Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Books

A woman came into the store the other day and asked for a suggestion for something to read. She had been reading a lot of heavy, dark books, and asked if we could recommend a "happy book." Not funny, necessarily, but uplifting, affirming. It got me thinking. The best book I read in the last year, Every Man Dies Alone, by Hans Fallada, certainly didn't fall into that category. The last book I read that I really liked does have a happy ending, but the reader has to get past a lot of distress to get to that point. And the oeuvre of the great Cormac doesn't contain a lot of sunny, carefree moments. Just like comedies never winning the best-picture Oscar, happy books mostly don't get the respect they probably deserve. The book I finally landed on was Timbuktu by Paul Auster , the story of a homeless man as told from the point of view of his only friend, a dog. I read it a long time ago (and now it is out of print, it would seem), but I remember it as a book that left me with a happy glow. Any other suggestions?


Anonymous said...

The Most Beautiful Book in the World- Eric Emmanuel Schmitt

Clark said...

A Happy Man by Hansjörg Schertenleib. Part of the Melville House novella series.

Pete said...

I handed her Stiff by Mary Roach and Farm City by Novella Carpenter. She had already read (and loved) both, alas.