When the stress of life and work – not to mention navigating a global pandemic – gets a bit too heavy to bear, sometimes the best remedy is a nice, heavy cathartic cry. Tears are relieving. I’m not suggesting we divulge into a string of utterly depressing novels to sink further into despair. Rather, pick up a heartwarming book that will tug on your heartstrings in just the right way. When you pick up one of the six books below, prepare yourself for some releasing, mind-clearing happy tears.
Fair warning: this book starts out dark and depressing, but that just paves way for the cathartic tears to come. Shelby is living in the wake of a tragedy – she is a survivor of a devasting car crash that left her best friend in a coma. Considering the tragedy, Shelby is not coping with much grace. Her survivor's guilt has taken a rough tole on her as she spirals into a deep depression. After moving to New York City on a whim in an attempt to start over, Shelby finally begins to pull herself out of her dark place and navigate a new life. Through the comfort of rescued dogs, Chinese food, and a circle of lost souls – including an angel who has been watching over her – Shelby rises to prove that finding joy is not as impossible as it may seem.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.
What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.
Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.
Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.
This rightfully popular favorite will have you sympathizing with the grumpy, cranky curmudgeon known as Ove. Behind Ove’s bitter exterior is a sad, lonely man. But everything changes when new neighbors move in and slowly win over his heart. This charming, heartwarming novel have your eyes watering with sympathy and love as Ove realizes his impact on others and the importance of letting love in.
“If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”
For a relieving happy cry, THE EDITOR is the perfect read. After straining himself to make it as a writer in New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to a major publisher, where his editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. But when his novel threatens to expose his dysfunctional family and sever ties with both his family and partner, James is reluctant to finish. Through Jackie and James’s unexpected friendship, she encourages him to write the authentic ending his manuscript deserves. However, this coaxing causes a long-held family secret to reveal, and James is left wondering the true motives of his very famous editor.
In this autobiographical memoir, Mitch Albom recounts his relationship with his mentor, Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from twenty years prior. In the last months of Morrie’s life, Mitch is reconnected with him. From that day on, Mitch visited Morrie every Tuesday, just as he did in his college days. This rekindled friendship turned into one final “class” on the lesson of life.
This moving, heartbreaking, and powerful book follows Mitch Albom and his longtime relationship with his college professor and mentor, Morrie Schwartz. Knowing that Morrie was dying, their meetings turned into one final “class,” a lesson on how to live.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity and, until fifth grade, has been homeschooled to preserve his self-esteem. Now, as he starts this new school year at Beecher Prep, August wants nothing more than to fit in with the other children. Beginning in Auggie’s perspective then alternating points of view, WONDER weaves together multiple storylines to tell this compelling story of acceptance and compassion.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. This moving portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance is the most inspiring book I have read in years.
Sometimes the best therapeutic tears are the ones that come from belly-aching laughs. HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is a brutally honest graphic novel about too-relatable coping mechanisms and life scenarios, that some of us are a bit too timid to talk about. This book is both honest and smart and will and make even the grumpiest of readers will crack a smile.
“I have read very few books in my life that compelled me to laugh so loudly in public that it made the people around me visibly uncomfortable. Allie Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is one of them.”
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