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On Writing > Books that make you HAPPY

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim | 13 comments The other day, someone asked me: Why is so much "good" literature so depressing and have so many dark themes in it? After a LONG talk about the nature of the human being and what we're drawn to and the need for human connection about universal things, I found myself exhausted. As a teacher, I know how important it is to read and discuss all this darkness. But since my daughter was born three and a half years ago, I find myself wanting lighter, happier reads as well. And I think they are JUST as important as the dark stuff. So, as a writer, I'm at work on my second novel and determined to write a FUN book - something that's just fun to read, a little literary, but mostly just something to ENJOY. And as a reader, I am trying to read books right now that make me happy, but that are really well-written and funny and hopeful. So much of the "happy" stuff gets tossed aside as being "fluff" or being "cheesy" and I'm having trouble wading through all that. I'm wondering if people have suggestions for really well-written, good books that are just FUN and make you HAPPY while reading them. Suggestions?

message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane | 2 comments I know a lot of people are exceedingly derogatory toward romances, but many are very well written (though there are the ones that make you wince, too). Romances all have happy endings; many make you smile and laugh out loud. There is no shame in reading a GOOD romance, just regret over reading a bad one. Susan Elizabeth Philips writes classy, non-cheesy books. If you don't normally read romances, read her. Rachel Gibson is another great author. They write light, fun, happy books, pure escapism, but who cares? I liked reading them so much, I decided to write them (I write contemporaries under Jane Blackwood and historicals under Jane Goodger). It's great fun. And if you can get past the sometimes embarrassing covers, there are many, many wonderful historical romances out there, too. Check out review sites, ask a friend. If you like movies such as When Harry Met Sally or other romantic comedies, you already love romances (you just didn't know it).


Jane Goodger

message 3: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) Yes, Susan Elizabeth Philips - I don't usually read romances but recently read Breathing Room and absolutely loved it! It was a fun read and made me laugh out loud.

message 4: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (JennieB) | 6 comments Don't know how 'literary' these are, but they're exeptional examples of their genre: Jennifer Crusie has some wonderfully written romantic comedies; her dialogue in particular is fabulous. Terry Pratchett, for anyone who's into comedy and fantasy. My personal favorites are the books about the Ankh-Morpork Watch; they're screwy police procedurals set in the biggest town on the flat Discworld. Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz; impossible to describe in a few words, but an incredible writer. You just have to read her to see. Lois McMaster Bujold. The Vorkosigan books are sci-fi, space opera, sort of, with some Georgette Heyer thrown in for good measure. The few books written in the Chalion series so far, are wonderful too. She's the kind of writer who can make you weep with joy at her language, while at the same time being very accessible. Tasha Alexander, who writes the Lady Emily Ashton historical mysteries. Wonderfully written, nails the historical period, but not dark at all. I could go on, but this is probably enough for now. Except for a shameless plug for my own book, of course. Fatal Fixer-Upper is a romantic mystery about a New York designer who inherits a house in Maine and lands knee-deep in drywall and paint, family secrets, and historical intrigue dating back to the French revolution. There are scheming relatives, cats, priceless antiques, a missing professor, and a hot handyman with his shirt off. What more could anyone want? ;-)

message 5: by Jaimey (new)

Jaimey (jaimeygrant) | 2 comments Try Elise Chidley's contemporary romance "Your Roots Are Showing." I just finished it and there were several times that I laughed out loud. It was very enjoyable to read with a nice happy ending. I also recommend Barbara Metzger's older books and Loretta Chase's older ones as well. These are Regency romances with a hefty dose of comedy. I've always found Marion Chesney's Regencies hilarious too, a nice, brief escape from reality into an often mocking look at Regency England.

[image error] The Painted Lady (Signet Regency Romance) by Barbara Metzger Viscount Vagabond (Regency Noblemen, #1) (Regency Romance) by Loretta Chase THE FRENCH AFFAIR (Regency Romance) by Marion Chesney

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