Tuesday, February 23, 2021

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books that Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Humour is a tricky thing. I get nervous when a book is advertised as 'hilarious' or 'laugh out loud funny' because I've been fooled a bit by this. It could just be my humour doesn't match the blurber, and my list may not tickle your funny bone. But these are the books that I remember as funny. I'll be looking for other lists that somewhat match my list to find some new funny books. Check out That Artsy Reader Girl for future topics and other lists.

Beat the Reaper by Josh Brazill
Ridiculous, unbelievable, but also funny

Extreme Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean
This only represents all the Stuart McLean stories, and you read this one with the late Stuart's voice in your head. If this is the one with the Waterslide, then that is the one that makes me laugh the most.

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz (or any of the Spellmans)
This is a meta humourous book, and I've read reviews that found the emails in between chapters not necessary, but that is the whole book! That's the funny part. 

She Got Up Off the Couch and other heroic stories from Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel
The sequel to an also funny A Girl Named Zippy, this memoir has some depth as well

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
I went through a spell where I read Bridget Jones every year, because it amused me so much. The movie is also very funny, especially the fight scene between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. But Bridget is so funny herself!


I Want to Go Home or This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall by Gordon Korman
These books go back to my childhood, but I still remember being unable to read because I was laughing so hard. 

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Another book where hearing the author's voice is a part of the fun. Even if I don't listen to an audiobook, I hear Sarah Vowell in my head. This book is her going on vacation to investigate the assassination of various presidents of the US. See, funny topic!

Redshirts by John Scalzi
An audacious plot that by the time you get to the end, your head will be spinning. But it is still funny

Paper Towns by John Green (the road trip section)
I remember giggling out loud at 2 in the morning while reading the road trip section and trying not to wake my husband.

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
As you might expect from Hugh Laurie, this espionage-spy thriller is also full of laughs.

Not David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs

Running With Scissors was particularly jarring as a 'funny' book. I did not find this book funny at all. At all. And I've read a few Sedaris and I guess I don't get them. 

I left off the funny ladies of Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Poehler and I did find their memoirs funny, but maybe not laugh out loud. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021



Here's a little Canadian - American difference: I would call today Shrove Tuesday or maybe Pancake Tuesday, but it is more known as Mardi Gras in the United States. I've only had pancakes on Tuesday but I guess it is more of a celebration in the States. I was certainly aware of New Orleans Mardi Gras but it must be more than just there. The colours of Mardi Gras are purple, green and yellow and that is the theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday - books cover colours. These are books I own but haven't read yet. For more lists and future Top Ten Tuesday plans, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.
Are you eating pancakes tonight?

Tuesday, February 9, 2021



It's a Love Freebie this week, as Valentine's Day approaches. I found ten books with Love in their title. Some are from my favourite ongoing series, some are nonfiction, and some are truly love stories. Check out That Artsy Reader Girl for other lists, and to see some future TTT topics.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
I haven't seen the series yet, but the delightful relationship between Lara Jean and Peter makes this a great YA sereis

Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
This is a quiet story (obvs, by Carol Shields) but no less a love story.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
This is a crazy YA story about students at a spy boarding school. Lots of outrageous fun but no real love story.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella
I read this Kinsella story last year and remembered how good Kinsella is at the light romance story. It doesn't take long until you are invested in the characters and their outcome.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
I brought this YA novel home from our school library about a teenager who goes to live with her unknown father in Italy after her mother dies. There's a neighbour boy who shows her around the neighbourhood. So, not as light as it originally seems, but still, Italy in the summer. 

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
I love connected short stories and this one set in Russia over the 20th century is very good. I'm oddly fascinated by Russia - not enough to read War and Peace, but it started with Russka by Edward Rutherford.

An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea by Patrick Taylor
Lovely gentle series set in 1960s (and back in time during both wars) with love stories in the past and present.

The Case of the Love Commandos: From the Files Vish Puri, India's Most Private Investigator by Tarquin Hall
I haven't read from this series in a while, but I see there is a new addition to the series. It took me a while to get the tone, because it feels light, but really isn't.

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen
This was the latest in the Her Royal Spyness series as Georgie heads to Africa for a safari. Not the strongest in the series, but still a fun time.

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7) by Jacqueline Winspear
What started as a series of life after WW1 has gone on so long that now Maisie is thrust into WW2, as book #16 is the latest. I'm running out of love for Maisie - they are still well done, but what I liked the most has changed over time and I'm debated whether to keep going.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books Written Before I Was Born


The topic this week is Top Ten Books Written Before I Was Born. That gives me a great selection of books as I can pick anything before 1967. I've narrowed this down to the classics that I did not enjoy. Now, some were read when I was in high school and perhaps my tastes were not as developed. I've tried a few of them a second time, generally in audio version for the reread and nothing changed. In fact, I probably hated Lord of the Flies even more.  The first book I ever DNF'd was On the Road by Jack Kerouac and it was such a huge decision to stop reading it, but I was so annoyed at the lazy gad-about druggies that it pushed me to it. 

On the Road (dnf)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (x2)

Wide Sargasso Sea

Little Women (I don't hate this one, but it always disappoints me that I don't like it more 
read x2)

Lord of the Flies (x2)

The Pearl

The Hobbit (dnf)

Their Eyes Were Watching God (dnf)

The Scarlet Letter (picked up The Scarlet Pimpernell the first time - much better book!)

Wuthering Heights (although it was fun to put Heathcliff on trial in grade 12 English for being 'cold, cruel and calculating)