Top Ten Tuesday: LOL

TOPTENTUESDAY

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us about the books that made us laugh out loud. Here are my choices, in no particular order.

  1. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Adams making being witty and humorous look effortless. Just read anyone who’s tried and failed to imitate him, and you’ll appreciate just how great he is at this.
  2.  Terry Pratchett, The DiscWorld series.  Like Adams, Pratchett makes it look easy.  He seems to find the right combination of words to be witty, amusing, laugh out loud funny and more.
  3. Garrison Keillor, The Lake Wobegon stories  Yes, I love Keillor’s writing, but I’d argue that his Lake Wobegon stories are best experienced in their original monologue format.  Still doesn’t mean that the story about the Lutheran ministers and the pontoon boat isn’t hysterically funny on the printed page, mind you.  I did an entire class project on Keillor and his humorous writing in college.
  4. Peter David, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Strike Zone.  David has a gift for finding the funny in Star Trek — especially in areas where the franchise can or does take itself too seriously.   His first Trek novel includes a scene that had me laughing out loud when I read it three decades ago.  Set in season two of TNG, the scene has Riker and Picard meeting in a turbolift and Riker noting that it must really get Picard that he’s got more hair on his newly bearded face than Picard has on his whole head.  I’m not doing a great job relating it here, but it was and still is awesome.
  5. Gary Larson, the Far Side collections.  Seems that 2021 is similar to 1999 when it comes to laying out a page-a-day calendar.  So, it is that I’m spending this year getting reacquainted with genius that is Gary Larson thanks to my page-a-day calendar. And with news that he’s publishing new cartoons again, the world has become a bit funnier.
  6. Dave Barry.  Barry’s written a few good novels, but his old collections of newspaper columns or non-fiction humor books that examine one or two subjects are where he really shines.
  7. Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Twain is always going to make my list when it comes to humorous writers — and A Connecticut Yankee is one of my favorites
  8. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss.  For years, this fan-favorite by Douglas Adams went unadapted for the Target range of books. Then, in the last decade, they’ve begun to slowly fill in the gaps with adaptations that weren’t limited by the page count of the original Target run.  This may be the best of the lot, simply because Goss does what many have tried to do and come up short — imitate the great Douglas Adams.   One sequence in particular as the Doctor imagines his greatest enemies unable to believe he’s been killed in a seemingly mundane way was a pure delight — part of that could be chalked up to listening to this as an audiobook and the performance.
  9. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.   One of my earliest — and still favorite — reads.  Ramona goes to kindergarten and on the first day, she misunderstands that when the teacher asks her to sit in a chair “for the present” it means for right now and not that a gift is coming later.  We picked up a full set of the Cleary books to share with Shortcake and I hope she loves that moment and this book as much as I do.
  10. John Scalzi, Redshirts.  Like Peter David, Scalzi is able to find the funny in things by pointing out some of the absurdities of them all.   He has serious concepts and ideas in his novel, but he populates his books with characters who can take the mickey out of things.  No where is this more true than Redshirts, a homage to classic Star Trek that will have you laughing out loud one moment and thinking the next.  I’m not sure it’s my favorite Scalzi (that is probably his Heads-On series) but it won him a well-deserved Hugo.

7 Comments

Filed under meme, Top Ten Tuesday

7 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: LOL

  1. Nothing like these lists for making me remember all the books I forgot. Scalzi comes to mind — have you read his other books? “Agent to the Stars” is one I keep just for the silliness. Peter David’s “Q” books are the best! I never liked his New Frontier titles, but some of his other works were hysterical.

    If I had to edit my list I’d have to include “Night of the Living Trekkies”, too. I bought it on vacation and it made a rained-out weekend much more tolerable. It’s very cheeky, with a lot of Star Wars references in a ST-full book.

  2. I’ve seen Hitchhiker’s Guide on a few lists today! I’ll have to check it out!

  3. Terry Pratchett seems like the perfect answer for this week! John Scalzi is an author I’ve been meaning to check out for quite a while now.

  4. Great list! I really need to give The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a try, and I keep meaning to give Terry Pratchett’s work a go, too. Going Postal keeps calling to me!

  5. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court – hands-down an old favorite (and the movie isn’t bad either). Twain really rocks. The Far Side looks brilliant, will check it out, thanks a ton~

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