As any reader would tell you, books play an array of roles in your life. They can be your friend, teacher, companion, confidante, therapist, and so much more. No matter what I’ve been going through, books have always been there for me. Even more so when I’ve not been in the best mental state. Books help provide that much-needed comfort and warmth when life beats you up and leaves you reeling.
Best Feel-Good Books!
Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the best feel-good books. They don’t have to be literary masterpieces or bestsellers as long as they bring you some love and reassurance on the days you need them the most. Without any further delay, here’s looking at the best feel-good books for both the highs and lows of your life.
1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
What if there was a library that contained all the lives you could’ve lived, or perhaps did live in some alternate universe? The Midnight Library is found at the junction between life and death, and it is where Nora finds herself, finally getting a chance to correct all that she regrets. Would she find something to hang on to? That’s what the book is all about.
With fluid prose and a comforting style, Haig takes you on a journey, a journey that seeks to change not what’s on the outside but what lies within you. How you look at the world around you, how you look at yourself- these things are often what matters the most. A fantasy thriller with a simple philosophy at its core, this is a book that can help offer you some perspective in times of need. You can get the book here! 📖
2. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
This is a mad frenzy of a novel that’s simultaneously delightful and hilarious. Backman is a master of capturing humans and their little quirks and behaviors through his books, and this is no exception. Or rather, one of the best examples. With a cast of characters, each with their own stories and traits, the novel goes through different twists and turns in a very characteristically Backman-esque manner.
The plot is about a hostage situation where a robber takes people hostage, all of whom are visitors to an open house. However, the robber disappears out of nowhere, and all of them are brought in for questioning. This is how the story opens, with the characters taken in for interrogation. And from thereon, the story progresses as each character’s story comes to the forefront, making for an entertaining and heartwarming story. You can get the book here! 📖
3. The Kitemaker: Stories by Ruskin Bond
Imagine a warm summer afternoon where you have nothing to do but laze around, play with some friends, and have delicious drinks. That’s how this book is. A collection of some of the most memorable tales by one of my favorite authors, The Kitemaker is about life itself at its core, with stories that stay with you. From the smell of the first love to the bittersweet memories of heartache to that random friendship to friendships that know no boundaries, the stories here touch you, caress you, and fill you with warmth and love.
Whether you decide to read it in one day or take it one day at a time, this thin yet large collection will give you company no matter what mood you are in. The stories are filled with an appreciation for the simple things in life, from the people around you to that bird chirping in the morning to whose sound you woke up. No matter whether you’re a beginner to Bond or a long-time admirer, this collection has something for everyone. You can get the book here! 📖
4. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Life, in its simplest and most basic shape, is about finding a home and a family for yourself. That home and family can be anything and anyone, as long as you find it. And this is what this book is all about. The story follows Linus Baker, a worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, who’s given a secret assignment. He’s to go to an orphanage where six dangerous children live. As time passes and he gets to know them more, secrets emerge.
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But secrets have a price. What would Baker do? Protect a home or protect the world out there? This is one of those books that you can’t help but feel joy and delight while reading. Written deftly, the story reaffirms your faith in life and humanity in general – with its simple yet gorgeous exploration of what it means to find your tribe in the unlikeliest of places. It’s a story of how love and kindness always stay and always win in the end. You can get the book here! 📖
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
There are few things readers love as much as reading letters, so a book written in the form of letters is bound to be a treat to read. It’s 1946, and the war has ended. Juliet can’t seem to be able to write when she receives a letter from Dawsey, a stranger. And thus begins her correspondence with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s through those letters that Juliet comes to know of the island, the only piece of Britain to have been under German colonization.
She sets sail for the island, a decision that changes her life completely. While the book also has detailed descriptions of war and violence, it’s ultimately a tale of love and the magic of reading and books. It’s about how words, books, and stories can bring people together in the darkest of times and the power they hold against everything else. Because, no matter what, books and stories are all we have in the end. You can get the book here! 📖
6. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
What do you imagine when you think of a crime novel with a crew of investigators? Certainly not a gang of wannabe 80-year-olds, I’m certain. And yet this crafty and hilarious novel does exactly that. The Thursday Murder Club is the story of four friends, all retired, who would meet every week to probe unsolved murders. But things get serious, as always, when they have a murder right at their doorstep.
Mystery fan or not, this is a book that you got to read for yourself. From the incredibly original idea to its seamless execution to the gripping prose, the book ensures you’re turning one page after another. Oh, and there are multiple sequels to this story once you’re finished with this joyful ride, so if you’re looking for some good companionship for your weekend, you know what to do! You can get the book here! 📖
7. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Since we are on the topic of unlikely protagonists, how about a mathematician and a housekeeper? Even if you’re someone who’s always hated mathematics, it’s hard not to fall in love with this comforting story that roams around mathematics. The professor can only remember his last eighty minutes of life and therefore lives in a world that’s gone by.
And therefore, the housekeeper has to introduce herself every single day. But through this peculiar arrangement, something beautiful and pleasant emerges. The story is centered around the impermanence of life and time, and how life is all about the simplest equations we create around us. The gentle prose weaves this story together, and you can’t help but get sucked into this little world filled with mathematics, baseball players, and a lot of love. You can get the book here! 📖
8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This French classic, with numerous translations worldwide, is simply unmissable. Originally written for children, the book has been loved by readers of all ages everywhere. The story also gains new meanings for you as you read it over the years. The book is a letter to childhood and innocence and its loss as one grows up. How do you see beyond the obvious and look at the magic hidden beneath things? That’s what the book is all about.
When a pilot is stranded in a desert, he finds the little prince. And that’s when he realizes that sometimes you have to just give in to the mysteries of life. Wise and beautiful, the novella talks about the uncomplicated joys of friendship, love, and all the little things that we come to ignore over time. There’s also a beautifully animated production based on the book that takes the story of the book a little ahead, adding some peculiarities and wisdom of its own. You can get the book here! 📖
9. Swami and Friends by RK Narayan
The first in a trilogy of books, this is also the first book that was published by RK Narayan. The story reminds you of everything delightful and colorful about childhood through the escapades of Swami and his friends in the fictional town of Malgudi. Narayan expertly writes the adult world through the eyes of his young protagonists, weaving in the struggles and complexities of Indian society.
The book is set in British India, with Swami removed from the school where his two friends study. As Swami runs away from his house, the unrest everywhere affects his life and the events that follow. The story also charts Swami’s relationship with Rajan, a much wealthier classmate of his. With his characteristically comforting prose and a narrative that’s simultaneously thrilling and nostalgic, the book takes you back to simpler times in your life. You can get the book here! 📖
10. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
A love letter to books, The Little Paris Bookshop follows Monsieur Perdu, who prescribes books to people facing hardships. But he’s never been able to get over the heartbreak of his life. Finally, when he decides to make sense of his loss and sets sail to France to find the eventual conclusion to his life. And there, too, the world of literature and words come forth to help and guide him.
Anyone who’s ever found solace through words is bound to fall in love with this book too. Nina guides you through this world of characters who’re broken by life yet healed by literature. And in the process, you find solace through their stories. Warm and dreamy, the book highlights the magic that books have and how they can completely transform our lives. You can get the book here! 📖
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)❓
What is a feel-good read? 🤗
When you pick a book and read it, your heart will fill with happiness as you turn the page one by one. You will feel like a refreshment, like a good friend hugging and comforting you. It’ll put all the effort into improving your mental state. After you complete that book, you will feel good.
What to read to make you feel better? 📚
If you are confused about which genre to pick, it’s entirely up to what you usually like to read. For example, you can read a motivating biography, a humor book, or a business/startup book where they talk about their ups and downs and how they became successful. All the books with a “motivating” and “uplifting” core story will make you feel better.
I hope you enjoy reading these wonderful feel-good books. You can get them and read them whenever you want to feel refreshed. Do let us know your favorite one in the comments below. Happy Reading! 📖
Part-time freelance writer, full-time chemistry graduate student, Amritesh loves everything books. Gift him a book if you chance upon him, and he’ll love you forever.