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funny/uplifting books?


meggo
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First thought, anything by Douglas Adams. I've also been well-immersed recently in some Tom Robbins for the first time (Skinny Legs and All), and very much enjoying it (whenever I can scrape together some time to get into some fiction). I don't know what sort of cheering up is needed, but this one seems to cover a lot of bases.

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Anything by Farley Mowat; unbeatable Canadiana.

Almost invariably non-fiction (at least loosely) and funny as hell throughout. (Dry Canadian humour.) As well, almost invariably, the story ends with something shocking; but that's usually because you're already drawn in and love the characters, and by that point the moral is obvious too, which usually is to the effect that humans suck in the way we treat each other / the planet / the ocean / animals...

His most famous work, and the obvious first choice, is "Never Cry Wolf"; pretty much available at any Canadian used book store in paperback for under $4.00.

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Mark Leyner ("Et Tu, Babe?", "My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist") makes me laugh, but if you're talking about who I think you're talking about, those might not be the best choices.

How about the Ladinsky translations of Hafiz ("The Gift", "I Heard God Laughing")? They are like a reset button for the soul. Because after all ...

'A poet is someone

Who can pour Light into a cup

and raise it to nourish your

beautiful parched holy mouth'

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Anything by Farley Mowat; unbeatable Canadiana.

My Discovery of America is a real treat - his experience of being rejected at the airport by the INS (US Immigration) for completely mysterious and unspecified reasons (the real point being his comments on gov't policy in his book Sea of Slaughter); the INS don't know how well tied in he is with a major Canadian publisher. Hilarity ensues. I don't make it sound as good as it gets. If your friend's every been hassled at the border, it's a real satisfying read.

On a more or less unrelated note, there's always Lewis Thomas' Lives of a Cell, a series of essays commenting on the chain of life and humanity's (rather small) place in it all. Very refreshing, funny, and humbling.

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If your friend likes (or is familiar with) "Lord Of The Rings", then "Bored Of The Rings", which was done by the Harvard Lampoon, is a parodic hoot from end to end. Similarly, for any fan of Frank Herbert's "Dune" books, "Doon" by the National Lampoon is well worth it.

The books aren't really uplifting or anything, just really funny, if you like parody and satire.

Aloha,

Brad

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Well what I would Recomend and it might Seem wierd or somthing But I highly Recommend A book that was Writen A Long time ago..The Copy i was able to read various Short storys that were termendously entertaining and kinda left me fealing with a Uplifting and gladatude of life. The Book I am talking about is "Grimms Fairy Tales"

Its the Origianl Storys of alice in wonderland, Thomb Thums, red ridding hood, Rumpulstilskin, ummSnow White, that one about the ginger bread ummm Hansel and greddle All kinds of OLD FARIAE TALES, the Athours name Is some guy with the last name Grimm and the book is called "Grimms Fairae tales" Quite a Nice book.

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Life After God by Douglas Coupland (okay, a bit of a downer at times, but has a positive message and ending...for me anyway). Especially avoid Hey Nostradamus!. Booooo!

Anything by David Sedaris or Tim Sandlin (hard to find, but sooooo worth it).

I don't know what kind of inspiration your friend is looking for or if they're depressed at all, but Chuck Palahniuk is good if they're a little, um, "off".

Just stear clear of Sylvia Plath and anything Kafka-esque. ;)

Edit to add: Of course, Tom Robbins is always a great read!

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I'd recommend Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

I'd have to second that; that one made me a Vonnegut fan.

How does this one compare to Slaughterhouse 5? I am just at the last few pages of that one... found it kind of dry.... but I always like to try more than one book for an author before I judge.

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