Reasons to Be Cheerful


By Nina Stibbe

Formats and Prices





  1. ebook $13.99
  2. Hardcover $26.00

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 23, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From “the reliably hilarious” (Entertainment Weekly) author of Love, Nina: a brilliantly funny and heartbreaking story of growing up and finding the independence you might not actually want . . . Teenager Lizzie Vogel has a new job as a dental assistant. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. At least it means mostly getting away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal, novel-writing mother. But, if Lizzie thinks being independent means sex with her boyfriend (he prefers bird-watching), strict boundaries (her boss keeps using her loo) or self-respect (surely only actual athletes get fungal foot infections?) she’s still got a lot more growing up to do.

The winner of the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, 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.



    Winner of the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
  • "The reliably hilarious Stibbe may have outdone herself with this witty, '80s-England-set exploration of one woman's struggles in early adulthood."
    David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly
  • "A quirky, charming novel about an uncertain young dental assistant's coming of age."
    People Magazine
  • "So dense with amusing detail that I thought about holding the book upside down to see if any extra funny bits might spill from the creases between the page."
    Susan Coll, The New York Times
  • "I read all of Reasons To Be Cheerful in one GLORIOUS gulpand it's SUCH a joy - Nina Stibbe turns 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
  • "Stibbe proves she can channel the mind of a young woman and takes the reader on a coming-of-age journey that plucks at the heartstrings of every emotion."
    Associated Press
  • "Heart-skippingly funny, but also psychologically incisive, socially adept, and disarmingly poignant."
    Booklist, starred review
  • "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."
  • "Nina Stibbe is funny and lovely."
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Loved 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
  • "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."
  • "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

On Sale
Jul 23, 2019
Page Count
288 pages

Nina Stibbe

About the Author

Nina Stibbe is the author of two works of nonfiction, Love, Nina and An Almost Perfect Christmas, and three previous novels, Man at the Helm, ParadiseLodge, and Reasons to Be Cheerful, which won both the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse

Prize for Comic Fiction and the Comedy Women in Print Prize. Love, Nina was adapted by Nick Hornby into a BBC TV series. Stibbe lives in Cornwall.

Learn more about this author