65 Books That Will Make You Feel Happy

Can you believe that since I moved to Slough just over 3 years ago, I have taken 87 books out of the library, And that’s not including Tyler’s childrens books – that is 87 books just for me! Some of them have been history books (I do like delving into local history and find old photos), other books have been photography and cookbooks. But most I have taken out fiction books.

I just love reading easy-going books that have a happy ending. I know that sounds fluffy and airhead-like, but we live in a world where there is so much bad news, that I like a bit of escapism. When I was working, I would read on the tube to and from work, in my lunchbreak while I ate a sandwiches. That’s when I would get through books quickly. I’d much rather have my head in a book that stare at people’s legs on the Central Line!

Nowadays it does take me a bit longer to get through books, but I never stopped after having children. I read when Lily is napping and just before I go to sleep. I read when they are awake, sometimes when they are watching TV or playing in front of me, or when my husband or parents are looking after them. It’s good for the kids to see me read and I’m sure that’s what give them a love of reading too. Tyler LOVES reading books, and Lily is always walking around the house with one of her books under her arm, then sitting on the floor and ‘reading’ them upside-down. They just want to be like their mummy, and are always fascinated by my books, with both of them looking over my shoulder as I read.

Reading is so relaxing, so I am saying to you, leave the housework, put down your phone and pick up a book! I highly recommend joining your local library, then you can take out books for FREE and there are so many to choose from.

Currently I am reading The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond and I can’t put it down. It’s about some people who have moved to Brighton to run away from things that have happened to them and they become friends. I feel like I am in Brighton when I read it, and it’s a glimpse into a life any of us could have had.

Nice, easy-going books that will leave you feeling happy. Here are 65 that I have read over the past 3 years, all of them from Slough Library, so I’m sure they are available at all libraries across the country, or you can buy most books online or in bookshops.

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1) The House of New Beginnings / Lucy Diamond

In an elegant Regency house near the Brighton seafront, 3 tenants have more in common than they know. A shocking revelation has led Rosa to start over as a sous chef. The work is gruelling but it’s a distraction – until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places? Having followed her childhood sweetheart down south, Georgie is busily carving out a new career in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun, but before she knows it she’s sliding headlong into all kinds of trouble. Nursing a devastating loss, Charlotte just wants to keep her head down. But Margot, the glamorous older lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

2) The Songbird / Marcia Willett

When Mattie invites her old friend Tim to stay in one of her family cottages on the edge of Dartmoor, she senses there is something he is not telling her. Having left behind his old life in London in a rush, Tim is unusually quiet, as if he is holding on to a painful secret. But as he gets to know the rest of the warm jumble of family by the moor, Tim discovers that everyone there has their own secrets. As Tim begins to open up, Mattie falls deeper in love. And as summer warms the wild Dartmoor landscape, new beginnings take root. But can fresh hopes bloom where old secrets are buried?

3) Vinegar girl : The taming of the shrew retold / Anne Tyler

Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. Dr Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him.

4) A vintage wedding / Katie Fforde

Beth, Rachel and Lindy are looking for new beginnings. Beth is planning her sister’s wedding via Skype in order to avoid their domineering mother. Rachel has decided to get on with her new life in the country post-divorce, and has just finished decorating her new home. And single-mother Lindy is looking for something creative to do with her time now that her young sons don’t need her quite so much. They find themselves living in the same village in the country – and decide to set up in business together, organising stylish and perfectly affordable vintage weddings. Soon they are busy organising other people’s weddings. But will they have time to find their own Mr Rights?

5) The mysterious Miss Mayhew / Hazel Osmond

When Tom Howard’s marriage broke down he fled London with his daughter Hattie for the small village where he grew up. Three years later he’s still there, editing a local magazine, resolutely single. Then, whilst judging in a country baking show, he sees a mysterious girl who immediately captures his attention. When she turns up for an interview at the magazine, sparks fly. But just as things start to seem promising, the ghosts of the past return to threaten all that Tom has worked so hard to achieve.

6) The first time mums’ club / Lucie Wheeler

Meet Pippa. After years of trying and a failed IVF attempt, Pippa is thrilled to see two little lines appear on a pregnancy test. Finally a precious baby to call her own. This is all Pippa has ever wanted.if only husband Jason could show just a little excitement. Imogen. A baby is the icing on the cake for Imogen and Alice – proof that their love for each other can overcome any obstacle. But when Imogen starts receiving malicious texts, it’s clear that not everyone is thrilled about the girls’ good news. And Ellie. A drunken one-night stand and Ellie’s life is ruined! Pregnant, jobless and the relationship with her best friend, Chris, over – forever. Because Chris just happens to be the father of Ellie’s baby and potentially the love of her life! For these first time mums the road to motherhood is bumpier than most!

7) The year of taking chances / Lucy Diamond

In the small Suffolk village of Larkmead, Gemma is throwing a New Year’s Eve party. It was supposed to be a small do but sociable husband Spencer has gone overboard with the invites and now the whole village is there. Caitlin has returned to the village where she spent her teenage years to pack up her much-missed mum’s house and try and figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR whizz who is hiding a life-altering secret which no amount of spin can change. At the party, the three women meet over a glass or two of bubbly and pass around fortune cookies as Big Ben counts down to midnight. As the year unfolds the women come to lean on each other more and more as shocks, disappointments and rifts test them to their limits.

8) The Plumberry School of Comfort Food / Cathy Bramley

Verity Bloom hasn’t been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago. But an opportunity to help a friend lands her right back in the heart of the kitchen. The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up. And with new friendships bubbling and a sprinkling of romance in the mix, Verity finally begins to feel like she’s home. But when tragedy strikes at the very heart of the cookery school, can Verity find the magic ingredient for Plumberry while still writing her own recipe for happiness?

9) Tiny acts of love / Lucy Lawrie

To Cassie’s horror, her overly-excited husband Jonathan has sent a grisly blow-by-blow account of her labour – plus attached photo – to everyone in her email contacts list, including her clients! Amid mood swings, post-natal hypochondria and the side effects of the fated email, who saunters into her world again but her sexy, swaggering ex-boyfriend Malkie – the one who got away. Is she strong enough to face everything her new life has to throw at her?

10) Martini Henry / Sara Crowe

In 1988, seventeen-year-old Sue Bowl has a diary, big dreams and £4.73. What she wants most of all is to make it as a writer, as well as stop her decadent Aunt Coral spending money she doesn’t have. Living in their crumbling ancestral home should provide plenty of inspiration, but between falling in love, hunting for missing heirlooms and internship applications, things keep getting in the way. So when a young literary professor moves in and catches Sue’s eye, life begins to take an unexpected turn.

11) The love shack / Jane Costello

Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they’ll ever save for a deposit is by returning, rent-free, to Dan’s childhood home. Obviously, no one wants to move back into a bedroom still adorned with Kylie posters, with a mother who never seems to go out and whose culinary skills are noted for their spectacular gastro-intestinal effects. But it’s only for six months. Even they can manage that. Surely.

12) Just haven’t met you yet / Cate Woods

Percy James has everything a girl could want: a comfy flat, a steady relationship and a truly lovely group of friends. Then she is approached by Eros Tech. Eros is ‘the future of love’ – an agency that brings together soulmates using mobile data. Percy has been identified as a match for one of Eros’s super wealthy clients. The only problem is she already has a boyfriend but what if this is ‘destiny’? Would you – could you – pass up a chance to meet your one true love?

13) A gift to remember / Melissa Hill

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A dreamer who secretly wishes for true love similar to that in her beloved novels, Darcy refuses to settle for anything less than the perfect man. One day, when cycling to work, Darcy crashes into a sharply dressed man walking his dog. He is knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital, but his dog gets left behind. Wracked with guilt over the accident, Darcy resolves to care for the dog and reunite him with his owner. But the dog is not the only thing that’s been left behind and when she finds a small beautifully wrapped package, suspiciously shaped like a book, she becomes curious. She decides to try and figure out all she can about this man, and make the delivery herself.

14) You and me, always / Jill Mansell

On the morning of Lily’s 25th birthday, it’s time to open the very last letter written to her by her beloved mother, who died when she was eight. Learning more about the first and only real love of her mum’s life is a revelation. On the same day, Lily also meets Eddie Tessler, a man fleeing fame who just might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways. But her childhood friend Dan has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions. Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved. In the beautiful Cotswold village of Stanton Langley, nothing will ever be the same again.

15) Shopaholic to the rescue / Sophie Kinsella

Becky’s gone too far in the past – but now she’s putting things right. She’s determined to track down her missing dad, help her best friend Suze, bond with her worst enemy Alicia Bitch Long-legs (well – maybe) and work out how to play blackjack. As she discovers quite how much her friends and family need help, she comes up with a brilliant plan. Becky is going to rescue everyone. But can she rescue herself?

16) This is your life, Harriet Chance! / Jonathan Evison

Harriet Chance has spent the last 78 years following the rules. Now, widowed, Harriet discovers that her late husband had been planning an Alaskan cruise. Ignoring the advice of her children and wanting to make the most of the opportunity, she decides to set sail.There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of Bernard and the very real arrival of her daughter, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life. What she will discover is that she has lived the best part of her life under entirely false assumptions. Confronted with the notion that her past could have been different, will she take a second chance at life?17) The weekend wives / Christina HopkinsonA few months ago, Emily and her husband sold their house in the city and bought a place in the country. But Emily didn’t know that it would sometimes feel like a move to another country altogether. Moreover, with Matt working in the city from Monday-Friday, and only coming home to her and the kids at the weekend, Emily is suddenly plunged into the world of a ‘weekend wife’.
18) Saint Mazie / Jami Attenberg 
Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and feisty, she runs The Venice, the famed movie theatre in the rundown Bowery district of New York City. She spends her days taking tickets, chatting with drunks and eccentrics, and chasing out the troublemakers. After closing up, the nights are her own, and she fills them with romance and booze aplenty – even during Prohibition. When the Great Depression hits, and homelessness soars, Mazie opens The Venice to those in need, giving them shelter and dimes for food and booze, and earning the nickname ‘Saint Mazie’.
19) A proper family adventure / Chrissie Manby  
The Benson family are used to 86-year-old Grandad Bill repeating his catchphrase, ‘I’ve won the blooming lottery!’ but they are gobsmacked when he finally does. It’s not a jackpot of millions, but even after giving each of his great-grandchildren a nice nest-egg, there’s enough left over for him to take everyone on a short Mediterranean cruise. It’s full steam ahead for another proper family adventure!
20) The year I met you / Cecelia Ahern
Jasmine knows two things: one, she loves her vulnerable sister unconditionally, and will fight to the death to protect her from anyone who upsets her. Two, she’s only ever been good at one thing – her job helping business start-ups. So when she’s sacked and put on gardening leave, Jasmine realises that she has nothing else to fill her life. Insomnia keeps her staring out of her bedroom window, and she finds herself watching the antics of her neighbour, shock jock Matt, with more than a casual eye. Matt is also taking a forced leave of absence from work, after one of his controversial chat shows went too far. Jasmine has every reason to dislike Matt, and the feeling appears to be mutual. But not everything is as it seems, and soon Jasmine and Matt are forced to think again.
21) Me and Mr Jones / Lucy Diamond
Izzy’s determined to escape her troubled past with a new start by the sea – but flirtatious Charlie Jones is causing complications. Alicia’s been happily married to loyal Hugh for years but secretly craves excitement. Maybe it’s time to spice things up? Emma’s relationship with David was once fun and romantic but trying for a baby has taken its toll. Then temptation comes along. As the future of the family’s B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought.
22) Bad brides / Rebecca Chance
Milly Gamble is an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she’s always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself.
23) The sty’s the limit : when middle age gets mucky / Simon Dawson
Following a drunken misunderstanding Simon Dawson gave up his job in the city, moved to the wilds of Exmoor and became an accidental self-sufficient smallholder with an array of animals. But that was years ago now. Following up on his first book, ‘Pigs In Clover’, this is the story of what happens when he suddenly realises that his life is changing all over again. He’s not quite the spring chicken that he used to be: he is, horror of horrors, getting older. With a cast of best friends (some more helpful than others) including Ziggy, a panicked soon-to-be father desperate to grow up, Garth, an annoying teenager, and a rather handsome pig called The General, a plan is hatched to help each other mature (or immature).
24) Man at the helm : a novel / Nina Stibbe
Lizzie is concerned about her newly divorcée mother – thirty-one years old, with three young children and a Labrador in a hostile village in the English countryside. It isn’t that having a husband is good, but in 1970s rural Leicestershire, not having one is bad. The women in the village think Lizzie’s mother is after their husbands while no one will let the children into the Brownies. And so Lizzie and her sister embark on a misguided campaign to find a new ‘Man at the Helm’.

25) Summer at Shell Cottage / Lucy Diamond

The Tarrant family have been holidaying in a large seaside house in Devon every summer for years. Though children, Freya and Robert, are grown up now, and have families of their own, the tradition has continued. But this year things are heartbreakingly changed: patriarch Alec has died suddenly after 40 happy years of marriage to Olivia. Now retired and widowed, Olivia is persuaded that going back to Devon is just the distraction she needs. Over one last summer at Shell Cottage, the Tarrants may just find that family life is rarely postcard-perfect. But are they strong enough to weather the storms?
26) Always the bridesmaid / Lindsey Kelk
Maddie Fraser has never been anything other than the girl in the background: golden boy Dan’s little sister, crazy Shona’s minion, workaholic Sebastian’s ex, and now she’s also the girl in the middle of her warring best friends. Lauren has announced she’s getting married – just as Sarah’s husband asks her for a divorce. Nothing in Maddie’s career in event organising has prepared her for this particular combo of planning and real pain.
27) The last kiss goodbye / Tasmina Perry
Deep in the vaults of a museum, archivist Abby Morgan stumbles upon a breathtaking find. A faded, old photograph of an explorer saying goodbye to the woman he loves. Looking for a way to escape her own heartache, Abby becomes obsessed with the story behind the image. But when she finally meets the woman in the photograph, she unravels a devastating tale of love and loss – and a shocking secret buried in time.
28) Conditional love / Cathy Bramley

A takeaway, TV and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets for 30-something Sophie Stone. But when a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, Sophie has to accept that change is afoot. There is one big catch: in order to inherit, Sophie must agree to meet the father she has never seen. Saying ‘yes’ means the chance to build her own dream home, but she’ll also have to face the past and hear some uncomfortable truths. Will Sophie be able to build a future on her own terms – and maybe even find love along the way?

29) Wish you were here / Catherine Alliott
There’s nothing like getting away from it all … a house in the south of France. A family holiday. A summer party. What could be nicer? What could possibly go wrong?
30) Two for joy / Helen Chandler
Julia and Toby have been friends for years, but apart from a couple of drunken snogs in their university days, there’s never been anything more than friendship between them. It’s only when Toby goes through a dramatic break up with his gorgeous ballerina girlfriend Ruby, that he and Julia realise they’re meant to be together. Then Ruby drops a bombshell – she’s pregnant – and though he feels torn in two, Toby feels he has to give their relationship another chance. Heartbroken Julia is left to lick her wounds in her little Walthamstow home, thinking she has lost Toby forever.
31) The perfect match / Katie Fforde
Three years ago Bella Castle left her home town nursing a broken heart over Dominic Thane, the man she fell in love with but couldn’t have. Now she’s made a new life for herself in the country, working as an estate agent. Bella loves her job and she loves her boyfriend Nevil. But recently he’s been preoccupied, and she’s starting to question if his future hopes and dreams are a perfect match for hers. And when Dominic turns up unexpectedly in search of his dream house, she begins to wonder if home is really where the heart is. But she’s over him, isn’t she?
32) Appleby farm / Cathy Bramley
Appleby Farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya Moorcroft. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape. Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?
33) The woman who fell in love for a week / Fiona Walker
Jenny loves to house-sit: looking after a stranger’s enviably perfect home and pretending to be someone else – just for a bit. Her latest booking is a beautiful, dishevelled old rectory owned by the uber-successful Lewis family. Freed of teaching duties for the summer, and with her own teenagers spending time with her objectionable ex, she readies herself for a life of walk-in larders and sparkling water taps. Battling to control the riotous family dog and stay cool in an unrelenting heat-wave, she soon discovers skeletons in the Lewis closet. But then a seductive new friendship offers her a surprise second chance to open herself up to love again and finally live life on her own terms.
34) With a friend like you / Fanny Blake
While they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laughter, tears and true understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Because that’s what friends do, isn’t it? But when Beth’s daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between them. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there’s everything to play for.
35) What she wants / Sheila Roberts
What do women want? Jonathan Templar and his poker buddies can’t figure it out. When Jonathan stumbles on a romance novel at the Icicle Falls library sale, he knows he’s found the love expert he’s been seeking, Vanessa Valentine, top-selling romance author. At first his buddies laugh at him for reading romance novels, but soon they, too, realize that these stories are the world’s best textbooks on love. Poker night becomes book club night and when all is read and done, they’re going to be the kind of men women want!
36) Frisky business / Clodagh Murphy
Romy Fitzgerald runs a successful business, has great friends & knows what she wants. But when her father dies she’s suddenly not so sure anymore. When she has a one-night stand at a party, she tells things she’s never told anyone. Then Romy finds out she’s pregnant & has to face awkward questions about what really happened that night.
37) Suddenly last summer / Sarah Morgan
Fiery French chef Élise Philippe is having a seriously bad day. Not only have the opening-day plans for her beloved café fallen apart, but Sean O’Neil is back in town and looking more delectable than ever. Last summer, they shared an electrifying night in Paris and the memories have Élise really struggling to stick to her one-night-only rule! Her head knows that eventually Sean will be leaving, so all she can do is try to ignore her heart before she spontaneously combusts with lust. Thinking he can persuade her into a replay of last summer is tempting, but remembering how good they are together is going to make walking away more difficult than he could imagine.
38) About a girl / Lindsey Kelk
Tess Brookes has always been a girl with a plan. But when her carefully constructed plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider. After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, why shouldn’t she try out being Vanessa? With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to an exotic island – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right? But Tess is soon in big trouble – she isn’t a photographer, she isn’t Vanessa, and the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster.
39) The heavenly Italian ice cream shop / Abby Clements
In ‘The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop’, we rejoin Anna and Imogen, the popular heroines of Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop, in beautiful Sorrento.
40) Saving Grace / Jane Green
Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State. Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organised, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel sidelined in her home – and her marriage – by this ambitious younger woman. Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?
41) Take mum out / Fiona Gibson
Alice is fine being single – with two slothful teenage boys and a meringue business to run, she has enough on her plate without negotiating the troublesome world of modern dating. However, her three best friends have other ideas. Each one will present her with an utterly delicious, eligible man – all Alice has to do is pick her favourite.
42) The gospel according to Drew Barrymore / Pippa Wright
Esther and Laura have been best friends since they were seven, when Esther was chubby and Laura was already perfect. So much has changed since then – school, boyfriends, drink, experimental hair-dye, university, jobs, London, babies – and their friendship has changed just as much, but they are still close, still inextricably linked to one another. So when Esther is told that Laura has gone missing, she leaves everything behind to fly to San Francisco and trace her friend’s last movements. All she has is an email from Laura: ‘I’m channelling Drew Barrymore, as ever. The Gospel, right?’. In trying to understand why Laura has disappeared, and what on earth Drew Barrymore has to do with it, Esther needs to look back. Back at the secrets woven into their friendship and the truths she’s avoided facing for so long.
43) Two weddings and a baby / Scarlett Bailey
Tamsyn appears to have it all. A lush apartment in Paris, a job working at the best design agency and a hot boyfriend – albeit a secret one. But after five years away she’s back to her quiet hometown to celebrate her brother’s wedding. Cue a flood, the discovery of a mystery newborn and the impossible task of rustling up a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses in only a few days. And then there’s Jed Edwards, the attractive priest, whom she can’t help but keep running into. Suddenly Poldore is looking a lot more appealing than her glamorous life in Paris. But will she have enough faith to risk it all on someone she just met?
44) Balancing act / Joanna Trollope
Four strong women. All working in a family business. But what happens when they begin to want different things? And what about the men – and the children – in their lives? Susie Moran has always been the breadwinner in her family. Her husband was the one who was there for their three girls. But now he wants something of his past back – the life he had before Susie’s career took off, before they had children. And those children don’t see their mother’s business the way she has always seen it, thereby threatening the balance she has worked so hard to achieve.

45) Ivy Lane / Cathy Bramley

Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she seeks out peace and quiet in a new town, taking on a plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution. But the friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and gradually draw Tilly in to their cosy, comforting world of planting seedlings, organizing bake sales and planning seasonal parties. As the seasons pass, will Tilly learn to stop hiding amongst the sweetpeas and let people back into her life – and her heart?
46) Where love lies / Julie Cohen
Lately, Felicity just can’t shake the shadow of uncertainty that has pervaded her life. Her husband Quinn is the kindest person she knows and loves her peculiarities more than Felicity feels she deserves. But suddenly it’s as if she doesn’t quite belong. Then she experiences something extraordinary: a scent of perfume in the air that evokes memories and feelings that have been settled deep within her for a long time, untouched and undisturbed.
47) The Hidden Cottage / Erica James
When Mia Channing’s family gather for her son’s 30th birthday, Daisy, her youngest daughter, drops a bombshell. Once again Mia finds herself cast in the role of peacemaker. It’s a role she’s tired of, particularly since her husband refuses to believe he’s responsible for the problems they’re facing. Not surprisingly, Mia longs for escape. For Owen Fletcher, buying the Hidden Cottage was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and provides the perfect escape for him. When Mia meets him, she must decide whether she has the courage to do something for herself for a change. And if she does, can she ever go back to the life of compromise she had before?
48) The winter of our disconnect : how three totally wired teenagers (and a mother who slept with with her iPhone) pulled the plug on their technology and lived to tell the tale / Susan Maushart
They did it. Could you? For any parent who has ever IM-ed their child to the dinner table, this account of one family’s self-imposed exile from the Information Age will leave you ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) with recognition.
49) The honeymoon hotel / Hester Browne
The Bonneville Hotel, tucked away off Piccadilly, Mayfair, used to host movie stars during the golden years of glamour but recent years haven’t been kind. However, thanks to the organisational genius of Rosie Macmillan, Events Manager, it’s reclaiming some of its old cachet as a wishlist wedding venue – all the smartest London brides are marrying under the Bonneville’s famous cherry blossom and sipping bespoke cocktails in the hotel bar afterwards. While Rosie’s weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn’t – and that’s the secret of her success. Her focus is fixed firmly on the details, not on the dramas. But when Rosie is forced to collaborate with the Bonneville heir, Joe, her career and her love life are turned upside down.
50) The make-up girl / Andrea Semple
Faith’s boyfriend Adam is so perfect. He doesn’t go out with the lads boozing, never wants to watch football on TV and never gets drunk. The trouble is Faith made him up. When her mother asks to meet him, and with her sister’s wedding on the horizon, Faith has only two months to find a suitable stand-in.
51) Arms wide open / Tom Winter
Jack and Meredith are non-identical twins; the only similarity between them is their lives rapidly falling apart. Jack’s high-flying career in advertising has crashed and burned. Meredith’s world is also crumbling – a decomposing yogurt in her fridge now a symbol of her failed marriage. Her children, Jemima and Luke, offer little support, too consumed with the worlds of online dating and amateur taxidermy. All their lives, Jack and Meredith believed their father to be dead. One day, a throwaway comment leads Jack to question this, but with their mother fading ever-deeper into the grip of dementia, answers are hard to come by. As revelations start to untangle, the twins soon learn that what you seek is not always what you find.
52) Better than chocolate / Sheila Roberts
Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank – and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?
53) The bookshop that floated away / Sarah Henshaw
This title follows the ebbs and flows of Sarah Henshaw’s journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop, The Book Barge, a reality. Business wasn’t always easy, so one May morning she set off for six months chugging the length and breadth of the country. Books were bartered for food, accommodation, bathroom facilities and cake. During the journey, the barge suffered a flooded engine, went out to sea, got banned from Bristol and, on several occasions, floated away altogether.
54) The school inspector calls! / Gervase Phinn
Summer has arrived in Barton-in-the-Dale and as a new term begins at the little primary school, it’s not just the warm weather that’s getting people hot under the collar. Meetings with the teachers from Urebank School to discuss the merger are producing more than a few fireworks, a disruptive new pupil arrives, set to cause trouble, and a surprising staff love affair is exposed. There’s also a big school production of The Wizard of Oz to organise as well as an impending visit from the Minister of Education. Headteacher Elisabeth Devine certainly has her work cut out for her. And that’s just some of the drama set to shake-up the village. Throw in a sprinkling of secrets, shocking revelations, old flames, new liaisons, psychics, weddings and misfortune. There’s plenty to gossip about this term.
55) Women of a dangerous age / Fanny Blake
Lou is married to a man who no longer loves her. It’s time to move on, to begin a new business venture and to start her life over. To celebrate her new-found freedom, she travels to India where, in front of the Taj Mahal, she befriends Ali after taking each other’s photographs on ‘that’ bench.
60) Eat my heart out / Zoe Pilger

Meet 2014’s most outrageous, funny and shocking anti-heroine: Ann-Marie. She’s 23, her life has collapsed, and she’s blaming everyone but herself. Heartbroken, skint and furious, she’s convinced that love – sweet love! – is the answer to all of her problems, until she meets legendary feminist Stephanie Haight, a woman who could be her saviour – or her final undoing.

61) Where’d you go, Bernadette / Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she’s his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she’s a menace. To design experts, she’s a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.
62) The letter / Maria Duffy
Ellie seems to have it all – a loving and secure home, wonderful friends and a great job as a chef in a Dublin hotel. She’s also about to marry Matt, the most gorgeous man on the planet. But despite her outward appearance of a glowing bride-to-be, Ellie is battling with some demons. Then weeks before her wedding, just before Ellie leaves for her hen party in New York, she finds a letter that changes everything.
63) The unpredictable consequences of love / Jill Mansell
When Josh Strachan, newly returned to his home in north Cornwall from sunny California, first meets Sophie Wells, he’s immediately smitten. Sophie’s pretty, she’s funny, she has lots of friends and she clearly loves her job as a photographer, despite the sometimes tricky clients. There’s just one problem: Sophie has very firmly turned her back on love. And no one – even Sophie’s scatty best friend Tula – will tell him why. Josh is sure Sophie likes him, though, and he’s just got to find out what’s put her off romance. And then put things right.
64) Me and Mr Jones / Lucy Diamond
Izzy’s determined to escape her troubled past with a new start by the sea – but flirtatious Charlie Jones is causing complications. Alicia’s been happily married to loyal Hugh for years but secretly craves excitement. Maybe it’s time to spice things up? Emma’s relationship with David was once fun and romantic but trying for a baby has taken its toll. Then temptation comes along. As the future of the family’s B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought.
65) Here’s looking at you / Mhairi McFarlane

Despite the oddballs that keep turning up on her dates, Anna couldn’t be happier. As a 30-something with a job she loves, life has turned out better than she dared dream. However, things weren’t always this way, and her years spent as the ‘Italian Galleon’ of an East London comprehensive are ones she’d rather forget. So when James Fraser – the architect of Anna’s final humiliation at school – walks back into her life, her world is turned upside down. But James seems a changed man. Polite. Mature. Funny, even. People can change, right? So why does Anna feel like she’s a fool to trust him?

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you for reading this far! I hope you find this list of books useful and are inspired to read one.

Have you read any of these books already? Which book would you like to read this year?

Sabrina x

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4 responses to “65 Books That Will Make You Feel Happy

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