OK. So that’s a slight exaggeration. What I really meant to say was “these books will make you laugh / cry and thus fill an afternoon that would otherwise have to be spent nodding as Auntie Felicity shows your 400 of her holiday pictures from Tenerife, including several of her semi-clad that should really never have been taken.” Though in my day it was Uncle Richard and his interminable slideshows of Himalayan climbing trips (“Oooh look, some more snow!”).
So, in no particular order:
- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 and ¾ by Sue Townsend. Thirty this year but still funny and true, and to which Rachel Riley owes a huge debt.
- Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce. “In the Turtles” is guaranteed to make me snort with laughter. To find out why, you’ll just have to read it.
- The Escaped Black Mamba by Joan Aiken. The funniest of the hilarious Arabel’s Raven series. Even if you think you’re a bit too old, you’re not, you never are.
- Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child. Likewise. Never too old.
- Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine. Funny and sad and true and I so wish I’d written it.
- Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. You might be too young for this though. Definite teen material.
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green. And this one.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. But not this one. Just a thing of beauty and incredibleness.
- Diary of a Chav by Grace Dent. Kind of Rachel’s polar Essex opposite. And very very funny.
- The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Only the first one, not the one pictured here. I would show you the original but Millie has snaffled it and hidden it somewhere.
- The Luxe by Anna Godberson. Kind of like Gossip Girl, as written by Georgette Heyer. In other words, Blair in a corset and Chuck in tight white trousers and leather boots. What’s not to love?
And I have just realized that there are eleven. But I am like Spinal Tap in that way… (and that’s something else to while away a long Wintry afternoon…)