I know I use the phrase “most favourite thing of ever” copiously…but I MEAN IT THIS TIME: Humour in books is…my most favourite thing of ever. I get so befuddled when a book doesn’t have funny moments. Who stole your rainbow cake sprinkles, Little Book? WHY ARE YOU SO SAD??? I firmly believe that humour is crucial for excellent storytelling. *
Although, speaking of laughter — I have an unfortunate habit of laughing at ENTIRELY THE WRONG TIMES. Please. Never watch a sad movie with me. I will laugh. I’m sorry. It’s how I cope? I can probably blame it on books.
Book: *does something tragic*
Me: *laughs nervously to compensate heart shredding traumatically*
I AM COMPLETELY NORMAL.
I LOVE HUMOUR … BUT NOT ALWAYS.
I hate slapstick comedy. I hate crude humour. I hate humour that makes fun of things and people. Like making fun of mental illness? BIG NO. (This why I DNF’d and loathed Finding Audrey.) Making fun of being fat? Or a disability? Or being timid? Or being feminine? Or being DIFFERENT? Just no no no no. And sadly I’ve read books that do this and I always hate it.
What I do like in humour is — witty banter humour; self-deprecating humour; making-the-best-of-a-terrible-situation-humour. I like sarcasm. (POLITE SARCASM!) I like cutely awkward situations and dorky characters. I like people making light-hearted fun of themselves. I like good-natured teasing. I like dry humour and gallows humour.
Today I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh” — WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH THE MOST AWESOME PROMPT EVER. I greatly had to contain myself from mentioning 3984398 books. ** You’re welcome.
* Although that saying, there are MANY pieces of writing I love that aren’t even remotely funny. For instance, Only Ever Yours is not funny. Not even slightly. I’m still 100% traumatised and I loved it. And also you know what else isn’t funny? POSTAGE PRICES. It’s like “here let me order an amazing look book for this amazing price… oh PLUS $398593 FOR POSTAGE, SUCKER!” It’s tragic. But I digress.
** Because goodness knows how LONG my posts seem to be these days. I APOLOGISE.
WHY BOOKS SHOULD BE FUNNY
- It makes tragedy easier to handle. Like “hey let’s laugh at the fact that we are dead instead of cry” because laughing = makes you feel better. It just does.
- Sarcastic and sassy quips are a sign of intelligence. I totally heard this somewhere. ERGO IT’S TOTALLY TRUE. The internet never lies.
- Humour = amusement. And we aaaaall like to be amused. What’s the Roman saying? “Two things only the people anxiously desire — bread and circuses.” We want the bad and dark stuff, sure, but we all secretly want the laughs. WHY DO YOU THINK COMEDY DOES SO WELL??
- It makes a GREAT contrast. If your story is 100% doom and gloom, then it just gets depressing and makes eating a brick wall about as enticing. So if people are laughing and joking and then — KABOOM DEVASTATION — it emotionally impacts readers more.
- Books should also be funny because I said so. And, well, hello? World Ruler In Progress here. Everyone might as well start caving to my will now…
- DEMON ROAD: Basically anything by Derek Landy. Honestly. Just stop whatever your’e doing and GO READ DEREK LANDY. I laugh so hard when reading his books that I have to stop and catch my breath. Dry black humour? WE GOTCHA COVERED.
“We all go through tough times.”
“My parents are trying to kill me.”
“We all have issues.”
- PRINCESS OF THORNS: This book is everything. Fairy tale retelling. Sister saving her brother. Evil magic. Torture. Bleeding. SASSSSS. So. much. sass. They basically sass themselves through a bazillion near-death adventures and then settle down and eat their weight in potatoes to recover. #admirable
- EMMY & OLIVER: This is the kind of book I thought would be too silly and fluffy? BUT NOPE. It perfectly mixes a dark topic (child abduction) with the cutest dorkiest humour of ever. (Also Emmy’s parents are freaking hilarious.)
“We don’t even have a goldfish.”
“You’ve got to think toward the future.” My dad smiled at me. “Maybe one day you’ll move out and your mom and I will get a golden retriever to replace you.”
- LADY MIDNIGHT: I know, I know, I keep rabbling on and on about Shadowhunter books at the moment. BUT THEY’RE SO PERFECT. They’re so funny. In order to be a Shadowhunter, you basically have to be able to stab stuff and be infinitely sassy. (This is possibly THE best Cassandra Clare book yet, peoples.)
“We are well known for our jests, japes, and ballads,” the faerie said, clearly offended. “Some of our ballads last for weeks.”
“I don’t have that kind of time,” Emma said. “I’m a Shadowhunter. Quip fast, die young.”
- FURIOUSLY HAPPY: An adult book (GASP) plus non-fiction (DOUBLE GASP) and yet I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s written by a blogger (!!!!!) about her journey with mental illness and duuuuuuude. It’s perfect. It’s hysterical. It has “fury” in the title so clearly I approve.
In other words, if you spent most of the morning reading Twitter and then scribbling weird, indecipherable notes to yourself on your arm then you are probably on the right track to becoming a successful artist. Or to being homeless. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive.
- MAGNUS CHASE: Also Rick Riordan…basically everything he touches turns to hysterically good humour. Plus stabby things. Honestly stabby things + humour = the best combination. ALL THE COOL AUTHORS ARE DOING IT. And while Percy Jackson is undoubtedly marvellous…I’m picking Magnus Chase today because I laughed SO MUCH reading it.
“They’re not dead,” I told the goat. “They both have pulses.”
“Oh.” The goat sighed. “Well, give them a few more hours and they’ll probably be dead.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“Everything,” said the goat.
- GOOD OMENS: This isn’t YA…shhhh. Don’t let it out that I read an adult book and liked it. But seriously this book is FREAKING HILARIOUS. I laughed so much. And if you’re a fan of the Supernatural TV show you have got to read this. I will literally slap it against your noggin until you do.
Aziraphale: “I was going to ask you the same thing — WATCH OUT FOR THE PEDESTRIAN!”
Crowley: “It’s on the street, it knows the risks it’s taking!”
- THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US: Sarcasm everywhere. It is so very sarcastic that it gives my own sarcastic soul life. (Also this is the only Kasie West book I’ve read but basically converted me. ME. A fantasy nerd = loving contemporary? WHAT IS THIS.)
- THE RAVEN BOYS: This is the kind of book that you chuckle softly to yourself and then suddenly — BOOM — your heart is broken. Thanks for nothing, Maggie Stiefvater. (Which means “thanks for everything omg I am such a rabid fan.”) (Also someone has pre-ordered The Raven King. 8 DAYS TO GO, PEOPLES. 8 DAYS UNTILE THE RAVEN KING.) Basically Stiefvater books always blend humour and beautiful writing perfectly. #goals
- ILLUMINAE: I’m mostly putting this here because I love A.I.D.A.N and feel like frequently reminding you. (Yes he’s the destructive psychotic computer system. IS THAT A PROBLEM? HMM???) By the way, this book is glorious. Read it.
“Um, because you’re loopier than Flacky McPsycho, Mayor of Crazytown?”
“My databases show no record of this Crazytown of which you speak. A brain the size of an entire city burns inside me. My intelligence quotient is beyond the human scale. I would prefer if you did not refer to me in such a fashion.”
“Oh, poor baby. Did I hurt the mass-murdering psychopathic artificial intelligence’s feelings?”