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books & reading top 5 tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday | 5 Funniest Books

I feel like it’s been a million years since I’ve participated in Top 5 Tuesday, hosted by Bionic Book Worm. I loved the prompt this week and had an hour to spare – so here I am!! This week’s prompt is 5 Books That Made You Laugh. I love a good comedy – and there are a lot of different types of “funny books” – celeb memoirs, essays, kids books or adult fiction – I tried to draw from an assortment of genres and may have ended up recommending way more than five books because I’m broken and bad at following directions.

Anyway, here are my Top 5 Funny Books:

LAUGH OUT LOUD FICTION

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Lamb by Christopher Moore is one of those books that I always rattle off when people ask me to list my favorite books (a dangerous question to ask of a book lover, amiright?). I read it ages and ages ago and still think of it often. Christopher Moore has written dozens of funny books, but, in my humble opinion, this one is the best. It’s a fictional story of the Gospel, as told by Jesus’s best friend Biff.

Obviously this is a book that won’t be for everyone – but if you can handle a bit of humor and speculative fiction mixed with religious stories, I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Moore is terrifically funny and irreverent, and also manages to deliver a heartfelt and fairly fascinating story.

FUNNY FAMILY READ ALOUD

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The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is the first in a series that you already know about. My whole family loves the books as well as the Netflix series. It’s the funniest book about unlucky orphans you’ll ever read.

Already read the whole dang series and need another suggestion? I also highly recommend Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman – I’m sure you are familiar with his work, but there’s a chance you haven’t read this quick chapter book about a dad who went out to buy a gallon of milk but got slightly sidetracked by aliens, vampires, pirates, dinosaurs and much much more.

KEEPING IT REAL AND FUNNY

2202049.jpgSuch a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster (and every other book she’s ever written) | Seriously, I love Jen Lancaster – she’s one of my “auto-buy” authors – i.e. an author who has written enough excellent books that you’d consider buying a book by them simply because they wrote it.

Lancaster has written some of the funniest memoir-ish books ever – each one about a different area of her life. This one was about weight issues, something I can definitely relate to. Her books let you laugh at your mistakes, while inspiring you to do better. I’d also highly recommend Pretty in Plaid and If You Were Here.

LAUGHING ABOUT THE HARD STUFF

12868761.jpgLet’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson | If you aren’t familiar with her insanely popular blog, The Bloggess, then you are missing out. This was her first book – a look at some of those mortifying moments from life that you kind of want to forget ever happened – instead she shares them with the world and we all laugh together.

Lawson is famous for making the dark and morbid details of life into something funny – especially her battles with depression and anxiety. But also sillier things like her love of dressing up taxidermy animals.

If you have an appreciation for “dark humor” or you’ve struggled with depression or anxiety or love someone struggling with depression or anxiety or you play Cards Against Humanity sometimes or … you get the idea.

CELEB MEMOIR BY FAMOUS FUNNY PERSON

9476337 Bossypants by Tina Fey | After much deliberation, I’ve decided this was my favorite in a roundup of Funny Memoir-Type Books by Comediennes I Love (but it was a tight race because Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Anna Kendrick all wrote really good ones, too) – it was one of those books that I found myself quoting out loud to my husband while he was trying to sleep and only mostly felt bad about it.

Whether you loved her on SNL or 30 Rock or that one movie that one time – or you just want to read a funny book about growing up, dating, parenting or life – Tina Fey packs a big, funny punch with this one. She is possibly the funniest person on Earth.


Alright – those are my “five”favorite funny books – what funny books would be on your list?

What funny book should I read next?

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books & reading memes & carnivals top 5 tuesday

Top 5 Authors I’d Like To Meet

I’m linking up with Shana @ Bionic Bookworm today in her Top 5 Tuesday bookish link up. This week’s prompt is 5 writers you’d like to meet. Here is my list, aka my dream dinner party.

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J.K. Rowling because she created one of the most beloved children’s series of all time and basically became an empire while raising kids. I want to know where the creative ideas come from, how she found the energy to write while raising kids and if she thinks I’m a Hufflepuff or a Ravenclaw.

John Green is a brilliant writer and an awesome human being. He’s a YOUTUBE star, smart, funny and really has his finger on the pulse of today’s youth. I just want to listen to him talk.

Jane Austen will be trickier as it will involve time travel I guess but I can’t leave her off this list because she’s literally the source material for every love story ever written. I want to know if she likes all the modern adaptations of her works and who should play Darcy in the next Pride and Prejudice movie.

Marissa Meyers is one of my newer favorite writers but The Lunar Chronicles has her firmly on this list. I will need to fangirl about the series for days, find out who her favorite ship is, what writers she likes and what she’s writing right now.

Oscar Wilde seems like a fitting character to round out this dinner party. Since we’ve already established that time travel will need to happen. I think he is one of the wittiest writers of all time. I want to talk politics with him and listen to him throw shade for hours.

Who would be on your list?

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books & reading top 5 tuesday

Top 5 Series I Want To Start This Year

The theme for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday is series books that you want to read this year for the first time. Keeping with my theme of reading books I already own but haven’t read, here are five ‘first in a series’ books that are either sitting on my bookshelf or on my kindle. Okay, one is actually sitting in front of me at my computer desk but you get the idea.

30918623CHIEF INSPECTOR GAMACHE SERIES by Louise Penny

I’ve been meaning to read this series literally forever since the first time I recall Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy singing its praises. Luckily my book club will be reading the first book in the series, Still Life, this year so I finally have no more excuses.

Here’s a description of the first book if you haven’t heard of it before:

As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life – all except one…

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident – a hunter’s arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead?

In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets…

18053060DOROTHY MUST DIE SERIES by Danielle Paige

I spotted the first book in this series at Barnes and Noble a year or two ago and basically bought it on the spot pretty much based on the cover alone. That and the fact that I’d just finished falling in love with a series that reimagined fairy tales – no big deal, just The Lunar Chronicles guys. Anyway, like most impulse book buys, it’s been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. I’d love to fix that problem this year. Here’s the premise:

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

6952387.jpgTHE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES SERIES by various authors apparently

This is another spotted it at Barnes and Noble splurge! Being a fan of all things Cumberbatch and Baker Street, this series appealed to me right off the bat. I like the idea of Sherlock interacting with famous people from history and this alternate history premise is super intriguing.

“When Harry Houdini is framed and jailed for espionage, Sherlock Holmes vows to clear his name, with the two joining forces to take on blackmailers who have targeted the Prince of Wales.

It’s a case that requires all of their skills — both mental and physical. Can the daring duo solve what people are calling “The Crime of the Century”?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless creation returns in a new series of handsomely designed detective stories. From the earliest days of Holmes’ career to his astonishing encounters with Martian invaders, the Further Adventures series encapsulates the most varied and thrilling cases of the worlds’ greatest detective.”

5970105THE DISCWORLD SERIES by Terry Pratchett

This feels like one of those series that I probably should have already read by now but somehow I missed it entirely. There are over 40 books in this series so if I like it, I will have a lot of reading to do. Funny, light science fiction/fantasy seems to be the general description of the series. Here’s a little more for the first book:

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

18046624RED RISING SERIES by Pierce Brown

I’ve heard great things about this series so I don’t really have a solid excuse for why I haven’t read this yet except, like, get in line. This one is for the fans of dystopian stories:

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.”

Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first?

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books & reading top 5 tuesday

The 5 books that have Been on my TBR the longest.

This week’s prompt for Top 5 Tuesday is 5 books that have been on your TBR the longest. I look forward to seeing everyone’s lists for this prompt because so often we are all sharing the same assortment of titles that are hot on everyone’s radars. This prompt should give us all a broader peek at each other’s reading habits.

I’m actually sharing the 5 books which have been on my Amazon wishlist the longest because I don’t keep up with my GoodReads TBR list well at all and my physical bookshelves would be too difficult to gauge time spent on shelf waiting for me.

So here are the 5 books that have been on my Amazon wishlist the longest:

51lNQ4Rs0ALHit by Delilah Dawson is the oldest resident on my wishlist. The premise of this book is so unique and so compelling to me. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t purchased this one yet:

No one reads the fine print.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that it was bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?


51z70WYC6HLOnly Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill boasts a beautiful cover and a promising premise as well. I think the only reason I haven’t purchased this one yet because I have read similar sounding stories already:

Where women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl. In Louise O’Neill’s world of Only Every Yours women are no longer born naturally, girls (called “eves”) are raised in Schools and trained in the arts of pleasing men until they come of age. Freida and Isabel are best friends. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year, they expect to be selected as companions–wives to powerful men. All they have to do is ensure they stay in the top ten beautiful girls in their year. The alternatives–life as a concubine, or a chastity (teaching endless generations of girls)–are too horrible to contemplate.
But as the intensity of final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty–her only asset–in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future–even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known.

51PdlbUdW8LMy Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster looks just as awesome as all of her other titles but I already have a backlog of her books that I still need to read so I haven’t been able to justify buying this one yet. I stalled out on the last Lancaster book I was reading and have had a hard time diving back into another one but this one sounds frankly awesome:

Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces.

In Jen’s corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high-priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing’s for certain: Eliza Doolittle’s got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure is an option.


51ywRbniv+LThe Art of Memoir by Mary Karr has been on my radar for awhile and seems to be beloved by many writers and readers. I think the only reason I haven’t gotten it is because I already have lots of books on writing that I haven’t actually read. Do I need another?

For thirty years Karr has [taught the form of memoir writing], winning teaching prizes at Syracuse.  (The writing program there produced such acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas.) In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.

Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told— and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.


41D5jtC3TpLEssays of E.B. White was recommended by a blogger a few years ago and has been sitting on my wishlist ever since. I think it might be one of those books that I think I should want to read but I’m not sure if I actually do want to. Does that make sense?

The Amazon description for this book just says, “The classic collection by one of the greatest essayists of our time.” Compelling stuff there, huh? But E.B. White has written some of the best children’s books ever like  Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web and the book has some fairly glowing praises.

One of the reviews on Amazon says:

“What a delicious read. E B White makes a trip in his car an exciting adventure. His essays are full of humor. Life was more rustic. but not exactly calmer and White writes about his career, his family, his environment, his loves and dislikes. His style is so engaging. You go back to a prior time and enjoy the ride and the read.”

Another reviewer blamed the book for ruining college for them so… grain of salt?


These books have all been on my list for over two years. Does that mean I don’t really want to read them since I haven’t purchased them yet or that I really want to read them but they have been rude and haven’t gone on sale ever? It’s hard to say because I do prune the list relatively often when it starts feeling too long to be manageable and these five titles have continued to make the cut.

Have you read any of these?

Which one should I add to my shopping cart first?

top-5-tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly link up hosted by Bionic Bookworm.

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books & reading top 5 tuesday

My 5 “Auto-Buy” Authors

You know those authors who come out with a new book and you know you are going to buy it pretty much sight unseen? That’s what this week’s Top 5 Tuesday (hosted by the Bionic Book Worm) is all about. I think this list has shifted for me a bit over the years as new authors grab my attention and maybe older authors have become less of a sure thing.

Here are 5 authors who are killing it for me right now:

16068905Rainbow Rowell won me over with Fangirl (which was so popular that it led to a spin off title of the book within the book that our main character is so obsessed with) but has been consistently winning me over with every title since then. Eleanor and Park is beloved by just about everyone and Attachments really sucked me in as well.

If you love fully fleshed out characters that feel like they live inside your heart, under dogs that make good, settings that  feel iconic to a certain time and place – Rowell is your girl. She has yet to not knock it out of the park for me making her an obvious choice for this list.

 


28372019Jenny Colgan is relatively new to the list but after devouring The Bookshop on the Corner, I pretty much immediately bookmarked all of her other books. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe proved that this is an author that knows her genre and excels at it. She thus very quickly established herself as a sure thing for me.

If you like cozy love stories starring quiet bookworms who learn to love themselves while embarking on a new adventure or career, Colgan is there for you. If you happen to also love it when those stories are set in the UK, bonus points for you. These are the sort of quick reads that have you up until 2AM reading just one more page I swear and then purchasing the next title as soon as you finish.


book one of the Lunar ChroniclesMarissa Meyer jumped to my attention when I started reading The Lunar Chronicles and I’ve basically auto-TBRed all of her books forever. While her novel, Heartless, didn’t quite complete me, I’m still eager to read any and all of her upcoming books.

I love Meyers books for the strong female characters who kick butt and take names, fantastical world building and imperfectly perfect characters who have flaws without being a farce. Even her villains have the opportunity to be fleshed out and understood. She also excels at reinventing well known fairy tales and turning them on their heads.

 


11870085John Green is another author who frankly seems to excel at everything he touches whether it’s a novel or a You Tube show. It’s understandable that the people who love John, really freaking adore him. I think that The Fault in Our Stars is still probably my favorite of his books but I’ve read several and really have loved them all. I’m looking forward to digging into his latest release, Turtles All The Way Down.

John has a talent for tackling topics that are often depressing or difficult to talk about and bringing humor and levity to the issue without downplaying it. He also writes boyfriend characters that you will fall in love with and has his finger on the pulse of what it means to be a teenager.


16130417Lisa Lutz wrote one of my favorite mystery / detective series ever, The Spellman Files and although I didn’t love the last non-Spellman title I read quite as much, I still tend to wishlist all her new releases and wait with baited breath for a new Spellman title (might I be waiting eternally Lisa?).

Lutz is a master at family dynamics and juggling a rotating list of characters whose viewpoints into the story are carefully unfolded at just the right times. Her mysteries are exciting but rarely scary and tend to dwell more on personal growth and relationships but they are still excellent mysteries as you have to really read through the entire book until you get to the heart of the “whodunnit”. Her characters are realistically messy and have a bit of an anti-hero quality that really appeals to me.

Honorable Mentions go to: Jen Lancaster, Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Weiner who would definitely have been on this list once upon a time but have kind of dropped off of my “auto buy” list and relocated to my “definitely consider getting” list.

Who would be on your auto buy list?