I was listening to a segment on NPR recently called You Must Read This. The lady who wrote the piece recommended Last Exit to Brooklyn. That’s a book I tried to read and failed to finish because it was unrelentingly brutal.
I’m not saying it’s not a good book. I read plenty of books about trying times or featuring anti-heroes. This book was just too much for me. I would not say it is a Must Read book.
In January, it’s cold and dark outside and I want something to smile about. If I were to recommend things that You Must Read, it would certainly be something funny. Here are some of my choices.
Anything by Celia Rivenbark.
Celia Rivenbark is like a mean and slightly tipsy Erma Bombeck. I love it, even though she sometimes makes me squirm a little. She can be a little PG-13 and I prefer my mommy humor more gentle and G-rated. Still, she’s got the funny.
Speaking of Erma Bombeck, although her books are thirty-plus years old, they are still worth reading. I remember reading my aunt’s copies and laughing my head off.
I was twelve and visiting my aunt and uncle for a few weeks in the summer. I loved raiding my aunt’s bookshelf for the next Erma book. The earliest ones were my favorite.
I was about twelve when I was reading The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic tank. There’s a section where the son is going through puberty. I’d never heard that word before, so I asked my aunt what POO-ber-tee was. I think she’s still laughing.
She said if I couldn’t say it, I must not be in it. Still waiting.
Erma is still the gold standard for Mommy humor. I want a little bracelet that says “WWED” for “What Would Erma Do?”
I have one of her paperbacks on my bedside table right now. I need all the help I can get getting through the darkest and coldest part of winter.
Is there anything you think people Must Read? A favorite book of humor? I’d love to hear about it.
Make me smile,
Many laughs of my own "Over the Septic Tank" and also "Family, the Ties that Bind…and Gag". I think I will go upstairs now and read some and laugh a little…thanks! fern
When I need a good laugh I pull out the Homeschool comic books by Todd Wilson. Dh bought those for me a few years ago. Even though I have read them many times, stuff is still funny.
When life is dreary, I like to re-read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.
I also read all the Erma Bombeck books when I was in junior high.
Susan in the Boonies says
I loved Erma.
She was a queen!
I also just adore Bloopers.
I get started laughing, and can't stop.
I'll get back with you if I can find a link. The books that made me laugh are probably out of print.
Anne Lamott makes me laugh, also. My goodness she's funny when she wants to be.
Pearl, Why You Little… is one of my favorite bloggers these days.
Susan in the Boonies says
The book that I loved so much in my teens was called "Pardon My Blooper", and was by Kermit Schaefer.
The Reader says
Also an Erma fan.
My favorite Must Read is not a humor book at all; To Kill a Mockingbird.
My favorite funny/humorous book is The Princess Bride. If you like the movie, you'll love the book. Hilarious.
I find I don't read a lot of humor….perhaps I should start.
I'll add her books to my Must Reads. I have a "books I have read in the past year" sidebar on my blog. I'd say you Must Read anything I gave a 5 to. (Most of them are SL books!) You must also NOT read the 3s and under. 🙂
Of late, I've been engrossed with Neta Jackson's Yada Yada and House of Hope series. I can't put them down.
I used to love Erma. She was such a funny lady. It broke my heart when she passed away. I can't think of any must-read books offhand but I'm reading The Book of Negro by Lawrence Hill. Apparently it's known in outside of Canada as "Someone Knows My Name." I'm about 2/3 of the way through it and finding it very interesting.
Thanks for your visit to my blog today. 🙂
An Erma here! She was terrific and so witty. I loved her.
I also love Anne Lamott and she always cheers me up. She can make me laugh and cry in a single sentence. Her story about coming to faith is so touching and sad and funny all at the same time.
Aack! I'm an Erma FAN.
Thanks for the reading suggestions, ladies.
Hilary, thanks for the visit. I love the photos on your blog!
Chloe, I suspected that's what you met. You seem too together to be "an Erma".
People keep recommending Anne Lamott to me. I should check it out.
I'm a HUGE Erma fan! She is hilarious! It is not often that you find a book to make you laugh out loud.
And forty years later Erma is still relevant and funny. That is skill.