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Literary Laughs: Jessica Dettmann on her top five funny books

January 14, 2019

About the author:

Jessica Dettmann is a Sydney-based writer and performer. Her blog, Life With Gusto, turns a sharp but affectionate eye on modern parenthood. She has performed her work several times at Giant Dwarf’s Story Club, and has appeared on their podcast.

After a decade working as an editor for Random House Australia and HarperCollins publishers she made the transition to writing after two small children rendered her housebound. She once appeared as the City of Sydney Christmas Angel and sat on top of the Town Hall in a frock that reached the street.

Read our full review of How To Be Second Best here 

Purchase a copy of How To Be Second Best here

Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods:

Before Cheryl Strayed discovered herself on the Appalachian Train in Wild, Bill Bryson did it. And he did it funnier. This book made me think I wanted to take up hiking long distances in forests, until I realised it actually made me want to take up writing funny things.

David Sedaris, Calypso:

Sedaris is a genius. This is his saddest book and his funniest. His defence of shopping is one of my favourite things.

Marian Keyes, Making It Up As I Go Along:

Keyes’ fiction is terrific but her non-fiction – absurd and true – is what really makes me laugh. Joyfully self-deprecating, she addresses everything from Antarctica to chairs in chemist shops in this collection of her journalism.

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck:

Ephron was so smart, dry, sharp and honest. This sentence is perfection: ‘Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.’

Mo Willems, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus:

Funny books for kids are hardly ever funny for adults. Mo Willems is always funny for everyone. Pigeon is a deranged, loose unit of a character and he cracks me up.


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