....subtitled, "You have to do something to escape the home improvement project at some point."
#1: Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton. The story of a schoolmaster, who has made his career at Brookfield. Told in flashbacks--the memories of an old man--held, polished, enjoyed. He taught the classics at Brookfield, was married, lost wife and child, grew into his position, became almost universally beloved and a fixture at the school. Finally retired, he still takes active interest in the school, living across the road, inviting the new boys and teachers to dinners.
It's the classic story of how an "unimportant" life, well-lived, is anything but.
#2: Random Harvest by James Hilton. The story of Charles Ranier, the son of a wealthy industrialist, sent to France during WWI where he was wounded and captured by the Germans. When we meet him, he has completely lost his memory regarding the years immediately after the war. He was missing for several years, then suddenly "came to himself" on a park bench in Liverpool. The book is the story of what he did next, and the recovery of his memories of those lost years.
It is practically impossible to tell more of the story without ruining it for anyone who might want to read the book. The book has the ultimate of plot twists, and it happens on the last page of the book, though you get an inkling something is happening for the last 10 pages or so.
The book was made into a movie, but reviews of the book say that the movie handled the twist a little differently. Worth a look.
Was going to read Lost Horizon by James Hilton next, but I usually make it a practice not to read more than 2 books by the same author in a row. If they're that good, I'd rather spread out the enjoyment.