1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling
This is one of those my-awkward-rise-to-Hollywood-fame books, but it’s told from the relatable perspective of The Mindy Project’s Mindy Kaling, who loves doughnuts as much as you. Plus, it’s fun to read in her high-pitched voice.
2. Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth
Told from the couch of a psychoanalyst, this book centers around the joys and anguishes of growing up Jewish-American in the mid-20th century. Anyone who blames their sexual oddities on being hugged too tightly by their bubbe will relate.
3. I Don’t Care About Your Band, by Julie Klausner
Dating sucks. Julie Klausner understands that better than anyone. Her first-person account of the worst dates ever might be bad for relationship advice but it’s great for a laugh.
4. Fraud, by David Rakoff
Self-deprecation becomes an art form in Fraud. This book is for anyone who lives in constant fear of being called a phony, or anyone who has ever tried to climb a mountain in loafers.
5. Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
On her quest for self-improvement, Bridget Jones gets hung up on chain-smoking and too-short skirts. Bridget Jones is you. Bridget Jones is life.
6. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
A funny look at 1970s America seen through the scope of an unintentionally murderous aging writer. Classic Kurt satire.
7. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
We all know the story of Christ, but Biff — Christ’s childhood best bud — remembers all those awkward parts the Bible left out. It’s the most holy coming-of-age tale you’ll ever read.
8. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
John Kennedy Toole’s mother discovered this book (then just a mess of scribbled papers) under his bed after he committed suicide in 1969. The book was published and went on to win a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. It’s a hilarious account of a man who writes books in his bedroom but never publishes them, but it’s also so much more than that.
9. Someone Could Get Hurt, by Drew Magary
On parenting in 21st-century America, the evolution of the Helicopter Dad, and how to get drunk while your kids trick-or-treat.
10. Wake Up, Sir!, by Jonathan Ames
This book proves even a personal butler can’t help some people. But it’s fun to watch them try.
11. The Stench of Honolulu, by Jack Handey
The man who brought you Saturday Night Live’s “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey” wrote a full-length novel, and it’s everything you dreamed it would be.
12. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
Two slightly out-of-shape hikers attempt to take on the Appalachian Trail. One of those hikers is Bill Bryson, prolific humor/travel writer. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a laugh, or to be talked out of hiking the Appalachian Trail.
13. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Whether you liked the film adaptation or hated it, read this book! It’s the the Spinal Tap of fairy tales, and it’s much funnier on paper.
14. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
Sedaris has unabashedly been called the funniest writer in America by critics and fans alike. Any of his titles will have you crossing your legs to keep from wetting yourself, but Me Talk Pretty One Day really triumphs.
15. The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, by Mark Leyner
Ancient gods are living in modern-day Dubai and keep picking on an unemployed butcher from New Jersey named Ike Karton. Leyner’s writing is dizzying and hilarious, but be warned! He’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of storyteller.
16. I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron
Ephron brought us Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, so is it any surprise this collection of essays about being a woman of a certain age hits you hard in the LOLerbone?
17. Essays of E. B. White, by E. B. White
The witty, imaginative mind of White comes alive in this collection of essays. It’s everything you loved about Charolette’s Web and Stuart Little, but written for grown-ups.
18. Blue Boy, by Rakesh Satyal
Growing up is hard, but growing up as the 10th reincarnation of the god Krishnaji is even harder. And our young protagonist plans to announce to the world his true identity at the school talent show while dancing to Whitney Houston. You gotta read this book.
19. Thank You, Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse
Wodehouse is known for creating a cast of memorable, wacky characters, and Thank You, Jeeves is no exception. Be wary that the humor in this book was born in 1930s England, though that doesn’t mean contemporary audiences won’t enjoy the ride.
20. The Broke Diaries, by Angela Nissel
For anyone who has ever survived on a diet of Ramen noodles in college, this book is for you. All true, all hilarious.
21. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
This book often tops lists of the best novels ever written because of its brutally honest portrayal of the absurdities of war and its honest exploration of what it means to be “insane.” A must-read, especially if you SparkNotes’d it in high school (guilty).
22. Dave Barry Slept Here, by Dave Barry
Barry manages to recount American history for people who hate American history but love to laugh. Read it, learn something, giggle your head off.
23. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
This book is required reading for all science fiction fans, but that doesn’t mean non-sci-fi people won’t get a kick out of it. The humor is dry and satirical in the same vein of Monty Python but still incredibly original.
24. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
If you’re not a huge fan of Fey’s comedy (you are most likely criminally insane), you’ll still enjoy this book because it’s an honest memoir about a very awkward, very offbeat young girl with a face scar making a name for herself one fart joke at a time.
25. The Importance of Being Ernest, by Oscar Wilde
Often regarded as Wilde’s best work, you’ll find yourself wondering how this play is over 100 years old while wiping laugh-tears off your cheek.
26. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson
This is the kind of book you shouldn’t read in public unless you want to attract stares of strangers while you’re rolling on the floor laughing. It painfully recounts some of Lawson’s most embarrassing and remarkably human moments, causing readers to cringe and giggle all at the same time.
27. How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran
Don’t let anyone tell you this book is a feminist triumph. It’s a human triumph. And it’ll make you wet yourself.
28. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the Antichrist is nowhere to be found. Pratchett and Gaiman make for a hysterical tag team, parodying everything from religion to Elvis.
29. Side Effects, by Woody Allen
A book to remind you your life will never be as pitiful as the characters Woody Allen can dream up.
30. My Horizontal Life, by Chelsea Handler
For anyone who needs to be reassured that their sex life isn’t the weirdest one out there, Chelsea Handler recounts some of her most absurd one-night stands. Yes, one involves a leather daddy.
31. Kill Your Friends, by John Niven
Fueled by a mountain of cocaine and a lake of vodka, a man searches for the next big Britpop hit. Bodily functions ensue, and so does hilarity.
32. This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper
After the death of their father, a dysfunctional family is forced to sit shiva under the same roof for seven days. You’ll do equal time crying and laughing.
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