We could all do with some mood-boosting and feel-good books to enjoy on balmy days over the summer. Including both classics and newer releases, here are some uplifting novels to add to your reading list!
1. The Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
“Kabul Beauty School transcends the feel-good genre largely because of the author’s superior storytelling gifts and wicked sense of humor” – New York Times
2. Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
I loved Fay’s review of Little Beach Street Bakery on Blog a Book Etc, even though it seems completely different from what I normally choose to read.
3. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Don’t be put-off by this book’s classic status: this tale of a journey down the Thames (with a dog) will make you laugh as much as most modern fiction!
4. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
As the superb sequel to The Hundred-Year-Old Man, Jonas Jonnason doesn’t disappoint with his second novel. It’s not quite as magical as his first novel, but it’s still lighthearted and mood-boosting fiction to keep you turning pages this summer.
One of my favourite feel-good novels, The Rosie Project is ideal for cheering us up and feeling better about our own lives. Also, I’m incredibly excited that the sequel, The Rosie Effect, will be released this September.
6. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
“When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.”
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
On Twitter I asked if Pride and Prejudice was best suited to spring or summer, and the answer leaned towards spring. However, I think it’s also the ultimate novel to read in the garden during warm summer days.
8. The Poets’ Daughters: Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge by Katie Waldegrave
“Drawing on a host of new sources, Katie Waldegrave tells the never-before-told story of how two young women, born into greatness, shaped their own legacies.”
9. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
“I want you to read this book, indeed to read all of Jojo Moyes’ books, because they tell truths about modern life. If you’re a sentient, empathic, living, breathing human I would urge you to give it a go” – The World Book Night book club
10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
“Eleanor and Park is completely beautiful. Set in 1986 and full of retro pop culture references, it’s a book I want to share with everyone. . . I don’t think a single person could read this book and not have their heart melted.” – ONCE UPON A BOOKCASE. Her newest novel, Landline, is also due for release this July.
11. The Grace of Crows by Tracy Shawn
This novel is a beautiful tale of one woman’s journey to overcome her anxiety, and it really is a great choice if you’d like to worry less and undergo a bit of self-transformation this summer.
12. Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookshop by Robin Sloan
For bookworms, summer reading isn’t the same without a feel-good book about books! “Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a Web-design drone and serendipity coupled with sheer curiosity has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn’t take long for Clay to realize that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests…”
13. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
“In this riveting and heart-breaking book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick introduces Leonard Peacock, a hero as warm and endearing as he is troubled. And he shows how just a glimmer of hope can make the world of difference.”
14. The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen
“In The Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen describes how the rebellious girl from Huddersfield, who always wanted to be a shepherdess, achieved her dreams. Full of amusing anecdotes and unforgettable characters, the book takes us from fitting in with the locals to fitting in motherhood, from the demands of the livestock to the demands of raising a large family in such a rural backwater.”
15. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
One of my favourite collections of stories, this book never fails to bring me back to my countryside roots when I’m away from home. There are some truly funny anecdotes, alongside some very memorable characters.
Do you think I’ve missed anything? Share your recommendations for feel-good summer bibliotherapy in the comments!