Absurd adventures to read

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For a few months last year I kept lists of what I was reading and posted those lists every month, specifically, January, February, March, April, May and June of 2013.  And then I stopped typing out the lists, mostly because I'm a bit lazy and maybe a little bit because when I made a misattribution error, somebody actually noticed and pointed it out to me.  Making mistakes doesn't bother me, however, for a variety of reasons, having to confront the reality that authors are actually really real people makes me feel a bit squicky.  But we can delve into that particular psychological spider's den another day.

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Right now, what's important is that while I stopped posting my monthly reading lists, I did not stop writing down titles as I read them. Though I miss a few titles now and again, I have a relatively complete list of every book I've read over the past year and half, excluding diet and fitness books (because, you know, blah) and picture/non-fiction books read to the childs.

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Looking over my lists the other day, I thought maybe I could recommend a few books that I very much enjoyed in a thematic format.  And then you can add your own recommendations in the comments (or you can email me and I can add them).  And then we can all gore ourselves on good books this summer.

(I know Goodreads does this, but I can't remember anymore accounts and passwords.  I have to wait until I let my email or Facebook go before I'll have room to belong to another online community. I'm only human.  Plus, I have a lot of stuff to read.)

You know what I kind of story I enjoy?  An absurd one.  I love when a book takes a good adventure story and filters it through a fun house mirror.  Arcane and strange journeys, where the truth turns out to be that there is no truth, resonate deeply with me.  My favorite absurdist writers (using the term loosely) are Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, David Sedaris, Lewis Carroll, Tom Robbins, Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), and some more but I can't go on and on like this and still have y'all reading along with me.

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So then, without anymore delay, (except to apologize in advance for any spelling errors, misattributions and general mucking up, since I am typing from my notes and, as previously noted, I am a bit of a sloppy handwriter, and also to say that I tried really hard to be selective and finite, but categorizing stories neatly is nearly impossible and all of the books below are not necessarily completely absurdist or even an adventure in the strictest sense, they were all pretty good in their own right and I stand by it when I say,)

Absurd and funny adventures I read and liked, and think you should read:

Childrens/Young Adult Fiction

Bushman Lives! and The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater
Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand
Eddie Dickon's trilogy by Philip Ardagh
Unlikely Exploits trilogy by Philip Ardagh
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
A Tale Dark and Grim by Adam Gidwitz
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her own Making by Catherynne Valente
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Terry Jones
Howl's Moving Castle and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
Skellig and My Name is Mina by David Almond
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Adult Fiction

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
Alice in Tumblr-land by Tim Manley
The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes

Adult Non-Fiction

Cinderella Jump Rope Rhymes by Cabinet Des Fies 
Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I'm Down by Mishna Wolff
Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

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Tell me more!  Anyone have titles to some absurd adventures to share?


  1. I will of course be pinning this for later.

    I wish I had some titles to add, but all I have been reading lately is "elemental Geosystems" and "Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs." Interesting, but not really summer fun reading.

    Oh, wait! I did read a pretty good book called "Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (with out going nuts with worry)" by Lenore Skenazy. It was a great book and well worth procrastinating on school work to read it.

  2. I am on the second book in the Inkheart series called "Inkspell"!
    So far, so good.

  3. I immediately thought of Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. Really fantastic and strange.

    I loved Daniel Pinkwater as a kid (still do) I read Lizard Music so many times that it must have had a permanent effect on me.

  4. I loved Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the follow-up, Hollow City.

  5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is just what I was going to recommend

  6. My son read ink heart but has fallen in love with igraine the brave. He also loves three tales of my father's dragon, odd and the frost giant and anything written by Rick Riordan.

  7. I, too, adore Douglas Adams.
    Last night I started re-reading The Westing Game, which I last read in 5th grade, and seen to remember enjoying it. I have been re-reading some books from adolescents. Interesting how I interpret them differently as an adult. Behind The Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassidy is one that made a huge impression on me in middle school. It was slightly creepy and depressing to read as an adult, but I was deeply moved by it as a child. Thank you for sharing what you read! I really appreciate the recommendations.
    On a side note, I ditched Facebook six months ago, and although the withdrawal was painful, I am never going back 😊