Monday, April 2, 2018

LBS 803 Week Ten- Funny Books

*Note to regular readers- it's been awhile since I've "regularly posted," and things are going really well. An aspect of one of my current library classes is posting weekly blogs with book recommendations, so you'll see these posts popping up!

One of the most difficult recommendations to make concerns humor- how is it possible to help someone else pick out a funny book? What makes someone laugh varies so deeply person to person that you almost always need to layer additional knowledge before definitively making a call. Still, as our professor so aptly explained, broaden your definition to "amusing," and you can pad your list. This week our class took a look at funny books with Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, Simon Vs. The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle, and The Disenchantments by Nina Lacour.  Using what I know about these books and some sleuthing in the (often disorientingly-shelved) YA section of my local Barnes and Noble, I've come up with a few more "funny books" that should make a good chunk of your students chuckle.

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

It's no surprise that Evil Librarian makes this list- this is one of my Swiss-Army-recs that fits so many different bills. Cynthia is a typical high schooler, drooling over her crush (who happens to be the lead in the high school musical), designing her dream set (for the high school musical), and hanging out with her best friend (in between- you guessed it- rehearsals for the high school musical). Things are tripping along nicely until the new librarian shows up and WHOOPS, he's a demon who has decided to take Annie, Cynthia's bestie, as his demon bride. Cynthia's voice as a "roach," the common term for a human who doesn't fall under the thrall of a demon, is quite hilarious, as is the world that Knudsen builds around the events of the novel. (My favorite tidbit? The demons are obsessed with musical theater, and when they find out the school is performing Sweeney Todd, they hold off all plans for an evil takeover until after opening night.). This book is not the deepest of all plots, but you will definitely giggle.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

European royalty has been the subject of SO MUCH fiction, and not much of it has been anything to laugh at- using marriages as contracts between countries, killing off wives when you're done with's a grim time period. However, My Lady Jane takes the serious subject of familial obligation and mixes it playfully with fantastical shape shifting, elaborate double lives, and accidental romance. Light and very, very silly, My Lady Jane is a refreshing twist on Tudor England sure to make students crack a smile.

Not Now Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Anderson's books fall into the perfect Venn Diagram of funny and pop culture nerdy. A retelling of The Importance of Being Earnest, Anderson's novel follows Elliot as she embarks on a summer mission to win a scholarship to the Science Fiction Literature program at her dream college. The blurb alone references Ender's Game, Alien, Star Wars, and Octavia Butler. This is a companion to the much-lauded The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You, a similarly culture-laden retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, and Anderson fans gush about her niche as a geeky/cute reteller of classics. I haven't read either of these books yet, but they've moved to the top of my TBR.


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