KPR wrote a short post on 'happy books' a couple of weeks back, leaving me with a kind of challenge, that being just to name a couple. Being an avid reader of tales mostly involving poverty, woe, and soul rending existential disquiet, it's tough to track down something upbeat outside of maybe a Henry Miller book in my personal library, and his mode of happiness is a little more insane than what I think falls in the realm of just plain old normal 'happy.'
So here's the best I could do:
Schertenleib's A Happy Man, published in Melville House's immediately recognizable New Novella series is, quite possibly the happiest books I've read in my life. Not in a cheesy life affirming my-name-is-Sark-and-I-love-to-nap kind of way, the lyrical prose is warm and charming as the book details the life of a man named 'This' and his deep affection for the world around him, despite being surrounded by a literal world of discontent. I recommend the book not only based on the hope that it might inspire a sort of good feeling inside some sad reader out there, but just the idea that there exists a compelling story of a person who cannot seem to recognize sadness as an option is a point of curiosity as well. PMA.