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.

The books I picked & why

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A Gentleman in Moscow

By Amor Towles,

Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Why 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.  


Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen,

Book cover of Pride and Prejudice

Why 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. 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman,

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Why 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. 


A Brazen Curiosity

By Lynn Messina,

Book cover of A Brazen Curiosity

Why 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.  


Soulless

By Gail Carriger,

Book cover of Soulless

Why 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. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in isolation, steampunk, and courtship?

5,809 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about isolation, steampunk, and courtship.

Isolation Explore 12 books about isolation
Steampunk Explore 44 books about steampunk
Courtship Explore 9 books about courtship

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Stumbling on Happiness, Anxious People, and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones if you like this list.