Books That Make You Happy

We have had some remarkably wonderful spring days here in Seattle. Record April high's in the 80's have put smiles on our faces and have us thinking happy thoughts and reaching for books that make us happy.

We have tasked ourselves, those of us sitting around the table at the Bryant Corner Cafe and those of basking in the weather in our homes, on the bus, secretly listening at work ( oh we know you are. Keep it up.) We are tasked with coming up with a short list of books that make us happy.



Now this is a topic that lends itself to wide interpretation. Google it. You will see.

And just what is happiness anyway. It's all so personal.

Nevertheless, we made a start at it.

How about adding to our list? You can write us on Twitter @thatstack, post on Facebook, or write us at

What books make you happy? 



Here is the list of books we shared on this episode.


A shout out first, though.  One of Nancy’s favorite books this year, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.


Nancy brought in two books that make her happy.

The Remarkable Trees of the World, Thomas Pakenham


When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Travelers Journal of Staying Put, by Vivian Swift


Here are some of the other books we talked about today.


Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul , by Giulio Tononi

The Encounter, by Rita Wirkala


No Biking in the House Without a Helmet,  by Melissa Fay Greene. It's been called a brilliant book about a household full of kids, reminiscent of Erma Bombeck or Jean Kerr.



Praying for Sheetrock , Melissa Fay Greene's 1991 National Book Award Finalist that Coretta Scott King called, "An inspiring and absorbing account of the struggle for human dignity and racial equality" 


We Could Almost Eat Outside: An Appreciation of Life's Small Pleasures, Philipe Delerm


The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. Shortlisted this year for the Man Booker Prize.  Here is a nice interview she gave about the books.

The Black Count, by Tom Reiss, a compelling history of the man who served as the model for The Count of Monte Cristo.


 And if you like history books that focus on little known figures, Nancy also recommends Dancing to the Precipice by Caroline Moorehead




Steve always gets happy when he reads one of James Thurber’s short stories or when he looks at his cartoons.  Check out The Thurber Carnival for some laughs.