10 of the Funniest Books We’ve Ever Read: EPL Staff Favourites

Have you ever read something that made you snort with laughter? Found yourself chuckling or *gasp* even giggling at a read that was literally laugh-out-loud funny?

These are the books that made us roar with laughter and snort so loud that people may have started to stare…

Whether you’re obsessed with everything humourous or you could just use a good laugh, these funny book picks are for you.

All books are free to borrow with your library card. Don’t have one? Sign up for free online.

1. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Mental illness, crippling depression, taxidermy—hardly funny subjects… right? Not when Jenny Lawson’s at the helm. In this side-splitting collection of essays, Lawson talks about the importance of embracing everything that makes you who you are and finding the joy in all of it, sharing a ton of wacky anecdotes along the way.

Bonus points: Lawson reads the audiobook herself, resulting in plenty of extra funny.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation:Furiously Happy had me laughing out loud. I love this book because Lawson tackles her crippling depression and anxiety with an amazing sense of humour.” — Ivana Vicentijevic, Library Assistant at Whitemud Crossing Branch

2. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

In this collection of essays, humourist David Sedaris shares witty observations and strange stories about everything from his oddball family to his move to Paris and struggles to learn French.

Bonus: Sedaris is also a public speaker who does readings of his stories; he reads the audiobook himself and it’s well worth the listen.

Me Talk Pretty One Day is available as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and streaming audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “If you have yet to discover David Sedaris’ audiobooks, do it now! The audiobook had me laugh-crying so hard on a road trip last summer—so much so that I want to make it a road trip tradition.” — Kyla Lee, Library Assistant at Calder Branch

3. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Emma Corrigan has secrets. About her job. About her boyfriend. About her family. After a disastrous work trip, her plane hits some turbulence and the secrets start to spill out to the handsome stranger in the next seat. Emma’s ready to pass it off as an embarrassing memory until her worst nightmare comes to life and the stranger on the plane turns out to be her elusive boss.

Can You Keep a Secret? Is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and DAISY accessible audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “It’s a cover-your-mouth-to-hold-in-the-giggles type of story. I first listened to it on a road trip with my mom and we could both relate so well with the main character and her secrets. We kept looking at each other and laughing instead of keeping our eyes on the road!” — Danielle Deschamps, Mobile Library Assistant at Riverbend Branch

4. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Intended as a travel guide, Three Men in a Boat tells the story of three unprepared men and one dog during a witty and unpredictable journey up the Thames. Along the way, the group encounters menacing swans, endures the English weather and discovers the joy of roughing it.

Fun fact: though it was originally published over 200 years ago, this book has never been out of print. It has also been ranked by Esquire UK as one of the 20 funniest books ever written.

Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog) is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and streaming audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “The antics of the three men and their dog had me snorting with laughter to the point that my husband wanted to know what I was reading. We ended up reading it out loud together and there were times that we could barely read through our laughter. The comic elements of this book have a timelessness that is amazing!” — Rena Backstrom, Library Assistant at Capilano Branch

5. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh brings her hilarious blog to print in this entertaining book. Filled with funny stories and complex emotions, all relayed through deceptively simple drawings created with a computer “paintbrush,” Brosh’s work is totally unique.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened is available as a book and eBook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “Allie is a powerful storyteller, who recasts seemingly everyday events into the funniest thing you have ever read/seen depicted in neon-coloured stick figure-y images. I recommended it to a friend, who was reading it when commuting, but had to stop as she was laughing so hard people on the train thought that she was deranged.” — Amy Fisher, Fund Development Assistant in the Fund Development Department

6. Lamb by Christopher Moore

While the birth of Jesus and his later actions have been well-documented, not much was known about his younger days. Until now. Told from the perspective of the Messiah’s best friend Biff, Lamb is a hilarious and heartfelt look at the son of God.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “I laughed so hard I had to put the book down to breathe. Every library should have something in it to offend its customers; for some this would be the book.” — Andrea Thompson-Dick, Library Assistant at Heritage Valley Branch

7. Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

In the follow-up to her wildly popular essay collection Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Kaling tackles love, friendship, Hollywood, beauty and more, resulting in a hilarious—and insightful—volume.

Bonus points: Kaling reads the audiobook herself.

Why Not Me? is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “I read Mindy’s first book in a traditional format and seemed a little bit nutty giggling to myself on the bus, but her second book I listened to as an audiobook and was not just giggling to myself but full-on laughing out loud. Mindy is hilarious and hearing her deliver her lines was next-level good.” — Marina Fernandes, Communications Coordinator in the Marketing and Communications Department

8. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The first book in the Thursday Next series, The Eyre Affair takes place in an alternate universe and follows the adventures of literary detective, Thursday Next. When someone starts kidnapping characters from their books and holding them ransom, it’s up to Next to dive into classic novel Jane Eyre and fix things.

The Eyre Affair is available as a book, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, which begins with The Eyre Affair, is an excellent source of giggles, particularly for book nerds. Filled with puns, ridiculous scenarios and plenty of bookish references, these books are an utter delight.” — Beth Wortman, Collections Librarian in the Collection Management and Access Division

9. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Comedian Tina Fey takes readers on a journey through her often odd and frequently entertaining life, from childhood through Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, sharing nuggets of wisdom along the way.

Bonus: Fey reads the Bossypants audiobook herself.

Bossypants is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “It literally is laugh out loud funny—particularly the audiobook, because she reads it to you and everything is funnier when Tina Fey says it.” — Tina Thomas, Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation

10. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Dubbed America’s funniest science writer by the Washington Post, Mary Roach explores the sometimes hilariously bizarre world of space simulations and experiments designed to determine just how to keep humans alive in an environment devoid of so many basic necessities.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void is available as a book, eBook and audiobook CD.

EPL Staff Recommendation: “For non-fiction fans, anything by Mary Roach is laugh-out-loud funny. I particularly like the audiobooks. My kids have walked in on me numerous times listening to Roach's descriptions—think NASA transmissions during a space toilet breakdown, for example—and they always stop, look very, very puzzled and then ask, ‘What are you listening to?’”

Want more funny? We’ve got plenty more books—fiction and non-fiction, funny and serious—to choose from.

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