19 Fun, Lighthearted Books that Will Absolutely Delight You
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
If you’re looking for fun books to read for adults, look no further than this list of feel-good, light reads that will brighten your day. This book list includes funny novels, light romance, a little snark, light magic, quirky characters, and more. These are perfect options if you need fun books to read or light summer beach reads.
Sometimes it’s hard to read when your mind is preoccupied with other things–and there has been plenty to be preoccupied with these past few years.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of lighthearted books for when you need an escape from reality. These books are perfect for when you just want to read a book that helps you feel happy, entertained, and relaxed.
Sometimes serious books are just too much–and when you feel overwhelmed by real life, that’s the perfect time for a list of fun books.
Lighthearted and funny books are my favorite escape, and these books filled with quirky main characters, snarky friends, and banter-filled love stories are some of the best books for readers who need a break from real life.
While putting together this list of light-hearted books, I realized three things:
- I really love well-written, funny novels (especially when I can’t stop laughing!)
- I don’t read nearly enough of them
- I need more balance between literary fiction and lighthearted books in my reading life.
There’s definitely no shortage of unsatisfying fluff to read, and I think that sometimes keeps me from picking up books that look a little lighter.
The stories in those fluffy books are easy reads, which sometimes is great, but they are forgettable.
And if you’re trying to get back into reading and just want a feel-good novel or a funny book that will make you laugh, a lackluster story isn’t going to help you get back in the habit.
That’s why I’m putting together these expanded lists of compulsively readable, unputdownable books. I want to give you book recommendations to kick off your reading hobby or just help you find that next perfect read that makes you hungry to pick up your next book.
Because we book lovers who read ALL the time? That’s what we’re always after: that same feeling we got from our favorite books.
If your tastes veer toward lighter reads, or if you’re just in the mood for some today, below are some excellent novels to get you reading.
These must-read, feel-good books are perfect options if you need a light read to boost your mood and inject a little happiness into your reading list.
Because let’s face it: sometimes we all just need some fun books to read. They’re also great options if you’re looking for lighthearted book club books for 2022.
I hope this list of lighthearted reads will help you pick up a book when you just need to escape from reality, or maybe even get back to reading if it’s been hard lately.
The list includes books for various tastes: a few with a bit of romance, some that are a little snarky, some comical books, others that are cozier, a couple with a touch of magic, and some that are uplifting. I hope you find the perfect read!
Printable Book Lists
Get 30+ Free Printable Book Lists
Subscribe now to get access to the Book List Library!
Join a community of like-minded readers, fill up your TBR, and build a reading life you LOVE.
FUN BOOKS TO READ WHEN YOU NEED A PICK-ME-UP
Sometimes, it’s nice to lighten up and read something that will boost your mood, make you smile, and maybe even make you laugh. Reading lighthearted books is an excellent way to escape from the stresses of life, if only for a while. So, if you’re looking for some uplifting and light reads, this is the book list for you.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Author: Abbi Waxman
Introverted, bookish Nina Hill’s life is upended when she is named in the will of a father she never met and thrust into a large, complicated family. Charming, a little snarky, and quick-witted–an excellent choice for fans of Gilmore Girls. More info
How Not to Die Alone
Author: Richard Roper
Andrew’s job takes him into the homes of people who have died alone–so he is keenly aware of what a life of loneliness means. He’s just not sure how to make his own life less lonely until a friendly new coworker gives him hope. A great read-alike for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine that tackles topics of loneliness, isolation, and taking risks–with a bit of dark humor. More info
The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal
When their Punjabi mother dies, British-born sisters Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirina agree to carry out her last wish: a pilgrimage to India. A fast, smart read that brings together three sisters and forces them to grapple with their differences in surprising and sometimes amusing ways. More info
The Opposite of Everyone
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Tough attorney Paula Vauss has a secret past with her mother. Paul sends checks every month, but one month the check is returned–then a surprise sibling shows up. The two go on a search for the mother she hasn’t seen in years. While not my favorite of hers, this has Jackson’s signature sly humor. Grab any of her audiobooks–she narrates and is terrific. More info
Author: Jon Cohen
When Harry’s wife unexpectedly dies, he retreats to the forest to grieve. There he meets a young girl and her mother, who are also grieving. The girl is convinced she and Harry have a mission that will pull them all from the depths of their grief. Less funny than others on this list, but equal parts heartwarming and a little magical. More info
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
The women in the Waverly family all have light touches of magical powers–gifts that affect moods, appearances, and spaces. When a stranger shows up, their family and lives are disrupted. This is a charming, light read for those times when you’re willing to suspend belief and just go along for the ride. More info
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
A.J. Fikry is a cranky bookstore owner who has to rethink his life when an unexpected package shows up. A perfect “heartwarming curmudgeon” story for bookworms–books and stories are woven into the characters’ lives in charming and surprising ways. More info
- 10 Great Books About Loners and Endearing Misfits
- 13 Books with Title Characters that Will Stick with You
- 30 Books about Books Bibliophiles Will Love
The Bookshop on the Corner
Author: Jenny Colgan
Nina Redmond has lost her job as a librarian and decided to take a chance: she will buy a van and open a mobile bookstore in Scotland. Filled with quirky characters, light romance, and lots of book love, this little book is possibly the coziest and most charming book on this list. The perfect light, escapist read (listen to the audio for great Scottish brogue!). More info
Author: Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler’s modern retelling of the Taming of the Shrew brings us Kate Battista, a 20-something who is stuck at home and in a dead-end job. When her scatterbrained scientist father asks her to consider marrying his assistant, who is about to lose his visa, Kate has to decide what path she wants her life to take. A light, easy audiobook listen. More info
Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
When Rachel, an American, is introduced to her fiancé’s wealthy family, she finds herself in a world of excess and maneuvering that she never expected. A funny, snarky, voyeuristic look at the richest of the rich in Singapore, the whole trilogy is a fun read. More info
Dear Committee Members
Author: Julie Schumacher
Through the recommendation letters written he writes for students, a creative writing professor at a small university uses the platform to vent about life in academia. The letters get funnier and more absurd as his frustrations grow. This is a perfect read for anyone who has ever tried to navigate academic bureaucracy. More info
Author: Will Leitch
Daniel is a 20-something man living a rich life, even while dealing with an illness that has largely stolen his mobility and speaking ability. When he witnesses a young woman get into a car–and then she disappears–he knows he has to do something. You’ll love being in Daniel’s head, as well as the small moments of comedy in this lovely and funny story. An easy read and sweet story that packs a punch. More info
People We Meet on Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
A When Harry Met Sally-inspired novel about Poppy and Alex, two opposites who have been best friends since college. Every year, they take a vacation together– until after Croatia two years ago. They’ve hardly spoken since. Now, they’ve joined for another trip to repair their friendship. Alternating between past and present, we see the evolution of Poppy and Alex’s friendship and how they ended up here.
I adored this feel-good book that had me smiling throughout. From the banter to the travel to the devotion between Poppy and Alex, this is a heartwarming and uplifting read. Henry’s debut book, Beach Read, is also excellent. More info
Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
In a fictional White House family, Alex is a golden boy with a quiet rivalry/fascination with Prince Henry of Wales that usually has little effect on his life–until a tense encounter forces them into a false PR campaign highlighting their “close friendship.” The two grudgingly go along until their clever banter turns to real friendship–and then to more.
This was a fun audiobook listen with sweet romance (note: it’s a little steamy), witty banter, and insider-y political maneuverings. A great choice if you’re looking for an uplifting romance. More info
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
Author: Elle Cosimano
Author Finlay Donovan is struggling. Her book isn’t finished, she needs to make some money, and her ex-husband is threatening to sue for full custody of her kids. When she’s mistaken for a contract killer while discussing her book with her agent, she finds herself in the path of the local mob, dodging the police, and stealing the too-weird-to-be-true events for her novel.
I don’t typically rate a book like this five stars, but it was just so absurd, so fun and funny that I couldn’t put it down. I loved every minute. More info
A Star Is Bored
Author: Byron Lane
Charlie lands the job as eccentric actress Kathi Kannon’s assistant by chance. He starts as a fan–and an employee desperate to keep his job. He soon becomes essential and as she depends on him more, he wonders where he starts and she ends–and whether he can save her from herself.
This was a fun audiobook listen, filled with snark and Hollywood absurdities. It’s fiction, but a great choice if you love a good tell-all (the author is Carrie Fisher’s former assistant, though he makes clear this is not a memoir). More info
The Audacity of Sara Grayson
Author: Joani Elliott
Sara Grayson always wanted to write, and she does–as a greeting card writer. But, she could never live up to the success of her world-famous mother. But when her mother dies and names Sara the author of the much-anticipated final book of her mystery series, Sara starts to wonder if she can actually do it. As she throws herself into the writing, she discovers that more could threaten her mother’s legacy than just this book.
This is a solid light reading choice if you love books about books with a side of humor and romance. More info
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
After years of isolation because of chronic pain, Chloe Brown has decided to get a life. The first step is getting her own place–but befriending the burly superintendent is NOT on her list.
Red is not so fond of Chloe either, but he’s also intrigued. This, of course, is a rom-com, so the path from dislike to banter to romance is predictable, but it’s also sweet, funny, and uplifting. (Note that this is very open-door and steamy, so skip it if that’s not your thing.) More info
Author: Belinda Bauer
Felix Pink is a retired widower who volunteers to stay with terminally ill people as they die by suicide. It is a mission of mercy and compassion that operates on just the edge of UK law. But when one visit goes horribly wrong, Felix dodges the police and tries to find out what actually happened.
It may seem an odd choice for a funny book list, but the ominous cover and dark description don’t do this book justice–it is delightful, sometimes funny, and ultimately heartwarming. Dark themes and shady characters are a part of it, yes, but this is much more like A Man Called Ove than an edge-of-your-seat thriller. More info
What are your go-to’s when you need a light, fun book to read?
Still looking for the perfect book? Take the quiz and get a recommendation tailored just to your reading taste!
More Unputdownable Books to Start Your Reading Hobby
- 27 Highly Readable Books to Jumpstart Your Reading Habit
- 13 Unputdownable Contemporary Fiction Books
- 24+ Literary Fiction Books You Can’t Put Down
- 11 Historical Fiction Books You Won’t Want to Put Down
- 11 Mysteries and Thrillers to Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat
- 11 Unputdownable Nonfiction Books that Read Like Fiction
This is a really good list! Read several of these and have a few on my TBR. Did not love Harry’s Trees but DID think it was pretty funny. I think humorous books are kind of hard to find. Have you ever read Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series? Those are always what I recommend when someone needs a laugh. Also Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s memoirs.
Thanks! I haven’t heard of the Spellman Files series–I’ll have to check it out.
Great list! When I think of page Turner’s, I usually think of heavy dark books, but I love how you point out the light ones, too!
Thank you! I’m the same–I’m much more inclined toward serious books, but I always enjoy when I find more fun page turners as well. I think I just need to keep a lookout for more potential winners in this category!
This is my type of list! I’m all about reading for fun so light-hearted reads are my jam. I fully endorse a few on this list, like The Bookshop on the Corner and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. I just got Nina Hill for Christmas and can’t wait to dive in! A bunch of the others I haven’t looked into, so I certainly will!
Id love to join your book club
Oooh, this is exactly what I’m in the mood for! Reading that’s fun and funny. I’d love to try Nina Hill, and I’ve already got Crazy Rich Asians and Vinegar Girl waiting for me on my TBR shelf(s). I would also highly recommend The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared to anyone else looking for a cheer-up read – it’s delightful!
Hi Allison! I’m here from your thread on Sticky Blogging, and because one of my favorite words is unputdownable, ha! I LOVED AJ Fikrey and Dear Committee Members, as well as Crazy Rich Asians. Going to add the others to my TBR.
I am thrilled to have found you. I am now an old lady but I was raised in a foreign service family of readers. When you grow up in third-world countries without television, you learn to love books at an early age. I am also a retired teacher. For 18 years I taught children how to read and then for 17 years I taught 7th, 8th, and 9th graders to love to read. Now I am retired and reading with my grandchildren. Since I have the luxury of time, I read 2 or 3 books a week.
I am so excited to learn of “The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters” since my childhood was spent in India. (I had reverse culture shock when returning to America.) Two of my favorite funny reads are “What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day” by Pearl Cleage and “Virgin of the Rodeo” by Sarah Bird. They were both impulse buys based on the titles. For dog lovers, you can’t beat “Winterdance” by Gary Paulsen which is NOT a children’s book.
“The Storied Life of AJ Fikry” is a great book, but how can you possibly include it on a list of lighthearted and funny books?! I found it incredibly sad.
You’re definitely right that it’s not a comedy, but I did find it funny and heartwarming, as well as sad. The range of emotions made it a compelling story, and the levity made it feel lighter than many other sad books.
Thanks for your comment!
The Rosie project!! My favourite on the list so far. I’m yet to read a couple of the books. I love Don! What makes him so funny is that he’s not trying to be funny. I went ahead to read the other two books in the trilogy! The other two are not as funny, but absolutely wholesome reads.
I love the storified life of A.J Firky too. Like someone pointed out, kinda sad, but also warm. I love books about people who love books. So many important quotes there. Really good list. Absolutely love it !
Oh. I’ve read The audacity of Sara Greyson and was absolutely delighted to find it on your list. I loved the book.
This post was truly worthwhile to read. I wanted to say thank you for the key points you have pointed out as they are enlightening.
Hi, thanks for this list! I read the Shergill Sisters, and I was a bit surprised by it. I liked it, but it definitely wasn’t the fun read I was looking for. It was quite serious! I do appreciate the recommendations, though.