This is a guest post by Marilyn Simon Rothstein. She’s the author of Lift and Separate, the story of a woman forced to restart her life when her husband of 33 years, the Bra King, leaves her for a perkier fit. Marilyn’s next novel, also from Lake Union Publishing, will be released in January 2018.
Please note: This list was not created by a man. The funniest people I know are in my family. When I wrote my first book, my sister said, “I’m going to be upset if I’m in your book… but I’ll be really angry if I’m not.” So, she was upset. When it comes to fiction, I can turn to my family again — my family of writers at my very own publisher, Lake Union. I’ve listed three here — along with my long-time favorites — Jennifer Belle, Catherine Schine, and Susan Isaacs.
1. Life After Coffee by Virginia Franken
Franken’s novel will keep you awake like caffeine — until you finish it. Amy O’Hara is a globetrotting coffee buyer — until one day she gets laid off, takes over parenting from her husband, and finds out that she doesn’t know beans about her own children. Financially, Amy needs to work. When salvation and a route back into the coffee business appears in the form of a movie mogul ex-boyfriend, Amy is tempted.
2. The Rejected Writers’ Book Club by Suzanne Kelman
Suzanne Kelman proves rejection is something to laugh about. This is the first book in an entertaining series about a quirky group of women in a small town who would rather celebrate one another’s rejection than actually publish a book. Be sure to look for the newest addition, Rejected Writers Take the Stage.
3. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer
When Markie, a 40-something divorcee, moves to a new town with her teenage son, she meets Mrs. Saint, an irascible and quirky older woman makes healing a whole lot harder. Crack the cover — and the case. You’ll find truth in humor and the message: “Community can heal the brokenness in us all.”
4. The Seven Year Bitch by Jennifer Belle
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Belle? Small wonder, she is a New York Times bestselling author. I have read — in release order — Going Down, Little Stalker, High Maintenance, and The Seven Year Bitch. Apparently, it takes just seven years of marriage and children to turn the nicest woman into a you-know-what. In every novel, Jennifer Belle provides a roller coaster of heartwarming hilarity. I’m always glad to give her a ticket and disappointed to get off her ride.
5. The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
As any New Yorker can tell you, there’s nothing worse than losing your Manhattan apartment — except maybe being divorced by your husband of 50 years and finding out he has someone else. Betty Weissmann relocates to a beach house in Westport, Connecticut, and her two grown daughters follow. A New York Times bestseller, Cathleen Schine’s novel pays homage to Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
6. Goldberg Variations by Susan Isaacs
I’ve been reading the work of Susan Isaacs since her 1978 novel, Compromising Positions. I could recommend any of her wonderfully witty books, but I will go here with Goldberg Variations. At 79, it is time for Gloria Garrison — née Goldberg — to find her successor at Glory, Inc., her beauty makeover business. No nepotism at all — Gloria summons the three grandchildren she has written out of her will and tries to decide between Daisy, Matt, and Raquel. A visit to Grandma’s “house” you will never forget.
What books make you laugh out loud? Share them in the comments!