The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

6 Amusing Fiction Novels with a Heartwarming Tone

Posted over 3 years ago by April S

Welcome to our funny fiction series. We're highlighting a variety of appeal factors or elements of humorous fiction to help our readers find that next great read (and hopefully a few laughs along the way). This blog post highlights novels with an amusing or heartwarming tone.

Exploring Tone and Appeal Factors

In terms of storytelling, tone is the approach an author takes to convey the main elements of a story. Examples of tone in literature include humorous, intimate, sentimental and solemn to name a few. Authors often use tone, plot and setting along with other literary devices to set the mood within the framework of a story.

What does it mean when a novel has an amusing or heartwarming tone?

According to Novelist, novels with an amusing tone may not make you laugh out loud, but instead these entertaining stories are known for their light humor often accentuated by more serious themes. And novels with a heartwarming tone include stories that are uplifting that ultimately leave readers feeling emotionally satisfied.

Learn more about tone and appeal factors:

Tone - Literary Devices

7 Ways to Perfect Your Writing Tone - Writer's Digest

155 Words to Describe an Author's Tone - Writers Write

The Secret Language of Books: A Guide to Appeal - Novelist

Finding Books Using Appeal - Novelist

Check out these Amusing and Heartwarming novels

1. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Amazon 4.4* | Goodreads 3.90*


  • Genre: Humorous stories and Domestic Fiction
  • Characters: Introspective, Quirky
  • Storyline: Character-driven
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming, Offbeat
  • Writing style: Engaging
If you enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you may also like:
The Storied life of A. J. Fikry : a novel / Gabrielle Zevin
The Curious charms of Arthur Pepper / Phaedra Patrick
Etta and Otto and Russell and James : a novel / Emma Hooper
2. The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs by Nick Trout
The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs by Nick Trout

Reluctantly returning home to Eden Falls, Vermont, to revive his late father's failing veterinary practice and then sell it as quickly as possible, Dr. Cyrus Mills finds his plans changing when he gets more and more entrenched in the community and in his relationships with a cast of colorful characters. Also available in eAudio from hoopla.

Amazon 4.3* | Goodreads 3.63*


  • Genre: Humorous stories
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming, Upbeat
  • Writing style: Engaging
If you enjoyed The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs, you may also like:
Dog Gone, Back Soon by Nick Trout
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
An Irish country doctor / Patrick Taylor
The Finer points of sausage dogs / Alexander McCall Smith
3. The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith
The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith

The return of his overbearing mother and other local dramas compel Bertie to consider moving away from Scotland Street, where newfound love, an estranged marriage and a high-profile guest render his grandmother's home a tempting alternative.

Amazon 4.2* | Goodreads 4.09*


  • Genre: Humorous stories and Domestic Fiction
  • Characters: Likeable
  • Storyline: Character-driven
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming, Upbeat
  • Writing style: Engaging
If you enjoyed The Bertie Project, you may also like:
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry : a novel / Fredrik Backman
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant : a novel / Anne Tyler
How to find love in a bookshop by Veronica Henry
4. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Prescribing books that offer therapeutic benefits to his customers, a literary apothecary in a floating bookstore on the Seine struggles with private heartbreak before embarking on a journey of healing at the side of a blocked writer and a lovelorn chef.

Amazon 4* | Goodreads 3.5*


  • Genre: Psychological fiction and Love stories
  • Characters: Likeable, Quirky
  • Tone: Heartwarming
  • Writing style: Descriptive, Engaging
If you enjoyed The Little Paris Bookshop, you may also like:
The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stehanie Butland
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
5. Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles ; translated by Julie Wark
Love in lowercase by Francesc Miralles

A homebody linguistics teacher in Barcelona has his world turned upside down when a stray cat, Mishima, introduces him to places he's never been and people he's never met, in an internationally best-selling romantic comedy.

Amazon 3.2* | Goodreads 3.52*


  • Genre: Romance
  • Characters: Awkward, Likeable
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming
If you enjoyed Love in Lowercase, you may also like:
Mrs. Saint and the defectives : a novel / Julie Lawson Timmer
Truly madly guilty / Liane Moriarty
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
The crowning glory of Calla Lily Ponder : a novel / Rebecca Wells

6. Sneaky Pie for President by Rita Mae Brown
Sneaky Pie for President by Rita Mae Brown

In a story written from Sneaky Pie's perspective, the intrepid feline sleuth temporarily halts her busy writing career to run for president, a campaign marked by a revolutionary animal-rights agenda and a frisky flock of prospective cabinet members.

Amazon 3* | Goodreads 3*


  • Genre: Humorous stories and Mystery
  • Characters: Quirky
  • Tone: Amusing, Heartwarming
  • Writing style: Banter-filled
If you enjoyed Sneaky Pie for President, you may also like:
Double booked for death / Ali Brandon
Mew is for murder by Clea Simon (Theda Krakow mysteries, book 1)
Catnap by Carole Nelson Douglas (Midnight Louie Mysteries, book 1)
Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton (Hamish Macbeth mysteries, book 1) - eBook

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