12 March 2014

Brighton & Hove’s top 21 mood-busting books - the winners as chosen by you!

Twenty-one mood-busting books to beat the winter blues have been unveiled after more than 400 were put forward in a Brighton & Hove straw poll

Everyone knows a feel-good book can help take away the winter blues. With this in mind, the Brighton & Hove City Council’s public health team co-sponsored a ‘Happy Book’ scheme during January.

Libraries across the city made a wide range of mood-boosting titles available. They asked people to tell them about their favourite feel-good novel or poetry through email, Facebook and Twitter using #BHhappybooks. People could also fill out postcards that were available in the libraries and Mind shops across the city.

Mental health charity Mind in Brighton & Hove and the national Reading Well campaign teamed up with the council to back the scheme.

The joint first winners were Terry Pratchett books and Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons having the most votes. The Terry Pratchett recommended titles being Witches Abroad, Raising Steam, Wyrd Sisters, and Fifth Element.

“Cold Comfort Farm is my ultimate happy-making book, and set in the Sussex downs, no less!”

“He (Terry Pratchett) creates a world in which things that should happen do happen. They have a sort of narrative moral order which is very comforting and they are funny.”


The other titles and authors to be added to the top 21 list were:

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency & 44 Scotland Street Series – Alexander McCall Smith

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Pride and Prejudice and Emma – Jane Austen

Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Peter James (recommended title Dead Man’s Time)

Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee

The 100 Year Old Man who climbed out of the window and disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

Just William – Richmal Crompton

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach

Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

Pam Ayres poetry and The Necessary Aptitude

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce 

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern 

Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

The Accidental Tourist – Anne Tyler

The Humans - Matt Haig

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

Brighton & Hove City Council director of public health, Dr Tom Scanlon, said: “We’ve had a brilliant response from residents to this scheme and it is clear that there are a lot of uplifting books out there. 

“Picking up a good book when you are feeling low, could mean not having to pick up a prescription for the same. So I would encourage people get to their local libraries and bookshops, and to share their choices with their friends.”

“Sharing views on enjoyable books is also an excellent way for people to connect with one another.”


A list of the winners and the nominations can be found on the library website Moodbusting boost