5 Cheerful Books That Will Touch Your Heart

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AJ Pearce is the Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of British wartime novels Dear Mrs Bird, and Yours Cheerfully, coming out on 8/10/21. Find out more at www.ajpearce.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @AJPearceWrites.

I’m a huge fan of novels that cheer me up, but a bit like the very best sitcoms on TV, my favorite “cheerful” novels can also stop me in my tracks. They can make me laugh, but then have me wiping away tears just a few pages later. Similar to most readers, I think, I’m not just in it for the jokes: I still want to care about the characters.

So, in a world that has been particularly tough in the last few months, what could be better than to lose yourself in books that bring some escape by way of cheer? Here are five that I think will do the trick.

Reasons to Be Cheerful
by Nina Stibbe

Nina Stibbe is quite simply one of Britain’s funniest authors, and if you haven’t read her novels yet, I pretty much implore you to start with REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL. Lizzie Vogel is a teenage dental assistant trying desperately to enjoy the benefits of becoming a grown up (learning to drive, having sex, working for a man who should definitely be struck off) in this joyous novel. One warning: if you read it on public transport, it may well make you snort with laughter so that everyone stares at you as if you’ve gone mad.

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Reasons to Be Cheerful
Nina Stibbe

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5 Cheerful Books That Will Touch Your Heart

By AJ Pearce | August 2, 2021

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Miss Buncle's Book
by D.E. Stevenson

D. E. Stevenson is my go-to author when I need cheering up. Born in Scotland in 1892, she wrote over forty novels including the much-loved Miss Buncle series. In MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK, first published in 1934, our heroine writes an anonymous novel about the people in her small village, all of whom get very worked up about it and become enormously concerned to reveal the author’s identity.

Britain has a wonderful catalogue of mid-twentieth-century female authors who wrote with huge wit, intelligence, and understanding of the human condition. D. E. Stevenson was one of the very best, and nearly ninety years after it was published, MISS BUNCLE’S BOOK still brings the cheeriest comfort in a baffling world.

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Miss Buncle's Book
D.E. Stevenson

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5 Cheerful Books That Will Touch Your Heart

By AJ Pearce | August 2, 2021

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Cheerfulness Breaks In
by Angela Thirkell

Onto another prolific twentieth-century writer, in Angela Thirkell’s CHEERFULNESS BREAKS IN (first published in 1940) schoolmaster’s daughter Rose Birkett—a serial breaker of engagements—is about to get married, while her village is trying to cope with the fact that the country is going to war once again.

What I love about this middle-class social comedy is the way the characters entirely downplay everything frightening or serious about the impending conflict while happily overdramatizing the inconsequential. This truly British approach is handled with such a light touch. Very much of its time, CHEERFULNESS BREAKS IN is a gem well worth discovering.

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Cheerfulness Breaks In
Angela Thirkell

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5 Cheerful Books That Will Touch Your Heart

By AJ Pearce | August 2, 2021

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A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman’s international megahit follows grumpy old man Ove as he fights to remain both solitary and friendless in a community of people who completely ignore his aims. Funny, surprising, and enormously moving, if anyone ever claims that being cheerful means a story can’t have depth, you only have to point them in the direction of this beautifully written novel to help them see the error of their ways.

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A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman

“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”

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Yours Cheerfully
by AJ Pearce

YOURS CHEERFULLY comes out on August 10!

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

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Yours Cheerfully
AJ Pearce

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. Bird, Yours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times.

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Learn more about AJ PEARCE’s book, YOURS CHEERFULLY here!

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