Some HAPPY Books to Brighten Up Your Day!

orangutan list

You know me, I love my dark books. But today, I figured it was about time I shared some books with a lighter touch. These are just some of the books that make me happy:

the martian

The Martian– starting with a book based around the catastrophe of being stuck on Mars with a depleting air supply, I absolutely expect you to read that synopsis and think has this monkey gone bananas? Why has she put this on a happy books list? Well, for all the tension in this book, there’s an equal amount of humour, thanks to the hilarious protagonist Mark Watney! I guarantee if you pick this up, you’re in for a bundle of laughs

the hating game

The Hating Game– with a book title like that, you might not expect to see it on a list like this- but this quirky, funny contemporary is practically the definition of a HAPPY book 😀

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– the clue is in the title 😉 I am a sucker for “happily ever afters” and this delivers for sure!

to all the boys

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before– Lara Jean and her family never fail to bring a smile to my face.

simon vs the homosapien agenda

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda– do I really need to give any introductions for this book at this point? While this deals with some serious issues, Albertalli’s lighthearted touch make Simon a pleasure to read.

carry on

Carry On– I mention this book *a lot* but I can’t help it if this brilliant parodic fantasy fills me with the utmost joy!

going postal

Going Postal– One of my favourite Discworld books- need I say more? Also, it happens to be one of the funniest.

nimona

Nimona– this is a newish one for me- but as another twist on its genre, I thought it fit perfectly. Playing with ideas of supervillains vs superheroes, this graphic novel is a whole lotta fun!

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– I adore this fresh take on alternative history. A completely unexpected ride, this doesn’t just toy with historical accuracy, it laughs in its face and rewrites the history books- in the best possible way!

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– I mean, it’s Austen- do I need a reason? I also happen to love Mr Knightley the most of all Austen’s male leads (oh and there’s great character development- but pff- we’re talking about what makes me smile)

little women

Little Women– rounding off with possibly an unusual choice, this certainly has its poignant and sad moments- HOWEVER for every bit of sadness this book brings, it also delivers its equal parts of joy. I would have felt remiss not to include it.

So do any of these books bring you joy? And what are your favourite happy books? Let me know in the comments!

Dear My Lady Jane – A Love Letter to a Book

booklove orangutan

Dear My Lady Jane,

my lady janeI fell in love with you right from the start. You charmed me in your prologue with your wit and humour- interjecting an authorial voice to tell us we were headed for an unconventional love story. I rarely laugh out loud at books, but you had me eating out the palm of your hand, devouring page after page of your alternative history.

I must say, the thought of a retelling of Lady Jane Grey filled me with some trepidation at first. Especially since I am somewhat well-versed in Tudor England (I blame the British school system that teaches it to us over and over). And yet you captured the spirit of the period, whilst turning it on its head and creating something totally different. The asides about what is real and not- for instance the mention of there being no such thing as a honeymoon at this point in time- makes it evident that your writers are aware this is a construct. I really appreciated you for your honesty there.

I also loved your magical element. I was enchanted by the cleverness of the world building and it made me hold you in even higher regard. It was quirky and hilarious to make Henry VIII a lion, but even more ingenious to make his mother Elizabeth a skunk, hinting at the Woodville ties with witchcraft.

I adored all your plot twists and the story itself kept me on the edge of my seat. I was virtually squealing (and whinnying) with delight the entire time. In particular, your midlogue, with the narrators interrupting the story, was hilarious.

All your characters were brilliant and distinct- I could happily tell the difference between all the different perspectives. Above all, you defied all the things I normally question and dislike. Highlight for spoilers: I could tell that Gifford was going to be Shakespeare and though I normally hate the whole “so and so was secretly Shakespeare” theories, this one was too funny for words! So you could say you are not my normal type, but I think it is a testament to how *awesome* you are that I adore you anyway. All I can do is appreciate how wonderful you are.

What’s brilliant about you is that you worked perfectly as a standalone- but there’s going to be sequel companion novels in a similar vein. I can’t wait to see what more you have to offer!

And finally you held a message I think we can all get behind: “We’ll fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.” Amen to that. You’ve made me one satisfied monkey after all…

form50022

All my bananas…

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Sincerely, Orangutan Librarian

 

Books Guaranteed to Make you SMILE :D

sun has got his hat on

It’s been a lovely week, all sunny and summer-like (and okay it was overcast today, but whatever, can’t win em all). Anyway, moving on, I thought I’d share some fun books which made me happy, in the hope that they will make you smile too!

carry on

Carry On– I mention this book *a lot* but some books just deserve to get mentioned all the time- and this one just so happened to make me smile from ear to ear! And yes- it’s a satirical take on Harry Potter– that’s why it’s similar.

wonder

Wonder– this is a “happy” in a life affirming kind of way. This is seriously moving, yet will also undoubtedly make you crack a smile for sure!

howl's moving castle

Howl’s Moving Castle– despite not enjoying the sequel as much, I can’t deny how much I adored the original. The characters and world are so vivid! And of course, like many of Diana Wynne Jones’ books, it made me exquisitely happy.

northanger abbey

Northanger Abbey– I can’t have a list about books that made me happy and not include Austen on it. I absolutely adore the romance in this one and it makes for a fabulous subversion of the gothic tropes.

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– I mean the clue is in the title 😉 I kinda had to include it on this list- it’s such a delightful contemporary.

the hating game

The Hating Game– this is another romance that made me stupidly happy. I didn’t expect to love this quite as much as I did, but it had me laughing the whole way through and I couldn’t stop reading this addictive book.

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– I read this really recently and haven’t done the review yet, but I guarantee it will be positive, cos this book was SO GOOD and made me SO HAPPY. Yes, it was totally out there as a historical retelling, but that’s what made it so brilliant.

the martian

The Martian– a story about getting stuck on Mars- how can that make you *smile*? I hear you ask. Well, that’s thanks to the indomitable Mark Watney! His fantastic sense of humour could make even potato farming in space interesting!

blithe spirit

Blithe Spirit– this is another weirdly happy story- it’s a play about a man whose dead wife comes back to haunt him and it is SO FUNNY. Yup, you read that right, a play about being haunted is funny. I recommend the 1945 film as well 😀

going postal

Going Postal– on the topic of eccentric British work, I could hardly neglect to include Pratchett. This is one of my favourites and happens to be one of the funniest- need I say more?

And last but not least…

 

 

We Go to the Gallery– Yes this may look like picture books, but they are in fact adult picture books! Which is totally different, cos, well they’re hilarious! Definitely recommend checking the series out and plus they make a really great gift if you’re ever stuck for something 😉

So have you read any of these? Did they make you smile? And what books have made you smile in the past? Let me know in the comments!