April is Humor month at BCPL and staff members share the novels that make them laugh their way through the pages of the book.
Chelsea Swinford, Youth Services Associate, tells how she came to love humor books. “Once in high school I was reading in the bleachers during gym class (yes, I was that kid), tearing up over Dave Pelzer’s personal tragedy, when a friend of mine asked me why I always read such depressing books. I offered up some pretentious response about how serious literature had to be, well, serious. The next day, he came to class and handed me his copy of Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. The novel is difficult to synopsize, but it was more Robbins’ style than the plot that made me re-examine my views on humorous literature.” Chelsea thinks the author himself puts it best: “I write playfully, but I write to change people’s lives. I can come to no other conclusion but that playfulness is a form of wisdom and not of frivolity.”
Kelly Bilz, Local History Associate, recommends her favorite humor book, Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. It’s a memoir about growing up as the daughter of a Catholic priest (her father was a Lutheran preacher before he converted), and it had me laughing out loud as I was reading it. For part of her life, Lockwood lived in Hebron, Kentucky, so it was exciting to read about her exploits in places I knew, like the Purple People Bridge or Newport on the Levee!
Suzanne Yowler, Circulation Assistant, finds the early novels of Jennifer Weiner to be among her favorite humorous books. While they frequently deal with serious subjects, there are still plenty of laughs. Good In Bed, Certain Girls, Little Earthquakes and Goodnight Nobody are, in my opinion, her best.
Kathleen Piercefield, Circulation Assistant, recommends Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series beginning with The Eyre Affair. The Eyre Affair, and the rest of the series, is set in an alternate-reality Great Britain where the Crimean War is still being fought, dodos (cloned and back from extinction) are a common household pet, mammoths run amok through cities in their annual migrations, and time travel is a regular occurrence. Thursday Next, the main character, works for the special division of law enforcement engaged in preventing literary crimes — such as entering a fictional narrative and murdering one of the characters. The humor is sly, sometimes dark, and always delightful, especially for readers who pick up all the literary references peppered throughout.
Jenn Ritter, Page, has always enjoyed Can’t Wait to get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. Her writing style makes the characters come alive from the page. You wish these people were your neighbors!
Deanna Pina, Teen Librarian, recommends The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy. It is an amazingly funny graphic novel that follows a Dungeons & Dragons adventure from The Adventure Zone podcast. The story follows three brothers and their dad as they try, and fail, to be epic heroes. The humor is incredibly sarcastic and the art perfectly illuminates how awful these characters are.