10
   

Happy books

 
 
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2013 10:43 pm
I need some happy books to read, preferably new releases -- within the last year or so.

Any ideas?
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2013 11:38 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I need some happy books to read, preferably new releases -- within the last year or so.

Any ideas?
Well, its not new,
but the Bach book Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a happy book.





David
nextone
 
  2  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 12:31 am
@boomerang,
Not new, but Woody Allen's collections always make me howl. I also Like David Sedaris's stories.. Your question reminded me of some interesting classroom discussions about "happy" vs "sad" reading matter. Time and place for everything so they say.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 01:07 am
At first, one might not think this novel is a happy one, but i found it a satisfying read, and although there was much sadness in the novel, there is a quiet joy in this fictionalization of the life of the world's first novelist. The novel is from ten years ago, but that hardly matters in this case.

Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world's first novel in the early 11th century, by writing tales to entertain her friends and other women of the imperial court. She may have finished it as much as a thousand years ago (she is thought to have died in 1014). The result, The Tale of Genji, remains to this day the most popular novel in Japanese history.

Liza Dalby is an American anthropologist, and now novelist, who has always specialized in Japanese culture. The Tale of Murasaki (clickity-click!) is Dalby's speculative novel of the life of Murasaki Shikibu, whose real name is not known, although some think she may have been Fujiwara Takako. The Fujiwara were a powerful, influential clan who often served as regents for the emperors, and whoever she was, her father was known as an erudite scholar in the Chinese language (the Japanese then wrote in Chinese, or in Japanese using Chinese charactes). Not only was it not common for women to learn to read (which meant learning Chinese), it was frowned upon, and writing was scandalous . . . to men.

Whatever the case, Murasaki's father taught her Chinese, and how to write both Chinese and Japanese using the Chinese characters. She followed her father to his postings in what were, to her and others close to the court, remote, barbaric cities, and so was not married until she was in her mid 20s, very unusual in a society in which 14 or 15 was the more common age for marriage. She had a daughter and was a widow two years later. It was at about that time that she began to write her tales, and to read them to her friends, and ladies of the imperial court. Eventually, she became a lady-in-waiting to the Empress (and hence the identification as a Fujiwara--there weren't very many literate women in Japan at all, never mind in the imperial court). It is thought she received the invitation, a high honor, because of her reputation as a writer.

The novel is full of the hardship of people's lives--even sheltered women from powerful clans did not lie down each night in a bed of roses, especially a thousand years ago. But the novel is never depressing, and has the quiet triumph of a difficult life, well lived, and the fulfillment of one's modest ambitions.

I really think you would like it, and that reading it would make you happy.
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 01:33 am
@Setanta,
I've read The Tale of Genji, it felt more the The Tale of a rapist. What was even more interesting was that it was written by a woman. Wouldn't exactly be classified as a "happy" read.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 01:53 am
I didn't advise her to read The Tale of Genji. Don't come here and stomp all over Boomer's thread just because you have an obsessive grudge against me.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 03:19 am
@boomerang,
Hope you are ok Boomer.

I'll go look at what I have read recently for you!
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:45 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I've read that. I don't remember it being particularly happy but maybe I should give it another look. Thanks!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:46 am
@nextone,
I think David Sedaris has a new book out....

I like his writing too. Thanks!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:48 am
@Setanta,
I've read that! I loved it!

When I did my huge book purge it was one of the few I kept. That will be an easy one for me to revisit since it's sitting just a few feet from me right now.

An excellent recommendation. Thanks!
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:52 am
@dlowan,
Thanks for asking. Just feeling a bit dragged down and sick of Amazon recommending murder stories and other sadness. Couple that with the short days and overcast skies and things just start feeling dreary. I need some book therapy.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:53 am
A mix of sad and happy - I remember straight out sobbing - The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 08:56 am
@boomerang,
I'm glad to hear that . . . good for you, Boom!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:11 am
@boomerang,
On second thought, read Racing in Rain another time, because there is sadness in it along with the happy stuff.
Will think some more.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:15 am
@boomerang,
I'd recommend anything by Alexander McCall Smith. I find his books go from quiet happy to occasionally laugh-out-loud-in-public fun.

I recommended The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik on another thread. I think it's meant to be a kid/tween book. I loved it. Good adventure bits, good ha! that's interesting bits, the good guys win. I'm reading another Adam Gopnik book right now - non-fiction - lots of smiles in there as well.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:16 am
@ehBeth,
oh, on Alexander McCall Smith - the 44 Scotland Street series is interesting as it was originally written as a serial for daily publication in a paper. You don't have to make a long investment of time to get through a vignette.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  3  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:18 am

This book is rather new, full of life and lots of fun.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson, translated by Rod Bradbury

It might be reasonable to assume that this Swedish novel has ridden to its huge success in Europe on the coat-tails of Mankell and Larsson, but this book's hero has much more in common with Voltaire's Candide than Kurt or Lisbeth. Scandi-crime's signature darkness is here dispelled by Allan Karlsson, the eponymous centenarian, who with unlikely sprightliness hops out of the window of his old people's home one afternoon and does a runner – or more of a shuffle. Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny, the novel quickly develops into a romp that takes in all the major events of the 20th century. Like Forrest Gump, Allan is an innocent with the knack of being in the right place at the right time. He has also had a hand in everything from the Russian revolution to Reagan's Star Wars. Meanwhile, Allan's present-day adventure turns into a genial crime-fest as a series of affable rogues join his geriatric conga line. Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:25 am
@ossobuco,
My mom keeps telling me that I have to read this so I know I will eventually. I don't think I can handle a sad book right now though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:26 am
@ehBeth,
Laugh out loud funny is just what the reader ordered. I'll check those out. Thanks!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2013 09:29 am
@saab,
That does sound fun! The description kind of reminds me of another keeper from my collection -- "A Fraction of the Whole".

I'll add it to the growing queue!
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Happy books
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 11/17/2019 at 09:50:00