Books To Make You Smile

It seems to have been a dreadfully long winter, probably in part becuase last summer was so dire. The Delightful Mr F and I have been in our new house for about 18 months and in that time the weather has really only been nice enough for us to sit outside in the garden twice. Quite frankly we need a good laugh, so here is a list of books to make you smile… any other suggestions to raise a literary giggle?

Maskerade By Terry Pratchett: OK, in reality you could pick up any Practhett book and be laughing your head off within the first few pages, but this one has some classic lines in it. It features Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, two witches from the Discworld, who head off to find a younger witch called Agnes Nitt who has joined the opera. The whole book is a paradoy of The Phantom Of The Opera, with the witches trying to solve the murders in the opera house. There is a wonderful parallel story of Nanny Ogg’s cookery book called “The Joy Of Snacks”, which has been published, much to Granny’s horror. The recipies have “added extras”… Below is a quote from a passage when Granny is reading some of the recipies in The Joy Of Snacks for the first time:

‘What one you looking at?’ said Nanny Ogg, because an author is always keen to get feedback.

‘Strawberry Wobbler,’ said Granny.

‘Ah. That one always gets a laugh.’

It did not appear to be obtaining one from Granny. She carefully closed the book.

‘Gytha,’ she said, ‘this is me askin’ you this. Is there any page in this book, is there any single recipe, which does not in some way relate to… goingson?’

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole By Sue Townsend:  Oh, poor Adrian, he does get a raw deal doesn’t he? I read this as teenager, and then again a few months ago, and the second time round it was far better. I think you need to have a decent number of years between you and your teenage self to really appreciate this one. His attempts at poetry are priceless:

I adore ya.
I implore ye
Don’t ignore me.

The Wind In The Willows By Kenneth Graham: A childhood favourite, which I re-read every now and then when I need a lift. You can’t fail to love Mole, Rat, Badger and of course Mr Toad, who should be locked up, or at least be under the restraints of an ASBO. Mr Toad’s escape from prison has to be one of the best out there, and his shear joy for life is infectious. Here’s to be being more like Mr Toad (apart from the motoring offences).

“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!” 


Revolting Rhymes By Roald Dahl: It’s hard to match Dahl for madcap humour, and these warped versions of classic fairy tales are best read aloud, even if you are on your own. Yes, I have been known to do this when the Delightful Mr F is out… The seven dwarves using the magic mirror to bet on the horses always makes me laugh. 

The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy By Douglas Adams: Completely bonkers and very clever. Even if you aren’t a sci-fi fan there is so much to enjoy in this, from alien poetry to alien administrators. 

“Ford!” he said, “there’s an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they’ve worked out.” 



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