A few weeks ago my sister-in-law (the amazing creator of Punch Life Back) asked me for book recommendations. I LOVE giving book recommendations! Like, it's one of my favorite things ever. But she specifically asked for books that would leave the reader feeling happy, inspired, or optimistic. So I jumped on GoodReads to look through my read list to cull out a list of recommendations for her. Cue sad trumpets because happy, inspired, optimistic books apparently are not my key genre. Need a dystopian universe full of manipulative teenagers? I gotchu. Graphic, disturbing crime writing. ALL OVER IT. Happy, optimistic, inspired? Little bit harder to find. BUT! I found a few. And I'm also working on adding to the list because geez. No wonder I'm irritated and anxious all the time and feel the need to have two obnoxious hellbeasts. How many psychological thrillers is really too many? Asking for a friend (who is me)
So, without further ado
Books That Will Leave You Feeling Happy, Inspired, And Optimistic
OMG. I pretty solidly do not love memoirs (I typically find them irritatingly self-absorbed which I acknowledge is the whole point of the genre) but this should be required reading for basically everyone. If you are starting to feel like the world is a dumpster fire, go read this book. It's amazing.
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Oh how I love this book. It's my go-to book gift for people because it's just so perfect. AND, there's a bit of a dark side to it so it didn't feel super off-brand for me. I love Elinor and everything about this book.
The Keeper of Lost Things
Again, a little bit of a dark back-story but such a beautiful tome about legacy and being open to the world as it presents itself.
The Hazel Wood
Okay, this story is NOT super rainbows and unicorns but I love it and I'm including it because I love the premise. It's essentially a YA rewrite of several fairy tales and I enjoyed it for the creativity and story-telling. I'm including it because it was a fun book to read.
This book falls under "inspiring." It's a story about a woman who is redefining her identity and how she sees herself and others. I loved it and it spoke to me on a number of levels.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Okay. So technically this one is kind of sad. But also it's super heartening and I still thing about the characters as if I had lived in the house with them. I would say this book is perfect for someone who maybe is feeling like a bit of a misfit or who is feeling lonely. It's all about seeing the beauty in people and making connections.
Matchmaking for Beginners
This is another book about a cast of characters that you immediately fall in love with. Give me a brownstone full of oddballs and I'll give you a book that will make you smile.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
This one was a fast, light book about people who love books. I literally LOLed while I read this.
What books would you add to this list? And please let me know if you're looking for other book recommendations! I really do love it. It feeds my narcissism and bibliophilism