When times get rough and when almost everything we read isn’t making life any easier, it’s hard not to cry or sigh. Yet, as the cliché goes, laughter is the best medicine. The good news is that we’ve got great comical books to turn to when we need them most to lighten the mood or brighten the day.

To be honest, I do not have the best sense of humor. My dear husband is better at wisecracks. My toddler-boss even beats me to it more often than not. The past days, months, or even years, necessitate exploring what’s more beneficial. I’ve come to know recently that the 19th day of March is an unofficial holiday in the United States. It’s National Let’s Laugh Day, as it seems. As always, I’ve got a great alibi or two for not knowing this beforehand – as even Wikipedia does not have an entry for the celebration at this point. Well, this post should have been published on that day, but it’s always better to be late than to never do what needs to be done. Right? COVID scares struck our home recently, too, so our plans and schedules have become a bit more erratic than usual. Besides, a dose of laughter or two from time to time and also on non-holidays won’t hurt, but would even be beneficial.

True to the meaning of the holiday’s words, Let’s Laugh Day is meant to highlight that laughing makes us feel good and be good health-wise. Scholarly works have shown that laughing can also alleviate pain, reduce stress, and enhance heart health.  They say that people should chuckle at least once or twice a day to get these advantages. Thus, to keep the ball rolling and maybe trigger the cackling without further ado, here are some of the must-read books to suit your comfort zone. The list includes our traditional concept of what’s a good humorous book to read is as well as the not-so-common ones for the not-too-comically-inclined but willing to join the fun in a way somehow perhaps with witty books or so.

A Nonfiction Book on Unexpected Classical Humor

This is the book cover of Surprised by Laughter Revised and Updated: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis written by Terry Lindvall. Clicking it will take you to the book's Amazon page.

Book Title: Surprised by Laughter Revised and Updated: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis

Author: Terry Lindvall

View on Amazon here.

C.S. Lewis has always been a legend to Christians and non-Christians alike. In this well-written biography, Lindvall takes us even further beyond the author’s fame. He exposes Lewis’ rationale to consider joy’s role in our lives and why the latter is one of the best humor writers of all time. If you’re after some comic relief but mostly after narrative and academic reads on a normal day, this book is for you because of its theme and fact-ridden pages. This is not a surprise and is even to be expected. Lindvall’s writing nuances stem from being a son of an Army Chaplain, education at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a spot in Virginia Wesleyan University’s C.S. Lewis Chair of Communication and Christian Thought.  This tome’s insights and focus on Lewis’ predisposition towards the humorous makes it a book not to be missed, especially by Lewis followers.

A Collection of Funny Reads

This is the book cover of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter is the Best Medicine: 101 Feel Good Stories written by Amy Newmark. Clicking it will take you to the book's Amazon page.

Book Title: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Laughter is the Best Medicine: 101 Feel Good Stories

Author: Amy Newmark

View on Amazon here.

Who has not heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul or Laughter is the Best Medicine? Both collections boast to have some of the best books to read in our time. With this story compilation, you’re getting the best of both worlds. Since 2008, Newmark has chosen to indulge in what she has grown to love and taken part in bringing Chicken Soup for the Soul titles to our world. With this collection, she gives us a “prescription” to get a “dose” of funny capsules daily as an “antidote” to our everyday woes. Will the medication work? There’s no panacea in the perfect sense of the word. Some things are worth checking out, however, especially if there are no known ill-causing side effects.

A Funny Book that Speaks for Itself

This is the book cover of Laughter Still is the Best Medicine: Our Most Hilarious Jokes, Gags, and Cartoons (Laughter Medicine) by the Editors of Reader's Digest. Clicking it will take you to the book's Amazon page.

Book Title: Laughter Still is the Best Medicine: Our Most Hilarious Jokes, Gags, and Cartoons (Laughter Medicine)

Author: Editors of Reader’s Digest

View on Amazon here.

If Newmark’s 101 comedy-ridden stories are not enough to last you through, then this collection of over 1,000 pieces compiled by Reader’s Digest magazine should do the trick. It has clever jokes, quotable funny quotes, notable humor-tinged anecdotes, and hysterical cartoons collected over the years. To say that it’s a good book to read is an understatement. Tickle your funniest bones, giggle as you wish, or laugh out loud until you chortle – it’s guaranteed.

An Atypical Comic Peek at the Bestselling Book of All Time

This is the book cover of The Many Faces of Laughter in the Bible written by Michael Askew. Clicking it will take you to the book's Amazon page.

Book Title: The Many Faces of Laughter in the Bible

Author: Michael Askew

View on Amazon here.

For centuries, the Bible has always been the stalwart and a go-to book for Christians young or old making it the bestselling book in mankind’s history. Call them dogma or inspiration – whichever will be more beneficial to suit one’s needs at the time – the Scriptures provide thoughts to ponder, historically-relevant adages, and precepts for one’s soul. It’s expected to be prescriptive, albeit not primarily in a humorous way. Pastor Askew digs deeper and explores the numerous biblical passages where laughter can be found. His focus is not solely on what’s humorous. He emphasizes moderation, discretion, and empathy when satire reveals its ugly side. He stresses caution, especially where one is being laughed at and does not consider the humor as funny but instead deprecating. His resulting written work reflects his humor-tinged sermons with meticulous efforts to exercise caution and empathy typically expected from people of his calling and stature.

A Witty Book on Leadership and the World of Work

This is the book cover of Leading with Love and Laughter: Letting Go and Getting Real at Work written by Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone. Clicking it will take you to the book's Amazon page.

Book Title: Leading with Love and Laughter: Letting Go and Getting Real at Work

Author: Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone

View on Amazon here.

Sutch and Malone share more common grounds than what initially meets the eye. Yes, their foremost connecting line is their stint at American University’s Key Executive Leadership Program. Their bond transcends mere professional ties and encompasses their shared views on bringing humanity and human nature into the concept of human resources and leadership. They both believe that employees are not just business statistics that warrant costs and expenditures or physical assets for inventory or utilization. Workers are human beings per se, which respond better to positive triggers like happiness and laughter. In their book, leadership is not merely transactional but relationship-based made better with warm empathy and clean humor.

Further bookish thoughts

For those who are after dark humor books, New York Times Bestseller The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kurvera may be the best pick.

Best for family bonding, kids’ party icebreakers, or gatherings in dire need of comic relief, Knock Knock Jokes For Funny Kids: Over 370 really funny, hilarious knock knock jokes that will have the kids in fits of laughter in no time! by Jimmy Jones. It has a very long, breath-consuming title, indeed. It’s a no-brainer, though, why it should be on anyone’s funny book list. The hundreds of witty knock-knock ideas can last one through even the longest road trips ever.

Yes. We are nearing the end of my banter and what could be a seemingly-ludicrous attempt at approximating what funny reads are. Remember, though, my earlier declaration or disclaimer – I am not your usual humorous person even if I tend to use too many puns for my own sake. Call my writing sprint hilarious, jocular, facetious, absurd – whatever may suit your fancy. I am encaged in the safety of my own virtual space anyway. Regardless, I believe you may have better ideas than mine. Thus, feel free to recommend a great comedy book for our community of readers to check out and perhaps make a waggish splurge on.


By Esperanza Pretila

I am a certified HR professional, founder of award-winning micro businesses, lady cavalier, book reviewer, blogger, sports dummy, music fan, former phone photographer, beloved daughter, proud mum of 3 wonder boys, loyal wifey to an awesome hubby, life traveler, and believer.

2 thoughts on “Best Comical (or not so) Books to Read for Your Funny Bones”
  1. […] Funny books are a great way to relieve the pressures of life, and the genre of comedy doesn’t have to be the same as what we normally expect it to be. In fact, many of the funny books on the market today are autobiographies or memoirs, or even the author’s own experiences. For example, the memoir “Speak French” by Greg Sedaris is a hilarious look at his experiences learning the language while living in Paris. […]

  2. I didn’t know there was a National Let’s Laugh Day. I don’t have much of an alibi except that I’m not American. But I do have great memories of the jokes that were part of the Reader’s Digest magazines that my parents used to buy, so I’ll make sure to check that one out. The world definitely could use more humor.

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