5 Books That’ll Give You A Chuckle

photo by Ben White/Unsplash

After a dreary winter, spring is finally here! We put together a list of books that will raise your spirits and make you laugh to celebrate National Humour Month. There's a book for every reader, from contemporary young adult to a collection of essays to witty crime fiction. Hopefully, this list will pull you out of hibernation and belly laugh with a cold iced tea.

We highly recommend Thomas King's crime fiction series starring Thumps DreadfulWater. It follows the Cherokee ex-cop who's trying to make a civilian life for himself as a photographer in the small town of Chinook. However, DreadfulWater gets roped into investigating a crime involving a dead body in a luxury condo resort. The number one suspect? The son of DreadfulWater's romantic partner and head of the tribal council, Claire Merchant.

The novel's dry and witty humour will leave you with a grin long after you put it down. It's the first book in the series so the fun and amusing cast of characters will keep on giving!

Think about your typical teen movie and then replace your lead with a Black French Canadian. Norris Kaplan is forced to leave his home in Montreal for the very hot Austin, Texas after his mom gets a position at a university. He copes with being the new international student by deploying his snark and writing in his journal where he categorizes his classmates: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Of course, he learns that people are more than their label and makes friends despite his best efforts. 

It's a delightful story that will make you laugh out loud and it's very good at subverting your typical high school tropes. Definitely something we'd recommend for the teens in your life but adults will have fun with this one too!

This comic strip by Aminder Dhaliwal was originally serialized on Instagram before being turned into a book. The premise: a birth defect wipes out the male population and a world of women emerges. As this new society rebuilds, Dhaliwal tracks a group of women who are dealing with very relatable concerns like love and anxiety.

We couldn't say it better than comedian Tig Notaro: "Turns out a world without men is very funny."

This collection features essays about being a woman of colour growing up in Canada. As the daughter of Indian immigrants, Scaachi Koul has a lot to say about sexism, casual racism and her fears and anxiety.

Doesn't sound all that funny, right? The topics may not be but Koul definitely is! If you follow her on Twitter, you can see the biting wit and incisive criticism that's also evident in the book.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is best known for his Pulitzer Prize win for Fiction, but we're going back to the beginning with his debut novel, The Sympathizer. Set in 1975, a Vietnamese general and his colleagues escape Vietnam to Los Angeles. What the general doesn't know is that his trust captain is reporting on them to the Viet Cong as a double agent.

It's part spy novel, part reflection on the lengths we'd go for our ideals. If your laughs skew dark, then this book is for you! Sometimes black humour can really lighten a situation.