Happy all the Time, by Laurie Colwin
Laurie Colwin is perhaps best known to modern readers as a food writer, writing a column for Gourmet magazine and her genre-defining book of food essays, Homecooking. Fortunately for new audiences, her works are being republished this year, starting with her incredible 1978 novel, Happy All the Time. If you’ve felt depressed and anxious and stressed any time in the last year, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. And if you haven’t then you’re unfairly lucky and should still read it. Happy All the Time is a bubbly, hilarious, fiercely clever comedy of manners set in a version of New York that seems to exist only in old movies, where everyone is clever and complicated and always impeccably dressed. And where it seemed perfectly acceptable to take long lunches at upscale restaurants to mull over romantic tribulations with a whiskey soda in hand. This book is some amazing amalgam of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sex in the City, as written by Nora Ephron. Read it to become a Laurie Colwin evangelist and to soothe your pandemic-bruised soul.