In wanting to read a happy book?

(229 Posts)
ICantCopeAnymore Thu 31-May-18 20:38:33

I suffer with PTSD and anxiety and I love reading. I'm really struggling with my mental health which is very up and down and books used to be my happy place.

More recently, I've found that everything I read is miserable. Full of death, cancer, illness, murder etc. Even the women's fiction books like Katie Fforde type literature have started going the same way, always including a young widow, a dreadful car accident, funerals and dying children. I was recommended "The Lido" and I've never sobbed so much through a book. It was supposed to be an uplifting, heartwarming read and it was about dreadful loneliness and death.

These things are all really triggering for me at the moment - AIBU in just wanting an escape from hospitals and death? I feel like I can't read or watch TV any more without being bombarded with misery.

Can anyone recommend anything to read that isn't traumatic please?

Thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
Elmersnewfriend Thu 31-May-18 20:40:18

I would go with literally any of the Bill Bryson books, or if you want fiction then Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street series never fails.

Drumknott Thu 31-May-18 20:44:35

Anything by Wodehouse, most of Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen - if you don't mind the odd murder Agatha Christie is good too. I only read happy books these days. When you run out of the above and if you're not too refined fanfiction is good too, stick with the stuff labelled 'fluff' though

CorianderSnell Thu 31-May-18 20:47:23

I know what you mean.. I picked up that Lionel Shriver one once from the charity shop - called In The End or something? Got about three pages in, and was so hit in the gut by the misery that I went into town the next day to dump it back at the charity shop and get it away from me!

I’ve just got into reading children’s books. I was an avid novel reader (mostly angsty literary fiction type stuff) until I had kids, and now it’s like my brain just can’t cope with it.

But, I’ve discovered I can cope with kids books, and have really enjoyed some. Some off the top of my head:

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamilo (has a missing Dad but nothing much more traumatic and is super charming and lovely).

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone - halfway through, it’s a bit dark but all magic and ice and wild stuff imagery, which I’m really enjoying as an escape.

The Bell Family by Noel Streatfield - I’m currently reading with my 8yo. It is a very gentle, wordy 1950s family saga. You couldn’t get further away from death and despair!

juneau Thu 31-May-18 20:49:35

Yes, good suggestions above. Lots of non-fiction would fit the bill - particularly travel memoirs or doing up a house somewhere type of books. Chris Stewart's books are nice and easy to read (The first one is called 'Driving over Lemons') or any of Annie Hawes' books about buying a tumble down place in Liguria (the first one is called 'Extra Virgin'). Or if you want an adventure, I can recommend 'The Letter for the King' by Tonke Dragt (it's a children's book, but I loved it). Or something amusing - I love Sue Townsend's books for just laughing out loud. I reread the Adrian Mole books last year and spent days just guffawing on the sofa.

CorianderSnell Thu 31-May-18 20:49:36

Oh, yes, second the Wodehouse suggestion too! And Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat.

ICantCopeAnymore Thu 31-May-18 20:53:08

Thank you so much, some brilliant suggestions. I didn't realise Bill Bryson had a new one - I remember reading his first many years ago.

I do love children's fiction - I'm a Primary school teacher so I adore Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials etc. I'll have to have a good look at new releases. Even some of the YA stuff is really dark at the moment! DS read a lovely one recently called "Sweet Pizza". He insisted I read it and I'm glad I did!

OP’s posts: |


ElizabethinherGermanGarden Thu 31-May-18 20:54:34

Try The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim (or Elizabeth in her German Garden, if you like gardens). It's the most joyous read, about going on holiday and being happy making you a better person. It always puts me in a lovely mood. I bang on about this book a lot with evangelistic zeal. I love it very much!

BabloHoney Thu 31-May-18 20:55:40

Derren Brown’s “Happy” is a fabulous and heart warming read!

UterusUterusGhali Thu 31-May-18 20:56:24

It fiction but "The Tent, the Bucket and Me" is one of the funniest things I've ever read. grin

Clionba Thu 31-May-18 20:57:42

Carole Drinkwater has written some interesting books about her olive farm on the South of France, they're nice books. Any of the MC Beaton books are light and easy reads.

picklemepopcorn Thu 31-May-18 20:58:15

The Hamish Macbeth books are good. Alistair McCall. I'll have a think what else. I completely agree, and have phases myself where I have to be careful what I read.

cardibach Thu 31-May-18 20:58:23

I’ve just finished ‘The Mermaid’s Sister’ by Carrie Anne Noble. Odd, and has sad moments, but generally very cheery and the sad bits are so fantastical they don’t really bite.

picklemepopcorn Thu 31-May-18 20:59:33

You might like Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Kind of grown up Harry Potter. There is mayhem and violence, but it's fantasy so kind of ok.

fairgame84 Thu 31-May-18 20:59:40

Lucy-Anne Holmes books have always made me chuckle.

RebeccaBunchLawyer Thu 31-May-18 20:59:59

I really enjoyed ‘A Fanny Full of Soap”, by Nichola Mcauliffe, I think. The title alone cracks me up!

Creasey31 Thu 31-May-18 21:00:06

I love a bit of Sophie Kinsella for a holiday, just a easy read. I sit there laughing out loud on some of her ones and she has quite a few out x

MrsKyloRen Thu 31-May-18 21:01:59

A second for Noel Streatfield, I have loved The Painted Garden my whole life, it’s so lovely.

dontticklethetoad Thu 31-May-18 21:02:46

If you don't mind trashy 'chick lit' Jill Mansell is good for an easy read. It is my go to when I'm feeling anxious as they are fairly light hearted.
If you don't mind mild fantasy, Tom Holt books are fab. And of course Terry Pratchett.

Otherwise I seem to read a lot of intense books, I don't know why I do it to myself!confused

QueenDoris Thu 31-May-18 21:04:01

The Handmaid's Tail is quite jolly

dontticklethetoad Thu 31-May-18 21:04:04

reheccabunch I read that as 'A Fanny Full of Soup' grin

Mascarponeandwine Thu 31-May-18 21:04:57

I found the same at the airport bookstore last summer, trying to find a chick lit book for the sun bed and everything was about awful sad depressing topics. I ended up with Katie prices autobiography as the only uplifting literature there wink

MeanTangerine Thu 31-May-18 21:05:12

'The Moon's a Balloon' by David Niven - first volume of his memoirs.

'Wise Children' by Angela Carter. Full of life.

Clionba Thu 31-May-18 21:05:52

I would also highly recommend the Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson. Witty, funny and not in the least depressing!

Calic0 Thu 31-May-18 21:07:35

Big yes for Georgette Heyer - ultimate happy comfort reads. “These Old Shades” is my absolute favourite.

For something terribly lovely and bucolic but also well written (albeit old fashioned) - Miss Read is pretty good!

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