Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Top Ten Plus Ten [Funniest Books]

I wonder, as I review this list, about my taste in comedy. Seriously, I love to giggle over Laffy Taffy jokes! As a result of that truth I wouldn't put too much emphasis on "funniest" books; in fact, I might actually call the list wacky. Still, I'd check these books out for their outlandish silliness, 'cause everyone needs some silly in their lives.
For more laughs, giggles, or eye rolling be sure to check out Melany's list! 

1. Ghastlies, Goops, and Pincushions by X.J. Kennedy is a book full of wacky nonsense verse. I giggled through each poem - all in one setting.

2. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series is hilarity at its finest. The book is a little rough around the edges at times, but I love the strange characters Evanovich creates stories around; plus the bizarre situations Stephanie Plum gets herself involved in are mysteriously comical. Stephanie Plum is an awful bounty hunter who's constantly down on her luck and with Grandma Mazur or Lulu to babysit half the time, things are always interesting. Not to mention the fact that she has two men she's in love with and I often wonder if Evanovich isn't just going to leave us hanging on which one she picks. I'm rooting for Ranger, but we may never know, which is killing me! 

3. The children's book titled Rooster Can't Cock-a-Doodle-Doo by Karen Rostoker-Gruber is hilarious only because of the illustrations by Paul Ratz de Tagyos. It's the pictures that make this book come alive! Each time I read it I giggled as the animals "help" Farmer Ted with his chores. Seriously, read this book for the illustrations.

4. If my two year old daughter would add anything to this list it'd be The Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom. I found it hilarious because of my daughters adorable belly laughs. She especially likes the page where the illustrator ingeniously depicts the monkey being flung across the watery chasm between the islands separating himself (once again) from the bananas. I add a few monkey "oooo's" and "aaaaa's" and "eeee's" to make it that much more "comical." I still can't get over how much she LOVES this book. It's a book of few words, but it's a great story.

5. If my former students could add anything to this list it'd be The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It's funny, yet it isn't. It's full of heartache, while also being side-splitting. The main character, Junior, loves to cartoon and as an Indian growing up on the Spokane reservation he has quite the subject list: like drunkenness running rampant, unemployment, hunger, education woes, tragedies galore, not to mention his own medical problems. This book is emotionally loaded - with tears and hysterical laughs throughout. The reason it makes this list is because Junior makes lemonade, adding a bit of wit and humor, with the truck load of lemons life hands him.

Side Note: I taught this book to my high school reading class, which consisted fully of struggling readers (it was a 100% special needs class). Unfortunately, each of my students could relate to Junior's medical issues and the exclusion experienced because of it. Fortunately, we all fell in love with Junior's ability to take life head on (well sorta, because Junior's list of medical issues begin at being born with too much cerebral fluid on the brain and all kinds of issues as a result of that one issue, but that's beside the point). Junior is relatable and I loved his take on life, which is exactly what many of these kids desperately needed. It was always, always, always a riveting success. Warning: masturbation is a short, but embarrassing, topic of discussion at one point and time. If it hadn't been for that one piece I would've read it to my junior highers. 

6. Moo! by David LaRochelle is a picture book with one word: Moo! It's funny only because of the ending. 

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney does make the list. Don't judge! If you can't read this book from a junior high teacher or parent perspective, don't read it. Half the stuff I read about in this book (like the cheese touch) actually happens. If it wasn't for stupid books like this, I'd have gone hysterical with all the crazy stuff I dealt with day in and day out. Trust me. It's funny. (I might also think it's funnier than it is because one of my high school speachers created a humorous prose speech out of it. Call me biased, but he did really, really well with it.)

8. I thought the children's book Plaidypus Lost by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel was worth a giggle or two. If you have a little one, this book will be relatable, which is why I found it worthy enough to make this list.

9. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell is filled with hilarity, sincerity, brilliance, and ingenious. Esme documents her first year of teaching in a Chicago Public School. What she faces and how she deals with it inspired me as a teacher on so many levels. There are hilarious moments, but there are also tear jerking and frustrating ones as well. It's an all around great read.

10. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan is most definitely worthy of this list. You see, I have a naughty Marley (not nearly as naughty as this Marley) but after reading this I was convinced it had something to do with the name. And no, I did not name my Marley after this book. If you have a dog, you'll be able to relate and empathize with the hilarious situations Marley gets John and his family involved in; but I warn you, you'll cry just as hard as you laugh.

This is my Marley, who we refer to as "Naughty Marley" or " Marley Man"...
... he's also been the topic of conversation many times here...

All in all, I think you're guaranteed a giggle here and there by checking out the books on this list. Still, if you don't appreciate jokes (like the one I found on the Laffy Taffy I ate last night, What Makes Music on your Head? A Head Band) then you won't appreciate a few of the books on this list. ;) 

Before you sign off, don't forget Melany's list!

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