Lough out loud fiction/non-fiction?

(74 Posts)
FriedSprout Fri 17-May-13 18:46:51

Wonder if anyone could recommend their favourite funny books?

We are going through a tough time at the moment, and I can't remember when I last indulged in a good side-splitting roar.

If it helps I found Tom Sharpe's Wilt funny, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams too.

Want to do lots of these grin


PG Wodehouse
Jasper Fforde

LovelyMarchHare Fri 17-May-13 19:36:00

David Sedaris

cocolepew Fri 17-May-13 19:38:42

Another vote for David Sedaris.
Stephanie Plum books.
Spike Milligans war diaries.
Bill Bryson.

Sidge Fri 17-May-13 19:39:18

This book had me in stitches, real LOL funny!. It's not highbrow literature but will make you giggle.

MartyrStewart Fri 17-May-13 19:39:49

Bill Bryson
Christopher Brookmyre

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 17-May-13 19:40:09

Bill Bryson - The Life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid.
Laughed so much at this pool side that a man asked me what I was reading so he could go and buy a copy too.

Primadonnagirl Fri 17-May-13 19:44:23

Just finished "The Supremes at Big Earls All You Can Eat"...there's a wedding scene that I laughed at hysterically..luckily I was on my own..it's a fab book by a first time novelist..if you liked The Help you will love this

FriedSprout Fri 17-May-13 20:24:11

Some really exciting suggestions here, heard David Sedaris on radio didn't realise he wrote books blush now on my list. Spike Milligan? Not read anything of his for years, do they stand the test of time I wonder? Only one way to find out.
PG Wodehouse, Bill Bryson, yes,yes, yes
Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs: (She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouse) WTF - am buying that one for the title alone grin

Christopher Brookmyre, not ringing any bells, but quick look on Amazon and am liking look of "Quite Ugly One Morning" - the title of which IS ringing some bells!
The supremes at big earls all you can eat not stocked by Amazon which means I will have to outside - Yikes!

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, am looking forward to many Tena Lady Moments very soon grin

Primadonnagirl Fri 17-May-13 20:38:47

Fried I got the supremes at Waterstones if that helps

Marking place! grin


Catch 22
Love in a Cold Climate
A Handful of Dust & Vile Bodies & The Loved One (and anything by Waugh...)
Pale Fire
The Diary of a Nobody
Nights at the Circus

All have made me snort inappropriately on public transport!

OH and Two Men In A Boat is a must! SO hilarious

Primadonnagirl Fri 17-May-13 20:56:13

Snorting inappropriately on public transport is the ultimate test!!Also..annoying your partner by reading bits out loud..which of course they don't find funny cos they haven't read the rest of the book !

ariadneoliver Fri 17-May-13 20:59:44

The Battle for Room Service: Journeys to All the Safe Places possibly a bit dated now, but still funny. The chapter on Switzerland is the highlight in my view.

Thewhingingdefective Fri 17-May-13 21:02:58

Anything by Charlie Brooker or Caitlin Moran.

Mumsnet Rules

Letters From A Nut by Ted L Nancy

More Letters From A Nut By Ted L Nancy

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon was the last fiction that made me laugh.

juneybean Fri 17-May-13 23:31:42

Sophie Kinsella's books make me laugh but they really are chicklit

HeavenlyYoni Fri 17-May-13 23:34:23

Catherine Alliot

ItsallisnowaFeegle Fri 17-May-13 23:42:30

I'm really struggling to enjoy Christopher Brookmyer's 'A big boy did it and ran away', despite being Scottish (I know it has nothing really to do with anything. I'm just homesick).

I keep meaning to get back to it, as I hate not seeing a book through to the end.

YY, Bill Bryson is great! I'd also recommend Russell Brand's 'My Booky Wook'. I really started to like him when I was reading it.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 18-May-13 06:24:53

Bill Bryson's Notes From A Small Island had me crying with laughter.

I keep recommending Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series - they are so funny. One For The Money is the first in the series.

Tim Moore's French Revolutions makes me weep, and Emma Kennedy's The Tent, the Bucket and Me.

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 18-May-13 06:42:11

Anything by Bill Bryson.

Stuart Maconie is my hero.....laugh out loud and lovely little tender bits as well.

(now I was recommended David Sedaris after lending my friend BB and I hated him....)

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 08:13:39

How to Talk to a Widower, Never suck on a dead man's hand.

I know it's a kid series, but the Donut Diaries are pretty funny, too.

Ulysses Sat 18-May-13 08:18:25

Loads of people have beaten me already to suggest Bill Bryson.

notnowImreading Sat 18-May-13 08:21:40

I know a lot of people don't like her on here, but I absolutely (almost literally, had to cross legs and really concentrate) pmsl at India Knight's first two books, My Life on a Plate and Don't You Want Me. It's her similes that get me. They are quite smug, though, which doesn't bother me at all but I know bugs a lot of readers.

Wise Children by Angela Carter is wonderful. It's proper literature but also really funny with an elderly ex-chorus girl narrator who can 'still kick a leg higher than the average dog'.

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 09:39:23

Actually, probably another down market one, but "A Tiny Bit of Marvellous" (Dawn French) is very droll in its own way, too.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 18-May-13 18:19:17

Yes to Bill Bryson, especially Notes From A Small Island, makes me giggle every time I read it. (And he says something very nice about the place I live in smile)

The other book which makes me laugh is Down to Earth: The Year of the Cornflake by Faith Addis. There was a tv series years ago, but this is better. Faith and her husband set up a sort of holiday boarding house for children in the summer of 1976, the year of the great drought. Very funny in places, but also interesting, they'd never be able to do it now, far too many restrictions, although the place they ran was clearly fantastic.

I like Crime Fiction and find JD Robb's Death in Series very funny at times. The main protagonist Lt Eve dallas is very sarcastic and that just appeals to me. The books are written to a formula eg on page x, y happens but that aside they are good.

Raaraathenoisybaby Sat 18-May-13 18:24:22

Sue Townsend - The Queen and I. It's honestly hilarious. I buy a copy and lend it out, then but another one....you get the idea grin

KittenofDoom Sat 18-May-13 19:06:20

Keith Waterhouse, Billy Liar (there's a sequel too, but the first one is the one!)
He wrote some very funny novels, but I suspect they may be out of print now. Office Life. The Bucket Shop. Soho. Sweet Charity. Oh, and one that consists of a long letter from a man to his mistress which is hilarious and devastating at the same time.

SarahAndFuck Sun 19-May-13 05:04:42

I remember laughing a lot at Danny Wallace's Join Me and Yes Man.

And Bill Bryson's Down Under is very funny too.

ZacharyQuack Sun 19-May-13 07:24:06

David Thorne is hilarious. He has a couple of books "The Internet is a Playground" and "I'll go home then, it's warm and has chairs". Mostly based on columns from his website 27bslash6

Startail Sun 19-May-13 07:36:55

Spike Milligan's war diaries will make you laugh, think and the later ones will make you cry.

KurriKurri Sun 19-May-13 16:46:47

Yes to Bill Bryson, David Sedaris (although I find him slightly hit and miss, when he's funny he's very funny).

Diary of a Nobody
Three Men in Boat
Clive James autobiogs and books of criticism

I also like David Lodge, Michale Frayn, and early Kingsley Amis.

marissab Sun 19-May-13 19:52:51

Ok so i've got a very unique suggestion to add. Did you like red dwarf on tv? If so, the books are hilarious. Better than life is supremely funny.

FriedSprout Mon 20-May-13 00:38:12

Wow - so many new books to hopefully fall in love with.

Have even realised I already have a couple of the books suggested, but have not read yet. Down to Earth and Diary of a Nobody for example. I just need to unearth them now.

Thanks, primmadonnagirl, will visit Waterstones, using public transport and hopefully will be snorting, inappropriately, on the way back.

Yy to The Tent, the Bucket and Me, bought back so many childhood memories of camping incidents, probably best forgotten!

Recommend, Sick Notes - true stories from a GP's surgery which was funny and a bit of an eye opener re the NHS at the same time. Wish he was my GP grin

So many brilliant suggestions, hope everyone on thread is trying each others suggestions out?

Thanks again smile

KittenofDoom Mon 20-May-13 00:42:12

Mention of Diary of a Nobody reminds me of another Keith Waterhouse gem: Mrs Pooter's Diary, which recounts all the events of the original but from the viewpoint of Mrs P. It's brilliant!

IzzieA Mon 20-May-13 09:57:23

Camberwell Beauty by Jenny Éclair.

A seriously black comedy!


DeepRedBetty Mon 20-May-13 09:59:51

Matt Beaumont's E books.

And ancient, but has stood the test of time - EF Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels.

AnonYonimousBird Mon 20-May-13 10:16:19

Both of Chris Evans Memoirs books.

I was skeptical, approached thinking, yeah right, he is going to be an arse.

And he is an arse, much of the time, but the way he just KNOWS he is and the unraveling of his bonkers life just had me and DH howling!!!!

merrymonsters Tue 21-May-13 19:37:46

P.G. Wodehouse is very funny.

EatenByZombies Wed 22-May-13 17:09:44

I think that Lee Evans' biography was pretty damn funny (but then again I lurve him).

Otherwise Karl Pilkington's books are also l-o-l material;

bluesbaby Thu 23-May-13 11:04:36

Another one for Bill Bryson here smile Good shout with Paul Carter, I've yet to read his latest one (bike diesel) but the others were LOL

Sophie Kinsella is pretty good for chick lit (and whimsical plotlines), Fiona Niell's Slummy Mummy books are also brilliant! IIRC Slummy Mummy was also her column in The Times

Terry Ravenscroft is also very funny, in a One Foot in the Grave way...!

I'm having a memory blank, so I'm just looking through my last read books... The Importance of Being Ernest was pretty funny and not too dated

bluesbaby Thu 23-May-13 11:05:26

Recommend I'd Sooner Starve by Mark Sinclair for a quick, light, funny read smile

bluesbaby Thu 23-May-13 11:09:28

Three Men in a Boat and Diary of a Nobody are free on amazon kindle if anyone else is checking out the books

Southeastdweller Sun 26-May-13 10:06:05

The Alan Partridge autobio had me in hysterics, one of the funniest books I've ever read.

SkaterGrrrrl Sun 26-May-13 23:10:05

Lets pretend this never happened by jenny Lawson. Every page made me laugh. A bit like an American Caitlin Moran.

missmarplestmarymead Sat 01-Jun-13 23:26:32

Another one for Diary of a Nobody.

Also The Eliza Stories by Barry Pain,

The Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson

Yes also to Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Louise1956 Tue 04-Jun-13 22:55:18

Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. jerome
1066 And All That by W.C. sellar and R.J. Yeatman
My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
molesworth by Geoffrey Wilan and Ronald Searle
my Life And Hard Times by James Thurber
the Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. delafield
cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

joanofarchitrave Tue 04-Jun-13 22:59:11

I don't usually recommend these on here but i wonder if you would like clive james' collections of his tv criticism (e.g. the crystal bucket, visions before midnight).

another vote for tim moore's french revolutions, also i have just read his 'you are awful but i like you' which also made me laugh. the others of his that i have read haven't tickled me so much.

BeyonceCastle Wed 05-Jun-13 00:10:41


Jon Ronson - the psychopath test

Excellent read.

Simon Garfield - the nation's favourite

Piss funny (Dealing with smashy nicey era of radio 1)

OBface Thu 06-Jun-13 22:05:46

Any Jenny Eclair book, amazingly funny

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Fri 07-Jun-13 21:56:00

The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy. About her camping trips with her parents in the 70s - that had me sniggering like mad. Best not read it if youre just about to go camping though...

MisguidedAngel Sat 08-Jun-13 12:09:22

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis - the funniest of all his funny books. I've re-read this about six times and still snort.

babybythesea Sat 08-Jun-13 22:27:06


I love this author.
Her name is Teresa Bloomingdale. This is not her best one (IMO!). Her best is called "I should have seen it coming when the rabbit died" but that is £20 on Amazon!
She had 10 kids, starting in the early sixties and ending mid seventies. The books are essentially life with them - easy to read and I find them very funny. The later ones that have more of her life as an author are less so though.
I also like the little comments which are starting to ring slightly true as DDs get older. Like
"What is the best age to take kids on holiday? There are two best ages. One is when the oldest is 6 weeks old and sleeps the entire way there in a basket on the back seat. The other is when the youngest is 33 and would be thrilled at a weekend in Death Valley if it meant a bit of time away from her own kids." It's all tongue in cheek and might not be to everyone's taste but I find them an excellent fall back read when I need a giggle.

All of the Jon Ronson books I have read make me laugh a lot, even when you don't expect the subject matter to be funny at all, as in The Psychopath Test. Lost at Sea is good too.
Starter for Ten by David Nicholls - one scene in particular is hilarious
We Are All Made of Glue - Marina Lewycka

sillylily Tue 18-Jun-13 15:10:18

Confessions of a Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman (and her other books) made me giggle a lot

jodee Wed 19-Jun-13 15:55:49

My fave adult LOL books (Hitler, my part in his Downfall and Catch-22) already mentioned, can I add one of my LOL children's books, the classic Wind in the Willows - I love this exchange:

Chapter 1, The River Bank

Mole: 'This has been a wonderful day!' said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. `Do you know, I've never been in a boat before in all my life.'

`WHAT?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a .... you never .... well I ..... what have you been DOING, then?'

The last big snort was provoked by a poo scene in Captial by John Lanchester. I was on a plane and nearly knocked over my neighbour's G&T. The rest of the book is pretty good.

Capital. ooops.

chirpchirp Wed 19-Jun-13 22:06:23

All the Danny Wallace, Dave Gorman and Charlie Brooker books.

I guess my sense of humour can be a bit dark and I loved all of John niven's book. Kill your friends is great, the amateurs was brilliant (never thought I'd say that about a book the centres around golf!)

bawabod Fri 28-Jun-13 14:03:51

I second Emma Kennedy The Tent The Bucket and Me had me in fits of laughter

Cookie804 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:07:43

Terry Pratchetts' Disc World Series.

Christopher Moore is also very funny. Books like The stupidest Angel.

itsallshitandmoreshit Fri 28-Jun-13 14:31:58

Nothing beats Diary of a Nobody. It's free, people of MN! The amount of money I've spent trying to find a book to make me laugh and I had tears rolling down my face with this book. I love it.

Clawdy Thu 11-Jul-13 21:03:45

Yes, Diary of a Nobody is hilarious,can't believe a book written so long ago had me laughing aloud. The "hero" is a forerunner of David Brent!

antimatter Fri 12-Jul-13 16:56:30

Round ireland with a fridge (if not mentioned already)

JRsandCoffee Sat 13-Jul-13 18:56:46

Tim Moore's French Revolutions and also his Spanish Steps, both non fiction, hilarious both of them particularly the first if you have ever ridden a bike.....

debz2 Mon 15-Jul-13 18:52:17

I laughed out loud at Miranda Hart's autobiography - (can't remember what it's called )

Also 'Various pets alive and dead' by Marina Lewycka

Joseph Connolly's 'Cycle of violence' I seem to remember being darkly humorous

ladydepp Tue 16-Jul-13 07:27:58

The only one that made me laugh out loud on the Tube is Bridget Jones' Diary.

The Worst Date Ever by Jane Bussman is very funny too.

CelticPromise Tue 16-Jul-13 07:33:59

YY Misguided Lucky Jim is brilliant. Very very funny and the best description of a hangover I can think of.

Another Bill Bryson fan here, Notes from a Big Country is my favourite.

Pollaidh Thu 25-Jul-13 21:04:04

PG Wodehouse - anything but the Blandings series is particularly good.
Christopher Brookmyre - his earlier ones in particular make me writhe with laughter.
Stephen Fry - The Liar, The Hippopotamus are hilarious, the others, especially Making History and his 2 autobiographies, are also good.
Eva Ibbotson - Secret Countess, a teenager book but really very funny.
Catch 22
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - gentle but amusing
Gerald Durrell - My Family and Other Animals
Sue Townsend - Queen and I
Anything by Jane Austen
Cold Comfort Farm

Pollaidh Thu 25-Jul-13 21:04:39

Sorry, meant anything, but Blandings in particular is good.

MorrisZapp Thu 25-Jul-13 21:14:03

Sophie Hannah wrote two comic novels before she started with the snatched baby stuff. Cordial and Corrosive is one, and I forget the name of the other but it's about a married teacher falling in love with a monosyllabic teenager. They are both hilarious.

Adrian Mole also does it for me, and David Lodge of course.

Elinor Lipman is the mistress of cosy, American comedy of manners type stuff.

Alison Lurie is even better, and much sharper/ darker.

dementedma Thu 25-Jul-13 21:15:00

Can't believe no-one has mentioned John O'Farrell."The Best a Man can get" is brilliant, and "May contain nuts" could have been written for mumsnet! Second Bill Bryson, Gerald Durrell, Janet Evanovich.

lilibet Sat 27-Jul-13 11:25:08

A Prayer for Owen Meany had me crying laughing twice. The nativity scene is the funniest thing that I have ever read. It's also an exceptionally wonderful book.

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