70 of the Funniest Books of All Time
Get ready to wake up the person sleeping next to you. Here are dozens of funny books guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
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Laugh-out-loud funny books
Between pandemic stress and geopolitical angst, we need laughter now more than ever. But good comedy doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects. No, many of the best humor authors dive right in. Well-written humor often includes profound perspectives and self-aware stories about the author’s own foibles. And we firmly believe that some of the best books of all time are also incredibly funny books.
Ask Reader’s Digest Book Club members about the authors that leave them in stitches, and they’ll point to the masters: Erma Bombeck, David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson. And you can’t go wrong with the entire Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich—more than a handful of book clubbers cite them as some of the funniest books they’ve ever read.
To compile a list of books guaranteed to make you chuckle, we thumbed through bestseller lists, reader ratings and critical reviews, and we asked the bookworms of the Reader’s Digest Book Club for their favorites. Whether you enjoy fiction books or nonfiction books, memoirs, feel-good stories or something in between, there’s something for you in these hilarious and heartwarming picks.
Join the free Reader’s Digest Book Club for great reads, monthly discussions, author Q&As and a community of book lovers.
1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Genre: Humorous fiction
John Kennedy Toole won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his epic 1987 novel. In short, A Confederacy of Dunces is a modern masterpiece and hands-down one of the greatest comedy books of all time. Prepare for a madcap adventure with hilarious descriptions, funny sayings and a brilliant plot that follows the tragicomic hero, Ignatius J. Reilly, through a series of zany scenes and exploits.
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2. Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema by Lindy West
In her 2020 release, Lindy West goes back to her movie critic roots to hilariously critique well-known films in pop culture, from Twilight to The Notebook to Forrest Gump and The Lion King. And let’s just say you’re going to want to add this one to your TBR list immediately. When I tell you this book is full of literal laugh-out-loud commentary, believe me. (I swear I was laughing nonstop.) Or read for yourself to find out.
3. This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack
I truly think this incredibly humorous and heartfelt memoir deserves more recognition. In her 2017 collection of personal essays, Erin Chack explores her first chemotherapy session at age 19, studying abroad in London, meeting her soulmate in high school, using a menstrual cup for the first time—and so much more. With fresh humor, laugh-out-loud introspection and an enlightening and entertaining voice, this is one book you won’t want to miss.
4. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Ottessa Moshfegh’s 2018 darkly humorous, satirical novel is told from the viewpoint of an unreliable and self-proclaimed beautiful narrator who has graduated from Columbia University and lives in New York City. The unnamed narrator of My Year of Rest and Relaxation is trendy and pretty, but she’s also unhappy. That’s when she comes up with a plan: She’ll spend the year sleeping under the influence of prescribed medication—resting. After all, her wacky and not-so-ethical therapist is prescribing the pills, so it really can’t be any easier. But the more she ascends into sleep, the more she begins to alienate herself from the world, including her best friend.
5. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibbert nails humor every single time in her Brown Sisters romance book series, but one of my favorites is the third book. In Act Your Age, Eve Brown, we follow the youngest sibling. Eve is a little bit of a mess and is struggling to figure out what she wants to do in life when she comes across a bed-and-breakfast and decides to apply for an open position. She doesn’t quite ace her interview, and things worsen when she accidentally hits owner Jacob Wayne with her car. To try and make things right, she offers her assistance around his B&B and, eventually, the two become close.
6. The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
Genre: Historical fiction fantasy
With sharp, dry and witty humor and a uniquely entertaining plot, India Holton’s 2021 historical fiction book is a fantastical rom-com you won’t soon forget. Set in the Victorian era, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels focuses on Cecilia Bassingwaite, who’s forced to team up with handsome assassin Ned Lightbourne to save the members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority. Come for the antics, stay for the adventure.
7. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
Genre: Essay collection
Nora Ephron was the screenwriter behind rom-com gems Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, and as I Feel Bad About My Neck proves, her writing is as powerful on the page as onscreen. In this 2006 essay collection, she wrote with humor and relatable honesty about her observations as a woman of a certain age. You’ll laugh, cry and feel like you’re listening to a close friend. For more great reads that tackle what it means to be a woman, check out these feminist books.
8. Have I Told You This Already? Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember by Lauren Graham
Genre: Personal essays
Lauren Graham is best known for playing Lorelei Gilmore on the classic TV show Gilmore Girls, but her 2022 collection of personal essays proves she’s also an insightful, honest and funny writer. Graham shares true stories that have happened in her life, many of which focus on family, friendship, stardom and growing up. Readers don’t have to know Graham to enjoy her insights either. She covers everything from behind-the-scenes antics on late-night shows to orange trees, New York, bras, ageism in the industry, adopting a dog and her mother, all with the voice of a comedian.
9. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Ashley Herring Blake’s 2022 novel is both a witty and steamy queer romance, a worthy rom-com through and through. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care follows the titular character, who didn’t think she’d find herself back in Bright Falls. But when she’s offered a big paycheck to photograph her stepsister Astrid’s wedding, she hops on a plane. Claire Sutherland is a single mom who’s raised her 11-year-old daughter mostly on her own, and she’s also one of Astrid’s closest friends. Delilah has always thought of Claire as stuck up, but the more time they spend with each other during the wedding festivities, the closer the two become.
10. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Those who like dark, satirical humor in their fiction should check out Oyinkan Braithwaite’s 2018 novel, My Sister, the Serial Killer. This suspenseful story follows a Nigerian woman named Korede, whose younger sister, Ayoola, has made a bad habit of killing her boyfriends. But in every instance, Korede is there when Ayoola needs her—for better or worse. Sounds tense, right? But believe it or not, this definitely belongs on our list of the best funny books. Braithwaite infuses the book with such humor and fun that you’ll laugh your way through.
11. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
Firoozeh Dumas’s engaging and entertaining 2003 memoir depicts her move from Iran to Whittier, California. In Funny in Farsi, you’ll get antics about her mother, father and the rest of her big family, as well as heartfelt and humorous stories of growing up in a new country.
12. Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood by Andrew Rannells
Fans of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon and HBO’s Girls will enjoy the star’s humorous recollection of memories, which he lays out in his 2019 memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough. Andrew Rannells recalls moving to New York from Omaha in 1997, seizing the opportunity to transform, going through awful auditions and awkward encounters, and doing everything in his power to chase his dreams. Looking for even more great reads? Pick up a book based on your favorite TV show.
13. Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
Genre: Personal essays
In Samantha Irby’s 2020 essay collection, Wow, No Thank You, she openly shares sharp and conversational insights about marriage, living in a small town, turning 40, achieving success and much more. It’s poignant and funny—and downright entertaining.
14. Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson
Genre: Personal essays
In her 2018 essay collection, Phoebe Robinson’s voice shines as she discusses feminism, beauty standards, toxic masculinity and the terrible things we, as humans, endure in this one life we have. It’s charming, relatable and a refreshing reminder that at least we don’t have to go through the hard things alone. If funny one-liners make you laugh, this is the book for you.
15. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong
If you’ve just finished bingeing Beef (one of the best new comedies on Netflix), pick up this standout memoir from star Ali Wong. Through letters that are addressed to her daughters, the comedian deftly tackles myriad personal topics with her signature humor. Published in 2019, Dear Girls discusses everything she’s learned within the comedy landscape, reconnecting with her Vietnamese culture, growing up in San Francisco and much more.
16. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Genre: YA contemporary fiction
Sure, this YA novel may have been published in 1999, but it’s a perfectly timeless tale about the woes of teenagedom as told by the ever-hilarious Georgia Nicolson. With laugh-out-loud angst (and I don’t use “out loud” lightly) and relatable embarrassing moments, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging guides readers through the ups and downs of being a teen.
17. I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson
Genre: Personal essays
Fans of Broad City will love I Might Regret This, a 2018 collection of essays from the sitcom’s co-creator and co-star. Abbi Jacobson’s sharp, poignant and humorous reflections center on themes of love, adulthood, comedy, identity and so much more.
18. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Genre: Young adult historical fiction
Sharp, funny and filled with humorous antics, this YA adventure follows Monty, a young bisexual British lord, and his best friend, Percy, as they begin their grand tour of Europe. The problem? Monty is secretly in love with Percy, and thanks to a tiny, slightly reckless (OK, totally reckless) mistake, he’s no longer looking at a trip filled with wooing his best friend into falling in love with him. He’s now part of a dangerous manhunt. When you’re done, round out your reading by picking up the other novels in this must-read teen book series.
19. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Genre: Humorous fiction
Good news for fans of this 2021 novel: Dial A for Aunties is only the first in an entire series of funny books about Meddelin Chan’s meddling mother hens. The unfortunate events leading to Meddelin’s accidental murder of her blind date would make a great cozy mystery but for the fact that readers—and the protagonist—know who committed the deed. So instead of hunting a killer, Meddelin and her aunties are tasked with disposing of a body, going undercover at a high-society wedding and maybe even wooing back an old flame in the meantime. It’s comedy gold.
If you’re a fan of this one but are in the mood for an actual cozy mystery, pick up Sutanto’s Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers. Reader’s Digest books editor Tracey Neithercott read it in a single weekend, snickering from start to finish. “I did not expect to love this book as much as I did,” she says. “But I was hooked from page one by the playful voice and wild situations Vera found herself in. Add in a found family, a murder investigation and plenty of humor, and you get a highly entertaining read.”
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
This 1999 classic—you might recognize the rom-com movie adaptation of the same name—is both laugh-out-loud funny and charmingly relatable. Bridget, a 30-something singleton, struggles with societal beauty standards, professional and intimate relationships, and the ups and downs of her day job in the heartfelt and hilariously self-deprecating Bridget Jones’s Diary.
21. Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta
Next on our list of must-read funny books is Tom Perrotta’s 2022 novel, which People called “engrossing and mordantly funny.” So what makes this book about ambition and teenage politics so sidesplittingly caustic? Tracy Flick, the overachieving heroine of Perrotta’s 1998 book Election, is back in the post-#MeToo era, and she’s ready to shed more light on gender politics with Perrotta’s signature dark-comedic style. It’s not exactly satire, and it’s not exactly lighthearted fiction, but Tracy Flick Can’t Win is guaranteed to make you laugh. That’s one reason it’s such a worthy selection for your next book club read.
22. Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk knows comedy. He’s been a writer for Saturday Night Live and an actor on the darkly funny hit Breaking Bad. So it’s no wonder his 2022 memoir, Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, is one of the best funny books to read. Throughout the pages, Odenkirk details his career as an entertainer, and the result is a new showbiz classic that will elicit more than a few chuckles. Looking for a quicker laugh? Stand-up comedian Zach Zimmerman’s short but hilarious essay will do the trick.
23. Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
Put this down as one of the funniest books of 2022. Perhaps you know Molly Shannon from her Saturday Night Live years. Or maybe you’re a new fan, thanks to Showtime’s fresh comedy series I Love That for You. Either way, Hello, Molly! is a win for comedy lovers. The comedian’s autobiographical book is equally hilarious and heartbreaking, funny and family oriented. After losing her mother at a young age, Shannon was raised by an ever-grieving father. Interwoven with behind-the-scenes showbiz stories is the tale of a woman navigating family, fame and the balance of both.
24. I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife & Motherhood by Jessi Klein
Genre: Personal essays
An essay collection might not be the first thing on your mind when asked to imagine a stack of funny books. But this 2022 New York Times bestseller about middle age and motherhood has gotten high praise from readers in search of wisdom and wit. Publishers Weekly nailed the description of the work: “Klein makes readers laugh while inspiring them, a feat that calls to mind the work of the late Nora Ephron.” After devouring this one, browse more books for mothers and daughters to read together.
25. Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris
David Sedaris has facilitated an endless stream of wry humor for many years. His 2022 essay collection strikes funny bones again but this time with poignant, pricelessly droll views on how life changed during and after pandemic lockdowns. The pages are filled with delicate, buoyant takes on everything from quarantine hobbies to the impending death of a parent. As always, Sedaris spins weighty topics into something we can all smile about, if only for a moment. It’s no travelogue, but this belongs on your list of beach reads.
26. Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby has already made a name for herself as an international stand-up comedian. With Ten Steps to Nanette, she earns top marks as a debut author. But what makes this 2022 memoir stand out from the crowd of other funny books is its heartfelt dive into Gadsby’s fraught relationship with the comedy world. The book details her comedy career as a member of the queer community, her grappling with twin diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally, her commitment to raw honesty, whether it’s funny or not. Don’t miss this and more of the best LGBTQ+ books.
27. You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Who’s ready for more romance? Not the protagonist of Sarah Hogle’s 2020 debut novel, You Deserve Each Other. The trouble is that Naomi Westfield is engaged to be married to her exasperating, frustrating, oddly doting partner, Nicholas Rose. Breaking up with Nicholas is impossible, since neither wants to foot the bill for the lavish, nonrefundable wedding reception. This hilarious, sarcastic enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story belongs on your short list of fictional comedies to read this year. As Reader’s Digest books editor Tracey Neithercott says, “I went in expecting a light, run-of-the-mill rom-com but found myself laughing out loud at Naomi’s descriptions of Nicholas’s less-than-lovable habits and scenes with her future monster-in-law.”
28. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Genre: Young adult
Megan McCafferty may have introduced readers to Jessica Darling back in 2001 with the publication of Sloppy Firsts, but her sharp, witty voice makes this classic YA novel feel fresh. Anyone who has ever come of age knows how awful it can feel, but it’s definitely made worse when your best friend moves away. I mean, who is she supposed to talk to about Marcus Flutie? And her nagging mother? It’s one of those relatable, fun stories that makes readers want to revisit it again and again.
29. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: One Introvert’s Year of Saying Yes by Jessica Pan
Jessica Pan’s chronicle of a year of trying to become an extrovert was one of the funniest books of 2019. In a gentle, self-deprecating fashion, Pan describes her adventures in pushing herself past her comfort zone while inspiring readers to try to do the same. From taking an improv class to hosting a dinner, Pan’s hilarious escapades read as heartwarming and relatable to introverts and extroverts alike. When you’ve read the last page, check out more can’t-miss new book releases.
30. I’m More Dateable than a Plate of Refried Beans: And Other Romantic Observations by Ginny Hogan
Genre: Short stories
Are you fed up with the trials and tribulations of modern dating? If so, this 2022 read was made for you. Comedian Ginny Hogan offers a smattering of relationship tales about everything from first dates to breakups to weddings. The best part? They’re all told through a lens of self-awareness about the absurdity of relationship quizzes, dating apps and other newfangled attempts to unravel the mysteries of love. It’s infotainment at its finest.
31. Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
Smash together humor writing, steamy romance and coming-of-age themes into a national bestseller. What do you get? Funny You Should Ask, Elissa Sussman’s 2022 novel about a reporter with the hots for her superstar interviewee. Told in two timelines—the fateful first interview, then a second that unfolds 10 years later—this book is a delight for fans of second-chance romances, sizzling meet-cutes and witty banter.
32. We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff
There’s nothing funny about the horrific history of Native Americans, who were mistreated and discriminated against. But when comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff compiles the stories of early and modern Indigenous comedians, you get a beautiful blend of history, education and dark comedy. Dubbed one of the best books of 2021 by Esquire and NPR, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem should also inspire you to read more books by Native American authors.
33. You’re Funny for A… by Sophia Zarders
Genre: Humorous nonfiction
This illustrated collection of profiles of LGBTQ+ and female comedians hit bookstores in late 2022. Pick up a copy to laugh, sure, but also to be inspired and motivated by the stories of these scrappy jokesters. It’s the perfect coffee table book or holiday gift for comedy lovers. It’s also a stellar introduction to new and emerging talent in showbiz.
34. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
If you’re on the hunt for critically lauded funny reading books, Paul Beatty has you covered. The author’s 2016 comic novel is made for those who revel in intricate sentences that sparkle with such extreme wit that you pause, sit back, smile and think. This highly acclaimed book won multiple awards, including the Man Booker Prize. You’ll follow a caustic narrator on trial before the Supreme Court in a story that challenges American tenets around race, politics and history.
35. The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis
You may be familiar with Jenifer Lewis from her turn in the must-see sitcom Black-ish, in which she plays Ruby Johnson. Or maybe you’ve watched her in one of the hundreds of other roles she’s had in film and television, usually cast as a scene-stealing mom. Her hilarious and heartfelt 2018 memoir offers a gripping, can’t-put-it-down account of her career as an actress as well as a chronicle of the trials and triumphs in her personal life along the way. Her writing crackles with the same wit and dazzle she brings to the stage and screen.
36. Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
Patricia Lockwood’s deeply funny 2018 memoir about an unconventional religious upbringing in Kansas won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. In Priestdaddy, she chronicles how she and her husband moved into her parent’s home, a rectory, throwing themselves, as she puts it, “on the mercy of the church.” From there, she details her coming-of-age amid her father’s conversion to Catholicism with sharp, funny prose that brims with insight and humor.
37. Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman
John Hodgman fills Vacationland, his low-key travelogue, with his characteristic deadpan wit and wry self-deprecation. Published in 2018, Hodgman’s memoir chronicles middle age, masculinity and privilege with a blunt insight that’s a perfect fit for the subject matter. Cement yourself as child of the year by ordering a copy of the book for Father’s Day or your dad’s birthday.
38. Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell
Nell Scovell was in many of the rooms where it happens in Hollywood. Her memoir, Just the Funny Parts, takes the reader into what she calls the “Hollywood Boys’ Club,” revealing the inner workings of an industry in which she was often the only woman working in a group of men. Scovell wrote for David Letterman, as well as for hit TV shows like The Simpsons and Murphy Brown. This 2018 title is both a hilarious and wise take on gender in the workplace.
39. Cool, Calm and Contentious by Merrill Markoe
Genre: Personal essays
In this 2012 series of poignant essays, comedian and writer Merrill Markoe displays what she calls her compulsive impulse to recast the disagreeable as funny. She starts off delving into the mysteries of her mother’s harsh but funny remarks and continues with laugh-out-loud stories that wrestle what’s difficult into full-fledged humor. Essay collections may not be your go-to book genre, but this bright and hilarious tale may convince you to give more of them a try.
40. Weird but Normal by Mia Mercado
Give your inner weirdo what it wants with this 2020 title. Mia Mercado’s refreshing and relatable brand of humor takes on the everyday foibles of being human and recasts them as harrowing and hilarious. Her comedic timing entwines with insights on race, gender and identity through honest observations about the norms and weirdnesses of our modern world.
41. Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Genre: Young adult
Fans of Louise Rennison’s funny young adult novels adore her wild and witty heroines. Published in 2012, Withering Tights takes place at a performing arts college in the Yorkshire Dales, a setting our imaginative heroine considers just like Wuthering Heights—except with more drama. Lovable narrator Talullah has a series of comic misadventures in book one of a series filled with zany and awkward farce and frolic. On the hunt for even more laughs? These ’80s cartoons will make you giggle.
42. I Can’t Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux
Genre: Personal essays
With boldness and brilliance that’s both funny and profound, Michael Arceneaux explores what it’s like to be Black and gay in America in his 2018 book, I Can’t Date Jesus. In a penetrating and relatable voice, Arceneaux takes on cultural bigotry and division and shows everyone how to emerge unscathed, strong and emboldened. It’s a journey about unlearning the worst of the world and embracing who you are.
43. Build Your Own Christmas Movie Romance by Riane Konc
Fans of Choose Your Own Adventure books already know the pleasures and anxieties of carving out a path for a book’s protagonist. That’s even harder during the holidays, especially when a muscular hunk is involved. Indulge the hilarity of Christmas and bask in the conventions of rom-coms with Riane Konc’s Build Your Own Christmas Movie Romance. The interactive and deeply comic 2019 Christmas book is frisky fun for any time of the year.
44. Shrill by Lindy West
Lindy West’s brilliant, biting 2017 book about being a woman with lots to say was adapted into a Hulu TV show of the same name. And while it’s worth a watch, you’re going to want to read the book as well. In the bestselling Shrill, West writes about her experiences navigating her career as a writer—and a funny one—in a world in which women aren’t considered funny. She writes with scathing honesty about misogyny, fatphobia and her experience with internet trolls. West will inspire you to get brave and show you how to find your inner courage.
45. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Genre: Humor essays
Fans of the famed humorist Davis Sedaris have a hard time picking out their favorite book or essay from his chuckle-inducing bestselling collection, which is why you’ll find more than one of them on our list. In Me Talk Pretty One Day, published in 2001, Sedaris chronicles his fish-out-of-water adventures in Paris with brilliant wit, proving why he’s considered one of the best humor writers of all time.
46. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell hosts CNN’s United Shades of America and is known for the affable humor he brings to difficult subjects, such as structural racism. His insightful, funny 2018 memoir blends pop-culture commentary with educational truth-telling. His awkward thoughts are anything but as they pull readers into a narrative worthy of a stand-up comedy routine that changes hearts and minds.
47. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Readers who like romance novels with a fresh, fun voice will find that in Christina Lauren’s 2019 book. The Unhoneymooners centers on a woman named Olive who has to endure her sister’s wedding alongside the best man, Ethan (aka her worst enemy). But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning—except Olive and Ethan—the two embark on her sister’s all-expenses-paid honeymoon to Hawaii for a free vacation. And when a run-in with her future boss leads Ethan and Olive into a lie of fake dating, hilarity ensues.
48. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tina Fey’s 2011 memoir bubbles over with wry observations about her life experience and the human condition itself. Fey describes events in her early years, how she finally got a writing gig on Saturday Night Live and the ins and outs of being a woman in the entertainment biz. Fans of this book describe laughing out loud and erupting in giggles all the way through.
49. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Two stellar writers teamed up in 1990 for this uproarious romp about the end times. Even the subtitle—The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch—is a laugh. Both authors are known for their powerfully original and hilarious novels about all things madcap and fantastical. You’ll be amazed by their joint foray into the world of witches, angels and demons, a fast-paced tale that’ll keep you rapt and laughing throughout. When you’re done, you can catch the TV show on Amazon Prime.
50. Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick
Genre: Short stories
Adam Resnick masters the hilarity of woebegone cynicism in this 2014 series of stories that includes a riff on avoiding parties as a child and resisting his fellow second-graders—especially boys, “with their cretinous obsession with weaponry and construction vehicles.” Get ready for witty writing that pulls you into tales about being neurotic, human and comically antisocial.
51. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Readers who love hilarious banter and fiction filled with tropes will love all Emily Henry‘s romance books. But they’ll fall especially hard for her 2022 novel, Book Lovers, which leans more toward the rom-com end of the scale. Nora Stephens is a take-no-crap literary agent living in New York City who agrees to a vacation with her younger sister in the small town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. When she bumps into brooding book editor Charlie Lastra—the very editor who dissed her client’s last book—the two end up growing closer as Nora attempts to be the heroine of her own story.
52. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Genre: Family-life fiction
Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel This Is Where I Leave You follows the dysfunctional antics of the Foxman family. They’ve gathered together for their father’s funeral, but the loss brings buried angst to the surface in a way that’s both heartbreaking and funny. Get ready for acerbic quips and a family that tosses one-liners at one another like grenades.
53. Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Genre: Short stories
Students may complain that classic books are dense and dry, but here’s proof that older titles can still leave you laughing. First published in the U.K. in 1925, P.G. Wodehouse’s Carry On, Jeeves serves up classic British humor in the form of short stories. The collection zeroes in on the inept aristocrat Wooster and his manservant, or “keeper,” Jeeves. Wooster and his bevy of hapless friends constantly get into trouble, while Jeeves saves the day. The writing is full of upper-crust wit that will impress you while making you giggle.
54. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah, the former host of The Daily Show, writes with effortless wit and intelligence as he characterizes the absurdity of being “born a crime”—in South Africa, the union between his (White) Swiss father and (Black) Xhosa mother carried a prison sentence of five years. In this 2016 memoir, Noah tells stories of his difficult boyhood alongside a fearless mother determined to protect him. His wisecracks punctuate tales that won’t fail to move you.
55. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson’s 1998 comic tale (adapted for film in 2015) is the official travel guide of the Appalachian Trail, the 2,100-mile stretch along the Eastern seaboard that he calls the “granddaddy of long hikes.” He chronicles his experience in a book that’s ultimately about the American wilderness: its conservation and its history. But the topic is secondary to his command of the English language—the driest details become comedy gold when spun through his hilariously literary voice. Fans of A Walk in the Woods can follow up their reading by watching the movie adaptation of the same name.
56. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
Issa Rae, of the hit HBO show Insecure, recounts what it’s like to be a social misfit in a way that’s effortlessly lovable and totally relatable. Her 2015 book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, shares a name with the hit web series that catapulted her to stardom. Being awkward is rarely this brilliant, brave and beautiful, and in Rae’s insightful writing, it’s also incredibly funny.
57. It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro
Published in 2011, Laurie Notaro’s hilarious slice-of-life memoir turns mundane challenges into comedy treasures. This bestseller begins in the dressing room of a chic boutique, and Notaro’s riffs on shopping, price tags and the fantasy of what a great blouse might do for you are sidesplittingly funny. She muses that stores should have “courtesy volcanoes” outside dressing rooms so women can toss themselves in after discovering their total inadequacy in certain lighting. You won’t be able to stop reading, and you’ll laugh the whole time.
58. Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Justin Halpern found himself living back at home with his parents after his girlfriend unexpectedly dumped him. His recently retired dad spent his time speaking in a charmingly crude vernacular, what Halpern characterizes as a “mixture of honesty and insanity.” When Halpern posted his father’s witticisms to Twitter, they took off. The 2010 Sh*t My Dad Says book picks up where the viral tweets left off. It includes more stories and a compilation of his dad’s best quotes on a variety of subjects, like this bit of slumber-party advice: “There’s chips in the cabinet and ice cream in the freezer. Stay away from knives and fire. OK, I’ve done my part. I’m going to bed.”
59. Lamb by Christopher Moore
Genre: Humorous fiction
Comic horror novelist Christopher Moore may be well known for his biting take on the vampire novel, but his spin on the gospel is perhaps even more worthy of your time. In Lamb, his popular 2002 novel, the early life of Jesus is retold by his bestie, Biff. It’s as poignant as it is hilarious, and fans admit to laughing out loud during the entirety of the story.
60. Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Genre: Humorous fiction
Fans love Carl Hiaasen’s over-the-top novels for their zany writing and bizarre scenarios. This 2013 story follows former cop Andrew Yancy as he investigates a severed arm that turns up at the end of a fishing line. The middle finger is somehow frozen in a raised position, a harbinger of the crude and funny madcap investigation to come.
61. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Genre: Classic fiction
Oscar Wilde’s famous play, written in 1915, is still considered a rollicking read. Wilde was a master of witty repartee and sarcastic quotes, and the dialogue here delivers. The story concerns two men romancing two women, and it’s filled with madcap chaos and hilarious twists and turns. Lose yourself in timeless language that still induces an impressive amount of giggles. Next, check out dozens of fantasy books that’ll transport you to magical worlds.
62. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Nobody does self-effacing humor quite like Jenny Lawson, whose Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is the hilariously irreverent book you’ve been meaning to read. Get caught up in Lawson’s lively style filled with asides, cussing and truly alluring sarcasm. This 2013 memoir became a much-loved bestseller because Lawson’s life stories are heartwarming, relatable and gut-bustingly funny.
63. Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
A riff on Judy Blume’s classic children’s book, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Chelsea Handler’s Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea sees the comedian turning to her idea of a higher power: booze. Handler’s 2009 musings are clever and engaging enough to keep you turning pages and full of enough humor to keep you laughing. With a raunchy, offensive style filled with comic punches, she lets readers in on the details of her life, both the outrageous and the mundane.
64. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Genre: Romantic comedy
In Janet Evanovich’s first Stephanie Plum novel (published in 2011), you’ll follow the exploits of a department store lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter. The eponymous Jersey girl is known for her wisecracks, cynical outlook and adventures in capturing her erstwhile hookup, the hottie Morelli. She needs the money, so why not try to apprehend an old fling? Add in some laugh-out-loud antics, and this is escapist reading at its best. Evanovich is, hands down, the author most recommended by Reader’s Digest Book Club members who are looking for a good laugh. While you’re at it, here’s how to read all Jane Evanovich books in order.
65. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling’s signature wit comes with heaping doses of brilliance in this 2012 memoir about her life as the daughter of immigrants and how she became known for her comedy. She was a writer and performer on the critically acclaimed, ever-ironic and hilariously soulful The Office. She also starred in, wrote and executive produced the hit show The Mindy Project. You’ll love laughing as you fall hard for her honest, tell-it-like-it-is voice. When you’re done, pick up one of these other great books by Asian and Pacific Islander authors.
66. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Genre: Women’s fiction
Maria Semple’s brilliantly satirical and unconventional 2013 book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, follows the story of a Seattle mom who disappears two days before Christmas. It’s up to her 15-year-old daughter to figure out what’s become of her. The women’s fiction novel unfolds through emails, texts, letters, bills and all the paperwork that makes up contemporary life. Semple infuses the story with a wry sense of humor and characters you won’t soon forget.
67. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
Genre: Adult picture book
This 2011 book is the perfect bedtime story for weary parents of small children. But be careful! You don’t want to wake up the kids—and you won’t get through it without cracking up. Adam Mansbach’s hilariously obscene bestselling picture book stole the heart of every parent who’s ever tried to get their kid to finally fall asleep. With lulling, cuss-word-laden lines of poetry and gorgeous illustrations of children sleeping near wildlife, this classic gag book remains a favorite. Just keep this one away from the kids—these children’s books about diversity are better suited to the younger set.
68. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
Genre: Humorous fiction
If you’re the kind of person who finds the epistolary form amusing and the antics of insufferable academics funny, pick up a copy of Julie Schumacher’s 2015 novel, Dear Committee Members. Told through a series of letters and emails, this effortlessly riotous tale centers on the chapfallen professor Jason Fitger. He’s a whiz at writing passive-aggressive letters of recommendation and other complaints. The plot follows up on his bleak love affairs and even bleaker grad student. It’s the best kind of sad and funny.
69. You Can’t Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson
Genre: Essay collection
Stand-up comedian Phoebe Robinson explains several important things in her bestselling 2016 book, You Can’t Touch My Hair—and you’ll find them both casually riveting and brilliant. Her prose jumps from profound to hilarious to essential, tackling topics like pop culture, gender and race in a narrative voice that’ll grip you from the start. If you’re looking for more books by Black authors to round out your reading, be sure this gem is on your list.
70. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Genre: Essay collection
Samantha Irby’s books and blogs are always funny and wise. Her 2017 essay collection, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, delivers similar profundities about our absurdist culture disguised as jokes. This one starts with her application to be on The Bachelorette, and when asked if she has any children, her answer is, “I’m counting the cat here. So, yes.” (Its name is Helen Keller.) Her hobbies include “scrolling through Facebook quickly enough that people’s stupid videos don’t start playing automatically.” Irby’s seemingly offhand quips will quickly enrapture you.
Additional reporting by Leandra Beabout and Molly Pennington, PhD.