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Reasons to be Cheerful

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In 1980 Lizzie Vogel is eighteen years old and is about to embark on the first major step of grown-up life as she moves from the sheltered village existence of her family home and out into the big, wide, metropolis that is Leicester. There she takes up the pioneering position of dental nurse to a dentist with bad teeth and some deeply unpleasant attitudes, whose main ambit ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 28th 2019 by Viking
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  98 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Reasons To Be Cheerful is a brilliant read. It features likable, hilarious characters and a story that I (and many other people) can really relate to – growing up not knowing exactly what you’re going to do with your life, or where you fit into a ‘bigger picture’, and finding your way as you go.

The novel spins a fantastic tale about Lizzie, who grew up in a village and makes that leap to a ‘bigger city’, with an – admittedly slightly random – career with extre
Joanna Park
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a sweet, heartwarming and quirky read that manages to be utterly hilarious! The characters in this book are very well drawn and developed through the book. I loved reading about the odd bunch of people who make up Lizzie’s workmates and some of the antics they get up to. It was interesting to read about the different attitudes and practices of dentists back in the 80s which I hope aren’t true but wouldn’t be surprised to hear they were! This gives the book a slightly nostalgic feel to i ...more
Ritu Bhathal
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful read!

This was the first of Nina Stibbe's books that I have read and I really enjoyed it. A light-hearted read that left you feeling good.

I have to say, as the daughter of a dentist whose family lived in a large flat about the surgery, there were some scenes that really had me giggling, like JP rushing upstairs for a quick toilet visit, or nap... like my dad!

The characters were well formed, and I loved Lizzie and her quirks.

And I have also been made aware of the fact that there
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Nina Stibbe is being hailed as the true heir to Sue Townsend and I couldn't agree more. This is my first book by this author, I picked it up on a whim, and I'm very glad I did. I wasn't aware it was the 3rd in a series (I shall be reading the others!) but thankfully it can be enjoyed on it's own merit. Witty, sweet, sharply observed, touching and downright hilarious in places this book evokes the 80s brilliant. It's a joyful read filled with wit, whimsy and charm that I would highly recommend to ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
An uplifting, fun read with touching moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A few bits unlikely but it’s fiction so I let it go. Very nostalgic read for someone of my age , great flashbacks !

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Katy Wheatley
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got an advanced proof copy of this from Netgalley in return for my review. I absolutely loved this. I love everything Stibbe has written and have been following her work (and her stuff on social media) since Love Nina. The Lizzie Vogel books, of which this is the third (start with Man at the Helm, then Paradise Lodge) are particularly pleasing because they are about the city I grew up in, left and now live in again. Stibbe is a little older than me, but many of the places she writes about in t ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As you lay there helpless, mouth agape, you can’t avert your eyes from the tray of glistening sharp utensils waiting to be summoned by the click of a latex-gloved hand. The air is filled with the crackle of the radio as a familiar tune interrupts the scene. You come to despise this song as the first bolt of pain is injected into your gum. Now whenever you hear Bright Eyes By Art Garfunkel you will tense a little and think of the dentists’. Happy memories…

Set against the 1980’s backdrop of Leices
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-releases
Lizzie Benson, who we met in "Paradise Lodge" and "Man at the Helmet", finds a job as a dental nurse to a horrible, incapable dentist JP Wintergreen. As it turns out, Lizzie is rather good at the job, she even undertakes some dental work herself. She also moves into the flat above the practice, becomes a fan of the women's magazines she finds in the waiting room and learns a dental technician she falls for.

The characters were hilarious, but at the same time believable and relatable. Nina Stibbe
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a really nostalgic read for me because it is set in the Eighties in the city of Leicester. which is not far from where I live. It is the first book I have read by Nina Stibbe, and after reading Reasons to Be Cheerful I will be adding others to my reading pile. Apparently, this is the third Lizzie Vogel novel, the previous ones are called Man at the Helm and Paradise Lodge, but this works fine to read as a standalone.

Lizzie Vogel is just entering adult life, she starts a new job which ha
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reasons to be Cheerful is a fun and touching novel about growing up in the 80s in England. The story focuses on Lizzie, who has found her first job as a dentist assistant and has left her family home to move to a big city. She is not quite convinced that this has been the best decision though and although she tries to embrace her new adult life, she feels lonely.

It was very interesting to read about Lizzie and how she tried to make new friends and start a new relationship, although she did not h
Charlotte (Escapades of a Bookworm)
From start to finish Reasons to be Cheerful was a joy to read. It was hilarious, witty and laugh out loud funny. There are sharp observations that just serve into the humorous side.

Okay so I may have lied in my first paragraph. There was a brief moment where I did not enjoy this book. At the very beginning there is a tooth extraction happening and it goes horribly wrong. This would have been fine if I hadn’t been sitting in the dentist waiting for a check up. I did not want to take my chances.

Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rest assured, this book is a lot warmer and less graphic than the opening scene of self-administered dentistry. It's one more hit book from this author, who loved an early review of mine of her second book and said so in person. Not that that has any bearing on my reaction here. No, for she succeeds again in being humorous in her thinly-disguised autobiography. I did wonder how the shtick was going to be maintained beyond this – but on conclusion it looks like it might not. It's certainly a thre ...more
Teresa Cornelius
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reasons to Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe
I found this book very enjoyable and the main character, Lizzie and her problems were very engaging. I loved her description of life with her dysfunctional family and the way in which her relationship develops – or doesn’t – with Andy is poignant. There are some excellent sections in the story; such as the description of Tammy feeding a cigarette to her dentist lover so that the patients won’t complain about the smell of his hands. Lizzie’s attempts to learn
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe to read and review by NetGalley.
Another brilliant novel from Nina Stibbe! Funny (laugh out loud at times) and poignant it tells the story of protagonist Lizzie’s endeavour to fly the family nest and start her grown up life out on her own. I think this resonates with me so much because I can relate to and ‘get’ all the little references of the time regarding music, fashion, current affairs etc, being that I’m a woman of a certain age! I w
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lizzie is a young girl in a small Leicester village 18 and wanting more.
This is almost to me a diary of her life and how she in both ways wants to be her own person yet also wants to fit in with others around her.
She finds a job in a dentists after writing a letter with her mother.
She explains her life as a child of divorced parents who seems accepting of both of their alternate lifestyles and not in the least embarrassed about her mother and her free ways with men.
She meets the dentist, his as
Kerry Henderson
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Lizzie is off to the big city, leaving behind her family to start a job at a dental practise. She has no experience but shes soon learning on the job. Before long she's hating her boss and starting to develop feelings for a young man. This tells the story of her move into adulthood and the lessons she learns along the way.

This was a good story but I must admit it wasnt as funny or good as I'd hoped. The story flowed well and the ending was really good but it just didn't pull me in enough. There
Hannah Snell
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somehow, despite very little happening, this book is so engaging, so entertaining, uplifting and feels so natural. I could have easily believed it was autobiographical, and was surprised to read that it was largely invented at the end.

Lizzie's character is principled, no-nonsense and self-proclaimed weird. But seems just as 'weird' as anyone else, but with a slightly less conventional upbringing.

In some ways, there is very little story - the book is like one long reminiscence, but it is never bo
Nicki Southwell
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
This is the third novel in which Lizzie Vogel appears. Young, fun with a sparky personality.

Emerging into adulthood, she moves to Leicester to work with an altogether different dentist. Not alternative, but different, in his view, etc. Leaving her alcoholic mother, this is a huge step for her.

Somehow she doesn't quite manage to leave home, especially as she still collects her young brother from nursery and then her boyfriend rents what was her bedroom at her mother's house.

The characters are won
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reasons to be Cheerful is a wonderfully witty follow up to Nina Stibbe's Man at the Helm. Who could fail to love a novel where one of the main characters is called Tammy Gammon?
There is sadness behind the laughs here. Lizzie Vogel implausibly gets a job as a dental technician. The dentist is a deeply selfish and odious man. He only cares about joining the Freemasons and is often racist. Lizzie hasn't had much of an upbringing from her ‘free spirit' mother, who leaves a trail of destruction in he
Colin Marks
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, e-book
"Reasons to be Cheerful" is the first book by Nina Stibbe that I've read, It doesn't start anywhere, or go anywhere even, but it was a fun, light, holiday kind of book. The book follows the dramas of Lizzie - it's very much fiction, and by the end I wanted her to exist, with her common sense and straightforwardness, someone simple but layered, kind and principled. Nina has an excellent voice and a very readable style. One to enjoy beside the pool.

Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
There’s nothing better than picking up a book by an author you’ve not read before and discovering an absolute gem. Nina Stibbe’s pen portraits of 18 year-old Lizzie, her mechanic mother with an unusual way of getting out of a fix, her siblings, her stepfather and her bonkers dental surgeon employer are a dream. The writing here is dry and witty, and although this book doesn’t scream plot action it pulls you along waiting for the next pearl to fall from someone’s mouth. Situations that would seem ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A most enjoyable read. I asked to review this book on netgalley for penguin as I am a fan of Nina Stibbe. This book is similar in tone to her other books and is set in the 1980s. The main character works in a dental surgery and most of the story revolves around the people she works with, the patients and her family. The characters are well written and Stibbe makes writes about them in a manner which makes you care about them. There is an unexpected twist at the end which maintains the readers in ...more
Amy Boucher Pye
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read her memoire as life as a London Nanny, I was pleased to have the opportunity to read this fictional work by Nina Stibbe. Funny, moving and realistic to a degree, this story of Lizzie’s move into the adult world of work and complicated relationships with family, friends and colleagues is extremely readable and enjoyable. Being if a similar age, the 1980s references are spot on. There is just one warning though - it includes detailed accounts of dentistry which some readers may find up ...more
Jamie Klingler
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book made me so cheerful. I giggled my head off at the Thigh Vagina and thoroughly enjoyed every page. Having already met the characters in her previous works, this was such a fun revisiting of them. Highly recommend this on a beach or a rainy day. It's great.
Karen Kingston
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Netgalley for a copy for an honest review.

I looked forward to reading this book, having been a teenager in the mid 1980’s. However I have had to admit defeat - I have not been enjoying this book. I will try again in a few months.
Katie Ray
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love this. Lighthearted, relatable and warming all at the same time. Parts will stick with me, for sure.
Jennie Horchover
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Apr 11, 2019
Barbara Taylor
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Apr 04, 2019
Catherine Elson
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Apr 15, 2019
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