Right now the world is a dark, depressing place. Here are a few books that make me happy because maybe they would make you happy, and we all need a little more happiness right now.
The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson: America’s Favorite Recluse Just Got a Life! by Rosanna Bruno
Even though I know that this isn’t one of my favorite books, or something that I’m going to come back to every year, I wanted to include it on the list. Last week I wanted to read and review two books, and then I started reading a five hundred fifty-one page book which has been taking way longer to read than I had expected it to. There was no way I was going to be able to read or review two books, and I was getting kind of sulky about it. Then I picked this up and read it in an hour. Even though this book isn’t one that I can do a whole 1,000+ word review for, it did make me feel a little better about how much reading I had been doing.
Also, Emily Dickinson has been one of my favorite poets for years. Out of all the authors I’ve read, she has had the most influence on how I write poetry, so it’s cool to read about her.
On a completely unrelated side note, this book is so pretty! The cover is a lovely lavender color, which is such a nice thing compared to most of the books on my shelf which have boring black, gray, or blue covers. And the cover is one of those covers that feels soft and nice, and I love it. The world needs more soft, lavender books.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
I’ve read this book so many times that I’ve lost count. I’ve read it at least once a year every year since it came out, but it’s probably closer to every nine months or so. If I’m having a lot of anxiety, or I’m just feeling particularly bad that day, I’ll just reread this and feel better. It’s relatable and funny, and even though I’ve read it many times, it still hasn’t gotten old.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
This book actually made me laugh. And not the kind of laugh where I just exhale through my nose a little more forcefully than normal. Actually laughing. Laughing so much that I had to stop reading it in the waiting room at the dentist because the other people there were giving me weird looks.
By the way, if you do decide to read this, and you should, make sure to get the paperback version because it has an extra chapter.
The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
If you’re looking for something fictional, try The Raven Boys. It’s a little slow to start, and the first book is a little heavy with backstory, but it’s worth reading. The characters are amazing, the story is beautiful, and it’s very quotable, so if you like quoting books, you’ll love this. Out of the entire series, The Dream Thieves is probably my favorite, but that’s because it’s very Ronan centered and I love Ronan.
One thing I would say about reading these books is that I wouldn’t recommend reading an entire book in one sitting. I did this with the last book because I was desperate to know what happened. I got it the day it came out and I couldn’t not read the entire thing. Even though at the time I regretted nothing, a year later I don’t remember that much of it. There are a handful of scenes that I remember pretty well, the rest is a blur. I also cried for the last forty pages, so be prepared to be very emotional while reading these.
The Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente
If you’re looking for more lovely fiction, try this. Even though it’s written for middle grade readers, it’s still something that can be enjoyed by people of any age. I read the first book back when it came out and I loved it. I’ve read it more recently, and I still loved it just as much. The words are just so beautiful it’s almost more like poetry and it’s so nice to read.
So, yeah. Books that make me happy. I hope you can read them and get the same enjoyment I’ve gotten from them.