Ep 159; Books to Escape The Bad Stuff & Funny Books…

This episode Simon and Thomas talk about the books that we can read to escape all the crazy things going on in the world as well as funny books, just how funny are they really?

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logo3_728-x-90111 Books to Escape the Bad Stuff () Thomas and Simon discuss what the books are that we can read when we want to escape all the mad stuff that is going on the world. They also discuss if we should be escaping the events that are unfolding or reading more about them?  image3

Funny Books () Can books ever really be funny? If so which ones are funny? What makes a funny book and why? Is one readers funny the polar opposite for another reader? Simon and Thomas discuss this in the second part of the show.

Books Mentioned On The Readers () Agatha Raisin by M.C Beaton, Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, Mapp and Lucia by E.F. Benson, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, John Wyndham novels, At Hawthorne Time by Melissa Harrison, The Hopkins Manuscript by R.C Sheriff, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, Harry Potter novels, The Three Musketeers & the Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas, Anthony Trollope’s novels, Girl at War by Sara Novic, The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rain by Melissa Harrison, Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford, David Lodge’s novels, Dan Rhodes novels, Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch, Chelsea Handler’s books, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, P.G Wodehouse’s books, Tom Sharpe’s books, Bill Bryson’s books, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, I Partridge by Steve Coogan, Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Money by Martin Amis, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, David Sedaris’ books, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Family Law by Benjamin Law, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Running With Scissors & Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs, Love Nina by Nina Stibbe, Alan Bennett, Candide by Voltaire, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, The Finkler Question by Harold Jacobson, The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild, Sue Townsend’s books.

Next time on the Readers () The Readers will be back in two weeks when they will be back with more book based banter. If you missed the latest episode of You Wrote The Book do go and listen, Simon’s is joined by Kit de Waal to discuss her incredible debut novel My Name is Leon.

11 thoughts on “Ep 159; Books to Escape The Bad Stuff & Funny Books…

  1. I ROTFL at Johnathan Trooper’s “This is Where I Leave You”. There is one main scene that I just died of laughter at it. Have you read it?

  2. Only 1/2way thru this episode but had to pause to comment. Beverley Nichols trilogies would answer both questions. I know NOTHING about gardening, but I find his books immensely escapist (perhaps because the idea of a slow-paced English village is so appealing to me), relaxing, and funny.
    Also, books like the Kite Runner. Horrific things happen, but stories like it are important in that they help us grow in compassion for those whose lives we couldn’t otherwise understand or relate to. If gave me a much greater understanding of what Afghan and Iranian refugees who fled to the US in the 80s had been through. Some of whom I went to college with.
    Also had the “pie in the sky” thought that we should all right letters to editors of the larger news outlets and encourage them to just pick ONE day to plaster their front pages with good news. Can you imagine massive headlines of good news? Maybe good news doesn’t sell that much, but surely one day wouldn’t hurt their bottom lines that much.
    Off to finish listening. Forgive typos am typing on the phone.

  3. Back to add PG Wodehouse in small doses can make me giggle as can the poetry of Shel Silverstein. (I defy anyone to read his The Beard and not chuckle.) Don’t know if I would still find her funny but 30 years ago used to enjoy Erma Bombeck’s snarky commentary on being a housewife.

  4. Thanks for discussing these topics. I think about these very things quite often and really enjoyed your conversation about them. A great escapist book for me is not defined so much by its genre or mood but more by whether or not it’s a story that I can lose myself in. I need a story that is fluid, enabling me to be totally unaware of the author’s presence, and having characters, events, and settings that I can connect with and invisibly tag along with them.

    My most recent escapist book is The Marvels by Brian Selznik. The book itself is beautiful; its hefty 665 gold-tipped pages felt like an indulgence the moment I picked it up. A majority of the book has no written words but instead, it has intricate sketches readily portraying emotions, plot, and scene of a story that spans 150 years and 5 generations of the Marvel family. It is in the sketches that I escaped to another world/time/life. True, it is a children’s book but that doesn’t mean it’s any less interesting or intriguing. In fact, it made it much easier to read and engage with. I’m with both of you in believing if I really enjoy a book, that makes it a perfect escape.

    Regarding books that make you laugh, I have yet to find a book that makes me ROLF but one that often had me chuckling was the audiobook version of “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. Simon, I hope you soon find one that has you ROLFing 🙂 Plus, I’d love it if you’d share your cackles, chuckles, giggles, snickers, and belly laughs with us sometime. I can bet you’ll have all your followers laughing along with you. The Readers Laugh-in! Love your podcast!

  5. Thanks for your podcast! I really enjoyed this episode. A suggestion for an hilarious escapist read, one of my all-time favourite books, “Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates” by Tom Robbins. So funny, but also brilliantly written.

  6. I’ll read any book as a means of escape. It doesn’t really matter the genre or topic. It just needs to suck me in. That being said, when I’m going through a rough time or the world gets too much for me, I do find myself craving books that take place outdoors and I especially love if there is some sort of adventure. I get the most comfort from being in nature, so I often seek it in books. It doesn’t have to be reality and it doesn’t have to be happy. I’m just as willing to visit Middle Earth, climb Everest with devastating results, walk the Appalachian trail, or get lost in the woods with only a walkman to keep me sane.

    I do also fall back on old favorites such as Harry Potter to escape. I know Thomas doesn’t care for HP, but living in that world on and off for years got me through my darkest days and they will forever be special in my heart. I will also read Agatha Christie, M.C. Beaton, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels (throw back to my younger years), Daphne du Maurier, or some of my favorite classics like Jane Austen novels. I even have a few books saved from childhood that I’ve been known to read. Mystery of the Witches Bridge comes to mind! I don’t recall the author but it was published by Scholastic I think in the 60’s. I loved it!

    I can’t think of a single book that I would consider to be truly funny. There may be funny moments in novels, but that’s about all. I think it’s a lot easier to do comedy on tv or in movies than on the printed page. Fascial expressions, tone of voice and so forth are what make me laugh. Comedy is also so much more subjective than drama. Most people can agree that something is sad or touching, but not everyone agrees on what’s funny. I personally like dry, dark humor. I tend to like witty, British humor over the American comedy we have here in the States. I’m disappointed that Simon didn’t like the Ab Fab movie. I was looking forward to that and now don’t know if I’ll watch it. I suspect that I’m not going to care for it very much!

    I plan to check out some of your suggestions for “funny” books. I’m not familiar with many that were mentioned.

    As an aside, I really love listening to your podcast! Simon, I listen to your others and watch your videos and thing they’re all great. But I mostly love listening to the two of you together. I really look forward to the banter and I laugh a lot. A perfect way to escape from this crazy world for a while! Thank you both… 🙂

  7. Such interesting thoughts on which book is “funny.” I never find books particularly funny — Martin Amis’ The Information had some hilarious passages, but overall the message was more serious. A great discussion and so much fun to hear Simon and Thomas answer my question.

  8. I struggle with descriptions of books as ‘funny’ and ‘humorous’. Most of the time i find the humour strained or just not funny. The only ones that appeal to me are where they use the British dry sense of humour which is not meant to be laugh aloud. Or maybe I’m just a miserable old git…..

  9. “Escaping the bad stuff” is an interesting concept. Yes, there is “bad stuff” in our world, but it’s my view that media sensationalism delivers a grossly distorted view, Nonetheless, I escape the hubbub of work, incessant noise etc. by going for hikes. My book about it, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail, shares just how rewarding that can be, adding dimensions to your life you could only have imagined if you had stayed home.

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