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Uplifting, escapist reads

(81 Posts)
SeaSeeker Sun 17-Sep-17 20:44:44

Times are stressful and I'm looking for the above to help me to switch my mind off at night. Can anybody recommend something that's both uplifting (nothing tragic) and absorbing for a bit of escapism? Open to all genres bar crime. Really looking forward to any suggestions - my Amazon cart is ready!

icantbelieveijoined Sun 17-Sep-17 21:02:37

It might not be your cup of tea but I love The lost art of keeping secrets by Eva Rice. It's any easy to read story but, for me anyway, it just offers pure escapism. Will watch this thread for other suggestions as I need a good book to read myself.

StepAwayFromCake Sun 17-Sep-17 21:09:26


About the love between a Tahitian woman and her daughter. I can't put my finger on what it was that delighted me so much about this book - certainly strong female characters, but much more than that.

Seasons of Death and Life
Another strong female character, but this time a recluse. Another book full of love and appreciation of life.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 17-Sep-17 21:14:41

My only surefire, go-to-every-time comfort read is Georgette Heyer. Have lost count of the number of times I've read The Grand Sophy. I completely lose myself in well-written, witty Regency England, safe in the knowledge that everything will end happily every time.

Bisquick Sun 17-Sep-17 21:42:44

I go for Georgette Heyer when I'm looking for escapism. Would that work?

I also recently loved Richard Ford's Independence Day. I found it to be an easy page turner when I was mentally in a hard place.

Other mindless fiction suggestions:
84 Charing Cross road - letters between an American customer and a British bookseller. Lovely little read. Similarly the Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society (I've probably mucked up the name)

Bisquick Sun 17-Sep-17 21:43:58

Oh x posted with TheOnlyLivingBoy - I read Grand Sophy so often when I'm low. Hope these help and times get better soon OP!

ImNotWhoYouThinkIAmOhNo Sun 17-Sep-17 22:01:03

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. When I read it I thought of it as an extended MN thread! It might fail your 'nothing tragic' test, if you are very strict. Certainly absorbing, and also full of wry humour.

Anything by Erica James, eg Summer by the Lake or Song of the Skylark. Rom-coms, essentially.

StepAwayFromCake Sun 17-Sep-17 22:34:50

Oh yes, 84 Charing Cross Road - so lovely. There is a moment of sadness (I always choke up at that point, even though by now I know it's going to happen) but it is a gentle, happy book. Not fiction BTW: a true story, if you can, get the edition that includes the sequel, The Duchess of Bloomsbury.

CotedePablo Sun 17-Sep-17 23:13:40

I've just finished John Steinbeck's 'Sweet Thursday', which has more or less the same cast of characters as 'Cannery Row'. A lovely read. It would stand quite nicely on its own if you haven't read Cannery Row.

KeepServingTheDrinks Sun 17-Sep-17 23:28:55

I've read Cannery Row, but not Sweet Thursday. Are they all in it? I'd like to meet those characters again!

Recommend The Rosie Project and also enjoyed The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window.

Bisquick Sun 17-Sep-17 23:39:01

Oh also Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette!

Anecdoche Sun 17-Sep-17 23:42:15

I just read reality rehab. it was recommended to me. it turned out to be really quite funny.

Anecdoche Sun 17-Sep-17 23:43:41

oh. but it isnt uplifting or all deep and meaningful though. it's just a bit of a laugh.

badbadhusky Sun 17-Sep-17 23:50:17

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (Moomins author) is a lovely novel (for adults) centred on a small girl and her relationship with her grandmother. It's about summers spent in a summer cabin on the family island, with their various adventures, wildlife, visitors to the island - a proper slice of life. It's such a beautiful book, wonderfully drawn and so evocative.

SeaSeeker Mon 18-Sep-17 20:23:58

Thanks for all these great suggestions - I've put every single one in my Amazon basket! I've often heard Georgette Heyer recommended and don't know why I've never gone there as I really like historical fiction. And I actually do have a copy of The Summer Book that I've never read so maybe I should start there!

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Mon 18-Sep-17 21:21:47

Ah Georgette Heyer - a bright ray of sunshine in dark times!

Also recommend Cold Comfort Farm, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Enchanted April, Crocodile on the Sandbank (and the rest of the Amelia Peabody series).

I only read stories with happy endings... Life's tough enough!

Thenorthbloodywellremembers Mon 18-Sep-17 21:24:47

Diary of a provincial lady

wobblywonderwoman Mon 18-Sep-17 21:27:11

Place marking ..

Hope things get easier for you soon op.

sleepymama81 Mon 18-Sep-17 21:28:32

Katie Fforde! Pure escapism, feel good fluff but without being badly written.

Try Practically Perfect and Highland Fling.

Mcnorton Mon 18-Sep-17 21:28:51

The stories life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Levin. Lovely

Mcnorton Mon 18-Sep-17 21:30:01

Gah, autocorrect! Storied life not stories life

Pinksparklyfish Mon 18-Sep-17 22:13:41

The Night Circus

StepAwayFromCake Tue 19-Sep-17 00:34:26

How about a bit of silly, happy chick-lit?

Try Hens Dancing, folllowed by Summertime, by Raffaella Barker.

SeaSeeker Tue 19-Sep-17 10:54:17

Loving these great suggestions, especially as I haven't heard of most of them! I LOVED The Enchanted April. Totally up for chick lit @StepAwayFromCake - I've never really read it before but it sounds just like the sort of fluffy stuff I need!

DunderingMifflin Tue 19-Sep-17 11:02:16

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, I can't recommend it enough. It is my go to 'the world is hard and I want to go somewhere else' book. It's pretty relaxed and engaging, and the narrator Cassandra is great company smile

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