The Top Ten Tuesday post I did last week was a lot of fun, so I guess I’m doing another one this week!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog prompt, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week the topic is Books That Make Me Smile. I might as well come right out and say that my list will be heavily Terry Pratchett-centered, but a couple other books also made the cut. I included a few quotes from each book that made me smile, which is why this post is so ridiculously long!
Guards! Guards! (Terry Pratchett)
Guards! Guards! is my all-time favorite book. It is absolutely hilarious, and you can’t help but adore the dysfunctional characters that make up the Night Watch. There’s the new recruit, Carrot, the six-foot-something human who thinks he’s a dwarf and who is so by the book that he tries to arrest a dragon for murder. There’s Colon and Nobby, veteran guardsmen who know that doing their job is a sure-fire way to get into trouble and instead spend most of their time guarding bridges, just in case someone tries to steal them. And of course, Captain Vimes, who’s not sure how his job suddenly got so complicated.
“A book has been taken. A book has been taken? You summoned the Watch,” Carrot drew himself up proudly, “because someone’s taken a book? You think that’s worse than murder?”
The Librarian gave him the kind of look other people would reserve for people who said things like “What’s so bad about genocide?”
Sergeant Colon owed thirty years of happy marriage to the fact that Mrs. Colon worked all day and Sergeant Colon worked all night. They communicated by means of notes. He got her tea ready before he left at night, she left his breakfast nice and hot in the oven in the mornings. They had three grown-up children, all born, Vimes had assumed, as a result of extremely persuasive handwriting.
“Might have just been an innocent bystander, sir,” said Carrot
“What, in Ankh-Morpork?”
“We should have grabbed him, then, just for the rarity value.”
Colon didn’t reply. I wish Captain Vimes were here, he thought. He wouldn’t have known what to do either, but he’s got a much better vocabulary to be baffled in.
The Wee Free Men (Terry Pratchett)
I’m usually not a fan of child protagonists, but Tiffany Aching is my kind of gal. What’s a 9-year old girl to do when she sees a monster in the river?
Well, if you’re Tiffany, you use your little brother as bait, then whack the monster in the head with a frying pan.
“I can see we’re going to get along like a house on fire,” said Miss Tick. “There may be no survivors.”
“They can tak’ oour lives but they canna tak’ oour troousers!”
“And then there was the headless horseman!” said Tiffany. “He had no head!”
“Well, that is the major job qualification,” said the toad.
Mort (Terry Pratchett)
It’s not often I say things like this, but Death is adorable.
In Mort Death takes on a human apprentice and it’s both hilarious and cute how hard he tries to be a good master to the kid, despite knowing very little about humans.
Death was standing behind a lectern, poring over a map. He looked at Mort as if he wasn’t entirely there.
YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF THE BAY OF MANTE, HAVE YOU? he said.
“No, sir,” said Mort.
FAMOUS SHIPWRECK THERE.
THERE WILL BE, said Death, IF I CAN FIND THE DAMN PLACE.
The wizards, such of them who were still on their feet and conscious, were rather surprised to see that Death was wearing an apron and holding a small kitten.
“That’s Binky,” said the heap. “He’s just trying to be friendly. I expect he’d like some hay, if you’ve got any.”
With royal self-control, Keli said, “This is the fourth floor. It’s a lady’s bedroom. You’d be amazed at how many horses we don’t get up here.”
Going Postal (Terry Pratchett)
Moist von Lipwig is the most likable conman ever and his totally over-the-top ways of solving problems will always put a smile on my face.
“Did I do anything last night that suggested I was sane?”
And the nice thing about a stake through the heart was that it also worked on non-vampires.
If he’d been a hero, he would have taken the opportunity to say, “That’s what I call sorted!” Since he wasn’t a hero, he threw up.
The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
The Graveyard Book made the list despite the ending being heartbreaking, because it’s also a really heartwarming story about a cemetary full of ghosts raising a human boy.
“You’re brave. You are the bravest person I know, and you are my friend. I don’t care if you are imaginary.”
“I think . . . I said things to Silas. He’ll be angry.”
“If he didn’t care about you, you couldn’t upset him,” was all she said.
Bod shrugged. “So?” he said. “It’s only death. I mean, all of my best friends are dead.”
Witches Abroad (Terry Pratchett)
The locals always fear tourists, but when those tourists are two elderly witches with a total disregard for everyone else and a total lack of understanding of other cultures, it just gets so much better. You can’t help smiling when you’re following Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg tackling ‘foreign parts’.
“Blessings be on this house,” Granny said, perfunctorily. It was always a good opening remark for a witch. It concentrated people’s minds on what other things might be on this house.
“It pays to advertise,” Nanny agreed. “This is Greebo. Between you and me, he’s a fiend from hell.”
“Well, he’s a cat,” said Mrs. Gogol, generously. “It’s only to be expected.”
“Excuse me,” said Granny, empowering the words with much the same undertones as are carried by words like “Charge!” and “Kill!”, “Excuse me, but does this pointy hat I’m wearing mean anything to you?”
Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones)
Howl’s Moving Castle is quirky and charming, and definitely one of the books I would recommend someone who needs more smiles in their life.
“I feel ill,” he announced. “I’m going to bed, where I may die.”
“I make that four horses and ten men just to get rid of one old woman. What did you do to the King?”
“Nothing is safe from you. If I were to court a girl who lived on an iceberg in the middle of the ocean, sooner or later— probably sooner— I’d look up to see you swooping overhead on a broomstick. In fact, by now I’d be disappointed in you if I didn’t see you.”
“Are you off to the iceberg today?” Sophie retorted.
Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)
Another book with Death being hilarious and cute. Hilarious because Death tries to do the Hogfather’s (Discworld’s Santa Claus) job, and cute because he tries so hard to be a good grandfather to his adopted human granddaughter, and fails spectacularly at it.
HO. HO. HO.
One of the symptoms of those going completely yo-yo was that they broke out in chronic cats.
“You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”
IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.
“She’s a child!” shouted Crumley.
“What if she cuts herself?”
THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.
The Colour of Magic (Terry Pratchett)
The Colour of Magic might not be the best book, but it is funny and doesn’t take itself seriously at all, so it’s always good for a laugh.
Sometimes you just want to have fun and not worry about whether or not the book you’re reading actually has a plot…
If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting “All gods are bastards!”
On the Disc, the Gods aren’t so much worshipped, as they are blamed.
“We’ve strayed into a zone with a high magical index,” he said. “Don’t ask me how. Once upon a time a really powerful magic field must have been generated here, and we’re feeling the after-effects.”
“Precisely,” said a passing bush.
Thud! (Terry Pratchett)
I was laughing my ass off at the scenes with Sam Vimes reading children’s books to his son. Especially the last one where he snaps and starts fighting off an army of – rather freaked out – dwarfs while yelling about not being able to find his cow.
“That’s! Not! My! Cow!”
Standing around watching people was, of course, Ankh-Morpork’s leading industry. The place was a net exporter of penetrating stares.
“It’s not my cow. It’s a sheep with a pitchfork. Unfortunately, it goes quack.”
That’s it for me!
What books make you smile? Is it something funny, or maybe something sweet?