The best books with stories that make you smile

Who am I?

There are many reasons to read, one of them is to escape from day-to-day life. As an avid reader and author of five novels, I think the ideal books for a mental getaway contain not only a good story and engaging characters, but also touches of humor. These bright spots can make you smile or even laugh out loud, heightening your reading pleasure. When I write, I try to give my readers a chuckle or two, like the books I’m recommending here. I hope you will enjoy them! 😊


I wrote...

Andromache's Story: What Really Happened in Troy

By Nancy MacCreery,

Book cover of Andromache's Story: What Really Happened in Troy

What is my book about?

In Andromache’s Story, I wanted to give the ancient tale a new perspective and touch of humor. Andromache, Hector’s spirited wife, has waited thousands of years to tell her story—an entertaining saga of love, loss, friendship, and misplaced trust. Told from her wry perspective, the characters of ancient Troy come alive: Paris, the lighthearted lover of beauty, dependable Hector, trainer of horses, and Cassandra, whose prophesies are correct but never heeded.

Then Paris brings back Helen, and Andromache must help the aloof beauty assimilate. Through the long years of war, the two women develop hidden strengths that enable them to take charge of their fates. The engaging narrative builds toward an ending that puts a new spin on this classic story.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Nancy MacCreery Why did I love this book?

This is a prime example of a book with a great story that made me smile. This historical novel transports the reader back to Moscow in the turbulent early 1900’s, when Count Rostov is placed under house arrest inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. Though his situation could be considered dire, his surprisingly upbeat attitude, observations, and wit provide lightness to this inspiring story about making the best of circumstances. The author’s descriptions and use of language make it a joy to read.  

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Nancy MacCreery Why did I love this book?

I have loved this book ever since I first read it in my teens; it introduced me to romance and England in the 1800’s. With her trademark humor, Austen reveals the strict social rules and plight of the young women of that time that needed to marry well. It’s one of the few books I’ve read more than once, due to the witty dialog, outrageous character behavior, and the evolution of both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth into finer versions of themselves after falling in love. 

By Jane Austen,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked Pride and Prejudice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Jane Austen's best-loved novel is an unforgettable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, the power of reason, and above all the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition is illustrated by Hugh Thomson and features an afterword by author and critic, Henry Hitchings.

A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and…


Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Nancy MacCreery Why did I love this book?

Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills; she tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Her remarks, unconscious wit, and deadpan reactions to other people make this story light when it could be very sad, as it touches upon the issues of isolation and mental health. As Eleanor progresses through her unique way of attaining a misguided goal, she’s helped by some warm but also somewhat weird new friends. I laughed at parts of this uplifting story, and it made me view those around me with more understanding. It may have that effect on you, and hopefully, make you smile. 

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…


Book cover of A Brazen Curiosity

Nancy MacCreery Why did I love this book?

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the imagined food fight in the beginning of this cozy mystery that shines with social satire, witty tongue-in-cheek dialog, and situational humor. The mystery is entertaining and the characters of Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare and the Duke of Kesgrave are both well developed and amusing.  

By Lynn Messina,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Brazen Curiosity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing ruins a lovely house party like bloody murder.

At the decrepit old age of six-and-twenty, Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare has virtually no hope of landing a husband. An orphan living off her relatives' charity, her job is to sit with her needlework and to keep her thoughts to herself.

When Bea receives an invitation to an elegant country party, she intends to do just that. Not even the presence of the aggravatingly handsome Duke of Kesgrave could lead this young lady to scandal. True, she might wish to pour her bowl of turtle soup on his aristocratic head - however,…


Book cover of Soulless

Nancy MacCreery Why did I love this book?

Steampunk, romance and the supernatural—an unlikely mix of elements but they work in this story. The main character, Alexa, is assertive, independent and funny; well able to hold her own. We see this in the first scene, when she fights off a vampire with just her brass handled parasol and wooden hair pin. The other characters shine as well, and the situational humor and action will keep you engaged and smiling. 

By Gail Carriger,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Soulless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high…


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A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

By Mark Warren,

Book cover of A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

Mark Warren Author Of Indigo Heaven

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Composer Archer Teacher Grateful

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In this deeply researched novel of America's most celebrated outlaw, Mark Warren sheds light on the human side of Billy the Kid and reveals the intimate stories of the lesser-known players in his legendary life of crime. Warren's fictional composer and Santa Fe journalist, John Blessing, is assigned to report on a jailed prisoner who calls himself "Willima H. Bonney," but what begins as a formal interview evolves into an unexpected relationship and a self-examination of Blessing's own cultured, city values.

After the Kid's death, Blessing embarks on a journey to find Billy's comrades and acquaintances - those who loved the Kid... and others who despised him. Ride along with John Blessing as he unravels one of Western history's most fascinating enigmas.

A Last Serenade for Billy Bonney

By Mark Warren,

What is this book about?

In this deeply researched novel of America's most celebrated outlaw, Mark Warren sheds light on the human side of Billy the Kid, and reveals the intimate stories of the lesser-known players in his legendary life of crime. Warren's fictional composer and Santa Fe journalist, John Blessing, is assigned to report on a jailed prisoner who calls himself "William H. Bonney," but what begins as a formal interview evolves into an unexpected relationship and a self-examination of Blessing's own cultured, city values.

After the Kid's death, Blessing embarks on a journey to find Billy's comrades and acquaintances - those who loved…


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