There have been a lot of tragedies and unrest in the news lately – earthquakes, shootings, train accidents. While I often turn to books to teach me something, I also love escaping into the pages of a well-crafted, intelligent, and uplifting story. Unfortunately, many critically-acclaimed books aren’t exactly feel-good reads. Further, happy novels seem to be relegated to guilty pleasure paperbacks and mindless chic lit that lack substance. Why is that? Why so serious?
Everyone needs an escape once in a while or just a simple mood booster. The following fabulous reads are recommended for when you are studying for exams, in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, cooped up with your in-laws, after you finished reading a downer, or well, anytime. Here are some tales to lift your spirits!
Bridget Jones’s Diary
by Helen Fielding
Always hilarious, I don’t know many women who wouldn’t raise their wine glass to the hapless Bridget Jones and her ever-entertaining love troubles. To you, Bridget!
by Paul Coelho
The New York Times described this book as more self-help than literature. An allegorical tale, it’s about finding your destiny.
Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen
Serious literature with uplifting endings, social commentary embedded in a fabulous story, strong female protagonists in charge of their lives within a realistic social/historical context. Love you, Jane. XO.
by Tina Fey
How sexy are Tina Fey’s man hands on the cover of Bossypants? SO SEXY. Laugh along with Tina as she covers everything from fabulous photoshoots to her disastrous honeymoon, from her time in improve comedy to killing it as Sarah Palin on SNL.
The Princess Bride
by William Golding
I think I read this three times in high school. THREE TIMES. The adventure, the love story, the witty dialogue, the awesome ending, the astute narrator – this book has a lot going for it.
by Marilynne Robinson
I don’t know how much I’ve talked about this book on the blog, but I love everything about this novel. A dying pastor is writing an account of his life for his seven-year-old son. So well-written, so filled with love and compassion, this book feels good for my heart.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling
Bear with me here. If you haven’t yet read Harry Potter because you: a. live under a rock, or, b. tend toward more high brow literature, I implore you to give The Sorcerer’s Stone a chance. Adventure, friendship, and magic are the hallmarks of J.K. Rowling’s first book.
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People
by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde has been making folks laugh for many, many years (there was plenty talk of him in the Dublin literary pub crawl). This play was written during the pinnacle of his career and its satire of Victorian ways will make you giggle.
I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Stories
by Nora Ephron
A collection of essays that covers everything from aging to parenting to beauty to relationships, Nora Ephron’s dry sense of humor will keep you entertained.
Hyperbole and A Half
by Allie Brosh
Sometimes absurd, sometimes touchy-feely, but always humorous, Allie Brosh will make you laugh and cry in both the book and her blog by the same name.