A book that makes me happy. Hmm. Is it bad that I’m struggling to think of one? I tend to prefer books that have a lot of angst and anguish, or ones that make me think about and examine my place in the world so this is actually a really difficult question. I suppose The Odyssey would be one, but I’m not sure it makes me happy it’s more that I’ve read it so often that reading it is like snuggling up in a warm blanket. I wouldn’t say I necessarily feel happy after reading, say, A Song of Ice and Fire, although I’m certainly excited while I read them, which I suppose is a form of happiness.
The books I like are ones that stab at the soul so I suppose I’m happiest when a book makes me sad…although that’s a little paradoxical. I also like my mind being stimulated, so I’m tempted to put The Republic by Plato at the top of my list because that’s one of my favourite philosophical works. I think, however, I’m going to have to turn to the world of comic books. What can make anyone happier than a hero swooping in to save the day?
There are plenty of Spider-Man comics that I could pick, but I’m going to choose Superman for All Seasons. It’s a book that is almost a mini-celebration of Superman and it shows the character from different character’s points of view, each one representing a different season. The artwork is simple yet powerful and the book encapsulates the ideals of Superman and what he represents. It’s not a story that feels the need to deconstruct him or make the story a darker tone. It’s elegant, beautiful and a representation of Superman that makes me swell with happiness and leaves me with a smile on my face.