Shout Out for Good Reads

I am looking for some feel-good reads. I've fallen out of the habit of reading and although I have stacks of thrillers and horrors etc, I just can't face them at the moment. All that pain and death. I'm not particularly after romance for once, just not in the mood for it.

I'm after books that have been well constructed, well written and fun to read. A story that will touch me.

I don't need any dramas. I won't voluntarily read anything by Sebastian Faulkes or Dan Brown, so don't even make me try.

Go on, what do you recommend, and why?


  1. I think you should give No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain a try. Its basically part autobiography and part restaurant expose and I loved it.

    He's probably one of my favourite tv foodie personalities and all of his books are fab, but this one in particular is a great read.

  2. Actually...I'm rubbish.

    Kitchen Confidential is the one thats the autobiography. Thats the one you should read first.

    No Reservations is a sort of travel journal where he's going around trying different food in different countries.

  3. You've probably already tried him, but virtually anything by Bill Bryson...they're all well written, well constructed and easy reading...

    They range from what are virtually travel books (Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country) to a life of Shakespeare, via an investigation into the origins of English (Mother Tongue) and, well, "A short history of nearly everything"...that one got even me interested in scientific principles...

    I'm a serial reader of his...particularly when I feel down...

  4. If you haven't already read them I would recommend the following:

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows - an amazing little book in epistolary form that I only purchased because it was cheap in WH Smith and I like the title. It is a great read about Guernsey under German occupation. It is easy to read and I found the characters compelling and the history interesting.

    The Sea by John Banville - this book was recommended to me by Ashley so you may have already read it but if not this book is the most amazingly written book I have ever read - as an author it just made me cry with jealously. I must admit it is not the greatest story (although good) but the writing is to die for.

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I just loved this, the format is brilliant - the words and images, the quickness of the chapters and the changing presentation is everything I was trying to do in writing. I loved the characters and the history. Just brilliant.

    And if you just want to read wonderful you can't go wrong with another read of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. In my mind one of the greats.

    Hope any of this helps and you haven't read them all already.


  5. beth ~ thanks for that, I'll give Boy a list tomorrow and send him to the library.

    cogidubnus ~ Bill Bryson is one of my dad's favourite reads too. I'll put him on my list.

    moggie ~ I'll look up Ann Barrows and see if WHSmith still have it on offer.

    As for John Banville...I have it kicking about somewhere and if I see it in the search for the Book Thief, I'll kick it again for good measure. It might be very well written, but it's as boring as fuck. there's a thought. I think I've got Jamaica Inn around here somewhere...

  6. The Book Theif is beautiful - I'd suggest that one too. How about The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It's well written and sweeping. I take it you've read The Time Traveler's Wife? If not, that's well worth a read too.

  7. I agree with Mog about Rebecca - that's one of my all time favourites (though I only got round to reading it last year).

    For feel goodness I would suggest "How I paid my way through college" by Mark Acito. It's trashy and fun and silly and camp and lovely. If you like musicals and drag queens and happy endings then this will keep you occupied for a few nights. If you send me your address I will mail you my copy, actually. I didn't pay much for it so am happy to give it away if you are interested.

    Also take a look at "A prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. Probably the best book I have ever read. Funny and tear jerking at the same time and with a wonderful storyline. Just awesome.

  8. I think you may have something here. It is really interesting to read other peoples recommendations. Is this an idea for another blog or maybe a regular feature. I definately have another list of books to add to my 'read them before I die list!!'

  9. I agree with Rebecca and also The Time Travellers Wife...

    I've just finished re-reading 'Lady Oracle' by Margaret Atwood, which is a fabulous feel good and laugh out loud book and one of my favourites.

    Before that I read 'The luminous life of Lilly Aphrodite' by Beatrice Colin which was engaging and charming but I must confess I only picked it because it was set in Berlin in the 1920s, but it turned out to be a good read all the same.

    Finally when I'm feeling a bit thriller-ed out I can always rely on Edith Wharton to pick me up...

  10. hottie ~ The Book Thief it is. Anything with a gargoyle has to be fun. Hope you're well honey.

    bag lady ~ hello and thanks for your recommendations. I'll have a shoofty round the library for them.

    moggie ~ thanks, I thought it would be a fun experiment.

    nm ~ I am partial to a bit of Margaret Attwood. A Handmaid's Tale was fabulous. I've read Lady Oracle, so got something to look forward to. I haven't read any Edith Wharton, so someone else to look up.

    Despite my not wanting drama, I'm now wading through John Le Carre's the Constant Gardener, which I will howl my way through the final pages, but it is a bloody good read.

  11. I enjoyed 'The Post Birthday World' by Lionel Shriver. It's a bit of a 'romance' but in a sexy rather than a soppy way.
    It's two parallel stories about what happens to the same characters in the situation. A bit like that film 'Sliding Doors' - though that was rubbish.

  12. I agree that Daphne Du Mauriers "Rebecca" is a superb read...if you have never read it I suggest you do ... but be aware the first half is somewhat "down"...not perhaps as much as the (brilliant) film suggests though...

    OK ....well-written feel good books...mostly humorous...all very easy to read...

    The "Vet" series by Janes Herriott

    The "Father" series by Neil Boyd...

    "We joined the Navy" et seq by John Winton

    Anything by Tom Sharpe...

    Almost anything by Leslie Thomas...


  13. Lol.. You are going to be sitting indoors for months with that lot!
    I had no idea there was so many good reads about, ive been making my list and will be heading for a library this week too myself.
    Im terrible when i read i tend to ignore the world or should i say forget there is one out there and cant put it down until ive read it.
    Havent read them yet but does anyone know of Trudi Canavan? A friend has leant me Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds..
    I fully intend starting them this week as my house should be nice and quiet.

  14. kaz ~ that sounds intriguing, I'm definitely going to have to look it up. I see myself losing several hours in the library.

    cogidubnus ~ Rebecca and I are acquainted already, but I think a re-read is in order. The vet series saw me through my teen years, I remember them fondly. Though haven't read anything else you recommended.

    Surrender? Oh please. Bring it on!

    b*e*g ~ I've read The Magician by Trudi Canavan and didn't bother to pick up anything else she'd written. I can't tell you why, it was an interesting premise, not hideously written. Just not enough to grab me.

    I quite like Karen Miller, though she can be quite harrowing.

  15. Anything by Magnus Mills, but in particular Three to See a King.

    Fup by Jim Dodge is also wonderful in a quirky way.

    Naive, Super by Erlend Loe is another one I loved last year.

    Generally my reading tends towards the bleak, but these all on the lighter side, without being fluff or romances.

  16. I recently read Mystery Man by Bateman, which was a very funny novel about a guy who runs a crime/mystery bookshop and gets his own mystery to solve. I've never laughed so much when reading a book.

  17. sanddancer ~ those look intriguing. More to add to my list.

    pj ~ hey hon, how's things? That sounds just up my street, thanks!

  18. Roses l love Nora Roberts and her other pen name J D Roberts. Nora Roberts is crime she also writes books like "Charmed" Bit romance, supernatural twist and all over feel good.

    I enjoy many others authors but they are mostly crime and adventure and as you want to avoid that although

  19. vetnurse ~ I have a bookcase full of Nora Roberts. She rocks! I also love crime and adventure, though I'm not up for it at the moment. We should get together and compare authors. I bet we'd find more in common.

    I like Dean Koontz, Stephen King...


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