I need cheery books

Everything I’ve picked up since finishing Harry Potter has felt grim and mean and blah to me. I’m looking for books that will brighten my day.

What do you read when you need something cheerful?

Bill Bryson’s travel books always make me laugh. His book A Walk in the Woods about walking the Appalachian Trail was so funny.

I also enjoy reading David Sedaris.

Robert Asprin’s Phule books. Phule’s Company, Phule’s Paradise, A Phule and His Money, and Phule Me Twice.

They’re about a commander in the “Space Legion”, who takes their worst unit and builds it into an effective force. Not serious as it sounds though, lots of humor. The commander himself is sort of a misfit, a multi-billionaire that wants to make a name on his own, apart from the family business. He has a personal butler named Beeker, who occasionally writes his own first person comments on his boss. Quite hilarious, really.

Anything by P.G. Wodehouse.

My particularly happy-feeling read is a comic called 4 1/4 by Mihara Mitukazu. It’s only in Japanese, so most likely doesn’t do you any good–but for any Japanese readers, I highly recommend.

I have no idea what your reading tastes are, but Georgette Heyer wrote numerous lighthearted, historically accurate “romance” novels. Trust me, these are NOT Harlequin romances. I would try The Grand Sophy first. Should be at your local library.

Also, Mary Stewart has written an excellent Merlin Trilogy–probably out of print, so check the library. Not so much cheery but uplifting (reassuring).

What no one’s mentioned Terry Pratchett yet? All his books are fun and entertaining.

Also try the Thursday Next novels by Jasper fforde: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, and Something Rotten.

I’ve read all of the suggested authors already. I mean “already” as in before I made the request, not since. :slight_smile:

I preferred Asprin’s myth books to the Phule books, but I’d say these are all good suggestions. Only, I still need more. More!


The Princess Bride. Honestly. This is my happy book. It never fails to make a day better.

Movie’s not bad either.

Have you read James Herriot’s books? All Creatures Great And Small, etc?

Those always cheer me up.

You’ve read Mary Stewart? Georgette Heyer?


Can I be your new best friend?!

Noone I know (with the exception of my family) has ever heard of them!

(maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd)
How about Sheri Reynolds, A Gracious Plenty? --not exactly a laugh a minute, but very satisfying.
Agatha Christie?

Josephine Tey?

Helen Whatshername of Bridget Jones fame?

How about Jane Austen? She’s fairly lighthearted.

Gerald Morris–his medieval knight books. Sure, they’re for “youth” but they are funny, satirical takes on the whole Arthurian legend.

Yes, you can!

I have about five Georgette Heyer books at home. The only title I can remember is Sylvester, but I have some others.

People really haven’t heard of Mary Stewart? To be honest, I didn’t finish the series. I really don’t like Merlin/Arthurian stories. I find that tale to be frustrating and unhappy. But that was a while back. I think I only read The Crystal Cave and started The Hollow Hill. I might be mangling those titles. But this connection is too damn slow for me to look it up on Amazon.

Never heard of her. Excellent.

I’ve read them all, many times.

Crooked House is my favorite.

Yep. I love Miss Pym Disposes and Brat Farrar especially.

Fielding, and I’ve read the first Bridget book but nothing else.

Yep. Many many many times.

Ooh, that’s a new name, too. Arthurian, but satirical? Cool. :slight_smile:

I have that one. Do you like the whole introductory segment dealing with the author?

No, I’ve never read these.

I’ve always been a little afraid of them, to be honest. I have a tough time dealing with animal pain/suffering/deaths in books, and these looked like they might be too real for me. What do you think?

RE *Princess Bride * - yep, I like the introduction part. “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” Another Goldman book to try is “The Silent Gondoliers”, much smaller but still a good read.

Maeve Binchy is my fallback when I want something cheerful. Her books always end in a feel-good way. Not deep stuff, generally books about families in Ireland. Definitely chick lit.

I also am a big fan of Ferrol Sams’ three books “Run With the Horsemen”, “The Whisper of the River” and “When All The World was Young.” The three books tell the story of a rural Georgia boy growing up during the depression, going off to college, and serving in WWII as a medic. Some serious themes, but treated with great humor along the way.

Christopher Moore and Christopher Buckley are both good for absurdist & barbed funny reading.

Yay! We’ll do the blood letting ceremony later. (jk)

Herriot is NOT depressing in the least! Yes, some of the animals in pain, but the warmth of the relationships and the descriptions of a Britain long gone are wonderful. Cannot recommend it enough.
I really liked the Stewart trilogy. Have you tried her other books? Touch Not the Cat , Nine Coaches Waiting and My Brother Michael are all really good. Adventure, excitement, a bit o’ romance–and excellent writing.

Sheri Reynolds book deals with death, but not in a gruesome or gory way. Her entire premise about the dead is worth reading the book, IMO. It’s been a few years, but I remember the book with much fondness.

How about Mark someoneorother, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime ? It’s not lighthearted, but has plenty of comedy and wry commentary.
I think you’ll enjoy The Red Knight by Gerald Morris. It has some nice satirical touches. (of course, if you don’t care for Arthurian stuff, there may not be enough satire to please you).

Will cudgle my brain a bit more…

Bryson’s great–any of his books make me laugh.

I cannot recommend strongly enough the second Bridget Jones–as funny as the first and also original.

How about Ruth Rendell? She writes excellent mysteries. Will have to access my list of Brit mysteries and get back to you. Hamish MacBeth series (not deep. at all.)

how about A Period Piece by Gwen Raverat? It’s out of print, but might be at your library…wonderful life of a child growing up in Victorian Cambridge–the author is a grandchild of Charles Darwin.

I could go on and on…

And reccs for moi?

I’ve heard of her, but have never tried her books. Do you have a recommended one?

I think I’ve read Christopher Moore. Something about demons. But the other two are new to me. Thanks!

You know, I think I have a book of hers on my “to read” list. I asked for books about missing persons who return to their former lives, and I think someone gave a Mary Stewart recommend. Was that you?

Rendell is a little iffy for me. I’ve liked some and disliked some. I was ill when I read one with the inspector drinking a ton of green tea and having hallucinations. Do you know that one? Well, because I was ill while reading it, I feel a little queasy thinking about it. Yes, I am that weird. :slight_smile:

Hamish MacBeth is MC Beaton? I hated hated hated the one Agatha Raisin book I tried. I mean hated. But different series can have different writing. Still, I think this would be at the bottom of my list.

Interesting. Never heard of this one either, you clever thing. :slight_smile:

Based on Christie and Tey, I’d say Sayers, Wentworth, and Marsh.

You’ve probably read those. In which case Laurie King and Anne Perry’s Pitt novels.

Let’s see if I’m on the right track before I go any further.

You’re spot on re: Wentworth (meh, but ok), Marsh and Sayers.

How about

Simon Brett: the Fethering series

Charlene Weir: the Hampstead series

Margaret Yorke: most titles

PD James: all titles

Ruth Rendell: all titles

Minette Walters: Acid Row, The Echo, etc.

Joanna Trollope: all titles

Karen Armstrong: The Spiral Staircase, Thru the Narrow Gate, The History of God

Lorrie Moore: Who Will Run the Frog Hospital and other short story books
Taken from my computer list of books I like.

Hamish is indeed MC Beaton. I liked Agatha Raisin (the first few–now there is no thought, no depth, no character developement, but a whole lot of “let’s get this next one out and make more money”).

Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog has been the very definition of “cheery book” since 1889.