The best books to lose yourself in on a rainy day

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer who will never give you a sad ending! I love books that reflect on life (the good and the bad) but that look for the positive in people. My experience has taught me that there is so much good to find—and as I explore in my debut novel, The Keeper of Stories, everyone has a story to tell. My first novel was published when I was 60, so I am also a believer that you should never underestimate anyone. And I love to see that reflected in books.


I wrote...

Book cover of The Keeper of Stories

What is my book about?

She can't recall what started her collection. Maybe it was in a fragment of conversation overheard as she cleaned a sink? Before long (as she dusted a sitting room or defrosted a fridge) she noticed people were telling her their stories. Perhaps they had always done so, but now it is different, now the stories are reaching out to her, and she gathers them to her...

Cleaner Janice knows that it is in people's stories that you really get to know them. When Janice starts cleaning for Mrs. B—a shrewd and prickly woman in her nineties—she finally meets someone who wants to hear her story. But Janice is clear: she is the keeper of stories, she doesn't have a story to tell. At least, not one she can share.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Lido

Sally Page Why did I love this book?

Of course I was always going to pick one of my daughter’s novels! Two women of very different ages come together to save their local Lido. This is a book about community and the power of friendship. And if you like swimming it is definitely the book for you!

By Libby Page,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lido as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

'Feel-good and uplifting, this charming novel is full of heart' LUCY DIAMOND

'Tender, thought-provoking and uplifting' DAILY MAIL

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined…


Book cover of Still Life

Sally Page Why did I love this book?

Still Life is a glorious book set in London and Florence, giving a fascinating insight into the worlds of History of Art and globe making. Reading it is like eating wonderful food, you will want to savour every mouthful. The characters are extraordinary and yet believable – I fell in love with every one of them.

By Sarah Winman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick
 
A Veranda Magazine Book Club Pick

A captivating, bighearted, richly tapestried story of people brought together by love, war, art, flood, and the ghost of E. M. Forster, by the celebrated author of Tin Man.

Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her…


Book cover of The Grand Sophy

Sally Page Why did I love this book?

My mother had every one of Georgette Heyer’s regency novels, and I inherited them. They are witty, romantic, and satisfying. When I feel sad I dive beneath their covers and lose myself in them. I also remember my mum. The Grand Sophy was her favourite, it is the story of an extraordinary young woman who has a gift for sorting out other people’s problems – whether they want her to or not!

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Grand Sophy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you love Bridgerton, you'll love Georgette Heyer!

'The greatest writer who ever lived' ANTONIA FRASER
'One of my perennial comfort authors. Heyer's books are as incisively witty and quietly subversive as any of Jane Austen's' JOANNE HARRIS
'Absolutely delicious tales of Regency heroes. . . Utter, immersive escapism' SOPHIE KINSELLA
__________________

The charming Sophia Stanton-Lacy is a force to be reckoned with.

When Sophy is sent to stay with her London relatives, she finds her cousins in quite the tangle.

Cecilia is besotted with an attractive but feather-brained poet, Hubert has fallen foul of a money-lender, and the ruthlessly…


Book cover of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Sally Page Why did I love this book?

This book was written in the 1930s, yet it feels remarkably contemporary – a glorious romp through a world of parties, sex, and drugs. Miss Pettigrew stumbles into this world when she mistakenly turns up for the wrong job. With little money in her purse she has no option but to take the position and finds herself having an awful lot more fun than she ever has before. And for once she is really appreciated.

By Winifred Watson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Don’t let this delightfully frothy drawing-room comedy get lost between the sofa cushions.”—Salon.com

“Miss Pettigrew is irresistible, a perfect mix of wistfulness and joy, substance and froth.”—Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring

“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is perhaps the happiest, most ebullient piece of fiction ever written for adults.”—Newsday

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is now available as an audio book read by Academy Award–winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the film as the down-and-out governess Miss Pettigrew, who finds herself caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, a glamorous aspiring actress…


Book cover of Cold Comfort Farm

Sally Page Why did I love this book?

I love this book for its humour and portrayal of the English. Orphaned Flora Poste sets out to organise the relatives who have given her a home. She is a young woman who likes order and it is not long before she has them all licked into shape. It is a book with great heart. 

By Stella Gibbons,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Cold Comfort Farm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the sukebind was in bud, the orphaned Flora Poste, expensively, athletically and lengthily educated, descended on her relatives at Cold Comfort Farm, which she rightly imagines will be awful in an interesting way. She takes it on herself to bring order into chaos.


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Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

Book cover of Let Evening Come

Yvonne Osborne Author Of Let Evening Come

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a family farm surrounded by larger vegetable and dairy operations that used migrant labor. From an early age, my siblings and I were acquainted with the children of these workers, children whom we shared a school desk with one day and were gone the next. On summer vacations, our parents hauled us around in a station wagon with a popup camper, which they parked in out-of-the-way hayfields and on mountainous plateaus, shunning, much to our chagrin, normal campgrounds, and swimming pools. Thus, I grew up exposed to different cultures and environments. My writing reflects my parents’ curiosity, love of books and travel, and devotion to the natural world. 

Yvonne's book list on immersive coming-of-age fiction with characters struggling to find themselves amidst the isolation and bigotry in Indigenous, rural, and minority communities

What is my book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through young adulthood. Miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are displaced from their land by multinational energy companies. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie’s aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.

Stefan promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his story, has grown sympathetic to his cause and complicit in his pushback against prejudiced accusations. Their mutual attraction is stymied when Stefan’s older brother, Joachim, who stayed behind, becomes embroiled in the resistance, and Stefan is compelled to return to Canada. Sadie, concerned for his safety, impulsively follows on a trajectory doomed by cultural misunderstanding and oncoming winter.

Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

What is this book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through the pitfalls of young adulthood.
Hundreds of miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are forced off their land by multinational energy companies and flawed treaties. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie's aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.
Stefan, whose own father died in prison while on a hunger strike, promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in flora, governess, and Regency?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about flora, governess, and Regency.

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