Following on from Friday’s comfort food post, I thought I’d share another way I’m combating the general misery of Blue Monday – and of course, books are involved.
These 10 reads are a mixture of the books I find myself turning to again and again, in times of need and comfort – and a few brand new gems that I CANNOT wait to discover! These are books that are cheerful, unstressful and not particularly challenging – as always, if that’s not your cup of tea then IGNORE ME. You do you!
But, if you are interested in some low-stress, happy-boosting reads, put these in your Blue Monday/any miserable day arsenal – I don’t see how they could fail to cheer anyone up!
1. This is KIND OF a cheat because I haven’t actually read it yet, but I’m going to kick things off with Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive. I feel like this could go either way – it’ll either be really inspiring, or… I might end up curled on the floor, terrified that I have depression.
2. Even the grumpiest of gloomy days can be perked up by Paris, right?? I really didn’t expect to be including this on any lists, but lately I’ve found myself reaching for Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. EVEN THE NAME IS GLORIOUSLY PERKY, right?? And there’s so much Paris and romance and loveliness… Probably not one to read if you’re unhappily single/have a boyfriend who’s just left for the army and feeling lonely, though…
3. For non-fiction lovers, try The Happiness Project. I’m not usually a fan of NF (I find them too dry and waffley), but this is a pretty easy read and has some useful advice on how to make room for more fun and joy in your day-to-day life. The underlying message is that happiness depends on your choices, which I think is important.
4. If you’re fed up of cold, miserable weather, you should definitely try Emmy & Oliver. This YA novel – set in sunny California – is a firm favourite of mine, and is PERFECT for invoking some happy summer time feels. Expect surf, kisses and frapaccinos. What more could you want??
5. I couldn’t write a list of comfort reads without including something by Rainbow Rowell, and my top cosy read of hers has to be Fangirl. Oh… just… this book. It’s comforting and loving and like reading a warm cuddle from someone who understands my anxious, nervous heart. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
6. For something a little more ‘grown up’, there’s Marina Kegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness. I got this for Christmas a few years ago and absolutely bloody loved it – Marina’s essays are touching and so beautifully written! I’d probably recommend waiting for a more cheerful day before you tackle part two though… most of the short stories are bittersweet at best; downright sad at worst.
7. You GUYS!!! I found a Jojo Moyes novel that DOESN’T make me blub like a baby seal! One Plus One is probably one of my favourite of Moyes’ novels – I know some people feel that the story (of a struggling mum and the single man she commandeers to drive her family to Scotland) is too simple, and dare I say it, insta-lovey, but personally I LIKE that. On a miserable day I want a novel I can read and enjoy and NOT stress about. I want to feel like the world’s a good place, you know?
8. Another non-fiction entry for you: Spectacles is a light-hearted, rambley read by a down-to-earth celebrity. I’m not usually a fan of biographies (auto or otherwise), simply because I… pretty much just don’t care about stranger’s lives. (You know, unless they’re made up characters, in which case I WILL OBSESS OVER EVERY LIFE CHOICE. #fangirl!) I DO love Sue Perkins though, and her memoirs are infused with her signature charming, snarky humour, which is lovely.
9. On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This sugary sweet story can seem quite juvenile at times, but it’s so cute I’ve always been able to forgive it. Expect food, families and smiles galore!
10. And if all else fails, just know that there are seven Harry Potter novels (let’s just ignore The Cursed Child, shall we??) waiting to perk you up!
What are your go-to comfort reads? And what have you got lined up to read on Blue Monday??