There are so many books which make me happy, it’s hard to know where to begin. There are definitely certain authors who have made me happy a lot this last year or so, John Green and Neil Gaiman being two names which spring to mind almost immediately.
I’m going to pick one of my favourite books from last year, though, for this one: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson. The book is hilarious, and follows the adventures of a hundred year old man who on his birthday decides he doesn’t want to attend his own party, and so he climbs out of the window and escapes. But when he inadvertently steals a suitcase filled with money (thinking it’s clothes), he has a gang on his trail, the police looking for him for both his safety and theft (not knowing it’s the same person in both cases), and all sorts of chaos ensues. Meanwhile the book flashes back to his even more bizarre past, in which we slowly discover how he came to be such an eccentric old man in the first place.
I loved this novel because it’s so different and unusual, so well written and so funny even if it is a little dark in places. The book is Swedish, and was extremely popular in Sweden when it was first published a few years ago, although it was only translated into English last year. I have noticed it in more and more bookshops, so obviously word is spreading about it, and I know the few of my friends who I have made read it loved it as much as I did. It’s just hard not to smile at a character as quirky as the old man in this tale.
The other reason this book makes me happy is because it was the first Swedish book I read (even if it was translated), and as many of you know I’m about to make Sweden my new home. I think I will always have happy memories of this book, because I read it during a time when I was slowly falling in love with the country, if only from a distance at that point, and also because it was a recommendation from my girlfriend, who clearly knew me so very well even in the earlier days of our relationship. So it’ll always make me think of her.
What books make you happy, and why do they make you happy?