Humour books

Here are some reviews and book recommendations for you to browse through. We have selected publications that are related to humour either in form or content – they may present serious content in a humorous package, deal with research on the topic of humour or with humour that we encounter in daily life.



(Deutsch) Humour Resources: Schräges und Skurriles aus der Welt der Personalabteilungen Österreich / Deutschland / Schweiz

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

herausgegeben von Julia Hauska und Klaus Niedl


Dieses Buch bietet unterhaltsame und wunderliche Anekdoten aus der Welt der Human Resources.

Alles wirklich so passiert und selbst erlebt.

> Rezension - Humour Resources


© Eva Ullmann

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America & The World

by Barbara Ehrenreich


For those who have had it with constant smiles all around: there finally is a book that takes your side!


Barbara Ehrenreich, journalist and author of no less than 21 books, is renowned for uncovering and harshly criticizing social ills in the United States. In her provocatively entitled book Smile or Die, she scrutinizes the concept of positive thinking and its effects on American society. She describes the plight of cancer patients, forced to remain cheerful when facing their illness, and attacks the prospering motivational business, both in the business world and in churches; finally, she takes to task the discipline of positive psychology.


Smile or Die has a clear mission, which sometimes favours sensationalism over objectivity. Parts of the book's argument are plausible and rational enough: for instance, that cancer patients should not be forced to be constantly upbeat seems entirely comprehensible. Yet other assertions are somewhat farfetched: for instance, that positive thinking single-handedly brought down the American economy. Moreover, the attack on the discipline of positive psychology mainly concentrates on the personal quirks Ehrenreich observed in the discipline's founder, Martin Seligman.


Humor in Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie: Neurobiologie – Methoden – Praxis

(Humour in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy)

edited by Barbara Wild



A collection of essays with contributions by Paul McGhee, Eckart von Hirschhausen, Willibald Ruch, Noni Höfner and others.

What would our life be without humour? It would clearly be more boring and more difficult. But how about therapy and humour? This question is addressed by renowned authors from a variety of perspectives: behavioural therapy, depth psychology, hypnotherapy, provocative therapy, art therapy and neurobiology.

Further topics of this book are learning and training humour and laughter, humour as a personal characteristic, how irony works, whether mental illnesses impair one's humour and whether there are differences between the humour of children and that of the elderly.

This book is highly recommended for all therapists who would like to use humour in everyday work.

This book is only available in German.

(Translated from