8 Authors on the Funniest Book They’ve Ever Read

8 Authors on the Funniest Book They’ve Ever Read

April is National Humor Month, and here at Bookish, we love a good chuckle. Unsurprisingly, we aren’t the only ones. Authors across many diverse genres love opening a book and enjoying a giggle. Here, in honor of National Humor Month, we’ve asked authors to share the funniest book they’ve ever read. Get ready to grin!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

“I absolutely adored The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. On the other hand, my husband hated it because I would read it in bed, shaking with laughter at 1 a.m. as he tried to sleep. But seriously, how can you beat two snarky, grown adults positioned at mirrored desks, making each other’s lives miserable via childish pranks and mental warfare, all while vying for the same job? The juxtaposition of quirky, toy-collecting Lucy and uptight rival Josh was perfect for creating ridiculously hilarious altercations and equally awkward and delightful romantic encounters.”Jessica Pennington, author of Love Songs & Other Lies

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

“A book that has seared itself into my memory as one of the funniest books I have ever read is A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. It’s a memoir about a very ordinary girlhood in a small town in Indiana and Kimmel is so hilarious that I had to take breaks because of laughing so damn hard. The book is a collection of vignettes of specific childhood memories, and it’s this specificity that makes everything so sharp and charming. They reminded me of my own childhood memories—all the little moments that felt so large at the time. I also read this book while I was starting to write as an adult and it just left such an incredible, lasting impression.” —Maurene Goo, author of The Way You Make Me Feel

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

“Twenty years ago, a friend insisted I read an essay in Harper’s about going on a cruise. ‘It’s by the most neurotic guy who ever lived,’ she said. I mainlined every word of David Foster Wallace’s essay, ‘Shipping Out,’ which eventually became featured essay in the anthology, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. His voice was deeply addled and freakishly smart. His descriptions killed me (‘The flatulence-of-the-gods sound of a cruise ship’s horn’). The ‘unbearable sadness of a mass-market luxury cruise’ seemed dead-on, as did his account of his ‘first full day of Managed Fun.’ He even nailed his acknowledgements, thanking his sister, Amy (‘Just How Much Reader-Annoyance Are You Shooting For Here Exactly?’) Wallace. I wish he were still around.” —Holly Kowitt, author of The Principal’s Underwear Is Missing

This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff

“One day last winter during one of those nor’easters we seem to be destined to repeat, I was snowed in and couldn’t get to my local indie bookstore. I started scrolling through the Kindle store and came across This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff. I started reading and was hooked. Medoff is such a wry and keen observer of manners and foibles that she has written a corporate HR department (where the characters in this novel work) that is hysterically funny. The trick is that she doesn’t make fun of them. I suspect that Medoff didn’t set out to write a funny book, but just couldn’t help herself and we’re all better off for it.” —Sue Halpern, author of Summer Hours at the Robber’s Library

Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

“The funniest book I’ve ever read (and reread a hundred times over) is Faking It by Jennifer Crusie. First, it’s a romance novel, so I know I’m going to get an ending that will have me giggling like a fangirl. Second, Cruise is a masterful storyteller who has the chops to write a multifaceted book that doesn’t come off as campy. And last but not least, Faking It includes a con artist, an inherited family gift, a mutant dog, terrible sex, and a cast of secondary characters that are just as funny and multidimensional as the protagonists. This book has all the elements for success, and Crusie delivers.” —Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

“The funniest book I’ve ever read would have to be This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Books don’t tend to make me laugh out loud, so I knew this was going to be good when I found myself audibly laughing in the first few chapters. This book is highly character-driven, so appropriately, the characters and what they say—as opposed to the plot itself—is what triggers the laughs. The funniest moment in the entire book might have been when the psychologist mother, Helen, encourages her adult children to laugh or cry during their father’s funeral because ‘there is no correct response.’ Not to mention all the times when Philip, the youngest sibling, breaks into song at random during otherwise serious conversations.” —Alexandra Borowitz, author of Family and Other Catastrophes

Trust by Jana Aston

Trust by Jana Aston is one of my favorite laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. I love the unique way Chloe and Boyd’s relationship unfolds. It’s cute, hilarious, and hits the reader in all the feels. The heroine suffers from social anxiety, and the way the author approaches this sensitive topic is so real and endearing it’s impossible not to fall in love with Chloe. The hero is swoony and fantastic, creating dates out of shopping trips. We get to watch as the heroine falls in love without even realizing it. My absolute favorite scene is when Chloe starts to panic about their relationship status, and Boyd, being the perceptive man he is, reassures her by telling her they’re just ‘Chloe and Boyd’ing.’ It’s adorable, funny, romantic, and sexy. They’re such a memorable couple in the Grind Me Café series.” —Helena Hunting, author of I Flipping Love You

I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey by Paul Rudnick

“I understand that this is a bit of a cheat since I was the editor of this book, but I have to suggest Paul Rudnick’s I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey. Years ago, I approached Paul about collecting his hilarious writings for The New Yorker and publishing them in book form. He did me one better and offered to write an entire collection of new essays. He would type each piece up on his Selectric and mail it to me as a hard copy, and I knew as soon as I received a package from him that I had to close my office door because I’d be howling immediately upon reading the material. There is a fictional curmudgeon named Elyot Vionnet who appears occasionally throughout the collection, and I promise you that you’ve never read anything as funny as his… musings, shall we say, about the darkness of the world and the darkness of the human soul.” —Rakesh Satyal, author of No One Can Pronounce My Name


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