I'd kill to read a book where no one dies right now and it was RevCheryl asking for some happy reading that set me thinking, where are all the current, well-written, 'happy' books?
The inference from 'happy' is that the books might be a bit slight and light but surely they needn't be?
This is also perhaps slightly different to hot water bottle comfort reading and that settling down with old favourites, much more about finding out if there is anything happy out there at the moment.
If you can think of any please could you flood comments with your suggestions like a brilliant beam of happyhappyjoyjoy reading light as we all suddenly discover we are passing through these various dates that everyone tells us are the most miserable of the year.. National Being Depressed Day etc.
I've even dug out a nice sunbeamy picture of Plymouth Sound to go with it all.
I've been reading some sharp end contemporary fiction through January and February and have to confess, if 'enjoy' is the right word, then I have been. People dropping like flies, turning to glass, or meeting a sticky end, or living sadly deprived lives, or dying in disasters or wars, there are few original ways left to shuffle off this mortal coil after those I've read of in recent weeks. I'm intentionally holding off my thoughts about Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor until later this week to spare you even more of the same, but it is the best book I've read this year and I'm afraid I will have to say the word Booker when I do share my thoughts on it.
So oddly this has all been great reading and sometimes it just seems I'm wearing enough layers of skin to cope, and perhaps this is is empirically linked to the number of layers of clothes I'm wearing (four) through this real winter we're having.
I know plenty of people might be fed up with ice and snow but I'm loving it for the realness of the season, the light bright brilliant blue skies and the fact the spring will earn its keep this year and I will really appreciate it for the difference.
But I had a browse through my shelves, just to see and there were several happy candidates so I'm going to share one today and others soon, I hope little rays of undepressing reading.
I've made a start on another short story collection, a story a day from Super Girl by Ruth Thomas, according to the blurb from Faber (& Faber),
'Poignant as well as funny, Ruth Thomas’s new collection charts the difficulties people have when faced with the need to change. Delicately poised on the cusp of melancholy, fragility and folly, her stories offer a fresh take on the contradictions of human nature.'
I can't know about forthcoming deceasements (seems like a word that
should exist) but the ones I've read so far are perfect, gentle but important moments magnified and examined, and I do know that I really enjoyed Ruth Thomas's novel Things to Make and Mend .
You know I'm a hopeless case for a bit of a nostalge as I read and here's what I wrote at the time...
"School needlework a la 1960s was like well thought out torture because you knew exactly what you'd like to
knock up, perhaps a mini skirt or heaven forfend some hotpants, thus a
whole term spent smocking a piece of gingham and then making it into an
apron was a bit of a disappointment.
Strangely though we were all wildly into knitting during break times (that and playing cards and swapping Jean Plaidy books), a very long scarf and mini-jumpers from a Paton's pattern modelled by Twiggy that took exactly 8ozs of Fiona wool were compulsory. At 2s 6d per oz.your jumper cost you £1.
Ruth Thomas has distilled and bottled the essence of it all perfectly in this book.
A really enjoyable read."
Scroll on down for a happy cat dispensing two lots of gifts today.