The Best Books of P.G. Wodehouse

shelved under Humor, Fiction, and Beach Reads

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse is one of the most hilarious writers I've ever read. Delightfully understated, Wodehouse wrote stories about the good old days of England, when everyone had butlers and valets and were called things like "Bingo" and "Kipper." My dad was the first to introduce me to him, at the age of 12. I believe I have every one of his books now, almost 80. Wodehouse is timeless, as shown by the search engine (now called that was named after his most famous valet ("gentleman's gentleman"): Jeeves.


The Best of Wodehouse: An Anthology

by P.G. Wodehouse

This is a compendium of most of Wodehouse's stories; perfect for bedtime reading, subway reading, or anytime you are standing in a line. "A Bit of Luck for Mabel" is an especially good one, as is "The Amazing Hat Mystery." Although his novels are fantastic, Wodehouse's short stories really shine, and will stay with you long after you have finished them.


Something Fresh

by P.G. Wodehouse

Here we have a one of my personal favorites, the absent minded Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle. He is notable for his tendency to forget anything and everything except his beloved pig, the Empress. Thank God for that, because the things he forgets usually make everything else turn out all right in the end.


The Code of the Woosters

by P.G. Wodehouse

Here is the team of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, his gentleman's gentleman. They are as thick as thieves, as you can see through Bertie's observations of his valet. "He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled, so I tactfully changed the subject." This is the first of the Totleigh Towers books, and in my opinion, the best.


Piccadilly Jim

by P. G. Wodehouse

"He had the plethoric habit of one to whom wholesome exercise is a stranger and the sallow complexion of the confirmed candy-fiend." Here is one of Wodehouse's best stories in terms of descriptive language, which is saying a lot. The wit flies fast and furiously and the characters seem determined to fall in love, no matter what happens. It was just made into a movie with Sam Rockwell, by the way, and as the book was written in 1917, I think that proves the book is timeless. I recommend it with a couple of chocolate chip cookies.


Thank You, Jeeves

by P.G. Wodehouse

Unfortunately, this book starts out with a bit of a scare. Jeeves has "given notice" (don't worry, I'm not giving anything away that you won't find on the back cover) because of Bertie's insistence on playing the banjole. Although my favorite duo eventually reunite, the banjole, sadly, is destroyed. This book marks the end of Bertram Wooster's banjole career. But read it anyways, just to find out how Bertie plays Cupid and sets about organizing true love.


Joy in the Morning

by P.G. Wodehouse

In case you are unaware, Bertie is prone to being engaged.... usually to women who are extremely controlling. Beautiful, but controlling. Lady Florence Craye is one of those women. But don't be fooled by her stature; she enjoys reading. READING. Jeeves does not enjoy this. Women do not appreciate the genius that is Jeeves. Her brother Edwin, a thorn in Bertie's side, runs around and generally helps no one.


Right Ho, Jeeves

by P.G. Wodehouse

Meet Gussie Fink-Nottle. "He lived year in and year out, covered with moss, in a remote village down in Lincolnshire, never coming up even for the Eton and Harrow match." (My God. Not even the Eton match!) He also studies newts. Enough said. Another character Bertie couldn't live without is Anatole, the French cook of his aunt, Dahlia Travers. Anatole is "God's gift to the gastric juices," and Wodehouse is God's gift to the written language.


Wodehouse: A Life

by Robert McCrum

This biography of Wodehouse gives an insight into his books. During World War II, he was imprisoned by the Nazis and held, forced to give radio broadcasts to the German troops. Somehow, he wrote a book while he was there. Wodehouse could always make the best of everything that came his way. If you like any of his books, this will fascinate you.