Wednesday, April 07, 2021

by Joanne Mengel

April is National Humor Month and I’m sure many of you have heard the old saying “Laughter is the best medicine”. I totally agree. My philosophy is that when life gets you down the best way to bring yourself back up is try to find humor in the situation. It is not always an easy thing to do so I put together a selection of both fiction and nonfiction titles that just might help you find your funny bone!

Fiction titles you might enjoy:

Separation anxiety: a novel by 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.

I was told it would get easier by Abbi Waxman

Mother and daughter duo, Jessica and Emily Burnstein, watch their carefully mapped out college tour devolve into something they never expected in this hilarious and insightful new novel. For Jessica, it's a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. She isn't even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn't entirely sure she likes herself. Together with a dozen strangers and two familiar enemies, Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, visiting one prospective college after another, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets test their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

Not that kind of guy by Andi J Christopher

An office attraction becomes something more when they're off the clock in this delightful romantic comedy. State attorney Bridget Nolan is successful in all aspects of her life-except romance. Her legal intern, Matt Kido, is dumbstruck by Bridget - total love at first sight - but there's one problem. She's totally off limits while she's his boss. But the moment he no longer reports to her, Matt decides to take a chance. An impulsive decision takes them to Las Vegas where, as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. 

Anxious people: a novel by Fredrik Backman

From the same author who wrote Man Called Ove, this one is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them - the bank robber included - desperately crave some sort of rescue.

Good riddance by Elinor Lippman

In this delightful new romantic comedy by one of my favorites, one woman's trash becomes another woman's treasure, with deliriously entertaining results. Daphne Maritch doesn't quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear.The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of '69 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one - not always charitably - and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds. When the yearbook falls in the wrong hands, Daphne finds herself entangled in a series of events both poignant and absurd. A fun read!


Nonfiction titles to consider:

The art of taking it easy: how to cope with bears, traffic, and the rest of life's stressors by Brian King

Who better than a comedian to bring out the humor in everyday life? Comedian Brian KIng explores what stress is, where it comes from, and what it does to our bodies and brains. Includes life-changing tips through a blend of humor, science, and guidance.


Did you know there is scientific proof of the benefits of humor?

Ha!: the science of when we laugh and why by Scott Weems

Beginning with the premise that humor arises from inner conflict in the brain, Weems explores such issues as why surprise is so important for humor, why computers are terrible at recognizing what's funny, and why cringe-worthy stereotypes make us laugh the hardest. 

Relax - you may only have a few minutes left: using the power of humor to overcome stress in your life and work by Loretta LaRoche

Loretta LaRoche has been called "the Erma Bombeck of stress reduction”. In the helpful and hilarious pages of this entertaining book, her enormous talent for finding the funny detail to defuse even the most difficult situation has never been sharper.  Filled with practical exercises, hilarious anecdotes, and specific advice for coming to terms with today’s ever-increasing stress levels, this one is the perfect remedy for anxiety and a prescription for laughter.

Laughter in ancient Rome: on joking, tickling, and cracking up by Mary Beard

Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing-from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book-Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient 'monkey business' to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising.

Laughter yoga: daily practices for health and happiness by Madan Kataria

This book will show you how to bring laughter into your life at any time of day - no special equipment needed, no new wardrobe, no expensive classes, not even a sense of humor! Laughter yoga is all about voluntary laughter and how you can learn to laugh even in the absence of humorous stimuli, and reap the extraordinary, scientifically proven benefits, which include stress reduction, pain relief, weight loss, heightened immunity, and, especially, enhanced mood. If you act happy, you'll become happy - your body can't tell the difference! 

Still need help finding your funny bone? Library staff at the Help Desk or Reference Desk are happy to assist. We will do our best to send you home with books and movies sure to help with that!

Joanne Mengel is a member of the Information Services team at the Fond du Lac Public Library.