19 Fun, Lighthearted Books that Will Absolutely Delight You

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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!

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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 by Abbi Waxman, a good option for a fun, feel good book

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 by Richard Roper, a funny and uplifting book

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, an uplifting book about family

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


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The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson, a lighthearted book for your reading list

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


Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen

Harry’s Trees

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 magicalMore info


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First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost

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


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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, a novel about a bookstore

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


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The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan, perfect for readers who love books about books

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


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Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl

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 by Kevin Kwan

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 by Julie Schumacher, a fun and snarky book about academia

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


How Lucky by Will Leitch

How Lucky

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


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People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

Author: Emily Henry

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, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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 by Elle Cosimano

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


Bookish Gifts & Merch You’ll Love


White mug with a heart made of books on the side
Book Love Mug
Pink shirt with Booktrovert written on the front
Booktrovert T-shirt
Librarians Quietly Leading the Resistance Mug
Librarians: Quietly Leading the Resistance Mug
White t-shirt reading I Have No Shelf Control
I Have No Shelf Control T-Shirt

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A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane

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 by Joani Elliot

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 by Talia Hibbert

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


Exit by Belinda Bauer

Exit

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?

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19 Fun, Light Books that will Absolutely Delight You

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