Books: Some cheery choices for spring – News –


We made it through March. Congratulations! But we can still use some cheerful books – anytime, but especially until spring takes a solid hold.

Here, readers offer a selection of books that make them laugh. (These comments are all from Minnesota residents, unless otherwise noted):

“I joyfully recommend ‘Hag-Seed’ by Margaret Atwood,” writes Gretchen Heath. “You don’t need to know ‘The Tempest’ (on which it’s based) to relish the wit, insights and tale. There are laugh-out-loud moments, in concert with warmth and redemption.”

Hilary Laing recommends “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. “It amazes me how the writers were able to tell the full story through letters, and I fell in love with the characters,” she said.

Ann DeHoff has a list. “The characters were quirky and funny, flawed and lovable,” she said: “Last Days of Summer” by Steve Kluger, “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby, “Girls’ Poker Night” by Jill A. Davis, “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, and “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.

Debbie Anderson loves “Cowboys Are My Weakness” by Pam Houston. “Short stories about smart women, looking for a good man. And the men who head on down the road, elusive and noncommittal.”

Andrea Bolger recommends the funny, bittersweet “The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen” by Hendrik Groen. “When I laugh out loud, I know it’s a good one.”

Julia McGregor recommends “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson, “a story of elder awakening and love. The other is ‘Zion’s Cause’ by Jim Peyton, a collection of stories in a small Southern town.”

Tess Moleski recommends anything by Elinor Lipman. “My favorite is ‘The Ladies’ Man.’ Every woman has met or dated this guy, and the descriptions of Public Television fundraisers are spot on.”

Rose Solari loves author P.G. Wodehouse. “When I’m feeling down, I return to the series about Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. ‘The Code of the Woosters’ has them at their convoluted best.”

Donna Burger of Massapequa, N.Y., suggests Barbara Pym. “Except for ‘Quartet in Autumn,’ which is sad. A good Pym novel to start with is ‘Some Tame Gazelle.'”

Hal Lieberman writes, “The short books of Helene Hanff, especially ’84 Charing Cross Road,’ are a delight.”

Sue Leaf doesn’t think in terms of funny books, but ones that give her refuge. “‘The Country of the Pointed Firs’ by Sarah Orne Jewett. And ‘Canoe Country’ by Florence Page Jaques.”

David Sedaris is the go-to author for Kathy Quick: “Sedaris (his latest book is “Calypso”) has an amazing ability to share the saddest parts of his personal and family stories through his lens of wacky humor.”





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