Feel Good Books

Angela Haupt lists fifteen books to lift your spirits in her article for the Washington Post, and I’ve already read four of them.  In case you need a pick me up, here they are with my reviews:

but my next book really is a beach read – says so in the title.  I’ve started reading, and so far, it seems to be a romantic comedy starring Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Weiner in their famous literary feud. The two main characters are writers, accidentally living in houses across from each other and each has a summer to write a book.  To encourage a new muse in their writing, they agree to write in the other’s genre.  The Franzen character, known in the book as serious Gus, will write a happily-ever-after romance, and the Weiner character, with the name January Andrews agrees to write serious stuff.


Her list includes Anxious People by Backman. I’m not a fan of the author, so will probably skip it, but if you are looking for a story about an inept bank robber who takes  prospective buyers hostage during an open house, you might try it.

Others on her list promise some fast, mindless, and satisfying reads; I plan to look for them:

  • Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis – romance and humor
  • You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria – romantic fun on a soap opera
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune – fantasy – been on my to read list for a while

What feel good books have you been reading lately?



Books to Get You Smiling Again

If you are in a funk, sometimes the solution is to read it away, but be careful which book you choose.  The English comedian Stephen Fry wisely notes: “Having a great intellect is no path to being happy.”   No Dostoevsky or Proust.  Look for funny, romantic, whimsical.

The lists I found had books I would not necessarily associate with good feelings (like Julia Pierpont’s  “Among the Ten Thousand Things”).  When I found a list with Sophie Kinsella and Maria Semple, I knew I was in the right direction and Beth Carswell for Abe Books had a  list with a mix of twenty-five old and new, Feel Good Reads.

something-under-bed-drooling-watterson Not all would be on my list, but I plan to try a few, especially the Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Watterson’s Something Under the Bed is Drooling.

What do you read when you need a mood boost?