So I recently finished both Robin McKinley's Beauty and Alexander McCall Smith's The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. I was in the mood for happy books, and these were both definitely happy books. They are also fairly good books, and that certainly counts for something. I respect craftsmanship, especially when it is unpretentious.
Beauty is well-done, and meant to appeal to the mousy-looking book-obsessed girl in all of us. It certainly worked for me. The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is an optimistic picture of Botswana, of life, and, to some extent, of crime. Bad things happen, but they somehow tend to be peripheral or have a happy end.
Anyway, time for something more...serious. I am tackling an American classic - To Kill a Mockingbird. I'll let you know what I think.