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We All Need a Little Humor Right Now

Cindy Burnett
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Funny books

This week, Cindy Burnett highlights books that contain some humor. We can all use a good laugh right now. 

This week I am highlighting tales that contain some humor – we can all use a good laugh right now. I chose books that can provide some relief from the news and what is happening in the world around us because reading books can provide the necessary distraction we all need from the 24-hour news cycle. I find picking up a good book can provide me some respite from the worry that naturally arises.

While it is important to stay informed, it is also equally important to protect your mental health. There are only so many times that I can read the same article with minor updates before I realize I need to focus on something else for a while.

So this week, I picked books that made me laugh when I read them – most of these titles are fun, light reads like Crazy Rich Asians, but a few tackle weightier subjects (Confederates in the Attic) with a solid dose of humor.

For those who prefer fiction:

  • Class Mom by Laurie Gelman – A witty and irreverent take on parent politics in elementary school.
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - Kwan’s satirical look at the lives of the uber-rich in Singapore.
  • A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn - The delightful first book in a series filled with clever banter and solid mysteries.
  • Lift and Separate by Marilyn Rothstein – A charming and entertaining story about a woman who learns to find humor in her daily life when her husband leaves her (I promise it is funny).
  • Limelight by Amy Poeppel – A hilarious look at celebrity culture and what happens when a spoiled teenage pop star is cast in a Broadway musical.
  • Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West – An overzealous mother’s actions go viral on social media, and West chronicles the fallout that results. Read a Q&A with Kathleen West here.
  • Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes – Party Girls Die in Pearls is an addictive and frothy glimpse into the decadent ’80s complete with a classic murder mystery.
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – This breezy romance is a ton of fun to read.
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple – Told in epistolary format through notes, emails, memos, and more, Where’d You Go Bernadette is laugh-out-loud funny as well as poignant as a mother tries to rediscover herself.

For those who prefer nonfiction:

  • Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland by Dave Barry – Brimming with humor and irreverence, Best. State. Ever. is Dave Barry’s ode to his home state of Florida and what makes it so unique.
  • Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz – Horwitz does a deep dive into the Civil War reenactor movement and provides frequently wry and humorous (and at times downright chilling) commentary on the South’s view of the Civil War in the 1990s.
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – Witty essays by the actress about her life, Hollywood, and friendship.
  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson – A Walk in the Woods remains my favorite book by Bryson, and if you have not read it you must! He will lead you down the Appalachian trail in the most amusing way possible.
  • Would Everybody Please Stop?: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas by Jenny Allen – Allen writes a frequently hilarious, occasionally more serious, collection of essays about life in today’s world.

Happy reading! Small businesses will be particularly hard hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus – remember to shop local. The fabulous indie bookstores here in Houston all ship to almost anywhere so they can easily supply you with books.

I hope everyone stays well, and if you are traveling over spring break, safe travels.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram or Cindy’s Reading Recs.

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