Friday, January 27, 2017

Keeping Our Spirits Up - Suggestions from You

Image result for happy

Last week I listed the books I was using to make up my Happy Pile  - books to Keep My Spirits Up. I invited a few bloggers and others to send me recommendations and the favorites that never fail to uplift and comfort them.

It seems many return to treasured tales from childhood and the ever comic Bill Bryson was on many a list. Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road and Gladys Taber of Mrs. Daffodil fame each garnered two mentions.

There are several authors and series listed below that I am not familiar with and I am happy to learn of them. Always on the lookout!

Childhood favorite: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
"They're the only books I re-read and re-read, often when I'm feeling particularly stressed. I once told a co-worker that if he ever saw me toting around the Alice books, he would know I was headed for a meltdown!"
Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffith
Cork O'Connor mysteries by William Kent Krueger
Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris 
Brother of the More Famous Jack, Temples of Delight, and Juggling by Barbara Trapido
Greengates, Chedworth, The Hopkins Manuscript or anything else (although hard to find) by British playwright and novelist R.C. Sherriff
A Rope - In Case and The Hills Is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith

Childhood favorite:  Anne of Green Gables series
"I've loved Anne since childhood, and the books are true comfort reads."
Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas
By Brother Michael, This Rough Magic, and The Moon Spinner by Mary Stewart
Shut Up and Live! by Marion P. Downs "A 93-year-old's guide to living to a ripe old age - offers optimism on aging."
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
P.G. Wodehouse and cozy mysteries

Stillmeadow series, a collection of magazine columns, and the novel Mrs. Daffodil by Gladys Taber
Home Life books by Alice Thomas Ellis - domestic columns written for The Spectator
Fashion is Spinach by Elizabeth Hawes. Kat writes: "She was a twentieth-century fashion sketcher, reporter, and critic for The New Yorker. Part autobiography, part critique and history of the fashion industry in the 1920s and '30s, this engrossing book sparkles with wit."

Childhood favorite: Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"I find myself picking up The Long Winter when a blizzard overcomes the Chicago area."
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Poets Billy Collins and Mary Oliver


The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell, a memoir of his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu. "It kept me entranced and amused immediately following the Christmas holidays, a true spirit lifter. Some episodes are laugh-out-loud hilarious."

Joyce in KC

Another vote for Gladys Taber. "Her writing is so calming - tragic things might happen but they are just part of life...she shares her life and you just feel like you have enjoyed a visit in person."
Novels by Maeve Binchy, Rosamunde Pilcher, Marcia Willett are a few of her favorite comfort authors 
Cozy mysteries and the deeper mysteries of Louise Penny and Jacqueline Winspear
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon (audio book)
Irish country doctor series by by Patrick Taylor

Thanks for all the suggestions. Hope this helps. My Happy Pile grows and grows. 


  1. How could I have left Gladys Taber, 84 Charing Cross Road, and the Home Life books off my list?!

    1. You had some good ones, Joan. I have the first of Lillian Beckwith's books on reserve at the library. I was not familiar with her or her books but they look to be delightful! The library also carries a few of Alice Thomas Ellis's novels but not her Home Life series. I see that Amazon has them for one cent each. Amazing!

      Thanks again for your suggestions.

  2. Such wonderful recommendations, and how could I forget Gladys Taber? The Cork O'Connor mysteries by William Kent Krueger kept me company on many a long car ride. These are all worth dipping into once again or for the first time. Thank you for this - a gift for all.

    1. Thanks Penny for your suggestions. I knew my Book Buddies would come through! I am happy to report that my library carries the Cork O'Connor mysteries and I have the first one, "Iron Lake" on hold. We all love Gladys Taber!

  3. I could also add Elizabeth Peters' books. I'll bookmark this post for future reference!

    1. Definitely. Who doesn't love Amelia Peabody!