Thursday, July 15, 2010

Papakura Library guest post: Top 5 books or series that cause others to stare at you because you are laughing so much

List by Emily

“I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at.”
- Anonymous

My last Top 5 list was on humorous films, and this time I’ve chosen five humourous books or series that in my opinion are sure to tickle your funny bone. The list has a variety of books that I have enjoyed, including two crime fiction series, two non-fiction series and a biography.

As the title implies, all these books have resulted in me laughing out loud and garnering stares from those around me. So if you don’t mind risking bringing attention to yourself whilst reading, delve into something from this list.

“Jetlag travel guide” books / Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch
Molvania : a land untouched by modern dentistry
Phaic Tan : sunstroke on a shoe string
San Sombrèro : a land of carnivals, cocktails and coups

Emily’s note: These books are set out just like a Lonely Planet or similar travel guide, but are about fictional and rather dubious destinations. There is no need to read these books cover to cover, so they are great fun to simply browse through when you want something humourous to brighten your day.

“Bubbles Yablonsky” series / Sarah Strohmeyer

Emily’s note: This crime fiction series covers the adventures and misadventures of Bubbles Yablonsky – a (so aptly described on Wikipedia) high-energy beautician-cum-rookie-reporter, who is a self-described "Polish-Lithuanian Barbie doll”. While not quite up to the standard of Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series, the books are still a good read for those who enjoy screwball mysteries, with plenty of laughter inducing moments.

Lonely Planet’s “Signspotting” books / compiled by Doug Lansky
Signspotting : absurd & amusing signs from around the world
Signspotting 2 : more absurd & amusing signs from around the world

Emily’s note: These two books contain a wonderful collection of photographs of signs that will amuse you with their humour – sometimes intentional, but mostly unintentional. The signs come from locations around the world, including some found here in NZ, and apparently are all real (which considering how absurd some of them are, just goes to prove that fact is stranger than fiction!).

Early bird / Rodney Rothman
Everyone says they would like to retire early, but Rodney Rothman actually did it - forty years early. Burnt out, he decides at the age of twenty-eight to get an early start on his golden years. He travels to Boca Raton, Florida, where he moves in with an elderly piano teacher at Century Village, a retirement community that is home to thousands of senior citizens." "Early Bird is an irreverent account of Rodney's journey deep into the heart of retirement. Rodney struggles for acceptance from the senior citizens he shares a swimming pool with, and battles with cranky octogenarians who want him off their turf. The day-to-day dealings begin to wear on him." "Rodney throws himself into the spirit of retirement, fashioning a busy schedule of suntanning, shuffleboard, and gambling cruises. As the months pass, his neighbors seem to forget that he is fifty years younger than they are. He finds himself the potential romantic interest of an aging femme fatale. He joins a senior softball club and is disturbed to learn that he is the worst player on the team. For excitement he rides along with a volunteer police officer on patrol, hunting for crime. But even the criminals in his community seem to have retired.

Emily’s note: “Everyone says they would like to retire early, but Rodney Rothman actually did it - forty years early”. That is the premise of this hilarious memoir, about a twenty-eight year old who moves to a retirement community in Florida, and lives among those who are half a century older than him. His experiences and the wonderful assortment of characters he meets are a blast to read about, and for someone who doesn’t usually read biographies, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t help but read out excerpts to my husband.

“Stephanie Plum” series / Janet Evanovich

Emily’s note: Hilarious, side-splitting, tear inducing, uproarious – just a few of the ways to describe the series of books about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Every single person I know who has read these books adores this series and the books really should come with a disclaimer: “Most likely will cause reader to snort and guffaw”. I was recently reading the latest book in the series, Sizzling sixteen, while traveling on the train, and could not hold myself back from audibly chuckling. An absolute delight!

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