Humour? It is perhaps the most difficult thing to share – what makes you laugh is what defines your character. My favourite bookshop in Brittany has got a special corner of books which makes you smile, a kind of a feel-good book selection. My father is a keen reader of P.G. Wodehouse novels, the Jeeves books in particular, he enjoys them a lot, it can transform a stressful day into a day which was worth it. I, on the contrary, find the duo of characters quite boring. (I know, I apologise).
It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the classic humorous novel. In fact, when Sharon asked me about my humorous book selection, my first thought was Three Men in a Boat, written by Jerome K. Jerome, which my parents loved reading – they have a special taste for British humour. In my generation, in France, I don’t think a lot of people read this book (well, we don’t read it in English, but we enjoy a good translation). Perhaps, that was a part of the joy of reading this book, it was passed on to me by my parents and it seems nobody except us know about it. Most of all, I was able to understand references about the jokes, when my parents talked about it – it made me feel so grown up. Later on, I was fond of sea kayaking, and some of my experiences remind me a lot of the 3 men’s travels. When I discovered “To say nothing of the dog”, written by Connie Willis (which was inspired by Three Men in a Boat), I was thrilled with pleasure, maybe the book will help today’s readers to discover the original? I laughed even more with this science-fiction novel, because of all my memories attached to the first book. I offered this new book to my teenage nephew, and he loved it. We have come full circle.
Another book I tried to pass on, but I failed was “Frame” by Frank Cottrell Boyce (it doesn’t mean I read only books written by people having 3 names…). I think it was the funniest children’s book of 2007 (the French translation, sorry for the delay). It rains a lot in this novel, but I really love the young boy, his innocence, and all the misunderstanding between the characters, which changed their life. It is another feel good book and situated in Wales.
I did a work placement last summer, in the north of France, with dreadful weather and in libraries located on the beaches. One of our users, picking up a “good mood book” told me, “Well, nowadays, we only need to read books with humour and some sunshine.” I agree, and you?