Uplifting reading, for anyone who likes Anne Lamott or Jan Karon. Here are books to leave you feeling good about life! Added January 2008.
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..."
An Anglo-Indian writer concerned with spirituality and individual growth; sometimes she grapples with social issues, but always in a positive way.
Her Mitford series starts with At Home in Mitford.
Another small-village series, this one in England.
Historical novels set in the Southern states.
She can be a bit more satiric than the others, but still is overall "warm."
Small-town life again, this time infused with a Quaker sensibility.
Other Authors to Try - a bit lighter
Here we enter the field of escapist romance, but well crafted, readable, and unfailingly upbeat; a bestseller from the 1920s through the 1970s.
Another Anglo-Indian writer whose light social satire and romance are infused with a love of humanity.
Another English writer, whose touch of romance is less important than social commentary and character development.
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