Welcome to Part II of my Best of 2017 series: The Emoji Files. You can find our more about this series in yesterday’s Part I post, which also includes the Swoony Awards, so I highly recommend you check it out!
As you might well imagine from the title, today’s list contains books that I read in 2017 that tickled my funny bone. The humour in these stories raised everything from a wry smile to a gut-busting belly laugh.
For the Record ~ Regina Jennings
Betsy Huckabee is a small-town gal with a heap o’ spunk and sass. And Pine Gap’s new deputy sheriff, Joel Puckett, is the perfect sparring partner. These two regularly had me giggling, and while I won’t give any spoilers, I will tell you that my favourite scene involved a tree, a kiss, and this response from Betsy:
“I’m particularly incensed, three notches past riled. And you deserve to be doused with the very dredges of my vocabulary.”
Go get ‘im, tiger!
Then There Was You ~ Kara Isaac
There are some great situational comedy scenes in this novel about Paige McAllister and her spontaneous move to Sydney, Australia. Great idea, by the way! 😉 There are definitely some memorable scenes here, including things like drop bears, hamburgers, and impromptu dancing, but by far the most entertaining scene (which I’ve probably read more than twenty times by now—more than twenty-one times by the time this posts!) is the final scene. I’m not giving you any excerpt for this one, because it’s impossible to do so without giving something away, and you really don’t want me to do that. The first time you read this scene is pure gold. And I bet you’ll read it more than once!
Turtles in the Road ~ Rhonda and Kaley Rhea
Remember the gut-busting laughter I mentioned at the beginning? Oh. My. Goodness. Sometimes it was just the throw-away lines, sometimes it was the completely absurd but loveable secondary character Kurt, and sometimes it was whole scenes with the completely adorkable heroine Piper Cope. In fact, I’m stifling the snorts of laughter now just looking back through the book. It’s impossible to capture all the hilarity and sweetness that this book is, but I have managed to pick this little snippet for you:
In any case, of all the things that went with a typical Wednesday, accompanying a small, aggressive, very determined young woman on a not-too-covert op to assassinate a non-metaphorical turtle had never made the list. And he found himself regretting that. Because this was hilarious.
I’m telling you, that scene nearly kills me. Every. Time.
Death at Thorburn Hall ~ Julianna Deering
I’ve made no secret of the fact that Drew Farthering is my favourite amateur detective, and one of the things I love most about him is his understated British sense of humour. He’s a master of polite irony, and nothing shows this better than his dealings with Count Kuznetsov in Death at Thorburn Hall. I found myself snickering over the Count’s tall tales of his escape from Tsarist Russia and Drew’s polite but extremely perceptive questions. In fact, I loved it so much I even did a post on it.
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck ~ Bethany Turner
This book was a delightful mix of heartfelt and humourous. A lot of the humour comes from Sarah Hollenbeck’s unique way of looking at life, often through the lens of pop-culture references: I would no longer be the young postulant Maria, whom the nuns had referred to as a flibbertigibbet. I was going to be Maria von Trapp, and the nuns would be willing to remove a Nazi’s carburetor in order to protect me. Other times, it was the interactions between Sarah and Ben that had me giggling: I hit rewind in my brain and ran through that scene again to see if I had actually said what I had just said. Ben has a kid? Good. He was as into me as I was into him? Very good. I don’t have a problem with him having a kid? Very, very good. Sarah is a crazy lady who just word-vomited all over everything? Bad. So, so bad. 😆 And the scene on the front steps when Ben takes Sarah to meet them for the first time? Gold!
Charming the Troublemaker ~ Pepper Basham
I have three words for you: cellphone; mud; underoos. If you’ve read this book, you’re likely in spasms of laughter already. If you haven’t, I’m not going to spoil it for you. You have to read it first hand and it’s far too much for this little space. This scene, along with the ‘not-too-covert op to assassinate a non-metaphorical turtle’ from above are the closest I’ve come to dying from laughter. But to top it all off, this is how Adorkable Alex responds to Rainey’s uncontrollable laughter after the event:
“I don’t usually resort to such drastic measures to make just anyone smile.”
She shook her head and waved a hand toward him, unable to respond or even catch her breath.
“But you’re special, so I pulled out all the stops.”
Her head came back up, opening the volume of her laugh, and she pressed her arm against her sore stomach. “Oh my goodness, I think you gave a whole new definition to impressing a woman.” 😂😂😂
Begin Again ~ Crystal Walton
If banter is your thing, you’ll love Drew and Ti (pronounced like the letter) from Begin Again. Ti has Sass (yes, that’s a capital S) and Drew . . . doesn’t. But he can deadpan with the best of them, and Ti is just the spark he needs in his life. She has a habit of recording notes on her projects on her cellphone, and I just love the way she needles Drew at the same time:
Ti set a reassuring hand to his sleeve. “I want to.”
His gaze gravitated to her fingers above his taut arm. Can someone say tense? She brought her cell to her mouth while trying not to laugh at his awkward expression. “Owner’s uncomfortable with personal touch.”
That jaw-half-opened expression got her every time.
She raised a shoulder. “I take notes on my clients, too. Helps me know how to cater art pieces better.”
Drew’s voice caught up three blinks later. “I’m not a project.”
“You’re tied to one.” Ti jutted her chin at the pitiful looking storefront. “Trust me. You both could use some TLC.”
[. . .]
He stopped her at the door with another whirlwind of thoughts streaming past his eyes.
Unable to help herself, she raised her cell again. “Owner likes to brood.”
Drew chased her through the door on the heels of her laughter.
Yep, she’s a cheeky one!