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Humorous Books for Shorter Days
Just this week I noticed that I was starting my days in the dark… which means it is time to lighten up my audiobook choices! Here are some of the funniest books I've listened to recently that can help get you through the dark mornings and early commutes.
Getting up and out the door in the morning can be difficult in the best of times, but the transition from waking up with the sun to getting through my whole morning routine before the sky starts turning pink is rough. It is so much easier to be motivated with something to listen to, especially when it is funny, and I’ve found audiobooks to be the perfect morning talk show.
My only real criteria for including a book was that I had to laugh out loud while listening (often to my own embarrassment on the bus). I’m specifically recommending the audiobook for any of these titles, but I’ve linked the print books as well. They are delightful either way.
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente, narrated by Heath Miller – Everyone calls this book “Eurovision in Space” and they are not wrong. It is trippy, the characters are loveable, and you’ll want to laugh and sing along. Also available on Hoopla.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, narrated by Lynn Chen – This is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Lynn Chen’s narration is spot on, and the dramatic tension is perfectly timed. Also, family drama is always funnier in someone else’s family.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero, narrated by Kayla Garcia – What if Scooby-Doo was real? And really horrific and bizarre? Cantero finds the perfect mix of horror, humor, and nostalgia in this captivating and fast read.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, narrated by a full cast – Some people I’ve talked to found this book strange, sad, and maybe not as funny as some of the other titles on the list, but they didn’t listen to the audiobook. Read by a full cast of 166 different narrators, the audio production is just stunning and turns the characters from people on a page to exaggerated caricatures reminiscent of a Shakespearian comedy.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems, narrated by the author and Jon Scieszka – I know this is a list for adults, but Pigeon is hilarious no matter how old you are. You might have read it aloud to someone… but you have not truly experienced how great it is until you’ve heard Willems perform it. It, and many more Mo Willems audiobooks are also available on Hoopla.
One last fiction title we don’t have in audio yet (it just came out this month), but we have it as an ebook and in print!
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton – It about an apocalypse but told from the perspective of the animals and pets left in the world, mainly S.T., a domesticated crow. S.T. is exactly how you might imagine… highly intelligent, obsessed with Cheetos, and devoted to saving his found family.
We are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby, narrated by the author – I listened to this audiobook on my way to work and laugh-cried nearly the whole time. Irby is delightfully funny, even when writing about some of the most heartbreaking moments in her life.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, narrated by Will Wheaton – It is amazing how bizarre and astounding science can be. Sometimes I laugh at the absurdity of the question, sometimes it is the answer that causes the giggles… either way I learned a lot. If you can listen while reading along with the book, the illustrations are great!
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, narrated by the author – Like the other titles on this list, I was unable to stop giggling while listening to this book. Beyond the humor, Noah has done so much in his life and his creative drive is clearly unstoppable. I found this book to be one of the most inspiring titles I’ve ever read.
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard, narrated by the author – If you are a fan of Izzard’s work as a comedian and performer, you will love this, and if you haven’t heard of their work, you will be compelled to seek it out. This is literally my favorite audiobook ever, and somewhere among the miles of footnotes, there is a powerful message.
Another title we don't have as an audiobook, but it is an incredibly great read:
This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe – You might know Gabourey Sidibe from her heartbreakingly beautiful performance in Precious, or you might know her from her powerful roles in American Horror Story, or you might know her from Twitter. No matter where you know her from, it is clear that she was made to be a storyteller. Her memoir showcases her wit, courage, and ability to make you laugh.
Also, you can always request a book list made just for you! Fill out the form on our My Next Reads page and library staff will get back to you will a list of titles based on what you tell us.
I hope you enjoy these titles as much as I did! What is the funniest book you’ve read or listened to lately?