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!
Some novels in my original list fit this category - the brilliant Three Men in a Boat as one, another being All Creatures Great and Small - but here are a few more favourites.
|Four of my favourite feel-good classics from James Herriot, Dickens, Laurie Lee and Nabokov.|
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
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?
Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
― The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
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