Subject Guides Books Reading Lists Heartwarming Fiction

Uplifting reading, for anyone who likes Anne Lamott or Jan Karon. Here are books to leave you feeling good about life! Added January 2008.

Good Authors:
Elizabeth Gaskell
Like a Jane Austen or Barbara Pym without the edge. Try Cranford: life in a small Victorian English village, where nothing is too trifling to be talked about over tea. Warm, funny and insightful. Hard to resist a first line like, "In the first place, Cranford is in the possession of the Amazons..."

Rumer Godden
An Anglo-Indian writer concerned with spirituality and individual growth; sometimes she grapples with social issues, but always in a positive way.

Elizabeth Goudge
Out of literary fashion for decades, her insight and compassion retain a devoted following, who re-read and recommend classics like The Dean's Watch and Green Dolphin Street.

Jan Karon
Her Mitford series starts with At Home in Mitford.

Miss Read
Another small-village series, this one in England.

Eugenia Price
Historical novels set in the Southern states.

Barbara Pym
She can be a bit more satiric than the others, but still is overall "warm."

Jessamyn West
Small-town life again, this time infused with a Quaker sensibility.

Other Authors to Try - a bit lighter
Faith Baldwin
Here we enter the field of escapist romance, but well crafted, readable, and unfailingly upbeat; a bestseller from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Elizabeth Cadell
Another Anglo-Indian writer whose light social satire and romance are infused with a love of humanity.

D.E. Stevenson
Another English writer, whose touch of romance is less important than social commentary and character development.

Joanna Trollope
One critic said her hallmarks are "families in the throes of crisis; sympathetic characters; plenty of cheering warmth and humour and lots of lovely details."

Specific Novels by Others

To Serve Them All My Days by R.F. Delderfield

The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

Other Novels, not quite as on-target, but close:

Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman

Dean's List by Jon Hassler

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

Cateogry: Reading Lists

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