Listening to Lately / Feelgood Books

I have listened to some really heavy books on Audible recently. I do love a good modern gritty crime thiller or an angst ridden epic drama usually, but one of my recent choices was so sad that I actually burst into tears whilst listening to it on my way into work, then had to try to pull myself together in the car park – not my best look!
As a result I was craving something light, fluffy and uplifting and after thorough research came up with 3 books which I have just listened to back to back. End result = one happy skippy Laura! So I thought I’d share a little bit of sunshine today with my feelgood recommendations:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A few chapters in you’ll understand the reason for the title! 
The story is set just after the end of the Second World War. Juliet is a London ‘girl about town’ who is more interested in writing her next book than conforming to society’s expectations. By chance she strikes up a correspondence with a number of the inhabitants from the island of Guernsey, who have only just regained their freedom after living the war years under German occupation. The book is told through the letters they share.
This book isn’t a heavy war drama, it’s a really charming collection of stories. Some sad, some funny, some heroic and some quirky. There is even a gentle romance woven through so that by the end, you are longing for them to get together.  
This book was like a big bear hug from a good friend and left me smiling and feeling nostalgic for another place and time.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This one’s a memoir from Elizabeth Gilbert, a successful New Yorker who
decides to end her unhappy marriage and escape to Italy, Indonesia and Bali in
search of, in her words, ‘everything’.
 
This book is split into 3 parts and each are very distinct:
Part 1: Italy / AKA ‘The beginning’.
Lovingly describes the Italian language, culture, and, most importantly, food.
Part 2: India / AKA ‘A beginner’s guide to meditation and spiritual practices.’
Seriously – it’s like a step by step guide! I’m not religious in the faintest but find it fascinating listening to other’s experiences. This part does drag on a little too long though.
Part 3: Bali / AKA ‘The middle’.
Picks up the pace again against a beautiful backdrop, but it does end just as I wanted to hear more, if that makes sense!
I’m probably not persuading you to read this now, but in fact I found it a lovely read. You do have to suspend belief in places though, as she has a penchant for grandiose tales of spiritual epiphany!
I think this is a bit of a ‘marmite’ book and some may find it too preachy, but I really enjoyed reading about her journey to spiritual enlightenment and love. As an audiobook, the narrator has such a calm, soothing voice that you can’t help but relax as you listen to it.
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
Now I normally never write a book review until I’ve read the whole thing, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about this one! It’s a coming of age drama set in the 1930’s and is hand on heart one of the sweetest, quirkiest most uplifting tales I have read in a long time. I decided to write this post after sitting in my car the other day grinning from ear to ear as I listened to ‘the bear incident’. You have to read it, you just have to! I am now about three quarters through and I don’t want it to end.
There is a film adaptation which I never had any interest in seeing before. A thirties drama did not sound like my cup of tea at all. Now I’m going to have to buy the dvd! If you like Pride and Prejudice, I think you’ll love this.
So there are my picks. Have you read any feelgood books recently?
 

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