Do not listen to David Sedaris on a bus. I tried to enjoy The Drama Bug, and nearly convulsed as he described picking up Elizabethan English. I twisted toward the window and shoved my palm over my mouth.
“’Perchance fair lady thou dost think me unduly vexed at the state of thine quarters,’ I said to my mother, as I ran the vacuum over the living room carpet she was inherently too lazy to bother with. ‘These foul specks, the evidence of life itself, have sullied not only thine shag-tempered mat but also thine character.’”
To cause the physical reaction of laughter with words, that takes a special talent. Here are some of the books that have made me laugh most:
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Sedaris tries and fails to learn French, and encounters situations only he could make funny.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The kind of book you wish you wrote, but you probably wouldn’t have survived.
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
This “low-culture” book invited me, yes, lil’ old Fruit Loops eating me, to be a writer. It’s a celebration of things not usually celebrated.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
I listened to this audiobook while driving around town, and I don’t think I’ve ever cackled as loud.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff
Make sure you listen to the late David Rakoff on audio as well if you can. He has the voice of a, well, I want to say sexy snake. Does that make sense?
Headlong by Michael Frayn
A novel that from the get-go tells you that all that will transpire will ruin this mans life. You just get to sit back and watch.
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
A book that will teach you that humor is the best way to disarm your reader from the soul claw that’s about to gut them.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Self-effacing, wondering at what matters, ever contradictory. Nothing is serious. Everything is deadly serious. That is this book.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
A wonderful example of the power of point of view, this book is narrated by an autistic boy who sees the world in a way no one else could replicate.
Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander
I have never laughed harder. I have never more securely ensured my place in hell. Do not read this if you hold anything, and I mean anything, sacred.