Recommendsday: Feel good novels

After having such a good time reading Nora Goes Off Script, it sent me off on a quest for other books that will just leave you with a happy smile on your face and the urge to force all your friends to read it. And it took me a while to bring you this week’s Recommendsday – because although I did some targeted reading for new options for this some of them were so good that they ended up as BotW posts too – more on that later!

Anyway, my starting place for this sort of post is often Goodreads’s the “other readers also liked” section for the book in question, to see what avenues that takes me down. But frustratingly, as is often the case for relatively new releases (Nora… came out in summer 2022) it seems to be dominated by other recent releases and I don’t think that Lessons in Chemistry (on page sexual assault), Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (death), Something Wilder(death again) and Killers of a Certain Age (even more death) for all that they are excellent (and obviously right in my reading wheel house because I’ve recommended all of them!) are not quite the same low stakes and low stress experience that Annabel Monaghan is giving you with Nora.

Of the linked recommendations, Thank You for Listening was probably the closet to this of the list – and I couldn’t put that down when I read it last year – but it’s only a six months since it was a BotW, see also Better than Fiction which was mentioned even more recently so I had to come up with something fresh…

And now we get to stuff I read with this post in mind and which ended up as Books of the Week themselves – there’s The Soulmate Equation and Funny You Should Ask and you could probably also include The Roughest Draft. I think Romantic Comedy was always destined to be a BotW, but it does also make you feel good so lets throw that in there too.

So now we look at stuff I read longer ago that is also feel good. So there’s Kate Spencer’s In A New York Minute, which I mentioned in the autumn. But going back even further there’s The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling which is a second-chance romance with witches, and which is less dramatic/high stakes than the blurb would lead you to believe. Then there’s Kate Claybourn’s Love Lettering, which was a BotW three years ago (!) which is a slow burn romance with people who become unexpetedly friends and then… more. Also Sally Thorne’s Second First Impressions, which was a slightly more recent (two years ago) BotW which is a charming and frothy romance which does have some stakes, but it’s not peril. I liked it so much that I’ve actually bought myself a kindle copy now (I borrowed it from the library when I read it initially).

Finally as I mentioned in the Nora post, the Goodreads blubs compares it to Evvie Drake Starts Over so if you haven’t read that, you should totally should. It’s definitely reminded me that I have Linda Holmes’s second novel Flying Solo on the ebook tbr. And it wouldn’t be a feel good book post without me mentioning my beloved Gone With the Windsors which is not a romance (and the rest of these are) but also Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, which is itself a retelling of Pride and Prejudice – so is romance to round it all off.

Happy Reading!

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