Whimsical Humor

  1. The Uncommon Reader
    by Alan Bennett

    A short novella about the charming consequences of Queen Elizabeth II’s newfound obsession with reading. Opening paragraph: At Windsor it was the evening of the state banquet and as the president of France took his place beside Her Majesty, the royal family formed up behind and the procession slowly moved off and through into the Waterloo Chamber. Quotes from critics: “Briskly original and subversively funny” (Publishers Weekly); “Alan Bennett is one of the greatest comic writers alive

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  2. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
    by Jonas Jonasson

    A 100-year-old man escapes his nursing home and embarks on an hilarious journey interspersed with hilarious flashbacks to adventures of his lifetime. Opening paragraph:  You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to inform his surroundings of his decision.  But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long.  Quotes from critics:  “A silly and wonderful novel. . . will keep readers amused almost non-stop.” (Kirkus Review, starred); “A laugh-out-loud debut . .

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  3. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    by Anita Loos

    The travel adventures of Lorelie, a not-so-dumb blonde.  Much of the charm of this book comes from the voice of the narrator: “he is quite an inveteran bargain hunter,” “intreeged,” “Versigh.” Opening lines:  March 16th A gentleman friend and I were dining at the Ritz last evening and he said that if I took a pencil and paper and put down all of my thoughts it would make a book.  This almost made me smile because what it would really

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  4. The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series
    by Alexander McCall Smith

    The admirable Mma Precious Ramotswe, together with her trusty assistant Grace Makutsi, solves cases in Botswana with grace, wisdom, charm, and humor.  You should read the books in order, keeping in mind that the first in the series has the weakest plot. Opening paragraphs: From The Full Cupboard of Life (#5 in the series): Precious Ramotswe was sitting at her desk at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Gaborone.  From where she sat she could gaze out of the

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  5. The Code of the Woosters
    by P.G. Wodehouse

    Wealthy and scatterbrained Bertie Wooster recounts improbable and unfortunate situations from which the ingenious valet Jeeves inevitably extricates him.  Set in an idyllic Edwardian England and featuring pre-war slang.  I would recommend just about any book with “Jeeves” in the title. Typical quotes:  He was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and forgotten to say “when.” I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled. “What

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