrets and I LOL. It’s not even a particularly evocative image because they don’t really look like that, but it’s still super funny.

     
  • The cover of the book Love and Freindship

    Love and Freindship

    The thing about Jane Austen is that while she wrote a good romance, she was actually insanely funny. And people always concentrate on the romance part and don’t really get into the funny part, which is all well and good, but it sort of loses some of her essential appeal as a writer. In her juvenilia, the writings she wrote as a young girl, she was incredibly, incredibly funny. In Jack & Alice, she says a man is “of so dazzling a Beauty that none by Eagles could look him in the Face.” Just as a throwaway line! I was dying when I read that.

     
  • The cover of the book Lucky Jim

    Lucky Jim

    Lucky Jim is a fabulous and very short novel. It’s the story of a middling college professor who hates his life. Most of the end of the book describes him doing a public lecture on Merrie England that goes terribly wrong, and it permanently ruined me seeing or listening to lectures ever again! Goodbye podcasts!! I hardly knew ye.

     
  • The cover of the book Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    Ok, so hear me out. The first book, Bridget Jones’s Diary, is incredible—but the second one is even better. It’s based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, it makes immense fun of self-help books, and Bridget doesn’t know where Germany is. Read it! It is far better than the movie.

     
  • The cover of the book The Woman in White

    The Woman in White

    Although this was recently made into a very ponderous and dark BBC miniseries about feminism and being scared, in book form, it is actually extremely hilarious. I mean, it’s also a little scary and about feminism inasmuch as a Victorian novel written by a man can be (so, not very), but it has a really funny narrative voice. And the character of the villain, Count Fosco, is simply the best.

     
  • The cover of the book The Pursuit of Love

    The Pursuit of Love

    Never have the travails of an eccentric family (a topic I personally despise) been done better or more hilariously than in Nancy Mitford’s novel, The Pursuit of Love, which centers on the wacky and eccentric Radlett family.