13 Hilarious Books to Read If You Need a Good Laugh

From essay collections to poetry to ruminations on life, these books will give you the giggles when you need them most.

von Carly Milne Mai 06, 2020 11:00Tags
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Let's be honest: life has been a little challenging lately. But sometimes, all you need to make things feel a little lighter is a little laughter.

We've rounded up some of our favorite books that will help you do exactly that. There are essay collections with hilarious perspectives on the human condition, LOL-worthy insights on navigating the complicated world of Hollywood, gut-busting answers to life's biggest questions, and even a ridiculously funny children's classic that will remind you of what it feels like to be a kid.

So if you need a good laugh, shop our favorite hilarious books below!

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Comedy goddess Mindy Kaling brings it in this collection of essays that gives you a window into her world, and laughs along the way. Reading this book is a journey, tracing her life history from being the obedient child of immigrant professionals to a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and the comedy-writing powerhouse we all know and love today. It's also available on Audible and Kindle, too!

This Is a Book by Demetri Martin

Just like his sense of humor, Demetri Martin's first book has a little bit of something for everyone. There's long-form essays, bananas conceptual pieces, and his trademark charts, drawings and lists (for example? The world views of optimists, pessimists and contortionists). Give it a read and have a good laugh. Plus, you can grab it for just $2 for your Kindle, or as an audiobook on Audible.

You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

One half of the beloved 2 Dope Queens podcast, Phoebe Robinson has made a name for herself by not holding back, and this collection of essays is no different. Personal, political, pointed and hilarious, Robinson covers everything from why Lisa Bonet is "Queen. Bae. Jesus," to sharing the horrors of casting calls, to giving advice to the future female president, to demanding that the NFL clean up its act. Not only can you also get it on Audible, but if you order for Kindle, it comes with audio and visual components.

The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning by Scott Galloway

Business school professor and New York Times bestselling author Scott Galloway takes on, well, life in this book geared to answering the questions we have surrounding our needs for professional success and personal fulfillment. Whether you're pondering a big life change or just need a little more direction in life, Galloway's book may have it for you... and it'll make you laugh along the way. Get it for free with an Audible trial, or for $2 when you download it to your Kindle.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant

Want to know how to pitch your screenplay? How to get fired and rehired? How to take notes from movie stars? And perhaps most importantly, the ins and outs of getting an In-N-Out burger? Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are here to tell you all this and more, including entertaining insights into the world of development hell, and, as they put it, share the highs of hugging Gisele Bündchen and getting kung fu punched by Jackie Chan to the soul-crushing lows of Herbie: Fully Loaded. Get the paperback, or download it to your Kindle.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

A collection of essays spanning two major points of his life, David Sedaris takes us into his life before moving to Normandy, France, including his upbringing in North Carolina and his experiences with odd jobs in New York. Then, Sedaris makes the move to France and attempts to learn French... and hilarity ensues. It's available in paperback, hardcover, downloadable to Kindle, and available as an audiobook on Audible

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson's memoir is equal parts heart-wrenching and hilarious as it charts her experience with severe depression (and other conditions), but also examines how her conditions helped her to live life to the fullest. Sure, it's about mental illness, but it's also about joy, and how to find it. You can also get this one on Kindle and Audible, too.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Yes, of course a book by Tina Fey is going to be funny, but this one is off the charts. And sure, it gives insights into her time at Saturday Night Live and her enviable #friendshipgoals with pal Amy Poehler, but it's her overall take on the challenges of being a woman in this world that will really get your belly shaking and the tears rolling down your cheek. It's also $9 for a Kindle download, and you can get it free with an Audible trial.

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamu Bell

So there's actually a little more to this book title, and it pretty much tells you what it is you're about to read: "The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian." Yup, that about does it! Bell offers his take on a wide range of subjects including race relations, fatherhood, the state of law enforcement today, comedians and superheroes, politics, failure, his interracial marriage, white men and more. It's also available on Kindle and Audible

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

Issa Rae is just the best, as evidenced by her web series, her star turn in Insecure, the HBO hit series she created, and also her authentic voice as an author in this book, detailing how she navigates being an introvert in a "cool" world. This collection of essays highlights everything that makes Rae such a powerful creative being, like her thoughts on cybersexing in the early days of the Internet, deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, public displays of affection, and learning to accept yourself. You can also download it directly to your Kindle, or get it for free with a trial run of Audible.

How to Weep in Public: Feeble Offerings on Depression from One Who Knows by Jacqueline Novak

Whether you're currently fighting depression or you've fought the battle and come out the other side, Jacqueline Novak's book is the support system you need. While she charts her own journey with depression from childhood through to her adult life, she also offers advice as someone who's Been There (for example? The title of Chapter 17 is "Do Your Crying on a Cat"). Funny and heartfelt, we dare you to read it and not crack a smile. You can also get it on Kindle, if you prefer.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

The late, great Carrie Fisher is forever a national treasure, and while she's written a whole slew of fantastic books (and screenplays), this one was the one fans were clamoring for. Adapted from her hit Broadway show, Wishful Drinking charts Fisher's path as the child of two famous parents, to becoming an action figure thanks to her part in film's biggest franchise, to her experiences with mental health and electroshock therapy, and everything in between. And it's gloriously hilarious. You can also grab it for your Kindle, or on audiobook for Audible.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein

Yes, we're recommending a so-called kid's book, 'cause it's awesome, and magical, and downright funny... so if you haven't picked this up since you were a kid, now's the time to give it a read with fresh eyes (and feed your inner child in the process!). From the story of a girl who eats a whale, to the tale of The Unicorn and The Bloath, to the all-time best story ever about Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out, the stories and illustrations are delightfully weird and laugh out loud entertaining. You can also get it for your Kindle.

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