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Press mute! 10 mood-boosting books

While it feels like your starring in a very bad disaster movie right now, turn the volume down on the gloom and read feel-good books only.

There’s no better time to enforce a digital detox. Press mute on the craziness, immerse yourself in a good book and mentally escape to a better place. Need inspiration? Emma Milne-White, owner of the fab independent Hungerford Bookshop, has curated 10 good vibe reads.

Reasons to be cheerful and diary of a somebody

1/ Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe, £8.99

Stibbe has been hailed as ‘England’s greatest comic novelist’ by the TLS. Her latest novel centres around teenager Lizzie Vogel who has a new job as a dental assistant – though not glamorous it is at least an opportunity to get away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal novel-writing mother. But if she thinks a new job means an easier life, she has a lesson to learn. Full of charm and warmth.

2. Diary of a Somebody by Brian Bilston, £8.99

Part tender love story, part murder mystery, part coruscating description of a wasted life, and interspersed with some of the funniest poems about the mundane and the profound, Diary of a Somebody is a unique, original and hilarious novel by the Poet Laureate of Twitter.

Some Kid I taught and what they taught me and the boy the mole, the fox and the hoorse

3. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me by Kate Clanchy, £9.99

Kate Clanchy wants to change the world and thinks school is an excellent place to do it. She invites you to meet some of the kids she has taught in her thirty-year career. This is a love letter to teachers, education – and poetry. These inspiring, funny and very moving anecdotes will do for teaching what ‘This Is Going to Hurt’ did for the NHS. ‘One of the most uplifting books you’ll ever read” – The Sunday Times

4. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, £14.99

OK, there’s a danger everyone might have this by now. But his beautiful illustrations with positive messages are hard to beat. It’s brimming with hope. Best left on a table where family members of all ages can dip into when needed.

Nora PEphron I feel bad about my neck

5. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron £9.99

The late sharp-witted Ephron offers us smart advice on life: Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from. If the shoe doesn’t fit in the shoe store, it’s never going to fit. When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you. Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of 35 you will be nostalgic for by the age of 45. Let’s hope when life returns to normal we can follow some of it!

6. The Swallow, the Owl and the Sandpiper: Words of Courage Wisdom and Spirit, £14.99

A beautiful and varied selection of poetry and prose to help with adversity and loss. This book shows us how we can find solace in words.

Three men in a boat and The 24hr cafe

7. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome £6.99

Why not turn to a classic? This is what I return to when I need a good laugh. What could be more relaxing than a refreshing holiday on the river with your two best friends and faithful canine companion, Montmorency?…

8. The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page, £12.99

A new novel from the bestselling author of The Lido. Spend 24 hours inside at Stella’s Cafe – a place that welcomes the lonely and the lost and discover a heartwarming tale full of friendship, hope and following your dreams.

This too shall pass and the diary of a provincial lady

9. This Too Shall Pass: Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings, £14.99

If change is the natural order of things, why do so many people struggle with the milestones of life, from first jobs and first loves to children leaving home and retirement? We live in a culture of limitless choice, and life is now more complex than ever. In This Too Shall Pass, acclaimed psychotherapist Julia Samuel draws on hours of conversations with her patients to show how we can learn to adapt and thrive during our most difficult and transformative experiences.

10. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield £8.99

This is my ‘go-to’ book for cheering me up. I have fond memories of me and my mother reading out parts to each other and being in fits of laughter. Set in Devonshire in the 1920s the ‘provincial lady’ juggles a grumpy husband, mischievous children and a host of domestic dilemmas. But this Provincial Lady will not be defeated; not by wayward flower bulbs, not by unexpected houseguests, not even by the Blitz. This is a brilliant comic novel that will never go out of fashion.

Hungerford Bookshop is offering free postage on books, or will deliver to your door if you live in Hungerford. Call them on 01488 683480 if you would like to place an order.

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