15 New Books To Make You Laugh (And Cry A Little, Too) This Spring
Everyone could use a good laugh these days, so I've got 15 new funny books to make you laugh this spring. Whether 2019 has been great, terrible, or somewhere in between, the 15 novels and memoirs on the list below will leave you in stitches and wanting more.
Spring is the season for renewal and rebirth, but at a time when every day seems to bring a new crisis, it can be difficult to see the new green growth among the ashes. Laughter can't solve all of our problems, but it can make us feel a little bit better on days when the world seems to be at its darkest.
No matter whether the hardships weighing on you this season are personal or widespread, getting a fun and funny escape from it all is a great form of self-care. Although you might feel as if you need to devote all of your attention to your problems, you should take the time to assess their severity, and give yourself permission to forget about the things you can't change right now, at least for a little while. These books aren't funny all the time; they're poignant, and dark, and speak to the very real lived experiences of marginalized people. But, at times, they deliver hard truths with a lot of humor.
Reading a good book is a fantastic way to get some distance from the hurdles of your life. Check out the 15 new books I've picked out to make you laugh and smile this spring:
'Queenie' by Candice Carty-Williams
Hailed as Bridget Jones for a new generation, Candice Carty-Williams' Queenie follows its eponymous, Jamaican-British heroine as she recovers from the ending of a longterm relationship by getting back into the — disastrous — dating scene.
'The New Me' by Halle Butler
Working a series of temp jobs in Chicago, 30-year-old Millie has fallen into a predictable routine. She spends her nights alone in her apartment, marathoning Forensic Files and wishing that things would change. When Millie thinks she may has a chance at a full-time job, she decides to give it her all (which isn't much) in this darkly funny (and pretty depressing) novel.
'The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters' by Balli Kaur Jaswal
From Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows author Balli Kaur Jaswal comes this new novel about three, British-born sisters who reunite to carry their mother's remains to India. But each of the women — Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina — has a reason to leave home and travel across the Indian subcontinent, and their secrets won't stay secrets for long on the road.
'Bowlaway' by Elizabeth McCracken
The inheritance of a candlepin bowling alley in a Massachusetts town takes center stage in this family saga. Peppered with quirky characters and their strange interpersonal details and demises, Bowlaway is equal parts tender and hilarious.
'There's Something About Sweetie' by Sandhya Menon
Ashish is recently uncoupled and looking for a new love interest to please his traditional parents when he meets Sweetie, a girl who is anything but traditional. She's fat, an athlete, and a free spirit, and she just so happens to have a pair of conservative parents on her back. As Ashish and Sweetie try separately to live up to their families expectations, or buck them, they begin to draw closer to one another in this new YA novel from When Dimple Met Rishi author Sandhya Menon.
'No Happy Endings: A Memoir' by Nora McInerny
Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast host Nora McInerny reflects on a year of loss and rebuilding in the aftermath in this memoir. After being widowed in the same year she miscarried and lost her father, McInerny began a new relationship and figured out how to blend together two families, without losing her late husband's relatives in the process. At turns poignant and funny, No Happy Endings is a surprisingly humorous take on loss and recovery.
'The Friend Zone' by Abby Jimenez (June 11)
While planning a friend's wedding, Kristen meets the man of her dreams in Josh, the groom's best man, who just seems to get her. There's just one problem: Josh wants lots of kids, and Kristen's upcoming surgery would make bearing children an impossibility. As attraction mounts on both sides, Kristen must face the difficult conversation looming on the horizon in this romantic comedy novel from debut author Abby Jimenez.
'Vacuum in the Dark' by Jen Beagin
Pretend I'm Dead author Jen Beagin is back this spring with Vacuum in the Dark, a sequel to her 2018 hit. In this funny novel, housecleaner Mona has taken up with Dark, the husband of one of her clients, and their relationship may be ill-advised, to say the least — and that's not to mention the couple she models in the nude for, or her own addiction to narcotic painkillers.
'Ayesha at Last' by Uzma Jalaluddin
A Pride and Prejudice retelling set in a Canadian Muslim community, Ayesha at Last centers on Ayesha and Khalid, two twenty-something singles whose lives keep intersecting. She's career-focused, and he's pointedly traditional, but gossip about both their families threatens to poison the proverbial well.
'I Miss You When I Blink' by Mary Laura Philpott
This essay collection from the host of Nashville Public Television's A Word on Words is a memoir in fragments, each of which focuses on a different aspect of living, working, dating, and socializing for the modern professional woman. Hilariously observant, Mary Laura Philpott's I Miss You When I Blink will leave you feeling seen.
'Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations' by Mira Jacob
Another memoir, Mira Jacob's Good Talk begins with the difficulties of raising a half-Jewish, half-Indian child in the wake of the 2016 election — a child whose questions open the door for deeper reflections on life, love, and experience.
'The Study of Animal Languages' by Lindsay Stern
As professors of philosophy and biolinguistics, Ivan and Prue should be able to communicate their way out of any jam. But Ivan's stick-in-the-mud conservatism leaves him feeling eclipsed by his younger, enigmatic, and more productive wife. Threatened by her popularity and his own misunderstandings of human nature, Ivan begins to make a series of wrongheaded decisions that provide readers with hearty laughs and razor-sharp insight into the human psyche.
'Stay Up with Hugo Best' by Erin Somers
When her aging boss, late-night comedy host Hugo Best, retires suddenly, 29-year-old writer June Bloom finds herself out of work and back in the stand-up grind. When Hugo unexpectedly invites June to his Greenwich mansion for Memorial Day weekend, she thinks she knows what to expect, but what unfolds is anything other than predictable.
'Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story' by Jacob Tobia
Assigned male at birth in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jacob grew up forced into a box that didn't fit. Their memoir of growing up with a tentative gender identity pushes against outdated modes of thinking in meaningful ways that are, at times, laugh-out-loud funny.
'The Overdue Life of Amy Byler' by Kelly Harms
Three years after Amy's husband John abandoned their family, he returns, seeking a relationship with his two children: 15-year-old Cori and 11-year-old Joe. Liberated from her responsibilities as a mother, librarian Amy takes off to New York, spending a summer in the city on John's dime. As the end of her alone time approaches, however, Amy must decide which life she wants to keep.