Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Smile!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hello! I hope you are all having a nice week so far? This week’s theme is a nice one – all about the books that make us happy! So, without further ado, here are ten books that make me smile!

1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible . . .

Why it makes me smile:

This was the first book I read by Fredrik Backman, who is now one of my favourite authors, so it really holds a special place in my heart. It makes me smile and cry all the way through.

2. The Switch by Beth O’Leary


Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

Why it makes me smile:

I just loved this book! It had me giggling over and over plus has such a brilliant warmth to it which no one does better than Beth O’Leary. I also loved that it involved so many elderly characters who are sometimes left out of romance in fiction.

You can read my review of The Switch here!

3. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor


July, 1962

Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?

The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’) offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.

If Evie can rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save the farmhouse from being sold off then maybe she can move on with her own life and finally work out exactly who it is she is meant to be.

Why it makes me smile:

Today is actually publication day for this wonderful book and I cannot recommend it highly enough! It is joyful, funny and full of brilliant and memorable characters that will stay with you long after reading.

You can read my review of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth here!

4. The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright


Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past.

Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids.

Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime.

All three share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe: mummy blogger. And when they are nominated for an award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds-and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier – and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.

Why it makes me smile:

This book was just so much fun to read! It is constantly amusing and there are so many bizarre but funny situations. It is a bit far-fetched occasionally but that just adds to the drama and fun!

You can read my review of The Mummy Bloggers here!

5. Emma by Jane Austen


Twenty-one-year-old Emma Woodhouse is comfortably dominating the social order in the village of Highbury, convinced that she has both the understanding and the right to manage other people’s lives—for their own good, of course. Her well-meant interfering centers on the aloof Jane Fairfax, the dangerously attractive Frank Churchill, the foolish if appealing Harriet Smith, and the ambitious young vicar Mr. Elton—and ends with her complacency shattered, her mind awakened to some of life’s more intractable dilemmas, and her happiness assured.

Why it makes me smile:

I love Jane Austen’s books and I have to say that the one that makes me smile most is Emma. It is so witty and Emma is such a brilliant character who is immensely likeable no matter what she does. The recent film is also a brilliant adaptation, if you haven’t seen it yet I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch.

6. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby


In this painfully funny collection, Samantha Irby captures powerful emotional truths while chronicling the rubbish bin she calls her life. From an ill-fated pilgrimage to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes to awkward sexual encounters to the world’s first completely honest job application, and more, sometimes you just have to laugh, even when your life is permanently pear-shaped.

Why it makes me smile:

Samantha Irby and her unabashed honesty never fails to make me smile. I love her collections of essays – they are so funny and brilliantly sarcastic.

You can read my review of We Are Never Meeting In Real Life here!

7. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick


Anna Kendrick’s autobiographical collection of essays amusingly recounts memorable moments throughout her life, from her middle-class upbringing in New England to the blockbuster movies that have made her one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses today. Expanding upon the witty and ironic dispatches for which she is known, Anna Kendrick’s essays offer her one-of-a-kind commentary on the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture.

Why it makes me smile:

I read this book on a bit of a whim a few years back thinking it would be a nice, easy read – which it was! However it was more smart and funny than I had originally expected and had me smiling the whole time I was reading it.

8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling


Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: comedienne, actress, obedient child of immigrant professionals and, now, writer. With a blend of witty confessions and unscientific observations, Mindy writes about everything from being a timid young chubster afraid of her own bike to living the Hollywood life, dating, friendships and planning her own funeral – all executed with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls.

Why it makes me smile:

I am a huge fan of Mindy Kaling and both her books are a joy to read. She is hilarious, charming and not afraid to say the things that we are often thinking but don’t want to admit to!

9. The Cactus by Sarah Haywood


People aren’t sure what to make of Susan Green. Family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand – but Susan makes perfect sense to herself. Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a steady job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits.

Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan’s greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse … at least in Susan’s eyes.

Why it makes me smile:

This is honestly a fantastic book! So intelligently written, amusing, original and emotional. I actually listened to the audiobook of this one and it had me smiling so many times. The narrator really does a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life.

10. Little by Edward Carey


There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks. Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling. Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius’, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax. From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…

Why it makes me smile:

I can’t help but smile every time I think of this deliciously quirky book! There is really nothing else like it that I’ve ever read and it has to be up there with my favourite books of all time!

You can read my review of Little here!


Well that’s it for this week! Ten books that make me smile! I really hope you enjoyed reading my list and I would love to hear your thoughts on it so please let’s chat in the comments! I can’t wait to read all of your fantastic lists this week too!


22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Smile!

  1. Emer @alittlehazebookblog says:

    Omg so many great picks! I’ve read a couple of them and really enjoyed them. The Cactus is one of those books that I randomly picked up at the airport like 2 years ago maybe (I was collecting people because lol as if I get to travel as a spoonie) and still haven’t read it! Need to rectify that 😊😊😊❤️💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithallthebooks says:

      Thank you! I kind of randomly picked The Cactus too – as an audiobook to listen to with my mum – and we both loved it! ♥️💜💗 (Totally with you on the travel front – the furthest I’ve been since becoming ill is London and that took a lot of planning and stressing!) 😊💚💙💚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lin @ The Reader of a Thousand Stars says:

    Amazing list!! The Switch sounds so lovely! I feel like it would be the perfect book to curl up with and potentially read in one sitting! XD
    Happy Reading!! ❤


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