11 Feel-Good Books to Read Right Now
By Kristina Wright•March 26, 2020•5 min read
During these uncertain times, we find ourselves turning to books to raise our spirits and give us comfort. So we rounded up a collection of uplifting and feel-good new releases. From heartfelt romantic comedies to funny women’s fiction, the books on this list left us feeling a little bit lighter, happier, and more connected.
On New Year’s Eve 1982, with her entire adult life still ahead of her, 19-year-old Oona faints — only to awaken 32 years in the future and with no memory of the years that have lapsed. Each year brings a new random age and a new set of challenges as Oona tries to make sense of her disordered life. This complex, wholly original tale of a woman finding herself across time will have you thinking about what it means to live in the moment — and how to make the most of every moment you’re given.
Judy’s life is a mess. Her career as a children’s writer has fallen apart, her teenager has no interest in talking to her, her marriage is over but she can’t afford a divorce, and her best friend is dying. Something has got to give. In an impulsive act, Judy straps on a baby sling and starts wearing her dog — and feels connected to another living creature for the first time in a long time. Fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette will be charmed by this quirky, tenderhearted tale of a middle-aged woman desperately trying to rediscover happiness.
Some people are inspired by legends — and some people aspire to be the legend. Twenty-one-year-old Zelda is an unlikely heroine but, if she has her way, she’s about to become legendary. When she learns her older brother Gert is doing some dubious, and potentially dangerous, things to make money and support them, Zelda sets off on a quest worthy of the Vikings she loves, determined to prove her mettle and prove her love. In a story filled with humor and heart, readers will cheer for Zelda’s success and might be even motivated to seek out their own legendary quest.
There can be life after loss, but Eveleth “Evvie” Drake hasn’t figured that out yet. In fact, she hasn’t left her house in Maine since her husband died in a car crash. When former Major League baseball pitcher Dean Tenney takes up residence in an apartment in her home, Evvie and Dean settle on some house rules to keep the peace. But the rules soon go out the window and Evvie and Dean find themselves becoming friends and plotting their comebacks. For anyone who has ever felt stuck in their circumstances, Evvie is here to remind you that it’s never too late to start again.
Writers & Lovers is a big-hearted story about grief, growing up, and the challenge of leading a creative life. Once a child golf prodigy, Casey is still committed to her creative pursuits long after her old friends have moved on with more traditional lives. Her mother has died, her relationship has ended, and happiness seems as elusive as the ending to the novel she’s been writing for six years. When Casey moves to Boston and falls for two very different men, things only get more complicated. At times when everything seems to be going wrong, this compelling tale of a woman rediscovering who she is — and what she wants — will stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
Chloe Brown is tired of her chronic health issues affecting her life. So she makes a list and decides it’s time to experience all of the things she’s missed out on. Enter Redford Morgan, Chloe’s new apartment superintendent. He’s handsome and handy, and soon Chloe ropes him into helping her with her list. Talia Hibbert takes the romantic comedy to the next level with a clever, laugh-out-loud story featuring a relatable and lovable heroine.
An act of kindness — adopting a donkey from a hoarding situation — leads to the adventure of a lifetime for Chris McDougall and his family. Sherman the donkey arrives at Chris’s home in Pennsylvania Amish country broken in both body and spirit. Chris comes up with a radical rehabilitation plan to save him, enlisting the help of the entire community in the process. This heartwarming real-life story of an incredible bond between man and animal is the perfect feel-good read for animal lovers.
Remember the teacher who changed your life? Brae Hill Valley is a struggling urban high school in Texas where the teachers do the best they can to connect with their students while keeping their own personal issues in check. But thanks to one teacher’s anonymous blog and an overzealous school superintendent, things are about to reach a breaking point… Adequate Yearly Progress is a funny, tender look at our education system that will resonate with anyone who has ever walked the halls of a high school.
Korean-American teenager Frank Li lives in two worlds, with two different names. Frank is falling in love for the first time with a girl who is definitely not the Korean girl his parents have in mind, so he seeks out the help of family friend Joy Song, who has a similar problem. Frank and Joy come up with a plan to help each other — but their plans go awry when their emotions get involved. Frankly in Love is a poignant and witty coming-of-age tale that will have you reminiscing about your own first love and the often bumpy road to adulthood.
Everyone needs to find their tribe and in The Authenticity Project, a plain green journal is the catalyst that unites a community. Eccentric septuagenarian Julian Jessop details his lonely life in a journal and leaves it behind in a café. Café owner Monica finds the journal and adds her own thoughts before leaving it in a different location. One by one, people add to Julian’s journal, sharing their deepest truths before passing it along at a new location. Readers will leave this uplifting, funny tale feeling less alone in the world and encouraged by the power of human connection.
Okay, so you can’t read this book right now since it’s not out until April 14, but you can add it to your reading list! Centennial Assisted Living is a fine facility for seniors and 88-year-old Duffy is enjoying his twilight years with his best friend, Carl. Everything was going according to plan until Carl’s granddaughter Josie climbed through their bedroom window with a black eye and more baggage than Duffy needs at this stage in his life. An unexpected friendship forms that offers Duffy a chance to leave a legacy — and gives Josie a second chance at a better life. This heartfelt story will have you laughing and crying at the same time.