What Is The Most Uplifting Fiction Book To Read When You Are Feeling Down?
Posted on 18th of July, 2018


A lot of books these days are part of a franchise or series, which can make it hard to keep track of everything and everyone. I find that when I'm feeling down in the dumps I don't have the mental strength or will to keep up with this kind of thing. Instead, I am drawn to cozy mystery books when I need some cheering up. Lots of these books are not connected to anything else or take place within their own self-contained worlds, so there's no need to keep mental track of any type of continuity or stuff like that. I also find that I'm not as over-invested in the stories like with some of the larger series, which actually makes it more relaxing to read. There are way too many books in this genre to name them all individually and, to be honest, none of them are particularly memorable, which is why I like them. Some authors I recommend looking up are Joanne Fluke, Alan Bradley, Louise Penny, Lilian Jackson Braun, Donna Andrews and Meg Cabot.
Any book will work for me when I'm feeling down because reading is such an uplifting activity. But when I really, really need to feel better while suffering from a cold or flu there are a couple of "go-to" books that I'll never delete from my reader.

First there is the L. M. Montgomery classic, Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley is such an uplifting and optimistic character that I can't help but smile when reading the story. The original book is the best, but the sequels are also very nice. I know that there have been tons of movies and television shows, but nothing captures the magical feel of the book in my opinion.
There is one series of books by an author named James Herriot that never ever fails to put a huge smile on my face even when I'm totally down in the dumps. It probably helps that I'm an animal lover but his books about working as a veterinary surgeon are laugh out loud funny. I believe that the books are semi-autobiographical as he was a vet himself although some of the scenarios that take place in the books beggars believe. I got the complete set of the original UK series from my aunt but here in the states you can find them as collected works. I thoroughly recommend All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful as well as All Things Wise and Wonderful.
Believe it or not the only thing that works for me when I'm feeling really depressed is reading an autobiography. The more rags to riches it is or about someone conquering great adversity the better.

1. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb. - I know it doesn't sound very uplifting due to the title, but this biography of a fifteen year old who was shot in the head is an awe-inspiring read. Malala has gone from a young girl from a remote valley in Pakistan to becoming the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate and it is all thanks to her courage and inner-strength.

2. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. - This book was published when Helen was just twenty two, but boy does it hit on right in the feels. Everyone knows who Helen Keller was, but this book highlights just remarkable her life was. She accomplished things that nobody ever expected possible from a deaf-blind person, such as earning a bachelor degree, and will forever be an inspiration.

3. The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner. - This book made me cry at times, but overall it is such an uplifting tale. It is about a man who finds himself homeless and with a toddler to care for. However, he is determined not to abandon his son like his own dad did to him and does everything in his power to look after his son and keep him safe as they cope with being homeless. The book was turned into a movie starring Will Smith, but nothing beats the book.

4. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: - This is another tearjerker, but reading about Anne and how much she loved nature and life is so inspirational. It is also good for reminding yourself how much you have to be thankful for even when times are hard. Anne's intelligence really shines through in this book and it is tragic that her life was cut short.
These are the books that I like to re-read when I crave something familiar and comforting:

-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: This book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is basically just a collection of letters and notes between the characters, but it is impossible not to get caught up in their lives. It is all about how reading can actually bring people together and get them through tough times. If you are a bookworm then it is impossible to not like this book.

- The Graveyard Book: This book by Neil Gaiman (yes the same one who wrote American Gods) isn't something that screams heartwarming when you see the cover, but trust me it is. It is also classified as a children's fantasy novel, but don't let that scare you off. I know that a story of an orphaned who is raised by ghosts sounds rather macarbe, but I would highly recommend it for something a little out of the ordinary.

- The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain: Anything by Antoine Laurain always cheers me right up, but The Red Notebook in particular is great. The story is rather whimsical as it deals with a funny little bookseller who finds a woman's handbag just abandoned in the street. It piques his curiosity and he examines the inside only to find a red notebook filled with clues about the owner. What happens next is both sweet, funny and very heartwarming.

These are just some of my favorites.
I don't care if some people think that the books are aimed at children, but the Harry Potter series will always be my "comfort" books. I have read all of them so many times over the years that I could probably recite all of them page by page if I wanted to. The books are not necessarily "uplifting" per se, but reading them when I feel down or depressed is like slipping into a warm bubble bath and just letting my troubles dissolve. Another book that probably won't match your expectations of being uplifting exactly is The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein. This book had my bursting out in big heaving sobs with tears and snot at in the end, but it is just so beautiful you can't help but smile a lot too. I will always have a soft spot for dogs, but The Art of Racing in The Rain is just extra special in so many ways.

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