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Reasons to Be Cheerful

Reasons to Be Cheerful

The hilarious and moving story of one young woman’s adventures in adulthood

Eighteen-year-old Lizzie Vogel lands a job in a local dentist’s office after answering a classified ad for a “mature lady with a strong interest in dental issues.” The job comes with an apartment of her own, as well as an eccentric boss, a high-strung coworker, and the occasional call to perform light dentistry herself. It also provides Lizzie with an introduction to Andy Nicolello, young man of her dreams: handsome, kind, slightly indifferent. Lizzie seizes her chance to find love and soon begins calling him her boyfriend even though they have never so much as kissed or sat next to each other on the sofa. Navigating the new waters of adult life (conquering homesickness, learning to drive, hosting a dinner party, making bold-or tragic, depending on the viewer-fashion choices), Lizzie arrives at an unexpected, and unexpectedly moving, destination.

Painfully funny, sharply observed, and deeply empathetic, Reasons to Be Cheerful is a novel that lives up to its title, confirming Nina Stibbe’s status as one of the most original and delightful writers at work today.

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Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Humorous

On Sale: July 23rd 2019

Price: $13.99

Page Count: 288

ISBN-13: 9780316309356

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Reader Reviews



Winner of the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
"Stibbe, a master of low-key observation and throwaway punchlines, captures Lizzie's romantic uncertainty and open, sometimes-wounded heart while also pointing up the intermittent absurdity and restrictions of life for women in provincial England in the early 1980s.An idiosyncratic, bittersweet coming-of-age tale that certainly justifies its title."—Kirkus
"To read a Nina Stibbe novel is to experience joy. REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL is the story of one young dental assistant's journey into adulthood. It's endearing, delightful, and funny in the smartest way. This novel shines from within."—Elin Hilderbrand, bestselling author of THE PERFECT COUPLE
"I read all of Reasons To Be Cheerful last night in one GLORIOUS gulp and it's SUCH a joy - man, you turn out more perfect, sharp, unique sentences than anyone else in the game. It just CARTWHEELS."—Caitlin Moran, bestselling author of HOW TO BE A WOMAN

"SO SO funny, charming, odd-in-the-best-way and gorgeously uplifting! A delight from start to finish."—Marian Keyes, bestselling author of RACHEL'S HOLIDAY
"This made me laugh and broke my heart . . . Stibbe is one of the all time greats."—Daisy Buchanan
'"oved it! I so love Lizzie. She is brave and kind and funny and totally original . . . I couldn't have liked it more (as I think Noel Coward said.)"—Katie Fforde
"The reliably hilarious Stibbe (Paradise Lodge) may have outdone herself with this witty, '80s-England-set exploration of one woman's struggles in early adulthood. Cheerful just won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, the only U.K. literary award for comic literature, so dig into this one expecting a very good time."—DC
"Another great from Nina Stibbe."—Kathy Burke
"The literary love child of Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett...this is pure laughing gas."—Neil Armstrong, Mail on Sunday
"Very few writers can find the delicate balance between heartbreak and hilarity like Nina Stibbe."—Red Magazine
"Reasons To Be Cheerful is just the read you need right now, seamlessly weaving together the big themes of life with charm and warmth."—Stylist
"Nina Stibbe is an author of such effortless wit that she could turn a shopping list into a bestseller."—Isabelle Broom, Women and Home
"There is innocence, and the loss of innocence, and the reassertion of a wider and better sort of innocence. The spirit of Victoria Wood, I think, hovers over the way Stibbe generates tender human sympathy through an accumulation of mundane provincial detail."—Guardian (UK)
"Full of comedy, but with moving themes of loss and grief, it's an utterly charming coming of age story. A reason to be cheerful indeed."—Sunday Mirror
"If you loved Adrian Mole you'll adore Lizzie Vogel...quirky and witty, it also packs an emotional punch."—The Sun
"Bubbling humour."—Sunday Express
"This wonderfully funny novel...she's still on sparkling form."—The Oldie
"Lizzie is a witty, observant guide...while there are plenty of good gags and needle-sharp quips, the novel is most effective when not trying to be funny."—The Spectator

"Stibbe's deadpan first-person delivery once again balances quirky charm with beady insight...Another deft helping of absurd social comedy and unconventional wisdom from a writer of singular, decidedly English gifts."
"Lizzie Vogel is back. Now 15, she's picked up a job at Paradise Lodge, a Leicester home for the aging that has fallen on hard times...The home provides English writer Stibbe's novel with an incredible patchwork of characters and their eccentricities, and Lizzie's observations of her family, coworkers, geriatric charges, and sundry enemies are wise, hilarious, and of an emotional frankness that's all her own...soaked through with charm."
"A comic romp about aging and belonging."
Anderson Tepper, Vanity Fair
"Sweetness and wit from Nina Stibbe. You won't find a funnier, more original confidante than Lizzie Vogel, a teen who's taken a job in a nursing home, at first just hoping to pay for some nice shampoo but eventually sucked into a full-on farce. Truancy, elder abuse, the death of Elvis Presley--there seems to be nothing the author of Love, Nina can't play for good-natured laughs and a sneaky touch of wisdom."
Kim Hubbard, People
"The priceless, pragmatic English youngsters who put their mother on the marriage market in last year's delightful Man at the Helm, are back and practicing their skills on a spate of new victims. In Stibbe's newest novel, Lizzie Vogel is now a teenager and hard at work in her first job at a chaotic old-age home. There, she helps a nurse find a husband (who will also operate as a 'retirement plan'). Lizzie, who finds herself feeling more at home than she's ever felt in her life, helps a cast of eccentrics save the home from a rival."
Billy Heller, The New York Post's Required Reading
"Stibbe has a gift for summoning the high-octane low-attention-span pimplefest that is adolescence."
Molly Young, New York Times Book Review

"I adored this book, and I could quote from it forever. It's real, odd, life-affirming, sharp, loving...and I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so frequently while reading."—Nick Hornby, The Believer
"Breezy, sophisticated, hilarious, rude, and aching with sweetness: Love, Nina might be the most charming book I've ever read."—Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette
"These letters are winning from the start...we simply like being in Ms. Stibbe's company."—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"You'll find yourself laughing out loud but also touched by the book's depiction of family as it should be: people bound not just by blood but by shared affinities, humor and unfailing interest in hearing the answer to the question, 'How was your day?'"—Kim Hubbard, People
"I must MOST EARNESTLY recommend Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. It's the most piss-funny thing I've read all year. I can't remember a book since Adrian Mole that so brilliantly, drily nailed day-to-day life in BRILLIANT, faux-naive prose."—Caitlin Moran, author of How to Build a Girl
"I have never laughed so hard reading a book. Nina Stibbe's recollections of life as a London nanny are both hilarious and heartwarming."—J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine and The Engagements
"Love, Nina is enchanting. It's one of the funniest--and oddest--books I've read in a long time.... [Stibbe's letters] are perceptive and droll, and provide a glimpse into the domestic life of a fascinating literary family."—Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
"Man at the Helm is a winner- a brilliant find....It is full, free, outlandish. And I can't remember a book that made me laugh more. [Stibbe] doesn't take anything seriously. Or rather, she does, and yet her eye and ear for the absurd never desert her- they are part of who she is."—The Guardian
"Some of the most perceptive writing I've read about relationships in a while....this book is very, very funny. Stibbe has a fine eye for absurdity, and her writing has an unforced charm."—The Independent
"[A] joyous read, full of wit and charm . . . I am already longing for Nina Stibbe's next book."—The Observer
"Nina Stibbe's Man at the Helm is straight-up hilarious, a brilliant collage of a family in glorious ruin. Stibbe's wry, sly wit propels the novel forward at breakneck speed, but don't be fooled: underneath all the exuberance beats a surprisingly melancholy heart."—Lauren Fox, Author of Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us
"Stibbe's astute, deadpan charm is impossible to resist."
Kim Hubbard, People
"This densely populated coming-of-age story (for both mother and children) has retained and even expanded on Stibbe's signature antic charm...It's not too much of a stretch to conclude that Man at the Helm, with its jauntily matter-of-fact social satire, wouldn't be out of place on the same shelf as Cold Comfort Farm and I Capture the Castle.
Alida Becker, The New York Times Book Review
"Lizzie's scheme to find a suitable match for her [mother] sparkles with humor as British as mincemeat pie."
Entertainment Weekly
"Ms. Stibbe's writerly charms and her sneakily deep observations about romantic connection are on display throughout...'Man at the Helm' is densely peppered with funny lines, but even more striking is the sustained energy of the writing. In almost all the space between jokes, there remains a witty atmosphere, a playful effect sentence by sentence."—John Williams, The New York Times
"Funny and engaging...I simply hugged myself with joy reading this book, for the tale it tells, which is funny, painful, and ultimately happy, and above all for the voice, which is perfection."
Katherine A. Powers, The Christian Science Monitor
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