We lit a signal fire from our newly locked down homes last week asking what resonates with ya’ll now. And omg, you guys came back with so much positivity and many helpful ideas! One of the big things we saw was BOOKS.

What are you reading? How are you escaping your home through the power of words? And just as we were tossing around ideas on Slack we got an email from Laura B.: a list of humorous books to take the edge off this whole social distancing thing. Laura, we love you. So, without further ado, here is her list in her own words.


LOL: What To Read While Social Distancing

In times of uncertainty, books can provide an enormous comfort. Especially when they’re funny.

Whether you’re into novels or non-fiction, I’ve got six recommendations to help you cope with alllll the feelings. Each one is laugh-out-loud humorous—but not at the expense of being smart or affecting. I hope they can offer a small but meaningful respite as we hunker down at home for who knows how long.

And—a special plea here!—please consider purchasing your books from a local bookstore instead of Amazon. Indie booksellers across the country are understandably struggling right now; give yours a call to check on hours. Many will mail books to you or allow for curbside pick-up.

***A little disclaimer here, guys. If you can’t use your local library or a small bookseller in your area, we included links to these books on Amazon. News has been rolling in that some cities are shutting down, stay safe!

Funny Books: The Fiction Section

Novels or non-fiction, we’ve got 6 book recommendations to help cope with alllll the feelings. All are laugh-out-loud funny—to take the edge off this whole social distancing thing.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

This deliciously British novella celebrates the joy of self-discovery. The Queen, in search of her runaway corgis, stumbles upon a mobile library. Feeling duty-bound to borrow a title or two, she does exactly that—and becomes obsessed. All she wants to do is … read. She loses interest in her royal duties, and the prime minister must appoint a former kitchen boy to dissuade her from her new fixation. Fresh and original, Bennett’s story is the perfect escape.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Amy Byler is a jilted wife and mother of two. When a school librarian conference sends her from her small town in Pennsylvania to New York City, she stays longer than planned, taking full advantage of the boozy cocktails, spin classes, and … ahem … men. Harms writes with a warmth and sense of humor about the ways that women navigate loss, motherhood and sex. Some of her best scenes might cause you to choke on your coffee; do be careful.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Maybe you know Semple from her bestselling Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but she’s written two other (hilarious) novels, including Today Will Be Different. Eleanor Flood is a dysfunctional yet well-intentioned Seattle mom who’s got a firm grip on her goals: shop local, radiate calm, live her best life. She’s got seven child-free hours to herself, but instead, she gets sucked into a maddening day that causes her to face all the skeletons in her closet.

Funny Books: The Non-Fiction Section

Novels or non-fiction, we’ve got 6 book recommendations to help cope with alllll the feelings. All are laugh-out-loud funny—to take the edge off this whole social distancing thing.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

OK, we already know that Kaling is hysterical, but her wildly entertaining collection of essays seals the deal. In an inimitable voice, she dishes out stories and anecdotes about body image, Hollywood and Bradley Cooper. You’ll go from wetting your pants to nodding along as she unpacks the idea of success and how she’s achieved it.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Lawson faces a number of mental health challenges—she’s bracingly open about her depression, anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder—but she’s bound and determined to be HAPPY! She’s batsh** crazy in all the best ways, like holding a koala in Australia while dressed as a … koala. She has a peculiar fascination with taxidermy, and, well, a giant metal chicken named Beyoncé. Lawson is warped and wickedly funny as she reclaims her life from the fog of despair.

Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home by Nina Stibbe

When she was 20, Stibbe moved to London to nanny for a family with two boys. In this delightful collection of letters to her sister, she records the never-dull minutiae of caring for her precocious, foul-mouthed young charges. Highlights include swearing in German, discussing STDs, and eating bad food. And did I mention that the year is 1982? Stibbe’s spot-on sense of time and place is half the fun.

Happy reading!

Laura Anne Bird (IG: @Laura_at_the_library )

And for the pinners:

Novels or non-fiction, we’ve got 6 book recommendations to help cope with alllll the feelings. All are laugh-out-loud funny—to take the edge off this whole social distancing thing.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I agree that Jenny Lawson is hilarious…and hopeful about addressing unusual experiences. Her audio book voice is amazing. Similar quirky life experiences to David Sedaris.

  2. I’ve read all of Lawson’s books. And I get her emails to hold me over until her new book comes out. Overdue Life is good too, entertaining but not really LOL.

  3. I love Jenny Lawson, David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris and Carl Hiassen when I need a laugh. The absolutely funniest book I ever read is called “Sleep Talkin’ Man” by Karen Slavick-Lennard. I hurt myself laughing.

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