I’ll see your chuckle and raise you a laugh

A reader’s perspective on comedies

Recently I accepted a job that has a two-hour one-way commute attached to it. I fully think it will be worth it for the learning experience it provides but I am definitely not looking forward to spending that much time on the road — I mean that is precious time away from my books! Then a friend of mine suggested listening to audio books — great idea! So off to the library I went to see what audio books I could find.

*side note: I now have a third library card for yet another city within the county — I’m like a frequent flyer of libraries around here.*

Libraries are great and librarians are even greater! As soon as I asked about audio books I was treated to a whole presentation about the new online service available where I could borrow the books to listen to on mobile devices and MP3 players or even on my computer!

However, that was a little too much work, I mean I’m still a paper reader not an e-reader and this was a lot of technology to absorb, so I was very happy when he led me off to the stack that contained the audio book on CD.

*side note: I accidentally started the conversation by asking if there were any books on tape I could check out and was quickly apologized to because they had phased out their tape selection and moved to CDs, so just an FYI tapes show how old you are!*

Anyway, I was now in my element, lost among the stacks of books and CDs. Fun stuff! Except most — scratch that — ALL the selections were mainstream fiction with some non-fiction on one shelf. For a four hour car ride I didn’t think I could do non-fiction without needing to take a nap along the way, and I didn’t recognize any of the authors and wasn’t really in the mood to experiment because that could also make for a long four hours, so I was quickly losing hope for this great idea.

But then I saw it. A beat-up copy of Tina Fey’s Bossypants on the bottom shelf! Score!  What car ride, especially one starting at 5:45 A.M., wouldn’t be made better with some laughs along the way? By 6:10 A.M. the next morning I was seriously trying NOT to cause the morning commute pile up of crashing into the car in front of me because I was wiping tears of laughter from my eyes. Such comedic work, especially the audio version, should come with warnings to not listen and drive. Oh, but it made the commute so much more enjoyable. A book and laughter.

Well, of course for such a great experience, I needed to share it with the most amazing person in my life, my wife. Except it sort of went like sharing the best parts of a movie that made me laugh.

I found myself bent over again with laughter as I remembered especially funny topics Ms. Fey covered in her rendition and Kim just sort of grinned at me, finding more humor in my appreciation of the story than in what I was actually telling her. That actually happens a lot. I read something and try to tell her about it and it just makes me laugh uncontrollably again and makes her smile in enjoyment of my amusement.

*side note: I inherited a very weird laugh from my mom. Not a donkey laugh or something like that but strange enough to have people in a movie theaters move away sort of laugh.*

But it’s funny, dang it, and I must at least TRY to communicate the humor to her. I think the last one I tried to share with her was Robin Alexander’s The Summer of our Discontent.

Holy cow, that was a funny story! I was laughing so hard while reading the scene of their first night in camp that I woke Kim up.

*side note: after the wife has fallen asleep is not the best time to wake her up and tell her about the book I’m reading regardless of how funny it is.*

It was awesome, though. Alexander truly has a grasp on comedic writing and it truly is a gift. All of her works that I’ve read are like that. I mean, what horror author is actually afraid of the dark? Well, my suggestion is read Alexander’s Scaredy Cat and find out along with all the other crazy things that can go wrong by being afraid of everything.

I did get Kim to prepare for the GCLS conference, though, by having her read Ann McMan’s Bottle Rocket. That was a story that had my face hurting from laughing so hard.

I do have to admit that when we arrived in Portland, I was eyeing the room looking for the potted palm trees where all the social anxiety individuals might be finding refuge. And speaking of conferences, Amy Dawson Roberts’ Midnight in Orlando totally surprised me. I had quickly become a fan of Ms. Roberts through her Rennie Vogel action/suspense stories but Midnight in Orlando showed a whole new side of Ms. Roberts.

A very, very funny side! Yet another story where I was poking at Kim and trying to get her to let me read passages I found exceptionally humorous out loud.

Just thinking about how amazing our lesfic authors are at putting humor into stories at just the right place makes me realize how talented this genre really is. I mean, Beth Burnett’s Man Enough had me at both ends of the emotional spectrum from crying to the point of dehydration to laughing uncontrollably.

She absolutely NAILED the mom in that story. That, or she interviewed my mom, but that one character brought a true balance to the story and Burnett brought a true balance to the emotions we all deal with daily.

Same with Saxon Bennett’s characters in her series Family Affair, In the Unlikely Event, and Marching to a different Accordion. Bennett is able to blend all the emotions of life into some crazy funny stories that had me running to the computer to get the next in the series. Seriously — tears of laughter the whole way.

Yes. Our writers are amazing at how accurately they can hit that funny bone and make us cry from laughter. Who are your favorite authors that have brought a laugh to your life? I must have more because a day only gets better when you are laughing uncontrollably at a book and your wife is looking at you like you are crazy.



  1. I love several of the books you mentioned here. A couple of mainstream authors who make me laugh are Jenny Lawson, Jasper Fforde (his Thursday Next series, the first four books), and Jen Lancaster.

    For audio books there are some really great narrators out there for some of my favorite lesfic books. I only get to listen to audiobooks when I’m traveling Aline in the car (because of kids, this doesn’t happen often). I really enjoyed Wynn Malone’s Finding the Grain on audiobook. I also like the narrator for Radclyffe’s Fated Love. Oh, and Ann McMan’s Jericho. I forget the name of the narrator right now, but she can read to me all day.

    There are a couple of non-fiction sociology/history books that I think are too wresting to put one to sleep- Guns, Germs and Steel is one and Salt is another. I have not listened to them, so don’t know how they sounds, but they read well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann I loved reading Finding the Grain and that would be an awesome choice for a car trip! I’ll have to get Kim to figure out all this techno mumbo jumbo for me!! I haven’t heard of Jenny Lawson, Jasper Fforde or Jen Lancaster so thanks for those- they will be added to the collection!


  2. Great blog. I also have a commute and love listening to audio books. It makes the long drive much easier to take. I’m definitely going to check out some of your suggestions too. Thanks for the fun post that totally has me thinking your laugh might be a little like Horshack’s.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Erin!

        I got the ebook of Amy Dawson Roberts’ “Midnight in Orlando” about 5 minutes after reading your description – what a bunch of laughs! So, of course, I had to go right into “Midnight On A Mountaintop” and now I have another favorite author!

        I have also been reading Ann McMan today. I had read – and did not remember liking “Hoosier Daddy” quite some time ago – but I have enjoyed “Bottle Rocket” and “Three” and “Sidecar” so have HD in the read again file. Maybe I was just having a bad day when I read it before! (Yes, I am a fast reader and I read too much!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, for funny definitely Robin Alexander and Kate Sweeney. In “The Right Window,” Kate has one line: “I’ll slap you so hard, when ya stop rollin,’ your clothes’ll be outta style.” that completely cracked me up! Both of them have me laughing out loud when reading … but they are also much more than just funny writers. Kate’s “The Hypotenuse of Love” is one of my favorites. Robin’s “The Fall” is hard to top for both great humor and great love story.
    And, thanks, Erin, for a couple of other recommendations that I am not familiar with … yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn I had no idea about Kate Sweeney! Totally want to get some of hers now!! AND I haven’t read that Robin Alexander book yet so that is also being added to the list! Thanks for reading and if you get a chance let me know what you think of the others.


    • Lynn no worries! I was pretty excited when Amy Dawson Roberts released Midnight on a Mountaintop! A funny follow-up to Midnight in Orlando. I’m glad that you liked them as well!


  4. Robin is hilarious. Hands down one of my all time favorite authors. And as Lynn said Kate Sweeney as well. I’d like to add that Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner are quite the comedic duo. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this Erin…I have read all of Robin Alexanders books and some of Saxon Bennetts work. I love the characters and i also find myself laughing out loud at their antics all times of the day and night!
    I’ll have to check out those other books mentioned by Beth Burnett and Ann McMann. Thanks for the heads up.
    Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! Petra thanks for reading! Both Beth Burnett and Ann McMann are very talented in their gift of writing and I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy both of their works.


  6. Great recommendations – I have laughed out loud many times reading some of those authors! One memorable laugh fest was sitting on the rim of Crater Lake, and just flat hooting, but that is a whole other story! Thanks Erin – I am enjoying your blogs a great deal! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Erin sorry you missed this years GCLS. Robin Alexander was there. I made a fool of myself; telling her how much a group of my friends and I love her books. Have you had a chance to read Madam President and First Lady by Blayne Cooper and T Novan. One, Madam President was published. They first appeared on Xena fan fic page. Missed you at the con.


  8. Pat it was great meeting you in Portland and I am totally there with you in making a fool out of myself when speaking with authors! They are such rockstars!!! I’ve read both Madam President and First Lady and think one of the best lines was when she woke up and screamed, “it’s a nipple!” Loved that AND the response by the mom!


  9. I loved all the new recommendations for books I have not read!!..More to my list to read..lol..If you have not had the opportunity to read KB Drapers The Uhaul Diary it is the funniest thing I have read ..I have never had a book mainstream or not make me laugh out loud or bring a smile to my face just thinking of a scene out of the book like this book has!!


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