Perhaps 'classic literature' is a little hard to define, but hopefully these suggestions will help prove that mood-boosting books don't need to be modern and recently published. Even those books that frequently feature on school syllabuses can bring a smile, I believe!
1. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
2. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
3. Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
4. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
5. A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
6. Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
7. Agnes Grey - Anne Brontë
8. The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim
9. Franny and Zooey - J.D. Salinger
10. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
11. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
12. Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov
13. Right Ho, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
14. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
15. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - F. Scott Fitzgerald
16. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
17. The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens
18. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Finally, 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is another brilliant book to add - thank you to Eleanor, one of the wonderful readers of the blog, for reminding me of it in the first feel-good books post!
Which books do you think are missing?
The prospect Smiler was a manic farmer. Few men I think can have been as unfortunate as he; for on the one hand he was a melancholic with a loathing for mankind, on the other, some paralysis had twisted his mouth into a permanent and radiant smile. So everyone he met, being warmed by his smile, would shout him a happy greeting. And beaming upon them with his sunny face he would curse them all to hell.
― Cider With Rosie, Laurie Lee
Like more of the same? Subscribe to the Tolstoy Therapy Newsletter and receive a round-up of the week's articles every Sunday to enjoy with your coffee. Click here to subscribe or take a look at an example copy here.