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February 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Humorous Fiction
American Housewife. By Helen Ellis. 2016. Doubleday, $24 (9780385541039).
Ellis’ short stories about women under pressure are archly, acerbically, and surreally hilarious as she takes down the entire housewife concept with a sniper’s precision in revved-up, sometimes macabre tales of ruined marriages, illness, lingerie, reality TV, ghosts, even murder.
Avenue of Mysteries. By John Irving. 2015. Simon & Schuster, $28 (9781451664164).
Irving revitalizes his signature fascinations in this funny, wildly imaginative, tender, and mystical novel about famed writer Juan Diego, who looks back on the mysteries and revelations of his life, beginning with his impoverished childhood in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Crow Fair. By Thomas McGuane. 2015. Knopf, $25.95 (9780385350198).
Montana writer McGuane’s stories combine ironic gleefulness with dark humor as he delves into the crazier aspects of marriage, family, convention, dreams, and life itself.
Disgruntled. By Asali Solomon. 2015. Farrar, $26 (9780374140342).
In Solomon’s bold, many-faceted coming-of-age tale, preternaturally observant and mordantly amusing Kenya is teased mercilessly by her Philadelphia classmates for her black anarchist family’s odd ways, yet they don’t know the half of it.
Fear of Dying. By Erica Jong. 2015. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (9781250065919); e-book, $12.99 (9781466872905).
Vanessa, an irreverent sexpot turning 60, is flashy, flip, canny, and riotous as she copes with matters of age and illness, online dating, and the entire “sea of lunacy” in which we flail.
The Making of Zombie Wars. By Aleksandar Hemon. 2015. Farrar, $26 (9780374203412).
Hemon unleashes his droll comedic powers in this tale of a Chicago ESL teacher who is writing a zombie screenplay to sublimate his anxiety over his child-psychologist girlfriend, PTSD-stricken landlord, and a quartet of war-haunted Bosnian immigrants.
Man at the Helm. By Nina Stibbe. 2015. Little, Brown, $25 (9780316286671); e-book, $11.99 (9780316286749).
In Stibbe’s charming and funny debut, nine-year-old Lizzie, her mother, and sister are forced out of London after her father has an affair and into a small English village where they are shunned for lacking a “man at the helm.”
The Rosie Effect. By Graeme Simsion. 2015. Simon & Schuster, $25 (9781476767314).
Simsion continues the story of quirky genetics professor Don Tillman, introduced in his best-selling The Rosie Project (2013), as he becomes a father in this warmly humorous celebration of human variety.
The State We’re In: Maine Stories. By Ann Beattie. 2015. Scribner, $25 (9781501107818).
A brilliantly comic literary writer, Beattie orchestrates laugh-out-loud situations and skirmishing dialogue in these Maine-set stories of characters dealing with troubled families, lovers, neighbors, pets, even the IRS.
The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty. By Amanda Filipacchi. 2015. Norton, $25.95 (9780393243871).
Filipacchi offers an astute, piercing look at our obsession with appearance in this witty farce about five artistic friends known as the Knights of Creation who are caught up dire predicaments that reveal much about human nature.
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