If you would rather celebrate Bastille Day in bed with a book, here are seven books set in France to get you in the spirit!
Bestselling novelist Joanne Harris has been making YouTube videos on writing based on her ten-tweet threads.
So the threat of nuclear war is ever-growing, and the Earth may destroy us via natural disasters long before nuclear war has, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, had a chance to get its pants on. Anyway, here’s a list of genuinely happy, hopeful and uplifting books to help you escape the real world.
1. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is one of the most joyous, amusing, and hopeful books there is. It’s just true. Anne is an absolute delight with her emotional, hilarious responses to situations (breaking a slate over her bothersome classmate’s head, declaring herself to be in ‘the depths of despair’) and her excellent renaming of almost every place she finds herself in (Barry’s Pond becomes ‘The Lake of Shining Waters’). Anne overcomes hardship using her imagination, which sounds corny but is actually great. The book also contains a wonderful depiction of female friendship between Anne and her ‘bosom friend’ Diana Barry.
2. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
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Pollyanna as a name is synonymous with being overly optimistic to the point of being very irritating, but the character is not very irritating. She is in fact very sweet and I won’t hear a word against her. She plays the ‘glad game’ whenever she is faced with a disappointing situation.
3. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is the wonderful story of a telekenetic genius child who overcomes her disastrous upbringing (or lack thereof) and a terrifying school principal to become happy and loved. What’s not to feel happy about?
4. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Chocolat centers around an unconventional chocolate maker who brings new life to a small French village. It’s so wholesome. And the movie is a dream to watch if you’ve got a lot of chocolate to get through.
5. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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Maurizio Bono of Italian paper La Repubblica wrote that ‘the formula that made more than half a million readers in France fall in love with [The Elegance of the Hedgehog] has, among other ingredients: intelligent humor, fine sentiments, an excellent literary and philosophical backdrop, taste that is sophisticated but substantial.’ What more do you need?
6. A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
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A thirteen-year-old girl struggles with her synesthesia, meaning she can hear, see, and taste colors. However, once she is diagnosed she goes on a heartwarming journey of self acceptance.
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It’s a classic. It makes everybody feel good. It just does. Except for Mark Twain. For some reason, he really hated it but whatever. Both the film and the BBC series are also extremely comforting.
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