What’s On The Bookshelf: 3 feel-good fictions you have to read
Add these to your reading list…
This week, the Emirates Literature Foundation team has put together a list of feel-good books that will take you to your happy place. Each novel on this list will distract you from the daily grind, uplift your mood and transport you to a place of tranquillity and relaxation. These books don’t just promise a happy ending, they will make you smile long after you have turned the last page.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A fictional tale about a man called – you guessed it – Ove. He is described by his neighbours as grumpy and cranky. But just because Ove likes to follow the rules and gets upset when others don’t respect them, it doesn’t mean that he’s bitter. It takes the move of a new family and the flattening of a mailbox to chip away his tough exterior and reveal his heart of gold. A funny and heartwarming story about an old man whose solitary world is transformed by unexpected friendship.
The book was originally published in Swedish and then English. The English version of the novel was a New York Times bestseller for 42 weeks. The book was also adapted into a film and won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
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Don Tillman is a professor of genetics who struggles with social rituals and decides to use a problem-solving approach to find romance. The Wife Project is based on the statistical probability that there is someone for everybody and defines clear parameters for his partner of choice. He hasn’t anticipated that his experimentation would converge with Rosie Jarman’s mission to find her biological father. Cue whirlwind romance in the face of overwhelming incompatibility.
The book was published in 2013 and was recommended by Bill Gates as a beautifully written beach read. It was followed by a sequel The Rosie Effect in 2013 and the final book in the trilogy, The Rosie Result, in 2019.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
The story is narrated by Bee Branch, the 15-year-old daughter of Bernadette Fox who went missing just before a planned family trip to Antarctica. It is written in the form of emails, memos and other documents that Bee collects to try to understand what led to her mother’s disappearance. This is light reading but with a profound message about the personal journey to self-acceptance.
The story was adapted into a film starring Cate Blanchett and was nominated for several awards, but the general consensus was that the book was better than the movie. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for a year and on the NPR Paperback Fiction bestseller list for even longer.
You can find literary news, views and author interview on the Emirates Literature Foundation website. Tune in to the latest episode of their podcast the Boundless Book Club for more reading recommendations and guest appearances by international authors like Gelong Thubten, Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Sheila Maher. Keep checking the YouTube channel and other social channels for exciting things to come.