Funny Books to Celebrate the End of Edinburgh Fringe Festival
By Amy Wright, Rowan Jackson, Ana Matute, Zoe Doyle and Lauren Jones
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been in full swing this August. Celebrating the arts and culture, the Edinburgh Fringe began in 1947 and has since become one of the largest arts festivals in the world. Although there are a wide variety of acts, a significant proportion of them are classified as comedic, ranging from amateur acts to sets by well-known comedians. To celebrate the end of this year’s festival, which marks the festival’s seventy-fifth anniversary, we've decided to highlight some books that really made us laugh. Read on to discover our favourite comedic picks.
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran is a laugh out loud memoir that is both honest and intellectual. The book contains Moran’s own fresh ideas on feminism and includes descriptions and stories of the sexism she has noticed and experienced throughout her life and in the present day. Moran explores what it means to be a feminist today in an accessible form that is also witty and amusing. A book that makes you think, How to be a Woman should certainly be essential reading for all adults, and it successfully portrays real and relatable experiences in a funny and refreshing way. Alongside the important subject matter, it is Moran’s humour that makes this an addictive, unputdownable read that you’ll still be talking about long after finishing it.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
The first in his Corfu trilogy, Durrell’s memoir is a vibrant account of his wild boyhood exploring the natural world around him in 1930s Greece. Trading the grey, rainy climate of England for the sundrenched Greek Island of Corfu, the Durrells, composed of his mother and elder siblings Lawrence, Leslie and Margaret, attempt to adapt to their new home and neighbours. Filled with personal anecdotes and a host of animal personalities, the book is charming and filled with humour – Gerald’s antics and menagerie of animals often get him into amusing situations, particularly when his eccentric family are involved. Durrell’s book celebrates the wonder and beauty of the natural world, the bonds of family and the fragile and precious moments of childhood with his characteristic wit and charm.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ follows the life of Adrian Mole, a worrier and self-proclaimed intellectual. The book is set during the years of 1981 and 1982, in England’s Thatcher years. It opens with Adrian’s list of New Year’s resolutions and goes on to feature naïve, pessimistic, amusing and self-indulgent observations. Written in the form of a diary, this book draws on cultural and political events from the time through the eyes of a teenage boy who is more focused on his first love, family drama and the fact he has developed acne. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ is a quintessentially British book filled with the hilariously melodramatic musings of a teenager. Despite being originally published in 1982, this book is still relatable and enjoyable to teenagers, or anyone that has been a teenager, making it a timeless comedic classic.
I’m More Dateable Than a Plate of Refried Beans by Ginny Hogan
A hilarious novel about relationships and dating in which Ginny Hogan, writer and standup comedian, approaches social expectations in a very particular and funny way. Sometimes we wonder a lot about “The One” or settling with someone, and during that process, we find ridiculous social conventions that we are just trying to follow without really going beyond them.
The stories of Ginny are very special because she lets us see that even if sometimes we feel sad or on cloud nine while we are dating and growing, it’s a funny part of our lives. With stories and quizzes, it’s a fun book to laugh about our lives and modern romance where sometimes we are swiping and others singing songs about how this isn’t just summer love, but a winter love.
A Class Act by Rob Beckett
In his first book, A Class Act, comedian Rob Beckett compares his experiences of growing up working class in South-East London with his decidedly more middle class life as a successful comedian, podcaster and presenter. Beckett candidly explores the class divide and the concept of belonging through a series of personal anecdotes, which are a mixture of heart-wrenching, embarrassing, and crazy – but are hilarious without exception. Beckett’s experience as a comedian shines throughout A Class Act, with witty, well-timed jokes and tongue-in-cheek descriptions. From tales of all you can eat buffets to anecdotes of Alicante Airport, Beckett’s account will have you in stitches the whole way through. If you’re up for a hilarious and engaging take on some big questions, then we can’t recommend this book enough.