Martin Amis told the Hay Festival in Wales that only unenjoyable books win prizes, but the Telegraph’s lede implies sour grapes.
Have you Yanks seen BBC's 6-episode series cum feature film The Trip? If not, your interest will be piqued by this clip of the show's main characters doing their best Michael Caine impressions. It's on Netflix if you're into laughter, merriment, and that sort of thing.
Here's a novel idea: using literature to map out the emotions of a time period. (1940s? Sad. 1920s? Happy. 2010s? ...Don't ask.)