Wacky Happy Books

Hello all! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Inspired by Furiously Happy, I thought I’d do a post about some wackadoodle books. Plus tis the season and all that jazz- time for a little dose of pure joy! In no particular order…

witches abroad

Witches Abroad– I can’t not have a Pratchett on this list- and I’ve always found the witches stories the most bonkers of all the Discworld books (and that’s saying something). This one in particular is a satirical take on fairytales and is endlessly fun- so it’s a win all round!

Alice's_Adventures_in_Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland– how could I have a list about wacky books without including this? And who doesn’t love this flawlessly mad classic? Do I even need a reason for including this?

anansi boys

Anansi Boys– technically this comes after American Gods (although I read it first, because I’m a numpty that didn’t know that) so you should probably read that before this, but this is the one that made me fall head over heels for Gaiman’s work!! It’s wacky and funny and pretty ingenious- basically perfect for this list!

charmed life

Charmed Life– moving over to the sweeter and less crazy of the books on the list, I reckon Diana Wynne Jones deserves a shout. I don’t think I talk about this author nearly enough, considering my love for her work growing up. Her books are always wonderfully original, quirky and full of eccentric characters, so are all worth picking up. Charmed Life in particular brought me endless joy as a child, so I had to mention it here. Speaking of childhood faves…

phantom tollbooth

Phantom Tollbooth– I actually recently reread this one (thanks very much to the book voucher I found in a used book which inspired me to go into a Waterstones and nab a copy) and mannn I totally get why this blew me away when I was a little ‘un. Heck- it blew me away now! The story weaves in impossible directions and has such depth of imagination- there’s no doubt it’s a classic for a reason.

Importance_earnest_dvd

The Importance of Being Earnest– this is actually a *double* recommendation, because I not only recommend the hilariously witty play by Oscar Wilde, but I also highly suggest watching the 1952 movie version, because it’s basically one of the best adaptations of all time (not the modern version- it veers on the cringey side)

i partridge

I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan– okay, so this might seem like the most random recommendation on the list, because a lot of people won’t know this character or have any reason to pick it up- which is why this is also a double (possibly triple) recommendation. Because Alan Partridge is a fictional character, first appearing on screens in Knowing Me, Knowing You (a parody chat show) and then I’m Alan Partridge (a mockumentary after the fallout). If you like comedy, and especially if you’re a fan of the Office, then this is SO WORTH IT (plus, it actually came first and in my humble opinion is actually better). Now I do recommend all of that for serious book pleasure BUT this is still a FANTASTIC parody of celebrity biographies in its own right- so definitely read it!

So do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? Do you have any of your own to add? Let me know in the comments!

49 thoughts on “Wacky Happy Books

  1. Wow, that is a great selection of nutso books! I’ve read most of them and definitely concur with your assessment.

    I just read The Phantom Tollbooth a little while ago, so it’s still fresh in my mind. It was just fun 🙂

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  2. Great list. I always feel like Diana Wynne Jones doesn’t get enough love. I don’t think I’ve ever read Charmed Life, but I’ll have to check it out.
    I definitely have a soft spot for The Phantom Tollbooth as well, and if I had to pick a favorite work by Wilde it would probably be the Importance of Being Earnest (though I’m glad I don’t actually have to pick because that would be tough!)

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  3. Great list! I remember reading the ‘Phantom Tollbooth’ as a kid – a completely bonkers book that was just wonderful. I don’t know where I’d find a copy now. I have about 3 editions of ‘Alice’, including a facsimile edition of Carroll’s original 1864 manuscript, ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’. I am pretty sure he was on something – laudanum, probably – although I’ve also heard that a lot of it was a very obscure joke about a new principle of maths that Mr Dodgson disagreed with.

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    1. Thank you! Completely agree! hehe I can relate- although, even though I have three knocking about in my house, funnily enough none of them are mine (two are my mum’s, one is my sister’s) haha oh my goodness I need to check that out. That just sounds too good to pass up!

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    1. Thank you! hahaha I do love that play (one of my favourites) but, as funny as it is, I feel like it’s ultimately a little bit too dark to put on this list. Maybe I should have put Beckett or better still Pinter on this list- but my mum already objected to me putting Wilde on here (even though I said it was a play) because the list said “books” 😉 she takes these things too personally 😂

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  4. Yay for mentioning the Discworld witches! My favourite witch of all time is Nanny Ogg!

    So ‘Anansi Boys’ is worth reading, yes? I loved ‘American Gods’ but haven’t picked the ‘sequel’ up yet. Might put it back on the list though.

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  5. Oh this is a great list, and even though I haven’t read a lot of the books on your list I have to say I am very glad to see Alice in Wonderland in this post. In my opinion when it comes to wacky books there isn’t any wackier because it’s just insane, but it’s always going to be an all-time favourite of mine simply because of how insane it is. 🙂
    Great list, and great post as well. 😀

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      1. That’s the one I have on my TBR! Charmed Life. I couldn’t remember before and couldn’t bother to check Goodreads, lol! Ok, I’ll take your recommendation. And yea, I’m intrested in Howl’s Moving Castle too.

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          1. It’s my favourite thing ever! Do you ever hear an accidental Partridge, where someone does a quote without knowing or meaning to? I used to work for Peugeot, and in a meeting the marketing manager said “the new 308 is the best car in the country at the moment. Not my words, the words of Top Gear magazine” which is almost a direct quote so I laughed…turns out he was being serious and thought I was taking the piss. Oops! I also have a habit of shouting “smell my cheese!” at the deli counter, and as for my friend Dan….you can imagine.

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            1. hahahahaha oh my gosh yes- that’s so true!! There’s an actual radio DJ who keeps doing “7:30 is the time” and I just can’t take them seriously cos I just think they sound just like Alan Partridge. hahahaha! 😂 Damn I want a friend called Dan 😂😂 I just go round singing “Alan Partridge Scissored Isles!” 😉

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  6. Yes!!! The Phantom Tollbooth! I loved that one growing up and still do! It always bothered me, though, that the author clearly didn’t know where the tollbooth comes from. I felt as a child that this was a great writing error. Then, years later, I read an interview with Juster and he admitted he didn’t know! I guess he thinks it’s whimsical and magical that way, but I always felt that the tollbooth should have some internal logic or backstory, even if the readers don’t know what it is.

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    1. hahaha I honestly never thought about that- I don’t know what that says about me 🤣 I guess it just means that, even as a child, world building wasn’t that important to me- which doesn’t say much about my take on internal logic in stories 😂😂

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