Life is scary, and troubling, especially given the state of the world right now. But history, and books, have proved time and time again that there is a light on the other side. We have to keep holding on to hope and happiness when everything else feels dark and lonely. These six books are filled with love and humor in times of tragedy and are sure to lift your spirits, or at the very least help you look forward to a brighter future.
This book made me laugh out loud and cry my eyes out and want to call up my best friend and just listen to her talk for hours. DEAR MRS. BIRD has all the elements of a perfect historical-fiction novel that captures the true plucky British spirit. Sometimes life is scary and dangerous and we say the wrong things, but that does not mean that it’s the end of the world. This charming novel follows Emmeline Lake, who dreams of being a Lady War Correspondent in WWII. She thinks she has caught her big break when she takes a job at a local newspaper but soon finds there’s been a misunderstanding. Instead of writing about the war, Emmeline finds herself typing up letters for Mrs. Bird, a renowned advice columnist. However, when Mrs. Bird refuses to answer letters that contain unpleasantries, Emmy decides to write back to the desperate women who write them.
LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is filled with heart and great emotional depth. When Ted, a gay, struggling, and single writer, finds out his elderly dachshund Lily’s health is compromised, he is determined to save her. What follows next is a both hilarious and heart-wrenching journey into magical realism that deals with the reality of loss. A fantastic look at grief that is sure to remind us all about how important it is to love, and love fiercely. As a proud dog mom myself, I would say this book is perfect for anyone who has ever bonded with a pup, and it will certainly make you cherish man’s best friend even more.
Ted and his elderly dachshund are at the center of this story of steadfast companionship, loss, and longing that will break your heart and put it back together again. The two share a comfortable life spent chatting about boys, playing board games, and ordering pizza just so Lily can bark at the delivery boy. But then the Octopus arrives and their simple little world begins to change. By turns hilarious and poignant, LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is a book you’ll never stop talking (and crying) about.
THE ROSIE PROJECT will convince you that a love story can be found anywhere. This book is truly addicting and ultra-charming to read. Don, a professor of genetics who has always struggled with social rituals, suddenly believes that there must be someone for everyone. Thus he embarks on The Wife Project in order to find his perfect partner. However, all this is suddenly derailed when he meets Rosie. While she meets every one of Don’s criteria, she is also spontaneous, fiery, and on a quest of her own. Rosie is looking for her biological father and hopes Don’s research can help. So together they embark instead on The Father Project. They form a bond and realize that not every relationship needs to look good on paper.
The protagonist of Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedy THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most refreshingly unique, honest, and hilarious character I have read in a long time. I don’t generally read romantic comedies, but this one stole my heart right from the first paragraph.
This is an irresistible contemporary take on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This is an incredible, charming story about love and family that only loosely resembles the classic play. VINEGAR GIRL follows Kate Battista, who feels stuck caring for her eccentric scientist father and pretty and annoying younger sister. Dr. Battista, however, has other problems. He’s on the verge of scientific breakthrough, but when his lab assistant is about to be deported he stages an elaborate plan. The plan, of course, relies on Kate’s help, but this time her family is asking for too much. Of course, these two men might just be able to change her mind.
Rainbow Rowell’s writing always seems to cheer me up when the world feels bleak. ATTACHMENTS is exactly the kind of book that just makes you feel happy as you dive into Beth and Jennifer’s hilarious conversations. Beth and Jennifer know that someone is reading their emails as part of the company policy at the newspaper they work for, but they’ve never taken it seriously. Instead they continue to send each other emails about every aspect of their personal lives. Enter Lincoln. As the “internet security officer” it’s his job to read employee emails and write up a report every time a reporter sends a dirty joke. Lincoln should have reported Beth and Jennifer’s emails, but instead he’s captivated. By the time he realizes he’s falling in love with Beth it’s too late to do anything, let alone introduce himself.
Books about bookshops always have a way of making me smile. I especially love books about the power of storytelling, and The Bookshop on the Corner does not disappoint. Nina loves her job as a librarian and considers finding the perfect book for each reader her life’s passion. But when her job at a library in a hectic city is taken away, she decides to change her life. Nina buys a van, turns it into her own mobile bookshop, and drives to a sleepy village, where she’s determined to change the lives of the villagers one story at a time. Colgan introduces an amazing cast of characters that you’re bound to fall in love with as much as I did. The Scottish Highlands is such a great setting for this book that you’ll realize it’s full of magic and adventure, just like Nina.
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