What I'm reading, eh? (We'll get to those happiness questions later. Those require effort. Am lazy. AHEM.)
Okay so right now I am reading a thousand-page door stop of a book called Churchill: A Biography, by Roy Jenkins. This is because I was over at my parents' house telling my dad about the Potato Peel Pie book (we'll get to that one) and my father, the history buff, was appalled - APPALLED - to find out that I had never HEARD of the Channel Islands. But you know, I never claimed to be EDUCATED. Anyway. I then asked the history buff for some history book recommendations and he turned to his bookshelf and muttered about giving away most of his books when they moved back to the states blah blah blah and boom: handed me the door stop. I am on page 30 so far and I am weighing the consequences of asking my dad if I can just skip to the WWII years.
Before I started reading the Churchill tome I read, in lightning fast fashion because that's how much I love them, two Inspector Montalbano mysteries, by Andrea Camilleri. I am always wary of recommending these, because the situations are always icky and shuddery, but Inspector Montalbano is one of my very favorite characters EVER and I LOVE reading all the hidden commentary on the Mafia and the glorious descriptions of food and the beach and Sicily itself. So I love these, but be forewarned: the murders are almost always Twisted.
Before those I read the Potato Peel Pie book, which I think is actually called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. (Note: YOU CAN GOOGLE THESE YOURSELVES, SEE ABOVE RE: LAZY.) I had HEARD of this book, and actually put it on my Kindle wishlist, but it cost more than I try to spend on Kindle books and never got around to reading it. Then I scored it in a Christmas Secret Santa thingy and only wound up reading it last week when I ran out of everything else. And then I found out it was a bunch of LETTERS. Katie informs me that this is called an EPISTOLARY which, yes, I agree that's a fun word, but BAH. How tedious. I was about to toss the book when Twitter was all, "No! It's good! Press on!" So I did. And I liked it! I didn't like the letters. (SO. TEDIOUS.) And I would often skim through the letters of the characters I didn't like so much. (LAZY.) But I loved loved loved the chunks of "what happened during the Occupation". If I were going to be a history buff I would be a WWII history buff, so this was all very fascinating to me. I always find it hard to believe that these things (and other atrocities, obvs) happened not so very long ago and then I get all... PARANOID, I suppose, thinking about what *I* would do if *I* was occupied by the Germans (or worse). Let's not go there. I recommend with the caveat: expect a bit of tediousness. Also a hokey love story. But worth it overall.
Before THAT I was reading the Bartimaeus Trilogy. These are books about a young boy in modern day London who becomes a magician - it turns out the government is made up of magicians whose magic really comes from their ability to summon demons. Now, I started reading the first book and only a few pages in I started to wonder where the Harry Potter people were with THIS book. Because COME ON. SUMMONING YOU KNOW WHAT! But I kept reading (because Bartimaeus is a hoot, even if he is a demon) and I ended up liking them. Not TONS, but enough to read all three books in a weekend. I like fantasy if the fantastic parts are set in reality. Like how Harry Potter is all happening within Muggle World, you know? I do not like fantasy if the worlds are made up or in outer space. BORING. Anyway, these weren't happy fun books, but neither were they dark and creepy and obsessed with good and evil (a 'la the Golden Compass etc.) By the third book, the demons are really the only ones making sense. And when Bartimaeus is the narrator, they're great.
Before THAT I got completely and utterly sunk in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. Liz recommended the first book, Soulless, and it is pure fluff, but SUPER FUN FLUFF. Oh the first book is also a touch (okay, a TON) "Harlequinny" (that's the word Liz used and it is genius) but for some reason the second and third books are not. Perhaps she realized she didn't need it to sell? I don't know. They're silly and hilarious and I have preordered the fourth. SO THERE.
Oh, and I read Room. Have I not told you all this already. I feel like I'm repeating myself. I read this in one sitting, you guys, and did not have nightmares. I think those are the two things I can say that will most highly recommend it. Afterwards I read some reviews on GoodReads which I didn't quite get - people being all annoyed about having to read how a five-year-old talks/thinks, but that was the part I thought was most amazing. Oh, one reviewer was all pissy about having to read three pages of description of a Dora episode, but for me, it was like YEAH! That Swiper guy! TOTALLY! Anyway, there were a few parts I thought were a little off, but on the whole I was way impressed, fascinated, stunned, terrified and amazed. I think I might need to read it again, since I was zooming through the whole thing to find out what HAPPENS. Now that I know what happens I could go back and take in a little more detail.
And now you will give ME recommendations, otherwise I am stuck with Churchill for the next, oh, four years.