Feel-good books must be hard to write because well-written ones are hard to find. Here are some books I have enjoyed. To be a feel-good book it must give an affinity for a place or a situation, without challenging prejudices. The stories may even, for example, embrace things like how lucky we are that rich, white, heterosexual men have gone to lots of trouble to gain control over all of us. I can’t write stuff like this, but It is important not to read too many books that make you feel unworthy.

Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido

I may be wrong, but I think this is an exception to the rule that feel-good books support our prejudices. Barbara makes inclusiveness feel great. I love this book.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Behind every curmudgeon like me, there is a nice bloke trying to get out.

Girl Waits With Gun (Kopp sisters) by Amy Stewart

For people who don’t feel they fit in, this is a wonderful story of someone who does not accept their prescribed role.

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

This book is at the dark end of “feel-good” books. Don’t get put off by the start. It does lighten up and has diverse and sympathetic characters.

Pope Joan: Translated & Adapted from the Greek byby Emmanuel Rhoides, Lawrence Durrell (translator)

This book is a joy! The humour is irreverent and twisted, but I love that.

Sacred Hunger(Sacred Hunger #1) by Barry Unsworth

Barry writes great page-turners, like this one, which explores universal issues such as exploitation of power, domination, and greed. Am I jealous? Yes! Of course!

The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (The Supremes #1) by Edward Kelsey Moore

This is a delightful story about friends who are there for each other.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

This is a wonderful story, but you have to ignore the racism, or when it talks about Jews, substitute Trump.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

This life-afirming story, is about love and friendship.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A well written and charming story, but Amor Should have been a lot more balanced in his treatment of historical events.

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