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Quill

Book recommendation - I need a fun, happy, positive read

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I need a little escape. I have been reading some books that I think are important, but mentally I can’t take that right now and want a couple of happy stories to pass the time. Fiction or non are both fine. 

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13 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Oh! That is a good book, but I just read it a couple months ago for my book club! 

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34 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

Are you looking for good, high quality literature? Or will light and fluffy do?

Probably okay with ight and fluffy at the moment. 

Edited by Quill
Clarity

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Jenny Colgan has some nice, light books - The Endless Beach starts one series and Little Beach Street Bakery is another.

RaeAnne Thayne's Hope's Crossing series is good - the first one is Blackberry Summer .

I'm sure I'll think of more - I am slightly addicted to light and fluffy novels at the moment. I used to be so much better with heavier, more "important" reading. 

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The Little Beach Street Bakery looks cute. I might just give it a whirl, so thanks! 

Still open to further suggestions if anyone has other ideas. 

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If you do YA, I just watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before and was reminded how cute the book was. By Jenny Han.

YA is often my fluffy escapist stuff.

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A year of living Danishly by Helen Russel.

It is a great, fun read of her living a year in Denmark and trying  to figure out things out. I found this by accident and it will stay on my kindle when I need a light read.  

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For light and fun:

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gillman

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Other Side of the Dale by Gervaise Phinn (may be hard to find, but so worth it).

Any Wooster and Jeeves by Wodehouse

 

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Whenever I feel the need to center myself and shut out drama, I read the Avonlea Chronicles by Lucy Maude Montgomery.

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I’m currently reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society”.  I haven’t finished it yet but so far it kind of fits the bill.  

Otherwise I like Alexander McCall Smith stuff although they are a bit repetitive.  

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I thoroughly enjoyed “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”. Quite humorous.  

Even though this may not seem like a good choice, I’d also recommend Susan Branch’s “Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams”.  I needed some escapist literature and picked this one up again. It’s about how she left California for Martha’s Vineyard, supposedly for three months, to escape the heartache of her devastating divorce and on a whim bought a cottage and decided to live there. Her writing is great and I love the book because she did exactly what I wish I could do sometimes. Just leave it all.....

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I really like Connie Willis's shorter books for fun, light reads. You won't want the Doomsday Book, but anything else should be good.

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45 minutes ago, KrissiK said:

I thoroughly enjoyed “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”. Quite humorous.  

Even though this may not seem like a good choice, I’d also recommend Susan Branch’s “Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams”.  I needed some escapist literature and picked this one up again. It’s about how she left California for Martha’s Vineyard, supposedly for three months, to escape the heartache of her devastating divorce and on a whim bought a cottage and decided to live there. Her writing is great and I love the book because she did exactly what I wish I could do sometimes. Just leave it all.....

Seconding this book! This is the second of a trilogy but can be read out of order, and is my favorite. ?Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams

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1 hour ago, Paige said:

I really like Connie Willis's shorter books for fun, light reads. You won't want the Doomsday Book, but anything else should be good.

I agree.  Her "To Say Nothing of the Dog" is pretty fun and funny.

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“Live Alone And Like It” is back in print, I hear.  It was written in the 30s about being a single woman living alone, and how to set up enjoy that.  I bought an old copy at a thrift store ages ago, and it is funny and charming and delightful.  I’m not leaving my dear husband, honest, but this book still is enjoyable just because of the writing.

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17 hours ago, Quill said:

The Little Beach Street Bakery looks cute. I might just give it a whirl, so thanks! 

Still open to further suggestions if anyone has other ideas. 

The LIttle Beach Street Bakery is fantastic!

Honestly, for light and fluffy, you can't beat the Shopaholic series.  Truly no brainpower involved, funny, quick, easy, fun reads. 

The Butternut Lake books by Mary McNear are also very good.  Easy, fairly lighthearted, super quick reads. 

 

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9 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

I thought Crazy Rich Asians was a fun read. It did have some serious parts, but overall just...fun. 

I agree!  I am on the wait list at the library for the second book in the series. Can't wait to see what happens next.

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3 hours ago, unsinkable said:

Have you read Katie's books?

The Puppy Proposal her first one. Katie Meyer on amazon

I have not, but that is a good idea! 

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7 hours ago, KrissiK said:

I thoroughly enjoyed “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”. Quite humorous.  

Even though this may not seem like a good choice, I’d also recommend Susan Branch’s “Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams”.  I needed some escapist literature and picked this one up again. It’s about how she left California for Martha’s Vineyard, supposedly for three months, to escape the heartache of her devastating divorce and on a whim bought a cottage and decided to live there. Her writing is great and I love the book because she did exactly what I wish I could do sometimes. Just leave it all.....

Thank you. I have read “The 100 year old man...” and also the “...King of Sweden” book by the same author (and truly, they are very similar in style and for,at). Jonas Jonasson’s sense of humor slays me! “Pee slippers” ? He’s hilarious. 

The Susan Branch book sounds very good! 

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I'm partial to cozy mysteries as my fluffy light reading. Currently working my way through the Daisy Dalrymple series (Dunn), which is quite light and fun (set in 1920s England). The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series (Smith) is very sweet and affirming. And most of the books in the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery series (Debris) are well-done cozy mysteries combined with enjoying "further adventures" with Austen characters. While I think author Elizabeth Peters ruined her world/characters in the later books, Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first book of 19th century British archeologist/amateur sleuth Amelia Peabody series, is well-written and very amusing.

If fantasy/sci-fi works for you, I have been dipping in and out of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series -- Thief of Time and Hogfather were both among the better books in that series that I've read so far. Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is fun with lots of 1980s references. And the first 2-3 books in Jasper Fford's Thursday Next series (starts with The Eyre Affair) are quite fun -- and quite a mash-up of elements. Oh, and the "Bobiverse" trilogy (Taylor) is super light, and feels like Star Trek: Next Gen episodes. At a YA level is Sorcery & Cecilia: Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Wrede & Stevermer), which is a sort-of Jane Austen meets Harry Potter. And another YA speculative fiction with Jane Austen mixed in is For Darkness Shows the Stars (Peterfreund), which is an alternative history speculative fiction based on the idea of Austen's novel Persuasion (getting a second chance with the man her family persuaded her to turn down years earlier). Oh -- one more light YA: Cinder (Meyer) is a fun futuristic re-telling of Cinderella; it is the first of the Lunar Chronicles.

For realistic/semi-realistic, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Schaffer & Barrows) and Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore (Sloan) were both light. And Shannon Hale's Austenland is super light -- the book is fine, but it is one of those rare cases where the movie is much better than the book.

A Year in Provence (Mayle) was written/set in the late 1980s, and is a humorous look at a British couple (the author and his wife) who move to rural France for a year. Lots of yummy food descriptions interspersed with humorous house renovation mishaps, and it has a sort-of All Creatures type of feel.

 

Edited by Lori D.
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For light and fluffy, I really liked
Kristan Higgins books, Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, and Austenland (Shannon Hale). 

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@Lori D., A Year in Provence sounds awesome. I love all things French, especially the south of France. 

One of my IRL book club buddies loved Cinder and in general loves that type of book. She has mentioned it before. I have noticed it only because it has a red shoe on the cover and that is one of Robin M’s 52 Books bingo squares! 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

@Lori D., A Year in Provence sounds awesome. I love all things French, especially the south of France. 

One of my IRL book club buddies loved Cinder and in general loves that type of book. She has mentioned it before. I have noticed it only because it has a red shoe on the cover and that is one of Robin M’s 52 Books bingo squares! 

I loved A Year in Provence, too. I forgot about that book. It was a really good read!,

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5 minutes ago, Quill said:

One of my IRL book club buddies loved Cinder and in general loves that type of book. She has mentioned it before. I have noticed it only because it has a red shoe on the cover and that is one of Robin M’s 52 Books bingo squares! 

I liked Cinder a lot...but I'd only recommend it if you're willing to read the whole series. There's like 4? 5? altogether. Plus some novellas. And a stand-alone, back-story novel. ?

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If you like Austen-esque I recommend Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist History series. It's Austin-era with the addition that illusion magic is real and in addition to music, painting, and needlepoint every well-bred young lady must learn glamour to embellish her home. The first in the series is Shades of Milk and Honey.

Sherry Thomas' Lady Sherlock series is also fun. The first is A Study in Scarlett Women. The main character is Charlotte Holmes who make up an imaginary invalid brother, Sherlock, as a cover for her detective work.

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I agree with Katie's books (I've read them all), No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Ready Player One, the Cinder series, Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore.  I could never get into the Shopaholic series.  I read the first one and just didn't like it for some reason.

I usually go with super light, quick romances or rereading old favorites when I'm looking for an escape.   I like the Nocturne Falls series by Kristen Painter (supernatural romance but very light and funny), JD Robb - In Death series (I probably wouldn't pick if they were the first time I'm reading them, not light fluffy enough), Mercedes Lackey (only certain ones though, some are not at all light emotionally), or whatever random Harlequin-type romance I can borrow from my library ebook listings.   

Right now I'm reading through Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters series.  Romance mysteries with ghosts.  No deep thought required.  I'm not looking for an escape, I just don't have the brain power for anything heavier right now.

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Jen Lancaster has some hilarious books. The first one is called Bitter is the New Black. There's definitely some language in them, so not PG rated. 

I've been reading some of Holly Martin's books recently. She has a few, short series (3 in each, I think). Spring at Blueberry Bay is the first of one of them and it's cute.

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1 hour ago, Danae said:

If you like Austen-esque I recommend Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist History series. It's Austin-era with the addition that illusion magic is real and in addition to music, painting, and needlepoint every well-bred young lady must learn glamour to embellish her home. The first in the series is Shades of Milk and Honey.

Sherry Thomas' Lady Sherlock series is also fun. The first is A Study in Scarlett Women. The main character is Charlotte Holmes who make up an imaginary invalid brother, Sherlock, as a cover for her detective work.


Oo! Fun!

Along the lines of these, but pretty weak in writing, are the stand-alone book: Love, Lies, and Spies (Anstey), and the Paper Magician trilogy (Holmberg). Love, Lies and Spies involves 19th century intrigue adventure; the first 2-3 chapters start off with a very promising bang, and it is frothy and humorous, but the rest of the book fails to continue at the same level. Paper Magician is a clever world, but weak writing, and sounds a bit along the lines of the Glamourist series (which I've not read).

Oh, I just though of another one you might enjoy, Quill: The Night Circus (Morgenstern). Somehow it slightly reminds me of the movie The Illusionist, so if you liked that, you might enjoy this book. Nicely written and a creative world.

Edited by Lori D.

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39 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Oh, I just though of another one you might enjoy, Quill: The Night Circus (Morgenstern). Somehow it slightly reminds me of the movie The Illusionist, so if you liked that, you might enjoy this book. Nicely written and a creative world.

This is one of my absolute favorite books! ?

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If you like mysteries/detective genre not too heavy and taking place in various places:

No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series  (Botswana)

Comissario Guido Brunetti series (Italy) (Eta I recommend starting with the second in the series not the first)  

Evan Evans series (Wales)

Bruno Chief of Police series (France)

 

and if you can stand very repetitive plotting and the main characters repeatedly getting into trouble due to dumb actions  

Flavia de Luce series  (England 1940s ish)

Molly Murphy series  ( New York 1900’s ish)

 

Edited by Pen
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Thirding The Number One Ladies Detective Agency. Start at the beginning. I always turn to Precious Ramotswe when I just want to be chill and hopeful about the prospect of these being quality people out on the world.

To laugh: David Sedaris. My favorite is Exploring Diabetes With Owls.

Also to laugh: Good Omens and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Jesus' Childhood Pal. Both reference relatively heavy subjects (obviously... The Apocalypse on one hand and the life of Jesus Christ on the other) but are absolutely hilarious.

 

For complete feel good fluff, I really like Amish romances. They're absolutely ridiculous. But they're about a thimble deep and verrrrry drama-free, as one might expect ?

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On 9/28/2018 at 6:02 PM, Lori D. said:

I'm partial to cozy mysteries as my fluffy light reading. Currently working my way through the Daisy Dalrymple series (Dunn), which is quite light and fun (set in 1920s England). The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series (Smith) is very sweet and affirming. And most of the books in the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mystery series (Debris) are well-done cozy mysteries combined with enjoying "further adventures" with Austen characters. While I think author Elizabeth Peters ruined her world/characters in the later books, Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first book of 19th century British archeologist/amateur sleuth Amelia Peabody series, is well-written and very amusing.

If fantasy/sci-fi works for you, I have been dipping in and out of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series -- Thief of Time and Hogfather were both among the better books in that series that I've read so far. Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is fun with lots of 1980s references. And the first 2-3 books in Jasper Fford's Thursday Next series (starts with The Eyre Affair) are quite fun -- and quite a mash-up of elements. Oh, and the "Bobiverse" trilogy (Taylor) is super light, and feels like Star Trek: Next Gen episodes. At a YA level is Sorcery & Cecilia: Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Wrede & Stevermer), which is a sort-of Jane Austen meets Harry Potter. And another YA speculative fiction with Jane Austen mixed in is For Darkness Shows the Stars (Peterfreund), which is an alternative history speculative fiction based on the idea of Austen's novel Persuasion (getting a second chance with the man her family persuaded her to turn down years earlier). Oh -- one more light YA: Cinder (Meyer) is a fun futuristic re-telling of Cinderella; it is the first of the Lunar Chronicles.

For realistic/semi-realistic, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Schaffer & Barrows) and Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore (Sloan) were both light. And Shannon Hale's Austenland is super light -- the book is fine, but it is one of those rare cases where the movie is much better than the book.

A Year in Provence (Mayle) was written/set in the late 1980s, and is a humorous look at a British couple (the author and his wife) who move to rural France for a year. Lots of yummy food descriptions interspersed with humorous house renovation mishaps, and it has a sort-of All Creatures type of feel.

 

Oh man, I love cozies, too! Yay!

The other books in the Year in Provence series are great too, and he also wrote other light books.

Alexander McCall Smith is my all-time favorite. I especially love his two series set in Scotland - 44 Scotland Street and the Isabel Dalhousie books. Alexander McCall Smith has got to be the nicest man on the planet to write those books. 

Other favorites include: Cookie Mysteries (Joanna Fluke), Aunt Dimity (Altherton), Lucy Stone (Meier), Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin series (M.C.Beaton).

 

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