At the time of writing, the world is in crisis; the coronavirus has swept us to places we could never have imagined going. Many countries are in lockdown, and people are scared, including me. One of my sons and my husband both have underlying health conditions. I find myself obsessed with the news and clocking the casualties as they rise by the hour. So, it’s more important than ever to find solace in the things we love, and for me, that’s books. But the right type. In challenging times, such as these, I need to turn the pages of uplifting and easy-to-read stories. These are some of my favourites.

The Storied Life of AJ FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry


A.J. Fikry is the cranky owner of a bookstore on Alice Island off the coast of Massachusetts. A.J. is depressed and fed up. He just wants to sell up and be done with life. But one day a mysterious package arrives at his shop. It ignites a powerful spark of change for him, allowing him the opportunity to start afresh and see life from a more positive perspective.


Although it touches on the heartache of loss, this is a life-affirming book which contains humour, romance and a sprinkle of mystery.


I love this quote from the book: “We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read, and we are not alone. We are not alone.”

How to walk awayHow to Walk Away by Katherine Center

This book tells the story of Margaret Jacobsen who has it all – the perfect boyfriend, the job of her dreams. Her future is rosy and deservedly so. She has worked hard to achieve success. But when her boyfriend takes her on a romantic flight one night to propose, her life comes crashing down – literally. Her boyfriend walks away unscathed, while she ends up with extensive injuries. During her recovery, she learns that people show their true selves in how they treat you. And not everyone is who you thought they were.

An inspiring read that makes you view life in a different way.

How to Stop TimeHow to stop Time by Matt Haig

This time-travel novel tells the story of Tom Hazard who has a genetic condition called anageria which means he does not age. He is 439 years old, but only looks about 40! Experiencing nearly five centuries on planet Earth, he has lived through Shakespeare, the roaring twenties and two world wars and is now a secondary school teacher in London. But he has survived by following one simple rule – not to fall in love.

It’s an uplifting mix of historical fiction, mystery and romance, and overcoming grief to achieve healthy mental wellbeing.

Killing ItKilling It by Asia Mackay

Killing It tells the story of kick-ass protagonist, Alexis Tyler and her return to work after maternity leave. But Lex doesn’t have an everyday job. No, she’s an elite covert agent with Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And she carries a gun hidden in her baby’s pram.


Move over James Bond!


Lex’s first mission is to infiltrate a group of West London yummy mummies so that she can form a relationship with the wife of her Russian target. More importantly, she finds she has to prove herself to her male superiors who are not convinced a new mother is capable of fulfilling this role.


It’s a fast-paced story with a unique plot where thriller and tongue-in-cheek humour link with a strong message that woman can achieve anything they want.

Something to live for

Something to Live For by Richard Roper


This is a story about forty-year-old Andrew, a social introvert who works for the council. His job is to go to the homes of people who have lived and died alone to search for clues of any next of kin who could potentially fund their funeral. Andrew also lives alone. But that’s not what he told his employers at his job interview. No, he told them that he lives with his loving wife and two kids. And that’s the lie he has to live every day at work in his department of quirky characters. Then Penny joins the team…


This book has been compared to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and, although there are some sad themes, its message is poignant, and it’s full of humour.





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