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8 Feel Good Books You Need To Read

For a pick-me-up, I curated my favorite feel-good books, not necessarily recommending they’re must-reads, but rather personal go-to’s when feeling down. The human desire for comfort in storytelling dates back to the earliest times of oral tradition, where stories were passed down through generations around campfires. Today, we crave similar escapes in various forms – movies, Netflix shows, and even social media – as our ever-changing preferences dictate what we consume. Amidst this diversification, there’s one constant that remains a timeless favorite: books.

Feel Good Books to Read

There’s something inherently comforting about getting lost in a good book. Perhaps it’s the sense of solitude, surrounded by silence yet transported to another world through the author’s words. Maybe it’s the way our minds vividly bring stories to life, with the writer serving as guide and our imagination taking the reins. Or possibly it’s the subtle scent of paper that wafts up from the pages, a sensory cue that signals relaxation mode. Whatever the reason, books possess a unique ability to soothe and calm us. If you’re in need of a literary pick-me-up, grab a favorite title from your personal library or explore these feel-good book recommendations – you won’t be disappointed!

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

As memories of spring 2020’s baking frenzy lingered, I couldn’t help but recall the charming tale of a high-achieving professional woman who finds herself swept up in the world of bread-making. Her story begins with a daily routine: visiting her favourite sandwich shop after work to unwind from the fast-paced demands of her job. However, when the store unexpectedly closes its doors, she’s left feeling adrift and uncertain. Yet, as fate would have it, she finds herself holding the starter for her beloved sourdough, with all the weighty responsibility that comes with carrying its legacy intact. With no intention to give away the ending, I can confidently say that Sourdough by Robin Sloan is a delightful read that will leave you craving more.

Beloved Dog by Maira Kalman

There’s no denying the joy and companionship that dogs bring to our lives. However, when it comes to capturing the essence and personality of these furry friends, nothing beats a beautifully hand-drawn cartoon or a well-crafted narrative that brings each character to life. In Maira Kalman’s delightful book Beloved Dog, readers are treated to just that – witty, expressive writing that gives voice to her own beloved canine companions. The result is a charming and engaging read that will leave you wanting more.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto by Mitch Albom

For those who appreciate blending fiction with historical context, this novel is a must-read. It tells the story of a young Spanish orphan with extraordinary guitar-playing abilities. Abandoned at sea in a makeshift boat, his talent becomes the catalyst for an incredible journey, replete with cameos from renowned musicians. If you’re a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, Mitch Albom’s The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto is a heartwarming tale that will strike all the right chords.

Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin

In the midst of chaos, dark comedies offer a much-needed escape. Their ability to poke fun at our misfortunes and human imperfections makes them all the more relatable. Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin is a prime example. The story follows a 24-year-old protagonist as she navigates adulthood, self-acceptance, and the quest for financial stability. Along the way, she encounters an eclectic cast of characters – from addicts to psychics – all set against the quirky backdrop of a small town. While not exactly a feel-good read, this novel’s unapologetic humor and willingness to tackle taboo topics make it a refreshing change of pace.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

For fans of ballet and strong female protagonists, this novel is a must-read (with a special nod to poetry enthusiasts too!). The story centers around an aspiring ballerina who embarks on a secret cross-country adventure, accompanied by a scruffy dog. As they navigate their journey, an unlikely friendship blossoms, adding a tender touch to the narrative. For those seeking escapism during these stay-at-home days, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is an excellent choice.

The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian

While many books about Hollywood and its glamorous stars might leave readers with warm fuzzy feelings, this particular novel takes a unique approach. It’s the story of Roxanne, a woman in the 1950s who sets her sights on building a career for herself – but not as an actress. Instead, she’s determined to become a successful agent. And she achieves just that. However, as she rises through the ranks, Roxanne begins to push the boundaries by selling scripts written by exiled writers under pseudonyms and finds herself falling in love with someone who was previously off-limits due to racial tensions of the time. Her unwavering courage, determination, and commitment to fairness will keep readers enthralled from start to finish. The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian is a heartwarming tale that explores themes of self-discovery and perseverance.

No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal

In this poignant novel, two Indian-American individuals navigate the complexities of life-altering changes, seeking solace and happiness in unique ways. The protagonist who finds comfort in dressing in his sister’s saris is juxtaposed with another individual who escapes reality by crafting paranormal love stories in secrecy. The serendipitous intersection of their paths yields a heartwarming friendship that will leave readers yearning for more.

Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence by Peter Mayle

Get ready to be swept away on a journey of adventure and self-discovery as we follow the story of an ex-ad executive who leaves behind the comforts of his white-collar job, moves to the picturesque French countryside, and embarks on a bold new venture – opening a charming hotel. As he navigates this exciting chapter in his life, he’s met with a rich tapestry of experiences, from romantic encounters to humorous mishaps and unexpected surprises. Peter Mayle’s ‘Hotel Pastis: A Novel of Provence’ is a heartwarming tale that will leave you beaming with delight. If you’re looking for more feel-good reads to add to your list, I’d love to hear about your favorite books – happy reading!