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Hi, Paul,
What books would you recommend to a fan of Auntie Mame wanting a similarly witty, funny, and "live live live!" type of read? One of my moms and I are starting an "odd but loving" book club after having a great time reading the first Auntie Mame book together, and an almost equally great time reading the disappointing sequel. Would you please recommend funny books / authors for us? They do not have to be family-centric, as in Auntie Mame, but if they are free from mean-spirited humor, that would make mom happy.
Thank you for your time and expertise!
Take care,

Hi Andrea,

How about Wodehouse's Jeeves books? They're endlessly entertaining. Almost every sentence sparkles with wit.

I'd also like to recommend Sarah Shun-lien Bynum's Ms. Hempel Chronicles, about a young elementary school teacher. It's a collection of short stories. Some are more sweet than funny, but the whole book is gorgeous.

You might also like Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake. I don't know if the humor might be a bit too modern-day-lady-problems in places for your mom, but it was in no way a mean-spirited book. Maybe give it a scan before giving to to mom? I bet you'll enjoy it, anyway.

Good luck,

[Andrea replies]Thank you, Paul, from my online searches those seem like great suggestions! I really appreciate your time, and if you don't mind, want to take up two more questions worth of it. (To be posted in the new question queue). Thanks again!

[Rhias Hall adds] My mother and I both loved reading My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell and Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

[Christina L adds] My mother-in-law gave me a collection of Jean Shepherd stories, plus some humorous Umberto Eco essay anthologies. None of these is mean-spirited.

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Great suggestions, Rhias Hall and Christina! There's even a snazzy new edition of Cold Comfort Farm with a great cover by Roz Chast. It'd be a great gift.

Are you about to go on a long vacation? Have you read everything by your favorite author but you still want more? Do you want to learn about a new subject, but don't know where to start? I can help. Ask me (and everyone else) for book recommendations on Questionland