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8 Books to Make You Smile

23rd March, 2020

It really is the perfect time to curl up with a book. Here’s our list of 8 books that are sure to put a smile on your face. 


1. The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love,

by Per J. Andersson, translated by Anna Holmwood


The remarkable true story of how love and courage led a man known as PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice and adversity – as well as a 7,000-mile, adventure-filled journey across continents and cultures – to be with the woman he loved.

‘A must-read because you won’t find any other love story that is so beautiful, touching, and – above all – true’ Grazia

‘One of those genuinely illuminating stories that come along once in a while’ Vaseem Khan, author of the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency novels. 


Find out more about The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled From India here


book jacket image

2. You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here

by Frances Macken


Katie, Evelyn, Maeve. Or should we say – Evelyn, Katie, Maeve. Three girls, friends since childhood, and all dreaming of escaping their tiny Irish hometown of Glenbruff. 

Told from Katie’s witty, quirky perspective, Frances Macken’s debut beautifully captures life in a small town and the power of yearning for something bigger. Filled with unforgettable characters and crackling dialogue, You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here takes a keen-eyed look at the complexities of female friendship and the corrosive power of jealousy and guilt.

Find out more about You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here here


You Have to Make your own fun around here 3d image


3. How to Teach Philosophy to your Dog

by Anthony McGowan


Taking his cue from his dog Monty’s canine antics, McGowan leads us on an enlightening, funny, and ultimately moving jaunt through the world of philosophy, seen through the eyes of one man, and one dog.

‘Anthony McGowan’s wonderful survey of philosophy… Hugely entertaining and accessible, there can’t have been more delightful exponents of Socratic dialogue than McGowan and Monty, his scruffy and evidently delightful Maltese terrier.’ Tom Holland, Best Books of the Year, New Statesman


Find out more about How to Teach Philosophy to your Dog here



4. A Field Guide to the English Clergy – A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising

by Fergus Butler-Gallie


True and rather amusing tales of the eccentricity fostered among the members of the Anglican Church, including but not limited to the ‘Mermaid of Morwenstow’, ‘Mad Jack’, and Bishop Launcelot Fleming, who commandeered a Navy helicopter when late to a service.

‘There are still those alive today who recall the image of the Anglican clergyman, running after the camels across the missile testing ground, a pair of fake breasts bouncing against his face and a tiara on his head…’

‘A group biography of ecclesiastical nuttiness… All gloriously mad.’ The Times


Find out more about A Field Guide to the English Clergy here



5. The Sellout

by Paul Beatty


A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.




‘Outrageous, hilarious and profound.’ Simon Schama, Financial Times


Find out more about The Sellout here


winner of the 2016 booker prize


6. Orchid & the Wasp

by Caoilinn Hughes


A hilarious portrait of a downwardly mobile family in post-crash Dublin. Written in electric, heart-stopping prose, Orchid & the Wasp is a dazzlingly original debut from an award-winning Irish poet, chewing through sexuality, class and politics with joyful, anarchic fury.

‘Original, clever, and frequently very funny. Hughes’s luminescence is staggering, breezing a determined young Gael from Dublin to London to New York and back again with scarcely a breath drawn. Brilliant.’ Irish Independent, Best Books of 2018

Find out more about Orchid & the Wasp here



7.  Vacuum in the Dark

by Jen Beagin


Wacky, outspoken and one-of-a-kind, twenty-six-year-old cleaner Mona is on a mission to escape her past. But she’s about to discover that it’s easier said than done… Hilarious and shocking, exuberant and compassionate, Vacuum in the Dark is the perfect antidote to the times we live in.


‘This novel is a joy: truly laugh-out-loud funny, while staying grounded and dignified.’ New York Times


Find out more about Vacuum in the Dark here





8. Three Apples Fell from the Sky

by Narine Abgaryan, translated by Lisa C. Hayden


An unforgettable story of friendship and feuds in a remote Armenian mountain village, Three Apples Fell from the Sky is an enchanting fable that brilliantly captures the idiosyncrasy of a small community. Sparkling with sumptuous imagery and warm humour, this is a vibrant tale of resilience, bravery and the miracle of everyday friendship.


‘Read this book. It’s balm for the soul.’ Ludmila Ulitskaya, author of The Big Green Tent


Find out more about Three Apples Fell from the Sky here





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