Six Beautiful Books Set to Make You Laugh and Cry

These six books are truly beautiful, and I suggest that you prepare yourself to feel a flood of emotions as you sink into their depths. While sadness may echo through the pages, whispers of fun and gales of laughter can be experienced too. Some of my favourite characters to exist linger here, their ability to provoke feelings of course lies with the skill of the author. That a character can live long in your mind, coming out every now and then to say hello speaks volumes doesn’t it. And I find, that those characters are usually ones who provoke me into feeling the whole gamut of emotions. Every single one of these novels made me cry, every single one made me laugh. So I invite you to enter with your heart and mind wide open, ready to welcome, ready to experience the joy that they offer.

For even more recommendations on a similar theme, take a look at our 50+ Emotionally Turbulent yet Beautiful Novels collection.

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Author: Marianne Cronin Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/12/2021

The One Hundred years of Lenni and Margot is so special, it’s gentle yet pointed and warmly amusing as it highlights life within sight and touching distance of death. To celebrate their joint 100 years, 17 year-old Lenni and 83 year-old Margot paint their life stories while in hospital. Singing of friendship, love, and family, we discover how they can all be found in the most unexpected of places. This is Marianne Cronin’s debut novel, and I’ve added her to my list of authors to look out for. While Lenni and Margot are the stars, the other characters add essential energy. She brings these characters to vibrant life with a few perfectly chosen words. The smallest of details matter, in fact are vital. This book is so visual, slipping backwards and forwards in time, snapshots of the years appeared like magic to paint their own picture in my mind. The pages dance with joy and hope, while being realistic about death. I laughed and I cried, yes this novel is emotional, yet it also delivers the most heart-warming hug too. A well-deserved LoveReading Star Book, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot comes with a 'must-read' label of recommendation from me.

Star Books
The Book of Love

The Book of Love

Author: Fionnuala Kearney Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2019

The normal, the extraordinary, the highest ups and very deepest downs, this absolutely gorgeous book is about life, in all of its wonderful, charming, heartbreaking glory. I’m very conscious about the fact that I will probably gush with enthusiasm because I quite simply adored it, sorry (not sorry), you’ll just have to go with me on this one. Erin and Dom marry in 1996, and her father gives them an empty book, a book to write what can not be said, an opportunity to create honesty, love, commitment, and so we are introduced to The Book of Love. Little excerpts from the book start each chapter, we hear from either Erin or Dom as we view their life, travelling in time from now which is 2017, and then, which starts in 1996 and travels forward to meet now. I will warn you that I whimpered and cried, I also smiled, laughed, and felt the joy of this couple, but there are points when I really really cried. Fionnuala Kearney allows you to get to know Erin and Dom without judgement getting in the way, she writes with huge compassion and brings their story to vibrant life, this is glorious writing, just glorious. I gobbled up the words, which join together to create a simple, touchable, beautiful tale. The Book of Love is one of my picks of the month, yes, yes, I loved it! Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

Author: Fredrik Backman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

April 2016 Book of the Month. Totally and utterly and completely gorgeous in every way, the thought of having to put this book down for even a second is inconceivable. The first few pages make you smile, make you laugh and charm you, there is a hint though, of the difficulties that seven (nearly eight) year old Elsa is experiencing. Elsa’s shrewd, wonderful bonkers of a Granny tells her fairy tales, and like all good fairy tales there's more than a dollop of truth and reality mixed in, so ensure you're sitting comfortably and the tale can begin. There is a beautiful simplicity to the writing, yet this is not a simple book by any means, there is a complexity to the emotions it evokes and explores. Elsa and her Granny are two of the most astonishingly different characters to ever appear in print (and that’s a compliment by the way). Set aside some quality time, so you can laugh and cry undisturbed, as the author is able to enchant, to capture your imagination and hold it spellbound from the first to the last page; this is a must have, must read, must treasure book. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
Nina is Not Ok

Nina is Not Ok

Author: Shappi Khorsandi Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/07/2016

One of our Books of the Year 2016. August 2016 Debut of the Month. With a fierce, biting sense of reality, this is a provocative, yet beautifully worthwhile, must read. Nina is 17 years old, her best friend and worst enemy is alcohol, when she forgets one time too many the night before, her life starts to unravel before her eyes. If you're expecting a comical, light, coming of age novel, from comedian Shappi Khorsandi, then brace yourself, this is uncomfortable, and occasionally jaw droppingly shocking stuff. ‘Nina is Not OK’ made me flinch, made me cry, and made me think. Nina tells her own story, it feels as though there’s no filter, she thinks it and she says it, we hear her innermost thoughts and feelings. The voice Shappi Khorsandi gives Nina ensured I fell in love with her, although I positively ached for her, and her journey was at times so very painful to watch, she made me smile, even made me laugh. This is compassionate, beautiful writing at its best, ‘Nina is Not OK’ is an outstanding debut and I really, really do, with all my heart, recommend it. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'When we commissioned Shappi Khorsandi to write a novel we knew it was going to be funny – after all she’s absolutely hilarious. We also knew it was going to be wonderfully written – we’d previously published her lovely childhood memoir, A Beginner's Guide to Acting English. What I hadn’t expected was just how emotionally invested I was going to become in her heroine, Nina.  Nina is Not OK is a big, bold, beautiful novel written with heart, humour and courage. I’m so proud of what Shappi has accomplished with her debut - it’s an important book, dealing as it does with issues such as  teenage self-esteem, alcoholism, consent, victim blaming  and the pressures we put on girls in our society.  But it is Nina who stays with you: Nina who takes you from tears to laughter in a paragraph and who you’ll want to hug/slap/rescue/shout at/be your friend.'Gillian Green, Publishing Director. Ebury Fiction

eBooks of the Month
We Are All Made of Stars

We Are All Made of Stars

Author: Rowan Coleman Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/2016

Beautifully thought-provoking and yet simply and effortlessly readable, this is an intimate compassionate dance with life, death and hope. Read the first letter, followed by the prologue and you think you know exactly what this is going to be, a book that makes you cry, however there is so, so much more to be experienced than heartache. The author allows us to see moments in time for four different people, it feels as though she has a deeply affectionate link to all four, all the more so when we see their inner confusion, agitation and pain. The fleeting links become important and create stories within stories. The individual letters, so expressive and eloquent, sad, sometimes funny, create a pause, yet at the same time unify the feel and the emotion of this story. There is an honesty and truth to this tale, it’s captivating and stimulating and thoroughly wonderful. ~ Liz Robinson   Rowan Coleman on the importance of writing letters... 'Writing and receiving handwritten letters has always given me a special thrill, since I was quite young. A teenager in the eighties and nineties, before any one had heard of emails or texts, I always wrote to old school friends to keep in touch, and they always wrote back. Letters would be long-winded, funny, fully illustrated, addressed to made-up names. Then gradually over the years that followed it stopped being necessary to put pen to paper, in almost any form. Now we can say - to a loved one, and old friend, even a celebrity - what ever we want to say, instantly and often, publicly. So I’ve been trying to think about the piece of post that has come through my letterbox that has meant the most to me, and there have been a few really important letters in my life. But I think if I am going to choose a series of letters, that have meant more to me than any, it’s the handwritten letters I received last summer from some of my best friends. I had started 2014 with a plan to write a letter, and post it every week, and it had been going really well. And then in the summer my youngest son was injured, in a deeply traumatic way, that although was not life threatening, shook my family very deeply. My letter writing stalled, and never really found its feet again, but over those difficult, deeply upsetting weeks of summer, I got three letters from dear friends. Friends who knew what our family was dealing with, who knew how hard it had hit me, who knew that I was finding it difficult to find my feet again. Those three letters, each one unique, were little pieces of the people who wrote them, coming through my letterbox to offer me a hand of friendship. And I took enormous comfort in them, because what I learnt, through writing letters myself, and during the writing of ‘WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS’ is that a handwritten letter does something that an email, or a text, or a tweet can’t do. It captures a moment in time, a feeling, a thought and a sentiment and it preserves it, for as long as the letter is preserved. It becomes a lasting token of what would otherwise be fleeting. So I keep those three letters in a special place, with my special things, because it meant so much to me that my friends took the time to think of me, and write those thoughts down.' The hardback was One of our Books of the Year 2015.

eBooks of the Month
Shtum

Shtum

Author: Jem Lester Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/01/2017

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | February 2017 Debut of the Month. A rather special read indeed… there are times when you wonder how you've missed sight of, or hearing about a book, and for me this is one of them. This is a treat, a heartbreaking, funny, eye-opening, jam-packed full of love treat. Ben shares his story as he literally battles to place his autistic son Jonah, into what he considers is the right school. Ben and Jonah move in with Ben’s dad and we see what life is like for these three men as their worlds revolve around each other. Jem Lester writes with experience, yet he adds bittersweet, aching emotion, biting wit, and a lightness of touch that manages to skim joyfully across the pages. Letters from social services, the school, medical information, and receipts all find their way into the book, often bringing me up short and creating a link to the authenticity of the situation. ‘Shtum’ is brave, bold, and wonderful, it made me cry, rage, and laugh, and I loved every single beautiful second of it.  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month

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burenokBahUM b - 16th December 2021

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