This week’s Top Ten on The Broke and the Bookish blog is “Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun.” Everyone has their own idea of what qualifies for light and fun reading, as reading preferences and habits can differ greatly from person to person. For me, light and fun books are typically lighter in tone and easier to read than what I usually subject myself to, have high entertainment value, and are oftentimes humorous.
1. Discworld series by Terry Prachett
Pratchett’s long-running comic fantasy series (currently at 39 books) is an excellent blend of magic, wit, and satire that provides nearly endless entertainment and hilarity.
2. Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
I’m brand new to this series, but I’m happy to report that Evanovich’s lingerie-buyer-turned-bounty-hunter protagonist and her high-spirited grandmother have stolen my heart.
3. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman
This assortment of essays reflecting on some of the highlights of popular culture (such as MTV’s The Real World, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry in the 1980s, Pamela Anderson, The Sims computer game, and Saved by the Bell) is as hilarious as it is educational.
4. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris
Sedaris’s offbeat and twisted sense of humor is not for everyone, but for those that like that kind of thing, look no farther than Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: a small collection of fable-like short stories featuring anthropomorphic animals doing some truly despicable, non-Aesop-like things to one another.
5. You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News: Shocking but Utterly True Facts by Cracked.com
This book is actually a selection of articles that have appeared on Cracked.com, a popular humor website that I find myself visiting far too often in my free time.
6. Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley
A fast, fun series chock-full of video game references that can be read in a single sitting.
7. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
The beauty of this collection is that I can open it anywhere and find something that will make me smile.
8. Camp Half-Blood series by Rick Riordan
Riordan’s popular fantasy series of middle school and teenage Greco-Roman demigods is equivalent to seeing a really good action movie that’s not afraid to be funny.
9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
I should qualify this entry to just the first three books, as the series gets noticeably darker and more serious with the fourth book.
10. Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino
Arguably the least light book of the list in terms of reading difficulty, Calvino’s short story collection about the misadventures of the quixotic Marcovaldo and his family has made me laugh time and time again.