Laugh and Be Happy (Read a funny novel)

Having a tough day? Take a break and get to giggling! This list of upbeat and humorous novels has something for everyone: romance, action, murder, adventure, space, and everyday life. Pick your favorite and strap in for some laughs.

Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

In this funny and moving novel, Judy is trying to navigate a dysfunctional family life. Her husband lives in the basement because they’re too broke to get a divorce, her teenage son is becoming distant, and her once promising career as a children’s book author has all but vanished. However, throughout all the mess this heroine finds hope amidst her crisis.

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The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

Assisted living roomies Carl and Duffy are trying to avoid getting in trouble and being sent to the local nursing home. When they least expect it, Carl’s estranged granddaughter, Josie, climbs through their bedroom window one evening drunk and in trouble. In this funny story of unlikely friendships, Carl and Duffy risk it all to help Josie get on her feet.

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The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg

Welcome to Whistle Stop, Alabama. The town isn’t what it used to be. Bud Threadgoode hasn’t lived in town for 80-plus years, but he longs to go back and see the old Whistle Stop Café his mom ran with his aunt. In this humorous and heartwarming story, Bud breaks out of his strict retirement facility to accomplish this goal, which drags his daughter into this hilarious debacle.

Book / eBook

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith

Detective Vlarg works for the Sensitive Crimes Department of the Malmo, Sweden, Criminal Investigation Authority. These crimes are far from ordinary; a bizarre stabbing, a lost imaginary boyfriend, and a haunted spa are typical cases for Detective Vlarg. In this gentle and humorous mystery, the sleuthing takes a backseat to interpersonal relationships and ethical issues raised in the cases.

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The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

In this funny and offbeat novel, Pat Peoples wants to win back his estranged wife. He was just released from a mental institution and believes he was away for a few months, not four years. On his quirky adventures, he makes a “friend” in Tiffany, a mentally unstable woman who is the widowed sister-in-law of his best friend. Pat can’t tell who’s friend or foe in this character-driven novel.

Book / Audio eBook

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

In this classic, funny fantasy novel, a swashbuckling swordsman aims to save princess Buttercup from an evil prince (and his lackeys). However, there is a story within a story involving a schoolboy sick at home and his grandpa who is determined to read him a story. You’ll be swept up in the romance, riddles, action, and adventure right from the get-go.

Book / eBook

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Described as Sci-Fi, Monty Python style by Kirkus Reviews, this novel follows English resident Arthur Dent who has he become the only survivor of Earth’s demise (being blown up for an intergalactic express highway). Rescued and traveling in space with several quirky companions, he learns on his silly misadventures how to save the universe and to always carry a towel.

Book / Audio eBook

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

What would you do with a Sourdough recipe? Lois, working at a company trying to perfect a robotic arm, is gifted a Sourdough starter from two brothers who own a restaurant she adores. This leads her life to shift in a very different direction, as she starts to realize there is something magical about the sourdough starter. This is a humorous and delightful tale of food, robotics, charming microorganisms, magical realism, and science.

Book / Audio eBook

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

In this funny and upbeat novel, Meddy believes her Chinese, Singaporean, and American family is cursed. All the men die or leave. When Meddy is pressured into going on dates by her mother, she accidentally causes the death of her date. Her meddlesome aunts soon get involved and convince her to dispose of the body. This causes a domino affect in Meddy’s life, which upends a reunion with a former flame.

Book / eBook

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Meet Vern, a dragon who’s hidden himself away from humanity in a Louisiana swap. The last of his kind, he spends his days watching reality TV and drinking vodka. Unfortunately for Vern, his hideout is discovered by a teenager named Squib who quickly becomes his familiar. All heck breaks loose when the local, crooked constable spots Vern.

Book / eBook