Book reviews by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about

 4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

Anna gave me a book by Laurie Notaro during sophomore year of college, probably as a gift for birthday or Christmas.

(All I can remember is the book, Anna, and my sophomore dorm room.)

(I assume it was a gift.)

(Anna, if you loaned me a book ten years ago that I then stole, feel free to see me about that.)

Like most books I’ve been given as gifts, I took forever getting around to reading it and then loved it and bought everything else from that author I could find.

All of Laurie Notaro’s books are collections of humorous essays.

(Well, she has a couple of novels, but I’m not recommending them because I’ve never read them because I really prefer my favorite authors to stay in their assigned niches.)

(I’m fairly demanding of those I love.)

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

Notaro’s I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl is the book about her 30s and job interviews and Halloween parties and her mom’s love of QVC.

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive  is the first Laurie Notaro book I read and while Anna told me it wasn’t as good as her others (Anna isn’t the best at selling gifts), it’s always been my favorite.

(Maybe because it was my first.)

(That’s always a special book bond.)

This book was published in 2005, so a lot of the essay subjects are, perhaps, a bit dated, but they still make me laugh.

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

I have legitimately used parts of Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood to give life advice to my friends.

This is the book where her essays deal with meeting her husband and their love story.

(I’m a huge sucker for humorous, real-life love stories.)

4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life is Notaro’s first book, the one that established her tone and subject matter and hilarity.

It is also the last one I read, because I enjoy being contrary.

But it’s totally deserving of its hype and if you want to see where the humor started, it’s highly recommended.

What are you reading?


{All links are Amazon affiliate.}
4 Funny Laurie Notaro Books For When You Need A Laugh


7 Hilarious Bill Bryson Books To Read This Summer

I love almost all book genres.

But there’s a special place in my heart for books that make me laugh.

And something about summer – the fresh smells, the piercing light, the outdoor events – makes me want to take a break from depressing, heavy books and curl up with something that makes me chuckle.

One of my favorite authors for such a read is Bill Bryson.

7 Hilarious Bill Bryson Books To Read This Summer

I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away was the first book by Bill Bryson I ever read.

It’s a collection of different articles about living in small-town, Northeastern America after having spent all of his adulthood in Great Britain.

We were staying with family friends in North Carolina and I was in high school when I picked this book up off their coffee table and fell in love.

It’s stories of post-office visits and home improvement kerfuffles are funny and sweet and exposed me to two different worlds (both his British expectations and his small town American realities were far from my own experiences).

7 Hilarious Books By Bill Bryson You Should Read Today

In a Sunburned Country is my favorite Bill Bryson book.

It’s his travel book of Australia and if I’m ever in a party conversation about the continent-country, it’s like all my knowledge originated in this book.

Which says something tragic about my ignorance and education, but that shouldn’t distract you from this hilarious tale.

7 Hilarious Bill Bryson Books To Read This Summer

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is a tale of a man and a friend and the a not-very-fun hike.

Bryson decides that he should walk the Appalachian trail and gets his friend Katz to walk with him, which at least gives him the appearance of not being the worst in-shape person on the walk.

I find the book hilarious, but I should warn you – it’s entirely about Bryson’s experience and not very much about the trail, so if you’re looking for a guide or even a good perspective on the trail, you might want to look elsewhere!

7 Hilarious Books By Bill Bryson You Should Read Today

 The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir is somewhat different from most Bill Bryson books, being a childhood memoir, but is similar to his travelogues, in that in reads as a journey through 1950s America.

It’s a time with which I’m not particularly familiar, so possibly didn’t get as much joy from the references as intended, but I still enjoyed it as a humorous trip through an older Des Moines.

7 Hilarious Books By Bill Bryson You Should Read Today

A Short History of Nearly Everything is a more recent Bill Bryson book – he now tends to write far more about facts and studies and things he’s learning than about places.

Maybe for that reason, it took me a few years after initially picking up this book to bear down and dive in and finish it. And then I loved it.

He interviewed scientist after scientist and put together this book to answer any question you have about the development of the world and its current status.

(I lived in fear of Yellowstone for years after.)

What’s the main thing you look for in a book?


{All links are Amazon affiliate}
5 Hilarious Bill Bryson Books To Read This Summer



If you enjoy reading romantic fiction, you should purchase Lost and Found.

(Full disclosure: The author, Chris Van Hakes, is also known as Shalini, the blogger of Reading and Chickens, and is someone I think is crazy awesome.)

(However, she did not give me a free book or tell me to write this post.)

(And if she had, she probably would have had me do so many months ago when the book came out.)

(But I was pretty busy then being lazy, so you’re getting the review/recommendation today.)


Amazon summary:

“Delaney Curtis just broke up with her boyfriend and moved halfway across the country to start her life over, a life that does not include men, especially not her perpetually grouchy neighbor, Oliver. He calls her ugly, hates her clothes, and has a trail of women leaving his apartment. Oliver Webber can’t seem to stop insulting his new next door neighbor, the unnervingly sweet Delaney. He plans to stay far away from her and everyone else and lick his wounds after unrequited love. Except he keeps running into Delaney, and she’s so fun, and kind, and pretty. Before long, he’s making up excuses to spend time with her. Soon they’re in the middle of a blossoming friendship. But when exes come back to find Delaney and Oliver, they both need to figure out if love is a losing proposition, or worth the gamble.”

Delaney and Oliver are very well written. If you’ve ever read a romance novel, it’s common to have the love interest perfect, with the heroine not far behind.

(Allison found it impossible to read the Sookie Stackhouse books as she though the entire thing was an excuse for the author to endlessly describe Sookie as cute and sexy and fashionable.)

But the two main characters of Lost & Found are human and flawed and believable.

And while the description might make the book sound like it’s about to delve into sexist woman-falls-for-aloof-emotionally-withholding-man tropes, it doesn’t.

(Have no fear.)

I highly recommend Lost & Found.

I laughed, I cried, and I read the Wikipedia page on vitiligo.

I’m not exaggerating that I cried while reading the novel

but that shouldn’t put you off if you’re not looking for sad fiction

I famously used to cry at almost every Twix commercial,


{BREAKING BOOK BUYING NEWS: Shalini just announced that if you purchase Lost & Found in the next month she will donate 100% of the profits to rid Cambodia of malaria. So you can enjoy this book and help save the world from drug-resistant malaria. Seems like a deal.}

{She’s also matching normal donations to FHI36o, if you hate malaria and don’t enjoy romantic fiction.}

(As usual, amazon links are affiliate links.)
Chris Van Hakes’ Lost & Found is Awesome & You Should Read It