By special request, Gentle Reader, here’s a curated list of my favorite feel-good books!
These are books I go to for comfort and they always leave me feeling happy. I sorted them using my own books as ciphers. So you can scan through for your favorite of mine and pick accordingly.
I also added a few things to watch in there, in case you really just need to veg TF out.
Books That Make Me Feel Better
If you love the Parasol Protectorate series:
Ridiculous! by D.L. Carter
Hilarious cross-dressing regency romance. Fall in love with Mr North, I did. (Amazon only)
Sorcery & Cecelia by Wrede & Stevermer
If you are a fan of my books and haven’t read this wonderful gaslight double shot regency romance, honestly I have no idea what you’re doing with your life.
Goodreads has a list of other people’s suggestions of “Book like the Parasol Protectorate series” which you can add too, if you like. (I’m rather honored that I rank a list all my own, thank you Goodreads!)
Watch? The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec or anything from this list: 13 Quirky Lesser Known Movies Gail Carriger Loves
If you love the Finishing School series:
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
The princess and the dragon become BFFs. Suitable for a wide range of ages.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Possibly the tightest best stand alone novel ever written. And one of the few where the movie is as good as the book, it’s very different but still excellent.
Watch? The movie version of Howl’s, Spirited Away, Bend it Like Beckham.
If you love the Custard Protocol series:
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
In regency times, Newt must track down a missing emerald. As it is much easier to get around alone as a mustache-wearing man, so Newt dons the mustache with gusto.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
If what you really want is a seriously heavy dose or found family? This is your book.
Watch? Leverage, Killjoys, Firefly.
If you love How to Marry a Werewolf or Poison or Protect:
Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
Culture conflict between an invading nomadic army and a settled alt medieval land. A woman who knows how to heal. You think it’s going to be every romance trope in the book, it defies every single one of them.
Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis (ebook only)
Magic and romance in regency London, plus dress pins… lots of dress pins.
Watch? Cold Comfort Farm, Gosford Park.
If you love Romancing the Inventor:
Ambereye by Gill McKnight
Moody werewolf boss meets her match in the form of bossy human PA. The two go home to meet the pack for the holidays. Everyone assumes they are mates.
Watch? Tipping the Velvet
If you love Romancing the Werewolf:
A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger
A solid upright soldier returns home from war, falls in love with a male spy.
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
One of the world funniest books, it isn’t strictly gay… although it really also is.
Watch? Maurice, Jeeves & Wooster
If you love the San Andreas Shifters series:
The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune
The funniest piece of gay fantasy ever written, and likely the funniest that ever will be written.
A Villain for Christmas by Alice Winters
Would you like your gay romance with a does of snarky super villain? Of course you would. (Amazon only)
Here are more from me if you love the San Andreas Boys…
9 Books That You’ll Love If You Enjoy Gail’s San Andreas Shifter series (Miss Carriger Recommends)
Watch? Love, Simon, Latter Days, anything from this list: 8 Queer Romantic Comedy Movies That Gail Carriger Loves
If you love 5th Gender:
Paradox series (3 books) by Rachel Bach (first book Fortune’s Pawn)
High action and lots of fun in epic space battles, fast paced and tight with a nice little het romance (low heat).
Earth Fathers Are Weird by Lyn Gala
Human military dude accidentally becomes surrogate for tentacle alien children. All the feels. Found family, adorable squidies. Gah. So cute. Her Claimings series is also brilliant.
Here are more from me if you love the 5th Gender…
Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)
Watch? Men in Black, erm?
Other Delightful Reads
I just love these books SO MUCH. I reread them regularly just because they make me so happy.
One Night at Finn’s by RG Alexander
Hilarious advice columnist meets marine. (Amazon only.)
Granddad’s Cup of Tea by Amy Rae Durreson
Bisexual grandpa finds love with the neighbor at the top of the hill, over daily cups of tea.
A Fool and His Manny by Amy Lane
Eldest son is all grown up, meets up again with ex-nanny. It manages to not be incestuous at all, mostly because the poor manny has no idea what is going on. Gah, so achingly sweet.
For the Littles…
King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Picture book I grew up with. It’s charming and amazingly well drawn.
Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod by Brian Kesinger
It is what it says, amazing images and a few words about a forthright young steampunk lady and her precocious pet octopus. There is also an adorable coloring book of these characters. So very me-ish in every way.
6 of Gail Carriger’s Favorite Children’s Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)
As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s more rec lists:
- 20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies
- Comforting Books for Hard Times: Soothing Reads in Every Genre
- 10 Funny Mystery Authors Like Janet Evanovich
- 31 Queer Books With Happy Endings
- 20 Must-Read Happy Queer Books
What do you read or watch that makes you happy? Any suggestions?
Why We Need Queer Escapist Lit from The Lesbrary
Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),
- Did you miss the Chirrup in which this first appeared? These kinds of things go to them first, because I love them bestest. Sign up here.
- Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Amazon or BookBub!
BOOK DE JOUR?
Defy or Defend, a Delightfully Deadly book featuring Dimity!
Your Vendor of Choice!
Dimity, London’s cheerfullest spy, must fix a broken vampire hive while a gentle soldier tries to keep her safe. A charming makeover story set in the popular Parasolverse.
It’s a battle for survival… and wallpaper!
Gail’s Daily Tea Party
Tisane of Nifty
Why I Always Read the Acknowledgement
“The book still has a wonderful and warm and calm ending, which these characters absolutely deserved. How to Marry a Werewolf is an emotional journey that I found incredibly rewarding and is probably one of my favourite books by this author.”
Quote to Sip
Tags: Gail Carriger Recommends
Just wanted to say – you dryclean your cashmere?! Good heavens, woman, why ever would you do that? Goats don’t shrink in the rain!
Just a gentle bathe in warm, wool-appropriate washing liquid (or a squirt of shampoo), squeeze it out, then rinse in lukewarm water, squeeze again, and dry horizontally on a towel, preferably on a drying rack away from furry friends. If you have a garment steamer, when it’s dry, hang it on a coathanger and steam it to fluff it up. If you don’t have a garment steamer – why ever not? Much easier to freshen up garments, take out the wrinkles from being crushed in a drawer or wardrobe – none of which can be done with an iron!
I love reading your newsletter, especially the suggested reading/movies. A lot of them are already in my favorites list so I see ones I haven’t read/watched and have to immediately do so! Thanks for all the great suggestions and your wonderful writing. Keep safe!
What a very very kind thing to say I am so glad. And thank you for telling me which bit you like best! It helps me stay on target.
The Murder Most Unladylike / Wells and Wong Detective Agency series by Robin Stevens! Girls’ school, 1930s England, main characters are a slightly-sociopathic proper young English miss and her best friend (and narrator of the story), a painfully practical Chinese girl who sees right through said English miss’ facade. And there are lesbians! This series may be aimed at a young audience, but it’s great fun for readers of all ages!
I just finished the Parasol Protectorate series, which I enjoyed greatly. It reminded me quite a lot of the Amelia Peabody novels by Elizabeth Peters. I don’t see them on your list of fun things to read, so I thought I’d mention that if you haven’t read them, you’ll probably want to. Start with The Crocodile on the Sandbank.