Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Sense of Humor by Max Elliot Anderson

While this book contains hundreds of jokes and funny stories, it is also a book about understanding humor and what it means to have a sense of humor. Anderson relates the benefits of humor, such as aiding in the healing process. It can help with stress and depression too.

Anderson says reading this book and putting into practice the principles it contains will help your communication skills, help you develop a positive attitude, and be a better friend and work associate. Life will be more enjoyable in your circle of influence.

He takes about the first third of the book to discuss humor. He writes about doctors and dentists using humor, its role in the family, what's appropriate humor, the styles of humor, the use of humor in education, at the workplace, as a tool of management, in relationships, and in ministry. He has a chapter about humor in translation and how sometimes a joke will not work in another language or culture. He includes a section on how humor can hurt others (such as sarcasm).

I learned some interesting concepts about humor. It involves the whole brain, integrating and balancing activity in both hemispheres. Even though pastors love to use jokes, “Interestingly, there are no jokes in the Bible.”

The last two thirds of the book contains jokes. Lots of jokes. Some made me groan while others had me laughing until the tears ran. Anyone who wants a good source of jokes will find plenty of material in this book.

While I was tempted to skip right to the collection of jokes, I'm glad I read the material about humor. It's a good idea to know how and why humor works as it does before rolling out the jokes. It will help me make good use of the jokes found in the rest of the book.

Food for thought: “Laughter is one of the most powerful tools we have for coping with the serious issues in our lives.”

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Max Elliot Anderson has spent most of his life in the production of documentary and dramatic films, client videos, and TV commercials. He observed the important role of humor in his work and wrote this book as a result. He and his wife have two children and four grandchildren. You can find out more about him and his books for young readers at

Elk Lake Publishing, 332 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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