Karen B's Recommendations

It’s been a hard year, and sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is having something to laugh about. Cat memes and TikTok videos are great for a quick stress break, but there’s nothing like a side-splitting story or hilarious memoir to take us away from it all. As an FYI—if you are looking for humour, you’ll often find it in memoirs—it seems truth is both stranger and funnier than fiction!

Separation Anxiety book jacket coverSeparation Anxiety by Laura Zigman (Fiction)

“From bestselling author Laura Zigman, a hilarious novel about a wife and mother whose life is unraveling and the well-intentioned but increasingly disastrous steps she takes to course-correct her relationships, her career, and her belief in herself.” – Publisher

Fans of Emily Giffin and David Nicholls will delight in this self-deprecating tale that’s sure to offer comforting comedic relief to our own harried shelter-at-home days.

Molly of the Mall book jacket coverMolly of the Mall by Heidi L. M. Jacobs

My colleague, Karen C., started recommending this book to literary enthusiasts, book club geeks, and anyone who would listen, well over a year ago. She was certainly onto something--Molly of the Mall went on to win the Leacock Medal, awarded for Canadian literary humour.

“Aspiring novelist Molly MacGregor's life is strikingly different from a literary heroine's. Named for one of literature's least romantic protagonists, Moll Flanders, Molly lives in Edmonton, a city she finds irredeemably unromantic, where she writes university term papers instead of novels, and sells shoes in the Largest Mall on Earth. There she seeks the other half of her young life's own matched pair.” - Publisher

Dear Girls book jacket coverDear Girls by Ali Wong (Memoir)

If you’re a fan of comedian Ali Wong’s, Baby Cobra, you’ll love her full memoir, Dear Girls.

“She shares the wisdom she's learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal singles life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong's letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all." - Publisher

Calypso book jacket coverCalypso by David Sedaris (Memoir)

David Sedaris is well-known for his self-deprecating, dark humour, especially when it comes to discussing family. In Calypso, he explores the dark side of acquiring a vacation home, as well as dealing with middle-age.

“This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet--and it just might be his very best.” - Publisher

Will My Cat Eat my Eyeballs book jacket coverWill My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? By Caitlin Doughty (Non-fiction)

If you’re looking for even darker humour, licensed mortician, Caitlin Doughty, answers real questions from kids about death, dead bodies, and decomposition in her latest title.

“Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? blends her scientific understanding of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious, and candid answers to thirty-five urgent questions posed by her youngest fans.” - Publisher

Other humorous titles: