Sunday 19 October 2008

get happy

y'all read books now don't cha sweetiepies ? well i could surely do with a little help here darlings to find me something to brighten a heart these autumny days and nights something that just for once isn't hard boiled or dark or grim or devastating or even just a bit moody. that lot up there's the been read lately pile and that's missing all the library stuff which was mainly lots of raymond chandler and moondust which was a marvel but got swamped fast by more backwoods gothic so i'm in dire need of some joy or tenderness or hope or hell just something that isn't rain sodden and blood soaked and desperate... help me somebody

gene pitney - just one smile



Anonymous said...

I realise I'm a grownup and that it isn't aimed at me but ... er ... the new Clare Grogan book 'Talluah and The Teenstars' is cute! Also, 'Ask The Dust' by John Fante is tops!

davyh said...

Ever read any Rumpole? It's my default 'want to be entertained and amused and a bit intrigued but not to check my brain or liberal sensibilities at the door (preface)' option.

Jonathan Coe's 'The Rotters Club' I absolutely loved and think anyone who grew up in the 70s will. But you may have already read that.

If you really want to junk the sleazy modern world, some genuine oldies....P.G Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome x

PS: Dagnabbit, I'm making myself want to re-read this stuff just talking about it!

martijn said...

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. That may well be the Best. Book. Ever. It is so sweet, so poetic, so life-affirming.

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro is brilliant too and truly underrated.

Anonymous said...

The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break by Stephen Sherrill - not the very very happiest book in the world but everso good. Actually I think most of what I read is pretty blood soaked and awful. Although I'm reading' Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre at the moment and that's great. Also 'The Undertaking' by Thomas Lynch, more non-fiction, which is beautiful and simple and life affirming and wonderful.

Simon said...

go search Amazon.Co.UK for "Jonathan Carroll", my all time favourite author. A complete mix of genres, so much so that one review simply called the genre 'Jonathan Carroll'. I can't talk too much about plots because half the thrill of his work is the twists and turns his imagination takes, but in amidst fantasy and horror and weirdness are some of the most realistic characters and relationships I've ever read.

The only problem with his work is that, at least for the first five or six books, he works with a group of characters who are all connected in some way, so if you read them out of sequence you get clues to what happens in other books.

Dark fantasy would be the closest description but they're not geeky fantasy, more realistic fantasy, all set in the real world (there are no wizards or elves or things like that) very adult, very moving.

Mondo said...

I struggle with fiction - so I would recommend

Barry Cain - 77 Sulphate Strip an account of his one year at Record Mirror in 77. Possibly THE greatest book punk/pop/new wave book ever written.

Nick Cohn Awopbopaloobop - Ye Olde Testament of rock written in '69 when he was only 21, sums up pop music from the 40s to the 50s and sets the scene for the 70s.

Max Decharne - Kings Road - the history of the hippest street in the world.

PS I can see three song titles in that pile

Borstal Boy (The Faces)

In Cold Blood (Johny Thunders p I think)
Man With The Golden Arm (I know it's a film theme, but The Sweet used to do it live)

Kippers said...

If you want something light-hearted Starter For Ten by David Nicholls is blummin' hilarious.

dickvandyke said...

I too struggle with fiction.

The only book I have ever read twice is 'An Evil Cradling' by Brian Keenan. It left a huge impression on me. (And not just cos I fell asleep with the hard back resting on my forehead).

Not sure it'll cheer you up though munchkin! Sorry.

The Book People were selling it for £3 last time I looked.


dickvandyke said...

Oh. Just thought. On a much funnier note ...

'Crying With Laughter' by Bob Monkhouse is a tremendously well-written autobiog and will tickle your fancy and I reckon it'll be right up your street.

Anonymous said...

Well, I always keep a well-thumbed copy of Right Ho Jeeves for moments like this. But if you want your chuckles more contemporary you could try David Sedaris (if you haven't already). We saw him doing a reading and Q&A at the Bloomsbury the other month and it just confirmed my impression that he's one of the funniest men alive. Dress Your Children In Corduroy and Denim is a good one to start with.

Or you could take a left out of your beloved Sherlock and end up in Conan Doyle's 'Lost World'. Proper Edwardian thrills.

Christopher Brookmyre's 'Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks' was an entertaining read as well although the humour is definitely a bit dark. It's a New Age themed thriller in which the sceptics are the good guys and the self-styled psychics are...well,read it. Recommended.

Darcy said...

Not fiction but "Hand Me My Travellin' Shoes: In Search Of Blind Willie McTell" did it for me a few months ago. And "now available in paperback" don't you know.

ally. said...

you are as ever absolute treasures. i'm off to the library with a very long list.
thankyou duckies

londonlee said...

'Decline and Fall' by Evelyn Waugh is a good hoot and I'll second Wodehouse as a go-to bloke for easy laffs.

TIW said...

Eric Newby's The Last Grain Race or Ted Simon's Travels With Jupiter. The most life-enhancing books I've ever read.

marmiteboy said...


Scallagrigg by William Horwood.

A book so joyous it made me cry. I ended up having the title tattooed on my leg."

ally. said...

thankyou again sweeties - out of all those sterling suggestions the only things i've delved into before are -
john fante - which makes the clare grogan along side it unmissable - and david sedaris who is ace but still somehow desperately sad especially in books.

i'll let you all know how i get on and thankyou again my dears

Anonymous said...

Weird...I'd never heard of David Sedaris until 2 weeks ago and now he's cropping up everywhere! He was on Front Row on Radio 4 the other night and was very entertaining: