Today’s theme is Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud (from Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza). Books that make you laugh are rare and precious things, so I heartily approve of listing them together in one place!The Forge of Dawn (Kastor Chronicles, #1) by Jesse Hajicek
Representation: M/M or mlm
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Epic Fantasy
Barbarian swordsman Kastor Auberlane has no problem with this saving-the-world thing; it's putting up with Mikah that's a little hard to take.
This book is freaking hilarious. The set-up is, at least initially, very classic-looking – we have a mercenary, setting out to guard a nun on her journey. Things spiral away from the traditional tropes, though, when the mercenary’s ex shows up with a demand he help save the world. Besides having gorgeous prose, this absolutely made me laugh out loud, a lot. It’s wickedly clever with moments of delightful silliness, and you can read it online for free!The Halcyon Fairy Book by T. Kingfisher, Sheila Perry
The Halcyon Fairy Book is a delightful collection of wry and insightful comments on traditional fairy tales, originally presented in her blog, along with her first collection of fairy-tale inspired original work, Toad Words.
T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon, had me up till 5am muffling giggles into my pillow so I wouldn’t wake my poor husband with this one. Her annotations on traditional fairy-tales had me crying with laughter. And to be honest, you’re guaranteed really wonderful humour in almost all of her books…but if you’re too tired to face a real Book With Plot, this is a brilliant no-stakes comedy-fest that doesn’t ask you to think, but to just sit back and enjoy.
(And her original stories in the second half of the book are just beautiful.)Generation V (Generation V, #1) by M.L. Brennan
Representation: WoC love interest
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.
But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.
But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…
Now this one, my husband ended up enjoying with me – because I had to explain why I kept laughing and ended up basically reading the whole thing aloud to him. Besides having a pleasantly unique take on the vampire mythos (I especially adore how vampires are made in this verse) this entire series is just hysterically funny. And it’s not a comedy! There is action and mysteries and magical politics…but it’s all filtered through the view of the main character, who would have a very successful career as a comedian if the vampire thing doesn’t work out.Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Representation: Genderqueer pansexual MC of colour
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SING
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix - part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny - they must sing.
A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London - Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes - have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.
Glittering, gorgeous giggles all the way through. The best kind of giggles, because they’re all wrapped up in wonder and delight and love-of-life, and I just. I love this book so much, and it’s the perfect pick-me-up if you want a shot of pure sparkly joy sure to make you laugh.The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries #1) by T.J. Klune
Representation: M/M or mlm, secondary F/F or wlw
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
In Nova City, there are extraordinary people, capable of feats that defy the imagination. Shadow Star protects the city and manipulates darkness, and Pyro Storm is determined to bring the city to its knees using his power over fire.
And then there's Nick who . . . well, being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?
Instead of fighting crime, Nick contends with a new year at school, a father who doesn't trust him, and a best friend named Seth, who may or may not be the love of Nick's short, uneventful life.
It should be enough. But after a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City's mightiest hero (and Nick's biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he'll do it with or without Seth's reluctant help . . .
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart in TJ Klune's YA debut: a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.
The Extraordinaries got a little overshadowed, I think, by being released in the same year as Klune’s adult fantasy The House in the Cerulean Sea – which is a terrible shame, because it’s utterly wonderful! There’s a lot of deeply meaningful stuff going on….but there’s also trying to get bitten by a radioactive cricket, and writing fanfic, and an adorably oblivious main character. There’s moments that will tug at your heart, and there are even more that will have you rolling around giggling. It’s so much fun!The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
Representation: Bi/pansexual MC, F/F or wlw
Genres: Secondary World Fantasy, Queer Protagonists
A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.
Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.
At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.
Even if the main character wasn’t, herself, hilarious, the fancy-sounding made-up words she sprinkles through her every dialogue is an absolute giggle-fest. It doesn’t hurt that Lady’s Guide is also a brilliant story, with an excellent amount of cake, a wonderful romance, and a Very Ominous Mouse.
BONG.The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Representation: Disability, secondary gay character
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . . .
Sarah Rees Brennan is probably best known for In Other Lands and the stories she’s co-written with Cassandra Clare, but she’s written so much more than that – and as much as I love and adore In Other Lands, she doesn’t get enough credit for her other books! The Demon’s Lexicon was her first published novel, and it absolutely established her as a brilliant, and brilliantly funny, writer. I urge you to check out all her books, but The Demon’s Lexicon is the place to start. The magic! The sneaking! The snark!!! I challenge you to read it without cackling at Nick’s flawless sarcasm.Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Genres: Queer Protagonists
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way
Luc O'Donnell is tangentially--and reluctantly--famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.
To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship...and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.
But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that's when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don't ever want to let them go.
Not fantasy! Gasp! It’s true, this is contemporary fiction – BUT IT’S SO GODS’ DAMN FUNNY. And deep, and clever, and everything else that is Alexis Hall’s signature, but most of all it is a warm, loving book that will make you laugh even on the gloomiest of days.Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) by Gail Carriger
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.
First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
This is one of those books that should come with a warning – do not drink while reading, because you will end up laugh-spraying your drink through your nose. It’s pure giggles from start to finish, and best of all, there’s a whole series! And a sequel series!!! You can curl up in a comfy chair and spend a whole month laughing with the fantabulous ladies of this verse.Lovequake by T.J. Land
Representation: Pansexual Black MC, deaf, transgender, minor aromantic & asexual character, M/M or mlm, secondary F/F or wlw
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
No one knows what to make of Sunday.
He’s handsome. He’s stylish. He’s got endless amounts of cash that he splashes around like water.
But there’s something just a little bit wrong about the way he talks – like he’s never had a conversation before – and the way he walks – like he expects walls to simply get out of his way. Though his hair and beard are immaculately groomed, he never brushes the former or trims the latter. And he talks to the sky.
All of which are very solid, sensible reasons for Zip Fletcher, cheerfully rude Welsh sex worker, not to develop a crush on him.
Zip is, however, not a sensible man.
LOVEQUAKE is an M/M + F/F romantic scifi adventure set against the backdrop of a quintillion-year-old cosmic war.
Listen, I will shut up about this book when it makes the bestseller list and not before. This is another book that’s wrapped up in adventure – you could even call it a quest – and deeply meaningful arcs for the characters, and fantastic sci-fi worldbuilding…and is sure to put a smile on your face. Lovequake made me laugh during one of the worst bouts of fibromyalgia pain I’ve ever had, and I love it beyond the power of words to express because of that.
And if it can make me laugh through a fibro flare, I’m sure it will make anyone laugh out loud.
What are some of your favourite laugh-out-loud reads?