I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need a feel good or funny book to lighten my mood a bit. And, after 1000 weeks (perhaps a slight exaggeration) of quarantine I’m ready for one such book. In case you too, need a book that’ll make you laugh, or keep you absorbed, or just make you feel good, here are a few of my favorites. Some of them I’ve blogged about before but maybe you need a second nudge to open the cover.
Books That’ll Make You Laugh
Learn Me Gooder by John Pearson – When you go from being a thermal design engineer to being a third grade teacher, well, you might run into some things you weren’t anticipating. Jack Woodson and his former co-worker, Fred Bommerson, email back and forth with Jack sharing stories of the kids in his classroom during his first year of teaching. As Art Linkletter used to say, “Kids Say the Darndest Things” and this book is full of them. And if you really like it, there’s a sequel titled Learn Me Gooder.
Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff – If sarcasm escapes you, you probably won’t enjoy this book. But if you’re looking to add a little laughter into your life, this will fit the bill! We Christians are a funny bunch and Jonathan Acuff has managed to capture our oddities in a most entertaining way. For instance, when discussing the importance of Bible reading he talks about how it’s pretty heavily suggested our devotional time should happen in the morning. As he puts it, “God is an early bird; satan is a night owl. Everyone knows that.” That particular line might not hit your funny bone the way it hit mine but, if you’re a night owl who struggles with early morning devotions the way I do, you’ve probably had these same thoughts. I’ve never laughed so hard or so often while reading a book unless it was when I was reading Learn Me Good.
The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper – While this book isn’t filled with one funny story after another it still has plenty of funny in it, but caution, there are also some parts that’ll make you cry. If you’re of the opinion that happiness isn’t really meant for Christ followers, this book is for you. Lisa shares both hard and uproariously funny stories to show how God indeed wants us to experience happiness. She also gives tips on how to be happy despite the challenges that come our way.
Books You Can’t Put Down
The Montana Marshalls Series by Susan May Warren – I am a huge fan of Susan May Warren’s Books. You could read any of her series of books and find them enjoyable. I bought each of the five books in this series they day they were released and had them read within the week. I’ve decided in the future that I’ll buy the books when they come out (it helps the author when you pre-order) but wait until the series is complete before I start. That way, I don’t have to live in suspense or interrupt the flow of the stories (AKA forgetting what happened in the last book.) Each book in this series focuses on one member of the Marshall family, though of course you eventually meet them all. Each story has a bit of romance, a bit of drama, and whole lot of suspense. They are fast-paced, easy reads that have the potential to keep you up past your bedtime (because you’ll be reading, not because you’ll scared.)
The White House Chef Mysteries by Julie Hyzy – With titles like State of the Onion, Buffalo West Wing and Foreign Éclairs Hyzy’s award winning cozy mysteries combine humor, romance, suspense and recipes, along with some fascinating information about cooking in the White House (which could all be fiction, but seems plausible.) There are nine books in this series which will keep you entertained until this quarantine is over – hopefully!)
Books that make you feel good:
Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin – I heard about this book on a podcast about books with an older female protagonist. The story begins when Harriet Beamer loses a bet with her daughter-in-law. Losing meant she would agree to move from Pennsylvania to California to live with her son and his wife. She’s 72 and though she agrees to go, she’s going to do it her way . . . by bus. Not the Greyhound bus, but public transportation local buses. This story chronicles the interesting, quirky, memorable, and harrowing events Harriet encounters along the way. It’s a delightful story, somewhat light in nature and content, but a very fun read.
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg – A little redbird named Jack is at the center of this story. Jack was shot by some teenage hooligans and a small-town Alabama store owner nurses him back to health – kind of. Though Jack’s not healthy enough to fly free, he’s healthy enough to fly around the town’s only grocery store. (It’s fiction. We all know the health department would never allow a bird to roam freely about a grocery store – hopefully.) It’s there that the whole town falls in love with Jack, including Patsy, a little girl who is soon loved every bit as much as the bird. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but suffice it to say, it’s totally worth reading. Although this is somewhat of a Christmas story you needn’t wait until then to read it. It’s a funny and heartwarming tale.
Pollyanna – by Eleanor H. Porter – This is a book geared for a younger audience, so I’m sure you may have already read it. I found it to be a perfectly delightful book. Recently orphaned Pollyana is sent to live with her cranky, strict, old Aunt Polly. Pollyana always finds the best in things and is incredibly chatty, which endears her to most everyone around her. But when a horrible accident leaves her crippled Pollyana thinks it’s too much to bear. Those whose lives she’s brightened do everything in their power to make her happy again.
I hope you’ll find a book or two here that will help you pass the time while you “shelter-in-place.” I’d love to hear about any great books you’ve been reading.
Cover photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash