After an eventful and stressful eighteen months (thanks to COVID-19) I find my choice in books has changed. I am no longer reaching for psychological thrillers or murder mysteries – I don’t think I can take any more uncertainty for a while! All I want is a good old-hearted, easy read that will make me smile and won’t leave me feeling emotionally battered.
You know those books which you never want to put down because it’s just too good? That’s what I’m searching for lately! With our phones and work dominating our lives, reading is a great tool for finding escapism. So, switch off from the rest of the world, and pick up a feel-good book. Here are a few books you can begin with!
The Switch – Beth O’Leary
If you want a feel-good book, read a Beth O’Leary book. In particular, I really enjoyed ‘The Switch’. Workaholic and overachiever Leena Cotton blows a highly important presentation at work. Since the death of her sister Carla, Leena has been finding it hard to keep her head above water. She decides to take some well-deserved time off and retreats to her grandmothers house in Yorkshire.
Her grandmother, Eileen Cotton, however, is figuring her newly single life out. Eileen feels as though her tiny Yorkshire village has little to offer her (especially in regard to men). A life swap seems like the perfect solution!
Leena faces challenges with gossiping elderly neighbours and being the newbie at village meetings. Things are seeming a little tricky, until she meets Jackson, and her new rural lifestyle starts to pick up. As for Eileen, is love closer to home than she originally thought?
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
Image: Simon & Schuster
If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper, I would highly recommend this book for you. The protagonist, Don Tillman is the epitome of Sheldon. He is a professor of genetics from the University of Melbourne and has never been on a second date. When he is informed by an acquaintance that he would make the perfect husband, he sets out on ‘The Wife Project’, a rigorous test to help him discover the perfect partner.
However, it’s not that simple. Don’s criteria for finding a wife is never-ending. It is the most extensive list you will ever see! For example, she must not be a barmaid, she must not smoke, she must not be prone to running late and must not drink alcohol frequently (not fussy at all, eh?)
Rosie Jarman couldn’t be more incompatible for Don if she tried, but she’s on a quest of her own – she wants to find her biological father. And who better to ask than a professor of genetics? Rosie shakes up Don’s life in a way he has never experienced before. And remember, love can find you in the most unpredictable ways.
Half A World Away – Mike Gayle
Although this book admittedly did make me cry, and I said we would steer away from tear-provoking books, this one is a must-read. Kerry Hayes is a single mum, who lives on a tough London estate and works tirelessly as a cleaner to pay the bills. Kerry was taken into care as a child, though she has never forgotten about the sibling she was separated from.
Noah Martineau, on the other hand, lives with his daughter and wife in affluent Primrose Hill. Noah has no interest in reflecting on his past, he always looks forward, never ever back.
Yet one day a letter arrives through his post-box. This letter changes everything. Noah’s past has been forced opened again and this time he has to acknowledge it. I absolutely adore this book – it illustrates unconditional love and how loss ultimately makes you stronger.
Us Three – Ruth Jones
From female friendships, love, loss and navigating adulthood – what’s not to love about this book? Us Three follows the lifelong friendship of three best friends: Catrin, Judith and Lana. The three girls grew up in a small town called Coed Celyn in South Wales, and as children, they swore on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would be there for each other no matter what.
The book follows the three women from the age of eighteen to their fifties. We watch their friendship take a rocky turn, as they make their way through the messy aspects of life. But can their friendship stand the test of time?
Ruth Jones’ honest and detailed depiction of each character helps you empathise which each one of the women. In a way, this book celebrates the human nature of making mistakes and that’s what makes this book so relatable. You will finish this book and feel as though you’ve known Catrin, Judith and Lana for a lifetime.
Normal People – Sally Rooney
Everyone and their mum has probably watched this series, but if you haven’t read the book yet – you need to! The storyline follows Connell, the popular and respected soccer-star of the school, and Marianne who is a slightly bizarre, introverted, and awkward character.
While on the exterior they appear as completely different people and seem totally incompatible, they form an unlikely relationship. Both characters feel misunderstood, both are lonely, yet they understand each other and get hooked on the bond they share.
Their relationship begins as a secret romance. The contrast in their high school social lives means Connell, in particular, is unwilling to publicise their connection. However, when they both attend Trinity College in Dublin, their relationship intensifies, and their lives change in ways they could never have predicted.
And there you have it! Five of my favourite easy-reads that are bound to get you hooked. If you read any of these books, make sure to let us know what you think! Happy reading!