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Uncomplicated, uplifting books

(70 Posts)
Maplessglobe Thu 03-May-18 03:17:46

Having just read a pile of heavy or dark fiction, culminating in leïla slimani’s ‘lullaby,’ I can’t sleep (unrelated) and need something lighthearted or funny but very well written to read.
Recently reread a lot of Wodehouse; not a chick lit fan.
Thank you!

Graduate223 Thu 03-May-18 04:11:17

Just William by Richmal Crompton?

Maplessglobe Thu 03-May-18 12:06:14

Thank you, graduate. Any others?

TwigTheWonderKid Thu 03-May-18 12:30:32

I've just finished Stephanie Butland's
The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae. It's fab as was the previous one, Lost for Words. Also light, well-written and also subtly funny are the novels of Angela Thirkell.

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Thu 03-May-18 13:07:36

Gerard Durrell's My Family and Other Animals is always engaging. Also - The Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4. On another thread I recommended Jane Gardam's Bilgewater. A modern book which i enjoyed very much is Madeleine St John. It's set in a large department store and follows the lives of the saleswomen. It is elegant and sparse, but the women are capable and independent. It's also quite short - ideal for reading in bed. If you enjoy crime, Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time is deduction without the gory bits.

tobee Thu 03-May-18 14:42:33

Have you thought of listening to one of these books to help you sleep? So if you can't sleep you still enjoy the books? I know it's not what you asked but...

Anyway, although I belong to audible, ive been listening to quite a lot on YouTube which has, of course, the advantage of being free. For example, last night I went to sleep listening to a dramatisation of Agatha Christie's After the Funeral. Then more recommendations popped up on my app.

Anyway, just a thought.

CMOTDibbler Thu 03-May-18 14:46:11

Mrs Harris goes to Paris is just lovely. But in times when I need a lift, Georgette Heyer books do it for me

Applejack70455 Thu 03-May-18 14:51:20

Agatha Christie is my safe place. I realise maybe not for everyone! But despite the subject matter it's fairly lift and frothy usually.

Applejack70455 Thu 03-May-18 14:51:29


bakingdemon Thu 03-May-18 14:51:30

Michael Frayn's Skios is one of the funniest books I've ever read.

Something formulaic and cosy like Georgette Heyer might do the trick too. Lucy Dillon's books are lovely rom coms which all feature dogs and people in the same small English market town, but I don't think you need to read them in order.

BluthsFrozenBananas Thu 03-May-18 14:54:09

Driving Over Lemons and its many sequels by Chris Stewart. Basically Chris' memoirs of living in (very) rural Spain. Easygoing and upbeat without being twee.

LuluMarie Sat 05-May-18 01:47:43

Super light - Eat Pray Love it!

Respectable light - Life of Pi is beautifully written if you are a big reader and amazingly haven’t read it or seen the movie.

The Secret Life of Bees is a bit of a work of art, powerful without weighing you down, I’d say uplifting.

Oh if you are very fiction oriented, A Prayer For Owen Meany is a special one. Uplifting and not empty headed, everyone I’ve passed it to, of very different tastes, has fallen for it.

Maplessglobe Sun 06-May-18 07:08:39

Thanks for all these great recommendations. Had a poorly child so haven’t been on since, but am glad to have so many ideas. Had started reading ‘cold comfort farm,’ but will be happy to have some other lovely reads to look forward to.

I listen to audiobooks a lot but somehow when it comes to going to be bed, I prefer to see the words swim as my eyelids get heavier - such a dreamy feeling.

Am reading ‘my family and other animals’ with one of my DC so quite slowly. Had not considered Agatha Christie and out of the others, have only read ‘Mrs Harris,’ ‘secret life of bees’ and ‘life of Pi’. I actually have ‘driving over lemons’ somewhere.

Thank you, all.

GoldenMcOldie Sun 06-May-18 07:12:15

I have just read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows.

It is a beautiful book.

concretesieve Sun 06-May-18 10:22:53

Gwen Raverat's Period Piece is great fun.

MillicentMargaretAmanda Mon 07-May-18 19:05:21

The Mountjoy Novels. Elizabeth Aston/Pewsey (Aston on Kindle). First in the series is Children of Chance. Social comedy/observation, set in a long hot summer in Yorkshire. If you like the first, the characters run dip in and out of all six novels.

lastqueenofscotland Mon 07-May-18 19:29:08

Another vote for the secret life of bees

SenecaFalls Mon 07-May-18 19:32:09

Alexander McCall Smith

Facade1983 Mon 07-May-18 20:06:42

When I can't sleep, or don't feel very well, I find O Douglas very comforting. But probably all out of print, so unhelpful really. Nancy Mitford?

BoogleMcGroogle Mon 07-May-18 20:39:15

Tales of the City ( and then the next dozen). It's funny, quirky, rude and full of sharp, interesting complex characters. I've read it so many tines and Frances McDormond's audio reading is getting through training for a 10k run. It's like a saucy, American Wodehouse. It's utterly glorious 🙂

Mannix Tue 08-May-18 21:38:47

Three Men in a Boat

Maplessglobe Thu 10-May-18 05:44:27

Thanks for these further suggestions.
I was an early adopter of Alexander McCall Smith but started getting a bit bored and then read ‘my Italian bulldozer’ and it put me off until now.

Lots of great suggestions I hadn’t heard of or considered- thank you flowers

claraschu Thu 10-May-18 05:55:02

Sherlock Holmes stories are always comforting to me.
Do you like children's books? I sometimes return to my favourites in times of stress- Laura Ingalls Wilder is an author that not all British people have read already...
Is Jane Austen too obvious? Northanger Abbey
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Maplessglobe Thu 10-May-18 10:18:27

Thanks clara yes I do (‘wonder’ was a recent joy) but I usually read them with my eldest and we have LIW on our ‘to read’ pile.

Thanks for the other suggestions I also hadn’t considered.

Pollaidh Thu 10-May-18 10:51:46

John Buchan - 39 Steps etc, John Mcnb
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Touching the Void
Dorothy L Sayers - like Agatha Christie but much much better
Eva Ibbotson's YA/adult books (romance but very funny)

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