Top Ten Tuesday: Books to make you laugh (or at least smile)

Top Ten Tuesday

I wasn’t going to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) because I didn’t think I read enough funny books to be able to make a list…but when I stopped to give it some thought, I actually didn’t have a problem coming up with ten titles.

I have concentrated here on books which were specifically written to be funny or which contain lots of amusing scenes, rather than just one or two funny moments (the list would have been far too long in that case). Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you can think of any more.

Three Men in a Boat

1. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome – This tale of three friends (and dog) who take a disastrous boat trip along the River Thames had to be top of my list!

Three Men on the Bummel

2. Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome – Our old friends, J, Harris and George get together again for a tour of Germany in this sequel to Three Men in a Boat.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

3. Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse – I could have included other Wodehouse books here too, but this Jeeves and Wooster novel is the only one I have reviewed on my blog.

Cold Comfort Farm

4. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons – I didn’t find this parody of the British rural novel quite as funny as other people have but it still deserves to be included here.

The Convenient Marriage

5. The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer – Many of Heyer’s novels feature a bit of comedy and some witty dialogue, but this is one I remember being particularly funny.

The Canterville Ghost

6. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – This light and entertaining satire is possibly the least ghostly ghost story I’ve ever read!

The Adventures of Alianore Audley

7. The Adventures of Alianore Audley by Brian Wainwright – Some knowledge of the Wars of the Roses might be needed to fully appreciate this tale of a 15th century Yorkist spy.

Don Quixote - Edith Grossman

8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – Who would have thought such an old book could be so funny? The humour doesn’t always work but when it does it’s hilarious.

The Uncommon Reader

9. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett – A lovely, witty novel about the Queen’s love of reading.

The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

10. The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome – Yes, it’s another book by Jerome. This collection of essays is not as funny as the Three Men books, but will still make you smile.


Have you read any funny books recently? What would be on your list?

33 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books to make you laugh (or at least smile)

  1. Pam Thomas says:

    Three Men In A Boat is one of the funniest books ever written. But no mention of the book that always had me in stitches when I was a child? And currently on TV, what’s more – ‘My Family And Other Animals’, by Gerald Durrell.

  2. jessicabookworm says:

    This is such a fun topic this week isn’t it?! I also have Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons on my list. I sadly haven’t read any of the other books on your list but they sound good though – in particular I have heard good things about Jerome K. Jerome and P G Wodehouse’s books.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I love this week’s topic! I highly recommend Jerome K. Jerome, particularly Three Men in a Boat, which is the funniest book I’ve ever read. I haven’t read many P.G. Wodehouse books, but I enjoyed the few I have read.

  3. Terra says:

    Thanks for this list, I found 2 here I want to read, the Heyer and the Bennett. I aim to make a list like this soon, and would add all of the Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster books and the Farley Mowatt The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be and The Boat that wouldn’t Float (hope the titles are correct).

  4. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    Maybe not to your taste, but Terry Pratchett makes me laugh–his nod to Shakespeare, Wyrd Sisters, was the most recent example that I read. And The Eyre Affair also made me smile with its goofy alternate universe (including Richard III as a Rocky-Horror-style stage production with audience participation). That’s just a couple of recent reads…I haven’t taken the time to come up with a whole list, but it’s fun to read what others have chosen!

    • Helen says:

      Terry Pratchett’s books have never appealed to me, but the more I hear about them the more I think I should be reading them. The Eyre Affair sounds fun too – I’ve been meaning to read it for years but never seem to get round to it.

  5. whatmeread says:

    Nice choices! I think that The Convenient Marriage is one of Heyer’s funniest books, although I have a similar admiration for Friday’s Child and Cotillion.

    • Helen says:

      The Convenient Marriage is probably the funniest Heyer novel I’ve read so far, but I haven’t read either Friday’s Child or Cotillion yet.

      • whatmeread says:

        Oh, you have some fun ahead of you. I have been reading and rereading Heyer’s books for years. I think I’ve read all of them several times. I have reviews of both of these on my site, in case you want to check them out.

  6. Lark says:

    I love the Uncommon Reader; I smiled and laughed all the way through that one. Haven’t read any of the others on your list, but they look good. 🙂

  7. Alex says:

    I recently bought Three Men in a Boat because I wanted to re-read it. Have great memories of laughing out loud with the cheese scene. The first time around I listened to it in audio.

    • Helen says:

      Oh, I love the cheese scene too (and the Hampton Court maze and Uncle Podger’s picture). I’m sure this must have been a fun book to listen to as well as to read. 🙂

  8. Karen K. says:

    I started my own list which includes about five of the same books! Great minds thinking alike!

    For classics, I’d also add Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield and Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh.

    • Helen says:

      You obviously have great taste in books, Karen. 🙂 I’ve been meaning to read Diary of a Provincial Lady for a while, but I’ve never thought about reading Decline and Fall. I didn’t realise it was a funny book!

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