First off, I had difficulty with this list (as opposed to the top sad books). Secondly, I noticed a good number of the books that made me laugh out loud made some of my friends cry. It goes to show you that gravity and humor are not too far apart.
Here are the top ten books that made me laugh out loud:
- Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Bridget is absolutely lovable, self-deprecating, and funny.
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers (the first half only). This one almost didn’t make the list because I greatly disliked the second half of the book. But I should give Eggers some credit for making me laugh hysterically for a good 200 pages!
- King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov. All of the Nabokov novels I’ve read are funny. This one might be the funniest.
- Marley and Me by John Grogan. This book is also on the list of top ten books that made me cry. The scenes of Marley’s disasters are just hilarious.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I laughed every other page. Sedaris is such an entertaining storyteller.
- Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain. The characters in this short novel are unforgettably funny and larger than life. Twain was the master of satire.
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. You wouldn’t think a story about World War II can be funny but this one is. The main character, Billy Pilgrim, ranks as one of my all-time funniest characters in literature.
- Superfudge by Judy Blume (full disclosure: I haven’t read this book since I was a kid, but I remember laughing out loud so often that my mom had to remind me to act more ladylike).
- The World According to Garp by John Irving. Silly, ridiculous, sad life. Irving is really good at telling such stories. While there are always serious notes in Irving’s books, the overriding themes are humorous. His writings are a good reminder that life is absurd and therefore not to be taken too seriously.
- Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher. Yes, this memoir is written by Princess Leia. Fisher opens up about major aspects of her life: her upbringing, “Star Wars,” manic depression, alcoholism, Hollywood. She’s witty, outrageous and funny as hell.