Funny books can be a very wide and varied genre but with some key goals – to make you laugh and to make you smile. You will find tales set in history, fictional characters getting into humorous situations, satirical views of real life factual events or parodies of other more serious books. Whatever brand of humour works for you, there is something out there that will get you crying with laughter. Funny stories have been around for a long time but gained popularity from the early 20th century with some classics still very much worth reading today. PG Wodehouse’s funny books about Jeeves and Wooster tell the tales of the long suffering butler Jeeves and often incompetent master Wooster in 1920s England. Spike Milligan, a British comedian and writer, wrote the classic novel Puckoon set in a 1920s fictional Irish village during the time Ireland is split between north and south. It looks at some of the issues at community level with a huge helping of comedy situations. For those that like their science fiction crossed with comedy books, then Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy written in 1979 is an all time great. Weird off the wall humour is mixed with satire and some absurd sci-fi situations as the hero of the story comes to terms with the Earth’s destruction. Contemporary writers like Nick Hornby use humour in their books to help tell the stories of everyday characters facing traumatic times. In About a Boy a kid has a suicidal mother and is bullied at school. In High Fidelity the story focuses on failed relationships. Neither sounds like they should be funny books but Nick injects a good dose of humour to keep the reader smiling. For more factual funny stories, try autobiographies of comedians. Unsurprisingly their life stories are usually full of humour amongst the struggles of making it big. Tina Fey and Steve Martin are examples of popular artists who have written books on their life. Politics also lends itself well to comedy books - Stephen Colbert has written some on the state of America for example or look out for Jon Stewart’s companion to his Daily Show. Great satire and wit, whilst also highlighting the issues that society faces. Other writers put together collections of funny short stories. Jeremy Clarkson the sometimes controversial British television presenter has put together a few books of this style. He takes the role of a man angry with what is going on around him in cars, politics, the youth of today and anything else that annoys him. Very much a humorous rant. Whatever your mood, you can find something at obooko that will bring a smile to your face or even to laugh out loud. We all need cheering up from time to time so download a funny book today and sink into a world of humour, satire and silliness. Make the other passengers on the commuter train wonder what you’re reading as you giggle to yourself!