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The 10 Funniest Books as Chosen by the Bookwitty Community

The danger is, it can happen to you at any time. You might be sitting on a crowded bus. You might be sitting in a cafe, mid-sip in a flat white. You might be alone in bed. It’s that moment when the book you’re reading makes you burst out laughing, and there’s just nothing you can do about it.
We asked the Bookwitty community, “What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read?” Here’s a list of the top ten books that have made them laugh out loud.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including "Me Talk Pretty One Day," about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that "every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section." His family is another inspiration. "You Can't Kill the Rooster" is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.

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The Tent, the Bucket and Me

Emma Kennedy's hilarious memoir of wet and windy family trips, since adapted for the BBC series "The Kennedys." For the 70s child, summer holidays meant being crammed into a car with Grandma and heading to the coast. For Emma Kennedy, and her mum and dad, disaster always came along for the ride no matter where they went. Whether it was being swept away by a force ten gale on the Welsh coast or suffering copious amounts of food poisoning on a brave trip to the south of France, family holidays always left them battered and bruised. But they never gave up. 

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Good Omens

There is a hint of Armageddon in the air. According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the Armies of Good and Evil are massing, the four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world's last two remaining witchfinders are getting ready to Fight the Good Fight. 

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Furiously Happy

In Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest: "I've often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people' also might never understand. And that's what Furiously Happy is all about." It's about depression and mental illness, but deep down it's about joy―and who doesn't want a bit more of that?

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The World According to Garp

This is the life and times of T. S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields—a feminist leader ahead of her times. It is also the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes - even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with "lunacy and sorrow," yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy that's both ribald and robust. It provides almost cheerful, even hilarious evidence of its famous last line: "In the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON'T PANIC. The weekend has only just begun...this is volume one in a "trilogy of five parts."

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This cult classic of gonzo journalism is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

"Calvin and Hobbes" is one of the most popular comic strips of all time. It follows the humorous antics of Calvin, a precocious, mischievous and adventurous six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic tiger (who is real to Calvin, but seen as a stuffed animal by everyone else).  The four full-color volumes capture the entire body of the cartoons—which appeared in 2,400 newspapers by the time Bill Watterson retired in 1996.

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The Gun Seller

When Thomas Lang, a hired gunman with a soft heart, is contracted to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts instead to warn the intended victim—a good deed that doesn't go unpunished. Within hours Lang is butting heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femmes fatales, whilst trying to save a beautiful lady...and prevent an international bloodbath to boot. A wonderfully funny novel from one of Britain's most famous comedians and star of award-winning US TV medical drama series "House." 

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1601

[Date: 1601.] Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors—or simply 1601—is a short risqué bit of satire by Mark Twain, first published anonymously in 1880, and finally acknowledged by the author in 1906. Presented as an extract from the diary of one of Queen Elizabeth I's ladies-in-waiting, the pamphlet purports to record a conversation between Elizabeth and several famous writers of the day. The topics discussed are entirely scatological, notably focusing on farting and sex.

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So, what did we miss? Go ahead and share your suggestions for laugh-out-loud books in the comments below. Thanks!

Posts on this profile were created by members of the Bookwitty team. Here, we discuss books, authors, publishers and other literary-related topics. You’ll find our writers based between our ... Show More

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