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Feel-Good Fiction: Brighten your day with some uplifting reading

Posted on 19th January 2021 by Mark Skinner

If ever there was a perfect time to escape into a world of uplifting stories it is now. In this blog you will find our favourite feel-good tales from the last few years, each one guaranteed to put a smile on your face, a spring in your step and a lovely warm feeling in your heart. 

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A quietly profound novel that celebrates ordinary acts of kindness and gently compels us to regard others – and even ourselves – a little differently, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has become one of the most beloved novels of the past ten years.
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Deliciously light and frothy, O’Leary’s wonderfully uplifting debut is a joyous confection of comic misunderstanding and endearing romance between two residents of the same flat who happen to have never met.
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A generous, sensitive story of a life lived outside of time’s boundaries, How to Stop Time revolves around an immortal history teacher who must avoid falling in love at all costs.
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Tender hearted and compassionate, Gayle’s good-natured comedy sees lonely widower Hubert Bird forced to face up to the fabricated life he has created to pacify his daughter.
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Charming and endlessly endearing, Hogan’s novel of a collector of lost objects and his determined mission to reunite them with their owners is a feel-good tale about atonement, affection and doing the right thing.
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Deftly written and nimbly translated, Kawaguchi’s life-affirming tale of café-based time travel and symbolic hot beverages has all the hallmarks of a beloved cult classic.
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When a struggling writer finds out about the exploits of the titular organisation under wartime occupation she makes a decision that will change her life forever, in Shaffer and Barrow’s thoroughly entertaining and moving period novel.
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Jonasson’s bestselling phenomenon combines laugh-out-loud comedy with immensely touching moments as a contrary centenarian embarks on a picaresque adventure across town.
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Two very different women come together to save their local lido from closure in Libby Page's elegantly written and uplifting novel about community, friendship and the passage of time.
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Making the most of a genius central concept of the Queen’s obsession with a mobile library, this love letter to literature is chucklesome balm for the most jaded souls.
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Treading the line between poignant drama and laugh-out-loud comedy with aplomb, Pearce’s beguiling debut finds a frustrated war correspondent answering agony aunt letters – with hilarious consequences.
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An irresistible tale of love, freedom and family meddling perfect for fans of Kevin Kwan and Beth O’Leary, Ho’s winning debut introduces the lovable Andrea Tang and her desperate attempts to shield her romantic life from the attentions of her relatives.
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The established YA author slips seamlessly over to adult fiction with a beautifully compassionate story about a cantankerous bookstore owner, an abandoned toddler and the joy of reading that never dissolves into sentimentality or mawkishness.
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Fizzing with humour and eccentricity, Semple’s second novel is a heartwarming odyssey undertaken by teenage Bee in search of her mother; the charismatic maverick, Bernadette.
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Like her triumphant debut The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Cannon’s latest mystery is a deftly funny, sharply observed evocation of human frailty and resilience.
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A bittersweet delight about the grumpiest man in the world and the community that thaws his heart, Backman’s bestseller is a perfect blend of wit, warmth and poignant prose.
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From the masterful – and dizzyingly prolific – pen of Alexander McCall Smith comes a gossamer-light evocation of bohemian Edinburgh, peopled by the snobs, eccentrics and dreamers of 44 Scotland Street.
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Perfect reading for ardent bibliophiles, Sloan’s whimsical novel introduces a very singular bookstore, an outrageous global conspiracy and a very confused nocturnal bookseller.
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A wonderfully big-hearted love story brimming with memorable characters, Simonson’s debut plots the course of Major Pettigrew’s burgeoning relationship with shopkeeper Mrs Ali in tender, gently funny prose.
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Beautifully judged and as comforting as the warmest embrace, George’s story of a bookseller-cum-counsellor who prescribes literature to lift the soul is a tender, touching treat.
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