Discovering a truly funny book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but finding the true standouts is never as straightforward. We requested some of the biggest names in comedy and academia to select the books that made them burst out laughing back in 2009. Here, we go over the results again and include some bonuses from the Esquire crew. Feel free to read them whenever and wherever you are (Malacca), even if you working at a website design in Malaysia company.
- Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
G. Wodehouse, more than any other writer, can conjure up a precise moment in history. His name alone conjures up images of a bygone era in upper-class Edwardian England when wars were fought over cups of tea, cricket ruled the waves, and supper was invariably soup and fish. Nonetheless, his stories – as well as his humour – are ageless. None are funnier than the adventures of foolish Bertie Wooster and his bacon-saving assistant Jeeves. Carry on, Jeeves begins the journey of Bertie, the what-hooing toff who repeatedly slips into the soup, only to be rescued by Jeeves. The Jeeves-Wooster relationship has a hilarious vitality unlike anything else you’ll ever read. His soloist, not his role, has stood the test of time. For example, the best description of the happiness of twilight at the end of a warm day: “This is a warm night and you can hear the sound of a snail opening its throat a mile away.”
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Daily Show host Trevor Noah was born in South Africa in 1984. His father was white and his mother was black, a violation of apartheid law. In these memoirs, he described his parents’ efforts to protect their safety and avoid the authorities, which were interesting and painful at times. “I think it’s allowed me to adjust to my current life,” she told NPR’s Renee Montagne in 2016. The world I’ve lived in.”
- Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm, published in 1932 as a sarcastic response to popular romantic rural literature at the time, is a rollicking read about Flora Poste, a destitute 19-year-old metropolitan orphan who intends to impose herself on her remote agricultural family, the Starkadders. This amusing storey, full of aptly (and humorously) named characters like the Jersey cows, Graceless, Pointless, Aimless, and Feckless; and cousins Urk, Ezra, Harkaway, and Caraway, chronicles what happens when a demanding city girl tries to meddle in pastoral affairs.
- Our Dumb Century by The Onion
If only the history texts in high school had been this engaging, we would have aced every test. It’s never too late to brush up on the highlights of the twentieth century, even if most of it is presented via a satirical lens. You’ll discover that the Titanic was actually “the world’s largest metaphor,” that the Nineteenth Amendment meant women were “Finally Allowed to Participate in Meaningless Fiction of Democracy,” and that Neil Armstrong’s first words on the moon’s surface were not nearly as PG as you’ve been led to believe.