Every once in a while, you probably just want to lay down and read some good humour or have a good laugh. A genuinely funny book is one of life’s greatest pleasures and a treasure to hold on to. Here are 10 of the funniest short story collections that might find a way into your treasured collection. This list forms part of The Extraordinary Reading Challenge 2018.

01

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris

David Sedaris is America’s foremost author, comedian, and humorist. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a collection of 27 funny stories from Sedaris’ life, divided into two parts, One and Deux. The first section consists of stories of him growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina and then working in New York City. The second contains stories inspired by his move to and subsequent life in France. Me Talk Pretty One Day won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2001.

Buy it here.

02

One More Thing: Stories And Other Stories

B.J. Novak

B. J. Novak is a writer, director, producer, and actor, widely known for his work in the American television comedy series, The Office. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is funny, entertaining and clever. While the titular story is about a boy who learns that claiming a prize of $100,000 might unravel his family, other stories in this collection will tell you how to find love by wearing a red t-shirt every day; a school principal’s plan to abolish math, and a hare set to take revenge.

Buy it here.

03

Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life

Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a British short story writer, novelist, poet, and screenwriter. Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life is a collection of seven of Dahl’s short stories about rural life which were first published in various magazines. The book covers various humorous country situations from a rat-infested haystack to poaching pheasants with sleeping pills and the trouble of mating a cow with a prime bull. Unlike most of his work, this one is not aimed at children.

Buy it here.

04

Hot Pink

Adam Levin

Adam Levin is a fiction writer known for his dark humour. Those familiar with Levin’s work won’t be surprised by how funny his book Hot Pink is. It is a collection of 10 short stories filled with lust, affection, tenderness, and ferocity. He grabs the reader’s attention right from the beginning with shocking humour and unforgettable characters.

Buy it here.

05

This Too Can Be Yours

Beth Lisick

Beth Lisick is an American writer and performer. This Too Can Be Yours is a collection of unpredictable tongue-in-chic short stories. It is a testament to Lisick’s talent and versatility as a writer of short fiction. This book contains stories about some of the weirdest encounters in life at some of the most common places such as offices, shopping malls, nightclubs, and apartments.

Buy it here.

06

Side Effects

Woody Allen

Woody Allen is a popular writer, comedian, musician, director, and actor. Side Effects is a collection of 17 comical short stories that originally appeared in the New Yorker. One of the stories, “The Kugelmass Episode” won the O. Henry Award in 1978. Considered as one of the classics in the genre of humour, Side Effects is loaded with laughter and chuckles.

Buy it here.

07

A Load Of Hooey

Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk is a writer, comedian, director, producer, and actor. A Load of Hooey explores plots ranging from intentionally ridiculous monologues to deliberately bad theatre, and from experimental fiction to free verse poetry. Anyone who has read the book knows why Odenkirk is considered a legend in the world of comic writing.

Buy it here.

08

Hyperbole And A Half

Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh was named one of the 50 most influential creative persons in the world in 2013. Hyperbole and a Half is a collection of hilarious web-comics and stories about life’s mishaps. The stories cover various aspects of her life such as her wild and energetic childhood, challenges of owning a mentally disabled dog, and her struggles with depression.

Buy it here.

09

Birds Of America

Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is a humorous fiction writer mostly known for her funny and poignant short stories. Birds of America is a collection of 12 short stories that were originally published in Elle, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. One of the stories, “People Like That Are The Only People Here”  won an O. Henry Award in 1998. The book has also won the Salon Book Award, the Village Voice Book of the Year, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize.

Buy it here.

10

Spoiled Brats: Stories

Simon Rich

Simon Rich is a popular humorist, novelist, and screenwriter. Spoiled Brats: Stories is about conflicts between parents and kids.  Rich has cleverly used animals as the characters in his stories to draw parallels with the world we live in and the situations we face.  For example, in “Family Business”, a chimpanzee rebels against his father to become a research animal instead of joining the family business.   The Guardian called Spoiled Brats the funniest book of the year in 2014.

Buy it here.

Have you read any of these short story collections? Do you have any other recommendations? Share with us in the comments.

Ankit Mahawar

Ankit Mahawar

Ankit loves stories, be it in any form- print, media or theatre. After reading Angels and Demons, he fell in love with books, especially suspense, thriller, and fantasy. He is a big fan of Harry Potter series. He quit his engineering career to become a writer and currently works with The Curious Reader. Apart from writing he also loves filmmaking, photography, traveling and cooking. You can reach him on Instagram.