Good Books that Won’t Bring You Down

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Louisa May Alcott: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys
Louisa May Alcott

The lives and adventures of the four March sisters—Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy—are set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century New England while their father is off fighting in the Civil War.


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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” so starts this beloved social satire on the marriage market in Regency England.


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The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.


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One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1)
Janet Evanovich

A New Jersey bounty hunter with attitude, bail-bonds apprehension agent Stephanie Plum pursues a former vice cop, now on the run, with whom she shares a sordid history and a powerful chemistry.


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Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel
Jerome K. Jerome

A humorous account of a boating holiday on the Thames . One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers — the jokes seem fresh and witty even today.


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At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years, Book 1)
Jan Karon

A portrait of the mysteries and miracles of everyday life introduces the small North Carolina town of Mitford and its colorful inhabitants, including Father Tim, a bachelor rector, who is falling in love with his neighbor.


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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1)
Alexander McCall Smith

In this charming series, which takes place in Botswana, Mma Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of bush tea.


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La's Orchestra Saves the World: A Novel
Alexander McCall Smith

It’s 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an amateur orchestra to entertain the locals and sooth her own broken heart.


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel
Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.


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Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel
Helen Simonson

Major Ernest Pettigrew leads a quiet life in the village of St. Mary, England, until his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Will their relationship survive in a society that considers Ali a foreigner?


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The Help
Kathryn Stockett

Limited and persecuted by racial divides in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, three women, including an African-American maid, her sassy and chronically unemployed friend, and a recently graduated white woman, team up for a clandestine project against a backdrop of the budding civil rights era.


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The Inimitable Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse

Follow the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves, in this new edition of one of the greatest comic short story collections in the English language.


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Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
Bill Bryson

Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth. The result this account of an affectionate and riotously funny pilgrimage.


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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
Bill Bryson

Returning to the U.S. after 20 years in England, Iowa native Bryson decided to reconnect with his mother country by hiking the length of the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail. He emerges with a consistently comical account of a neophyte woodsman learning hard lessons about self-reliance.


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My Life in France
Julia Child,Alex Prud'Homme

When Julia Child first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever.


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Bossypants
Tina Fey

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.


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Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home
Rhoda Janzen

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home.


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Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Anna Quindlen

In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead—and celebrating it all—as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more.


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Me Talk Pretty One Day
David Sedaris

In a collection of essays, observations, and commentaries, the humorist and best-selling author describes his recent move to Paris, life as an American in Paris, his struggle to learn French, his family, restaurant meals, and more.


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Enslaved by Ducks
Bob Tarte

Whether commiserating with Bob over the fate of those who are slaves to their animals, or regarding his story as a cautionary tale about the rigors of animal ownership, readers on both sides of the fence have found Tarte’s story of his chaotic squawking household irresistible—and irresistibly funny.


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Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
Jennifer Worth

Reflects on the experiences of Jennifer Worth as a midwife in London’s postwar East End, including the nuns from whom she learned her craft and the interesting and challenging births she aided during her career.


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