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Books that Boost Your Mood

Books that Boost Your Mood recently launched “Reading Well Mood-boosting Books,” a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. Recommended by readers and reading groups around the country in the UK, the list includes books that have worked to cheer up readers looking for an inspirational pick-me-up. Is your favorite on the list?

The new list of titles is:

  • Bee Journal by Sean Borodale
  • Dart by Alice Oswald
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy edited by Neil Astley
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • Miss Garnet’s Angel by Salley Vickers
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
  • A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr
  • A Sea Change by Veronica Henry
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 by Sue Townsend
  • Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
  • A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
  • The Thread by Victoria Hislop
  • Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd
  • Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
  • Turned out Nice Again by Richard Mabey
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka

If you have a book to recommend, email with the title and a short comment or tweet your suggestions using #moodboosting

What’s your favorite book to read when your spirits are needing a lift? Tell us in the comments below!


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Lo Lankford

Lo Lankford is a recent Los Angeles transplant after a decade in the Big Apple. In her "spare time" (ha!) she used to run a dog rescue called Badass Brooklyn and helped save over 400 dogs. Otherwise? Nerd'do well, whistle blower, proud hillbilly from the sticks.


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6:01AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Thank you Lo, for Sharing this!

4:16PM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

While this list has very positive books and probably would lift many people's moods, it's not for me. Give me tall, dark, and deadly...or dark blood-drinker...or once a month furry...
All of these would have to alpha heroes who meet their match in feisty, independent women. The books I read are historical romances, usually Regencies, vampires, werewolves and other shapeshifters - all with a happy ending. And always including sex, though not gratuitous. I look to escape reality, not look for a silver lining among the crap we read about every day here and elsewhere. So while lift up your spirits with poetry, sugary happiness (my opinion), and feel good books - I'm off to check out the latest steampunk and urban fantasy romances...with good looking guys and strong heroines. If you're interested, check out my page and some of the books and authors I love...a very small list out of the several thousand books I have - so far.

11:17PM PDT on Oct 23, 2013


5:24AM PDT on Oct 23, 2013

I've read a few of these and they're quite good so i'll be checking out a couple new ones. Thank you

6:53PM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

Probably a good idea if I read through these books. Just finished Hate List by Jennifer Brown and I'm running through the Ender's Game series. I'll probably be in dire need of a mood lift after that. Thanks.

8:04AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

I like Tracey B's suggestion of P G Wodehouse.

I have about 500 books - I must count them some day, and most are very interesting non-fiction, though I have a lot of poetry.

11:24PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

interesting list.

11:16PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

*wishes she had more time to read* :(

11:09PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

I very seldom buy books now, because I already have a big library.

When it was first published, Adrian Mole, was a fun book everyone enjoyed. Our library seems to hold mainly american authors.

A firm favourite of many readers are all of Alexander McCall Smith's books - He's charming and one feels as if his characters come alive in your life.

8:21PM PDT on Oct 16, 2013


a quote from a positive book i think too:

"Happiness can be secured by the exercise of self-control, by cultivating habits of plain living and high thinking, and by spending less money, even though earning more. Make an effort to earn more so that you can be the means of helping others to help themselves. One of Life’s unwritten laws is that he who helps others to abundance and happiness will always be helped in return, and he will become more and more prosperous and happy. This is a law of happiness which cannot be broken. Is it not better to live simply and frugally and grow rich in reality?"

How to Be Happy All the Time
The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda, Volume 1

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