Five Feel-good Books

Yesterday I had a little grump with my current read which in this wintry weather I just didn’t feel like reading. As an antidote I decided to give Agatha Raisin a whirl, as the festive cover and and comic plot seemed just the thing to cheer me up. I’m already racing through it.

In case anyone else is having a similar slump, I thought I would put together a short list of feel-good books guaranteed to give you a bit of a lift.

The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett (Faber & Faber, 128 pages).

“It made me happy, and it made me think all with just a few pages of brilliant prose.” (read full review)



Good-Bye, Mr. Chips, by James Hilton (Little Brown and Company, 126 pages.)

Goodbye Mr Chips, by James Hilton“As comforting and typically English as a buttered crumpet in front of the fire.” (read full review)



The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Bloomsbury, 256 pages).

“…even halfway through reading it I didn’t want to like it, but in spite of myself I found it to be one of the most heartwarming and poignant pieces of writing I have read in a while.” (read full review)


A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute (Vintage Classics, 368 pages).

“…an adventure part morality tale about personal strength, survival and a woman’s desire to create something beautiful out of the bare means in a time when women had very little influence.” (read full review)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson (Persephone Books, 256 pages).

“a diverting and utterly charming read as well as being a little bit inspiring…” (read full review)



What are your favourite feel-good reads?

19 responses to “Five Feel-good Books

  1. I have bookish grumps all the time, Polly. Sometimes I know I’m reading a books I should enjoy but I can’t seem to get into it for whatever reason. I am doing a lot of this at the moment as my brain is all over the place with work etc so feel-good books are exactly what I am craving.

    I have read A Town Like Alice and I have 3 of the others at home waiting to be read. Thanks for the list – I think I will be diving in pretty soon 🙂

  2. Ex Libris by Ann Fadiman is a nice, relaxing read. I plopped down in front of the fire last Christmas while the kids were assembling things and read it in a sitting. For comfort reading, Miss Read has always been a fav, or a mystery (Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Josephine Tey). I second your recommendation of the Guernsey book and have the Uncommon Reader on my wish list! 🙂 I haven’t tried an Agatha Raisin yet, but have them on my radar.

  3. I recommend the Guernsey book it is just simply wonderful.

    I am currently on Debbie Macomber for my comfort reading.

  4. Miss Pettigrew, definitely!

  5. Loved Alan Bennetts. I feel abit like the Queen although slightly younger. My book list to read gets longer and longer.

  6. Great list, especially the Alan Bennett, I will have to try the two I havent read at some point! I am so pleased your enjoying your first dalliance with Agatha Raisin shes brilliant.

  7. Glad to hear you’re enjoying Agatha Raisin. She’s a comfort read for me too and I just curl up in bed and get through it in one sitting. My other comfort reads are Agatha Christie (go the Agathas!), Tintin (which i’m also re-reading at the mo) and Matilda!

    Ooh, I’ve been itching to re-read Jane Eyre too. Perfect for your wintery winter!

    • Agatha Christie, DEFINITELY a comfort read (and watch when there’s a Sunday movie on TV featuring Poirot or Miss Marple!), ah and Matilda what a wonderful book (isn’t that where your avatar is from?) Can’t wait to pick up Jane Eyre.

  8. So many lovely books. A Town Like Alice was one of my favorite books in high school, after seeing the wonderful adaptation on PBS.

  9. Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven. This would be my personal choice for a book that makes a difference.

    • Ooh I read that a long time ago. I don’t remember feeling very excited about it at the time but maybe it’s one to pick up again some time?

  10. I just found this amazing website. I’ve read all the comments above about all this incredible books. Personally, I have not read any of those but I’m so looking forward to reading them. I a very huge fan of Novels.
    Any book I should read first just to get started?!

    • Hi Marco, thanks for your kind comments. Depends what sort of book you’re in the mood for. Let me know and I’ll see if I can think of something to recommend.

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