Could anyone suggest some humorous books for elderly readers please?

(60 Posts)
MissGreatBritain Fri 04-Mar-11 10:43:00

I've recently been working as a volunteer, delivering library books to the housebound, who are mostly elderly. Many of them request romance, family sagas etc but also humour. And I'm really struggling. There just don't seem to be many novels that are light and easy but also suitable for the older reader. I'm loathe to put in anything about 20 somethings, as I'm not sure they'll relate to it. Can you suggest any authors please who write with humour? Thanks!

tillyfernackerpants Fri 04-Mar-11 11:05:56

What about PG Wodehouse? I've not read him myself but a few people have recommended the Jeeves and Wooster books

Alexander McCall Smith is light and easy too

Those are the two that come to mind, will have another think and come back to you

GwennieF Fri 04-Mar-11 11:09:04

I was going to suggest PG Wodehouse too. Or James Herriot, he can be pretty funny...

Sunseed Fri 04-Mar-11 11:11:40

Anything by Tom Sharpe

TheRedQueen Fri 04-Mar-11 11:17:04

The Gervase Phinn series about the school inspector in Yorkshire Dales. Can't remember the first two in the series, but the third one is called Head over Heels in the Dales.

AvengingGerbil Fri 04-Mar-11 11:17:22

Gervase Phinn
Betty Macdonald
Terry Pratchett

bruffin Fri 04-Mar-11 11:18:34

Deric Longden's autobiographies are very funny, although his first one Diana's Story about the death of his wife is very sad as well, but very humerous.

ohmeohmy Fri 04-Mar-11 11:54:12

Evelyn Waugh

holymary Fri 04-Mar-11 13:16:31

Bill Bryson
EF Benson (Mapp and Lucia)
I have also discovered the Persephone publishers who reprint novels from the past by female authors like Noel Streatfeild, Marghanita Laski, etc. Check out their website and that will give you plenty of titles to go on.
Also, do you think some biographies might appeal?

Lilymaid Fri 04-Mar-11 13:28:19

Monica Dickens wrote some very amusing books that are easy to read - some autobiographical, others fiction.

lottiejenkins Fri 04-Mar-11 13:30:13

I'll second Gervase Phinn. He's a personal hero of mine and i was lucky enough to meet him ten years ago at my niece and nephews school!! His books have had me crying with laughter!

MissGreatBritain Fri 04-Mar-11 18:49:44

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I really needed some help as many of them like to have large print books, so the library is happy to order a few in (or borrow from other libraries) if I make some suggestions. That lot should keep me going for a while. smile

Nancy Mitford

Browncoats Fri 04-Mar-11 22:29:24

Bridge Jones Diary. I know it's supposed to be 'contemporary', but who are we kidding? People have been getting up to the same things for generations. As you get older, I've noticed, you start to lose you inhibitions and be honest about what ACTUALLY happened (or what you wanted to happen).

I recommended this book to my friends Granny for some holiday reading and she hasn't stopped going on about it.

It's light-hearted, written in an easy to read manner and also because it's diary entries - easier to remember.

What kind of books have they enjoyed before? I always find that's an important question to ask.

usualsuspect Fri 04-Mar-11 22:30:35

Bill Bryson

freerangeeggs Sat 05-Mar-11 00:54:37

Tony Hawks maybe?

inthesticks Sat 05-Mar-11 13:26:32

I also do home library service to elderly readers. One wants me to choose not only large print but they must also be paperback. Narrows the choice somewhat!
My dad used to like David Nobbs and Tom Sharpe. The James Herriot books were quite readable gentle humour I think.

LadyBiscuit Sat 05-Mar-11 13:38:38

I was going to suggest Mapp and Lucia but I've also just finished a book called Major Pettigrew's Last Stand where the hero is a retired major in his late 60s. It's very funny and my mum (who is in her late 70s) couldn't put it down. So that's a good one

bluejeans Sat 05-Mar-11 20:20:12

I really enjoyed 'No! I don't want to join a book group' by Virginia Ironside and 'Reading In Bed' by Sue Gee, both with older characters but would appeal to a variety of age groups

bruffin Sat 05-Mar-11 20:55:52

A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine is also laugh out loud funny. My mum loved it.

gramercy Mon 07-Mar-11 19:11:06

I bought mil a book by Maeve Binchy - an autobiographical account of her hip replacement.

Mil raved about it - and that is a true compliment as mil would hate to admit I had scored a success with a present!

MumInBeds Mon 07-Mar-11 19:14:14

I second Deric Longden, his writing is fantastic.

HappySeven Mon 07-Mar-11 19:17:42

Richard Gordon's "Doctor at Sea" etc are funny and inoffensive (I know my elderly parents like them).

overthemill Mon 07-Mar-11 23:11:01

david niven's the moon's a balloon is good

snice Mon 07-Mar-11 23:12:59

I remember my mother being outraged by Niven and not finishing it as it was 'rude'. I think it has tales of visiting a prostitute.

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