You Deserve Each Other
One of the classic feel-good forms of entertainment is a rom-com, and Sarah Hogle delivers. Naomi’s fiancé, Nicholas, is straight out of a movie—opens doors, knows what she likes to order, and has a family she can’t wait to be a part of. There’s just one problem… she can’t stand him. But whoever calls off the wedding has to foot the bill, resulting in a very entertaining game of who can make whom more miserable.
While the start of this story might be a little unsettling, hang in there because the feel-good vibes come, we promise. Twelve-year-old Edward boards a plane with his family and ends up the only survivor of a devastating crash. What follows is a story of community, of life after heartbreak, and of finding yourself in an entirely new world.
Tiny Beautiful Things
I’ve personally turned to this collection of essays for various reasons over the years. Strayed, once an anonymous advice columnist for The Rumpus, doles out her brutally honest yet utterly comforting wisdom in a way that makes you feel profoundly less alone. From breakups to trauma and everything in between, Strayed shares her own life experiences as a way to bring solace and hopefulness to the reader.
More Than Enough
Growing up in a mostly white neighborhood as a biracial girl made Welteroth feel as though she was never quite enough. Always ambitious and eager to make her own way, she found female mentors that encouraged her to follow her dreams. This led her to the world of magazine publishing, where she quickly made a name for herself and shattered many a ceiling. But beyond her success lies a lot of empathy, wisdom, and compassion, and a heaping dose of advice for those of us who might not feel like we’re ever enough.
Evvie Drake Starts Over
After losing her husband, Evvie Drake stops leaving her house, except to visit her best friend, Andy. Thinking she needs company, Andy suggests she let his friend Dean move in. Having suddenly lost his ability to pitch, former baseball player Dean is looking for somewhere to hide. As the two form an unlikely friendship (and eventually something more), secrets are revealed that have surprising repercussions. Both heartbreaking and lovely, this story will make you feel hopeful about whatever is to come.
Waiting for Tom Hanks
Fans of You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, this one’s for you! Annie Cassidy is obsessed with romantic comedies, especially those starring Tom Hanks. She spends her days writing boring web content and daydreaming of her own meet-cute. Miraculously, a move shoot comes to her small Ohio town and her uncle gets her a job as a production assistant. Annie, of course, is convinced this is her chance at the love she sees on the big screen, and she might just be right. This is another rom com that will have you smiling from ear to ear, at least for the time it takes you to read it.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer
Sometimes it’s nice to go back in time and visit a place far far away. Picture this: It’s 1946 in London, just after WWII, and after exchanging letters (how quaint!) with a man she’s never met, writer Juliet Ashton thinks she’s found the subject of her next book. She soon heads off to the small island of Guernsey to tell the story of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a group that came about during the war. The longer she’s there, the more she thinks she might have found something bigger than just a story—she might have found the place she’s meant to be. You’re sure to fall in love with every one of these characters and might even find yourself wishing you, too, could escape to this charming little island.
Graphic novels are always a fun option, especially if you’re finding it hard to focus. This one is a conversation between mother and son about living in our current society as a person of color. Told through beautiful illustrations and digestible snippets, Jacob’s story is one that will stick with you, make you question your own experience in the world, and make you want to gobble up everything she writes.
Life can be a lot. Between adult responsibilities and what’s going on in the world around us, sometimes we just need something to make us feel good. We’ve compiled a list of books to do just that. Whether it lets you escape to another place, reminds you of your own strength, or keeps you distracted long enough to forget what’s going on around you, these feel-good books will help lift you up during these uncertain times.
Featured Image: @tonefreshhh/Twenty20