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Our humour section is filled with books that contain elements of humour, from hints of smiles and smirks through to full on giggles and guffaws. Do bear in mind though, that while some of these books are pure sunshine and glee, along the way you will meet books that contain all the other emotions too. We’ve included novels from romance, crime, and even horror genres, as well as the more obvious humour tales. A writer who can make you smile and cry in the same book even the same paragraph, is to be treasured indeed. We do realise that humour can be very personal, and what makes one person roar with laughter, will only evoke a raised eyebrow in someone else. So, these are novels that we believe contain some form of humour and even if it lurks in the most unlikely of places, it will be waiting for you.
Imagine Monty Python meets Terry Pratchett and you'll have an idea of what to expect from 'The Haddock Flies at Midnight'. Keven Shevels, previously known for his walking and fell running guides to the north west of England, has given us a real comedic treat for these dark days. The tone is set from the first page of the first chapter when the main character, Ivor Dogsbreath, conducts a conversation with the 'Arthur', who makes it abundantly clear that what he writes goes and he will write anything for a laugh. The reader can sit back and wait for his giant foot to descend and cause mayhem and humiliation to his 'hero'. Ivor is a clerk in the housing department of his town's local council and, as such, is roped in to help the local police and two MI5 information gatherers, who suspect there's a threat to security in the area. We are then introduced to a group of six Muslims, living in a council house in the same town. Their first problem to overcome is that caused by the fact that they are all called Mohammed, except for Justin. Their second is where to get the supplies they so desperately need. Equally desperate are the members of the North Yorkshire and South Durham Brotherhood of Satanists and Associated Followers of Beelzebub. Where are they going to find a virgin for their next human sacrifice in this town? And then there's Jedidiah Makepeace the Third, leader of the Church of Righteous Souls, on a mission from America to restore the faith in the town to it's former greatness. This mainly involves waging war on the local LGBT community, who meet in The Lace Bridle. Their sermonising falling on deaf ears, they are determined to get hold of guns to replace those confiscated from them at the airport to make people listen. The person all these groups turn to to provide for their needs is Cyril Edgington-Smythe and the story then proceeds to descend into glorious chaos, culminating in the 'Battle of Edwin's Bottom', where all the 'customers' turn up together to collect their spoils, watched by the SAS and Immigration officials, not to mention two owls. This is a totally irreverent, utterly ridiculous, completely hilarious laugh out loud 'hoot' of a book that I can't recommend enough. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Raw, honest, punchy and smirky, Containment, the third Sam Shephard book, continues the series in fabulous style. When a container ship spills its cargo on a New Zealand beach it sets in motion a series of events that puts Sam right in the middle of a whole heap of trouble. To have an understanding of Sam and what makes her just that little bit different, you really do need to start with Overkill and The Ringmaster. Vanda Symon has written a bold, gutsy protagonist who fights her way through life. Sam’s thoughts and feelings stamp her way all over this book, ready to kick and squabble just to keep her head above water. There is a relationship in the background, and that is where we see Sam’s vulnerable side (have to say that I wanted to settle her down for a good old chat on occasion). If you enjoy a quick-firing, fast-moving tale with a tight storyline then Containment could just be the very book for you.
This is such a beautifully handled startling wow of a read, it has gone straight in to sit as a LoveReading Star Book. Spend a week with Majella as the routine of her life changes, she just wants to go to work, watch Dallas, and eat the same dinner each night. However… her mother is an alcoholic, her dad disappeared in the Troubles, and her gran has just died. The synopsis tells you that Majella is autistic, but this is her story, and she doesn’t know she is, so I met, I saw, I got to know Majella, as Majella. The extensive list of things she isn’t keen on are announced as the story progresses. The humour Michelle Gallen delivers is punchy, the swearing is particularly sweary, while the heartachy emotion wormed its way into my heart and squeezed. In fact Majella marched her way into my thoughts, she is one of the most wonderful characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and I’d go so far as to say that she is unforgettable. The repetition of her life, echoed through the book, adding emphasis to each new experience. The surrounding town and its folk slipped and exploded into play while the chip shop sits centre stage. Simple and raw yet richly complex, Big Girl, Small Town comes with huge applause and recommendations from me.
A refreshingly different, sparkling romantic comedy with real depth and heart. Tiffy and Leon agree to share his flat, which has just the one bedroom. They’ve never met or want to meet, he works nights and stays away at the weekend and she works days, what could go wrong? I absolutely adore this premise, it feels as though it shouldn’t work, but oh, it so does! I settled in straight away, with chapters either headed by Tiffy or Leon. They are both wonderful characters, and I felt as though I really got to know them, the more I read, the closer friends we became. The surrounding cast are fabulous and add real flavour. There are some darker and disquieting aspects to explore, which are handled with sensitivity and empathy by Beth O’Leary, while the humour dances feather-light across the page. The Flatshare is an original romantic comedy debut that made my heart smile. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age - much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil. Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife. Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess....? In the traditions of two great but very different British writers, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, Waugh's hilarious and entirely original twist on the country house murder mystery comes complete with stiff upper lips, even stiffer drinks, and any stiffs that might embarrass the family getting smartly brushed under the carpet...
So very readable, this debut is an amusing, sparkling and smart look at contemporary life. When separate calamities hit publicist Ginny and her neighbour, actress Cassie, they might just find a helping hand closer than they thought. While the friendship between the two women grows, potential love interests also enter their lives. I adore the fact that the occasionally feisty friendship between two neighbours of different ages takes centre stage. Can I say that Cassie rather steals the show with her antics, she certainly made me smirk, but this isn’t all fun and frothy frolics. Nicola Gill takes a thoughtful step into the more challenging and emotional side of life, handling the difficulties experienced with beautiful consideration. Fresh, witty and sharp, yet warm, wise and loving, The Neighbours really is a rather gorgeous read!
A debut novel to enjoy slowly, to savour, to adore. Yes, this is a rather special and beautiful book, and I want to climb a few rooftops to shout about it. Missy Carmichael is lonely, she lives by herself in a huge house, when opportunities arise for friendship and more, can she reach out and take them? I admit to having fallen in love with Missy, she isn’t perfect and she makes mistakes (who doesn’t!), yet there is something about her that tiptoed into my heart and soul and has taken up residence. So often we just see a snapshot of someone, a moment or period in their life, however not here. Beth Morrey has not only brought her to life, but by also dipping into the past, we discover the gems that make Missy, well, Missy! The surrounding characters are a wonderfully quirky bunch, and Bob is an absolute delight. I laughed and I cried (oh how I cried). Saving Missy meanders gently, poignantly, beautifully, to what was for me, a perfect ending. I adored meeting Missy and so have chosen this lovely debut novel as one of our star books.
"I feel like, in an equal world, there would be more penis admin ..." Kat Evans doesn't know much about feminism, but she does know this. Utterly hilarious and boldly honest, Kat tells it how it is - and it is INCREDIBLY embarrassing. 15-year-old Kat wants to do GOOD FEMINISM, although she's not always sure what that means. She also wants to be a writer, get together with Hot Josh (is this a feminist ambition?), win at her coursework and not make a TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT of herself at all times. But the path to true feminism is filled with mortifying incidents, muddling moments and Instagram hell. And it doesn't help that Hot Josh is just, well, properly, distractingly hot. And when everything at school starts to get a bit too much, Kat knows she's lost her way, and the only way forward is to ask for help ... Bold, authentic and laugh-out-loud funny, Kat's diary fearlessly navigates mooncups, mental health and #TimesUp - perfect for fans of Geek Girl, Juno Dawson and Sex Education.
This new story in the Jackson Lamb Thriller Series of awkward back room spies, just fills my slightly warped little heart with joy. Slough House is full of exiled spooks, led by the indomitable Jackson Lamb who somehow manages to keep the slow horses moving. Here, the team are hunting down a man who could just break them. One particular sentence had me snorting, and reading it out to a friend, who also snorted. But, if I told each of my friends in order, about every clever sentence I came across in Joe Country, I would probably run out of friends to be able to tell. This is a series that makes me shout with laughter, cringe as things go from slightly to spectacularly wrong, and wince as the barbs shoot home. Mick Herron started with Slow Horses, and each book has been as skilfully written as the first, earning him amongst other accolades two Crime Writers’ Association Daggers. Joe Country is the the sixth in the series, it’s amusing with cracking writing and a storyline that kept me wide-eyed until the early hours. Loved, loved, absolutely loved it, and I’ve chosen Joe Country as one of my Liz Picks of the Month.
A sharp and smart debut novel, containing real heart (both ache and joy). 25 year old Queenie is on a break from her boyfriend, can’t concentrate at work, and is having a hard time balancing her life. Feeling trapped as she moves in with her grandparents, she soon finds her life closing down. Within a few pages I was settled in my chair and didn’t budge as I read this in one wonderfully heady sitting. Popping backwards and forwards in time Candice Carty-Williams opens a doorway into Queenie’s soul. She created a connection for me to reach out and touch and I felt as though I had become a part of Queenie’s life. I was there with her as things went wrong, wanted to reassure, vent, be there to support her. There are parts that tiptoed across my awareness, spiking stray thoughts. Elsewhere is raw and unflinching making my senses burn, before a moment later I was tipped into a sunshiny smile and chortle. While Queenie herself breaks down stereotypes about black women, her friend Cassandra doesn’t do the same with regards to Jewish stereotypes. Big bad life in all its pain and glory stamps across the page. Queenie is a bold, fiercely provocative and thought-provoking read.
The brand-new book from the bestselling author of The Break and The Woman Who Stole My Life They're a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together - birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they're a happy family. Johnny's wife, Jessie - who has the most money - insists on it. Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much...Everything stays under control until Ed's wife Cara, gets concussion and can't keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny's birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets. In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it's time - finally - to grow up?
We call them Bunnies because that is what they call each other. Seriously. Bunny. Samantha Heather Mackey is an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at Warren University. In fact, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort - a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other 'Bunny'. But then the Bunnies issue her with an invitation and Samantha finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door, across the threshold, and down their rabbit hole. Blending sharp satire with fairytale horror, Bunny is a spellbinding trip of a novel from one of fiction's most original new voices.
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