Books

10 Canadian books that will make you laugh this summer

If you love to laugh, this list is for you. Catch some LOLs this summer with one of these funny Canadian books.

If you love to laugh, this list is for you. Catch some LOLs this summer with one of these 10 funny Canadian books.

Son of a Critch by Mark Critch

Mark Critch is a comedian and author from St. John's. (Penguin, Aaron McKenzie Fraser)

In the memoir Son of a CritchThis Hour Has 22 Minutes comedian Mark Critch describes how his light-hearted trouble-making began with growing up in 1980s Newfoundland. From trying to buy beer from a cab driver as a youngster to photo-bombing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an adult, Son of a Critch is a series of funny stories.

Son of a Critch was shortlisted for the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the 2019 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

Leaving Richard's Valley by Michael DeForge

Leaving Richard's Valley is a comic by Michael DeForge. (Matthew James-Wilson, Drawn & Quarterly)

Toronto artist Michael DeForge collects his Instagram comic Leaving Richard's Valley in book form, following the fates of Omar the Spider, Neville the Dog and Ellie Squirrel as they risk the wrath of a beloved but tyrannical leader in order to save their friend, Lyle the Raccoon. When exposed, the three friends are kicked out of the only home they've ever known and make their way to the big city for a fresh start. 

Leaving Richard's Valley won the Cartoonist Studio Prize for best web comic in 2018. 

French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt is the author of French Exit. (Turgut Yeter/CBC, House of Anansi Press)

Patrick deWitt's tragicomic novel looks at the fates of Frances Price and her adult son, Malcolm, who live in aristocratic elegance in New York. When the vast fortune accumulated by the Price family's late patriarch runs out, the pair head to Paris with their cat Small Frank, whom Frances believes is her dead husband. 

French Exit was a finalist for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Woman World is Aminder Dhaliwal's first graphic novel. (Drawn & Quarterly, Kenneth Hung)

In Woman World, a genetic defect has left the earth populated entirely by women and natural disasters have ravaged the planet. Only Grandma remembers a world with men — a time of that's-what-she-said jokes and heroic mall cops named Paul Blart.

Initially created as a series of bi-weekly comic strips posted to Instagram, Woman World was published as a book after gaining a sizeable following online.

You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

You've Been Volunteered is a novel by Laurie Gelman. (Michael Gelman, Henry Holt & Co.)

The latest in Laurie Gelman's Class Mom series, You've Been Volunteered follows the sardonic adventures of Jen Dixon as she navigates parental politics at her son Max's elementary school. Jen's been picked to be the room parent of Max's Grade 3 class, which means dealing with the new micro-manager of a PTA president. On top of this, Jen's daughters are entering adulthood and her own parents are starting to need a caregiver. Gelman's comedic series is inspired by her own experiences as a class parent.

The first title in Gelman's series, Class Mom, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

Searching for Terry Punchout by Tyler Hellard

Searching for Terry Punchout is a novel by Tyler Hellard. (Monique St. Croix, Invisible Publishing)

This debut novel from Calgary writer Tyler Hellard follows a struggling sportswriter who travels to a small town to interview his estranged father — a reclusive and notorious hockey player — as a last-ditch effort to save his career. 

Searching for Terry Punchout was a finalist for the 2019 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron

The Chai Factor is a novel by Farah Heron. (HarperCollins Canada)

In The Chai Factor, Farah Heron's debut novel, Amira Khan is dedicated to her career and finishing grad school. But when her grandmother rents out the family's basement apartment to a barbershop quartet, Amira can't focus. And when she begins to clash with the group's leader, Duncan, things only get worse. 

The Chai Factor is a romantic comedy about opposites colliding and how little inconveniences can become life-changing if you open up. 

Boy Wonders by Cathal Kelly

Cathal Kelly is a sports columnist and the author of the memoir Boy Wonders. (CBC)

Cathal Kelly is a national sports columnist at the Globe and Mail. His memoir, Boy Wondersreveals a hardscrabble upbringing in a single parent household during the 1970s and 1980s in Toronto. Kelly shares that he found refuge in popular culture — Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, to name a few things — which shaped his identity in various ways.

Kelly won the 2019 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for Boy Wonders.

Manfried Saves the Day by Caitlin Major & Kelly Bastow

Manfried Saves the Day is the second book by Caitlin Major (left) & Kelly Bastow. (Quirk Books)

In a world where the roles of cat and man have switched, tomcat Steve Catson lives with his ginger-haired pet man Manfried. As Steve gets closer to his purrfriend Henrietta and Manfried makes new friends at the local man shelter, the arrival of a fat cat disrupts the entire neighbourhood. 

Manfried Saves the Day is the sequel to Major and Bastow's debut, Manfried the Man.

The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong

Lindsay Wong's memoir The Woo-Woo was defended on Canada Reads 2019 by Joe Zee. (CBC)

This dark, witty and touching memoir by Vancouver-based writer Lindsay Wong takes a look at the impact of mental illness on families. Wong delivers an honest and emotional look at whispered secrets, dysfunctional relationships — and how her grandmother, mother, aunt and even herself initially blamed the mythical "woo-woo," Chinese spirits that plague the living, for their mental health issues.

The memoir was defended by Joe Zee on Canada Reads 2019 and was a finalist for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

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