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Life-affirming novels: what do you recommend

(93 Posts)
BugBearisBugBear Fri 25-Apr-08 13:56:20

Sometimes, when I'm feeling despondent, it would be nice to have a really life-affirming novel to read.

Hope that doesn't make me sound suicidal - I'm very much NOT - but I'd like ideas of novels that make you feel glad to be alive.

marmadukescarlet Fri 25-Apr-08 13:58:17

I liked The Alchemist by Paul Cohello (SP?) It is about the treasure you are looking for being right where you are.

barking Fri 25-Apr-08 14:13:28

The Bronze Horseman - Paulina Simmons
The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
Just novels?

BugBearisBugBear Fri 25-Apr-08 14:24:47

actually, no, not just novels. biographies could be good.

kitkat9 Fri 25-Apr-08 16:01:52

ooh barking - you're the fisrt person Ive ever seen on here recommending Paullina Simons - The Bronze Horseman is AMAZING, isn't it? Everyone I give to to adores it. The 2 sequels she did are fantastic too, have you read them?

Also loved Douglas Kennedy - The Pursuit of Happiness. It's quite sad but totally hooks you, and a wonderful story of the strength of the human spirit. Highly recommend it.

poodlepusher Fri 25-Apr-08 16:03:07

I think its going to depend very much on what you personally find life affirming, but for me I'd say the following:

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Museum Guard by Howard Norman
The Sea, the sea by John Banville
The Dubliners by James Joyce
Anything by Italo Calvino

tearinghairout Fri 25-Apr-08 16:05:38

Marmaduke - I've just read The Alchemist by Paul Coelho & enjoyed it. It's short & easy to read, but makes you think.

Trolleydolly71 Fri 25-Apr-08 16:07:08

Message withdrawn

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 25-Apr-08 16:09:03

Cold Comfort Farm, because it's funny and ends with everybody going off and having fun.

suey2 Fri 25-Apr-08 16:09:27

siddharta by hermann hesse. All about the search for enlightenment, but very simply written.

also miss pettigrew lives for a day cant remember the author about a woman down on her luck in the 30s whose luck changes coincidentally changing her life for the better

Sunshinemummy Fri 25-Apr-08 16:10:04

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels.

arthursmum Fri 25-Apr-08 16:11:11

To Kill A Mockingbird always inspires me to try walking a mile in another persons shoes.

Celery Fri 25-Apr-08 16:11:14

Somerset Maughan's Of Human Bondage.

artichokes Fri 25-Apr-08 16:13:18

I am not really a fan of Paul Coehlo stuff. Therefore I was quite shocked to find that his book Veronika Decides to Die is not only a good read but is truly life affirming.

It is about a girl who tries to kill herself (not a good start for a life affirming novel). When she regains conciousness her psychiatrist tells her she has done so much damage that she will die in a week. The book is about how she chooses to live that week and how she discovers a life worth living. It is really uplifting and makes you realise how important it is to be who you want to be rather than who society wants you to be.

poodlepusher Fri 25-Apr-08 16:23:14

oh yes, To Kill a Mockingbird - that's a wonderful book.

Trolleydolly71 Fri 25-Apr-08 16:28:49

Message withdrawn

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 25-Apr-08 19:29:21

We will have to agree to differ TrolleyDolly! You know you are the first person I have ever heard say they don't like Cold Comfort Farm - I would be interested to know, do you like the novels it's parodying (Precious Bane, Wolf Solent etc) or have you not read them? That would make a difference to how good you think it is.

cyanarasamba Fri 25-Apr-08 19:33:23

A Town Like Alice - Neville Shute

quarkee Fri 25-Apr-08 19:34:01

DH hates the word 'mommet' which is from Cold Comfort Farm - thinks its creepy - imo CCF is GREAT

OsmosisBanana Fri 25-Apr-08 19:37:28

The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay. Brlliant book which the film did absolutely no justice at all about a young, white bullied boy growing up in South Africa going on to become boxing champion. It's not really about boxing though.

OsmosisBanana Fri 25-Apr-08 19:38:26

anything by Haruki Murakami, really beautiful writing style around some sometimes very ordinary subjects.

chisigirl Fri 25-Apr-08 19:42:08

An Evil Cradling, Bryan (Brian?!) Keenan.

not a novel per se. non-fiction but beautifully written, poetic.

barking Fri 25-Apr-08 19:48:47

kitkat9 - yes, I dismissed the book at first as the cover was a tad Barbara Cartland - but wow what a story inside! smile

OsmosisBanana - love the name, I know what you mean about the film. That book changed my life. Oh I'm just remembering little Peekay and Granpa Chook smile

Another one I've just remebered is 'I Know this much is True' by Wally Lamb plus his other book 'She's Come Undone' Very Good.

If interested in non-fiction, there is the absolutely best life changing book ever 'The Power of Now' by Eckart Tolle - Bloody brilliant- it reprogrammes your brain as you're reading it.

scottishmummy Fri 25-Apr-08 19:49:35

Fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe by Fannie Flagg. beautifully written, makes your heart soar

Bendi Fri 25-Apr-08 19:57:39

'This Book Will Change Your Life', I think it's called. It was a Richard & Judy thing, but don't let that put you off. It's an american author, and the cover has lots of iced donuts on the front. I really enjoyed the novel, one of those I wanted to buy for the people I care about.

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