Ultimate List of Feel Good Books to Brighten your Day

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This list of feel good books are some of our absolute favorites and were hard to put into just one category. After the last few years of craziness, we wanted to start the year off on a happy note. We hope you love this list as much as we do.

What makes a novel a feel-good book? That feeling when you turn the last page and your heart feels full- that’s a feel good book. It’s a story that isn’t all smooth sailing but it uplifts your  spirits and  gives you faith in humanity.

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Best Feel Good Books

The Maid by Nita Prose

Molly works as a maid in a grand hotel and gets joy from leaving things orderly and pristine. Molly struggles with reading social cues and has had even more trouble since her gran can no longer help.

When Molly finds a dead body in a room at the hotel, she becomes a prime suspect and will need all her friends to help her.

I loved the description of this book and I hoped it would love up to my expectations. I did that and more. I loved every minute of this book and closed the last page smiling.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J Klune

How many stars can I give? T.J Klune has done it again with the wonderful book. House on the Cerulean Sea was my favorite book last year and I am not sure that anything will top it. I read it in a day and loved every minute of this wonderful book.

Wallace is dead. When the reaper collects him at his funeral and brings him to a strange tea shop, Hugo is waiting with the promise of helping him cross over. This light fantasy will make you smile until the last page.

Haven Point by Virginia Hume

What a wonderful read. I truly can’t explain how much this book swept me away to Haven Point as I learned about four generations of the Demarest family.

This story focuses on the great-grandmother, grandmother (Maren), mother, and daughter (Skye) as they spend their summers in the waspy coastal town. Secrets unfold, loves bloom and fade, and the ties that bond are explored.

A wonderful beach read with heart, this feel good book will sweep you away.

Click here to see the complete list of the best books of 2021

Feel Good Non-Fiction Books

Come Fly The World by Julia Cooke

In this delightful book, we learn about uniforms, training, frolicking adventures, and the glamorous life in the air that had me picturing Gwyneth Paltrow in View From the Top.

It also discussed far more serious topics like hijackers, Vietnam war flights and rescues, and issues of discrimination toward women.

We talked with Julia about the research of this book, what surprised her most, and other fun things over on IG. Be sure to check it out.

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

This is such an amazing story of an amazing man unlike any other.  He was a man central to the development of educational children’s television. 

Fred was kind, caring, compassionate and a champion for equality.  He was devoted to children and addressing their educational, social and emotional needs. I could personally relate to parts of his life during the time when he lived in Toronto. 

This feel good book is so well written and so easy to listen to despite the fact that it is not my usual genre. Levar Burton narrates and I love hearing him read- it brings me back to my childhood (Reading Rainbow)

The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly

I had royal fever this month while working on our Royal Reads post, so it’s no surprise that when my library hold for this autobiographical audiobook came through, I dove right it.

Angela Kelly is the Queen’s head dresser and long-time companion. She details her process for dressing the queen, talks about some iconic looks, and even reveals a few personal stories about her time with her majesty.

Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story by Erin French

Thanks to Celadon Book for my review copy. All opinions are my own. My first celebrity chef memoir was not at all what I was expecting and I loved it! ⁣I found myself thinking of Erin as a friend while reading this story. I rooted for her, cried with her, and had so many food cravings it bordered on ridiculous. How can you not want to eat the delicious concoctions described on the page.⁣

I was not anticipating that this would be a story about redemption, finding inner strength, and perseverance, but that’s what it was. Erin clawed her way to the top of the restaurant game only to find herself at rock bottom. Then, she did it again. ⁣ It’s a story of a mother’s love, a woman overcoming addiction, and a damn good cook who finds herself planting roots where she least expected it.⁣

I hope someday that I will be able to eat in her famed kitchen if just to have wine recommended by her mom and see her surrounded by the love of her kitchen family. ⁣4 stars.

Best LGBTQ Feel-Good Reads

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley is a writer who has mastered the art of storytelling. With his signature wit and humor, this book tackles love, loss, and growth

When Patrick’s sister-in-law dies and Patrick’s brother needs to go to rehab, Patrick takes custody of his niece and nephew for 90 days.

I am such a fan of Steven Rowley and each book provides depth and insight into people at their best and worst.

House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

So while this book takes place in an orphanage, rather than a school, it is a place for magical children to learn as well. The orphanage is filled with the most dangerous children and it is Linus’s job to make sure that they are being looked after.

The magic and the orphan aspect are all reminiscent of Harry Potter. This feel good book is truly a story of seeing the best in people.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A tell-all about a fictional Elizabeth Taylor-esque celebrity’s rise to Hollywood stardom, her seven husbands, and the true love of her life.

Evelyn Hugo has asked an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, to write her life story in a no-holds-barred book. There is a bit of mystery around why Monique was chosen and Evelyn certainly has her fair share of hardships as she claws her way to the top.

The drama and suffering adds dimension to the story that makes it so much more than fluff, though the inner workings of Hollywood were fun to read too. The story seems so candid that I honestly forgot that Evelyn Hugo was not a real celebrity. Taylor Jenkins Reid slays with this story finding the perfect balance of glamour and grit.

Best Feel Good Books about Music

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Album

As audiobooks go, this book is the best one I have ever listened to. This book is also one of my favorite books of all time.  It is narrated by “music” who is telling the story of a magician named Frankie Presto. 

There are multiple people who narrate this book and it is more like a play.  I could listen to this book over and over. I loved this book and bought a copy which I lent to an unnamed person who loved it and did not return it.  My second copy has met the same fate.  Third time’s a charm?

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

 Music is big in my house so this book spoke to me. Frank is a man who helps everyone with their problems by giving them the music they need from his little music shop. It sells only vinyl.

When a woman faints outside his shop, Frank realizes he can’t hear the music she needs. His life changes forever. This book is a similar feel as Little Paris Bookshop/Perfume Collector.  There is a playlist on Spotify that goes with this book.  So sit back, read, listen and enjoy.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I started reading this book but when my audiobook library hold came in I changed over to the audiobook version. HOLY COW. The audiobook is EVEN BETTER. Seriously, I think this might have been my favorite audiobook of all time. I expect it to sweep the Audies this year for sure. The book is laid out in chronological order about the making of a band in the 70s, but the story is told in interview style from a dozen sources.

The audio version has a different narrator for each character and the performances the actors give are stupendous. I was overcome with emotion numerous times while I was listening. The story itself about the rise and fall of one of the hottest bands was so utterly fabulous – it’s pure sex, drugs and rock n’ roll in all the best ways. There is a Spotify playlist that goes with it – scroll down for all the details.

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

This book was compared to Daisy Jones and The Six and I see why. It’s told in interview format and is about a band from the 70s. The comparison makes sense… and yet….

This book is wonderful in it’s own right! No comparison needed. It looks at sexism and racism in the music industry during this time period and is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. It is a total must-read.

Feel-Good Historical Fiction Books

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel is all about 2 families who own a resort in the Catskills and are thinking of selling or overhauling the Golden.

Three generations of the Goldman’s and Weismann clans have gathered to make the decision and family secrets are unspooling left and right in the midst of goat yoga, comedy shows, and salon catastrophes.

It’s was a pleasure to read it while staying at the Hyatt on the Chesapeake and experiencing some resort life of my own. 

The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen

Oh how I loved this book.

The Paris Apartment by Kelly Bowen. Part historical fiction, part mystery and part love story, this book was so well-written and the story was delivered perfectly.

In 2017 Aurelia inherits an apartment in Paris when her grandmother dies. She is not prepared for what she finds inside the apartment that she never new existed. Now she must get the help of an art restorer to discovery the history and the mystery surrounding the apartment and its contents.

in 1942 Estelle is living in Paris under Nazi occupation. When the Germans come to take away her beloved friends, Estelle does everything she can to help them.

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

This is an incredible novel about the women of Smith College who went to help French war victims on the war front. The band of 15 women in this novel is based on the 18 real-life heroes of Smith College.⁣

These ladies started from scratch to help those ravaged by war only to have the war come back and destroy the lands around them again. But they never faltered in their quest to help the war-torn villages of women and children impacted by the war.⁣ ⁣The book gives a well-rounded feeling of what these women needed to do to save the lands and the people. ⁣ 5 stars.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

What a wonderful, feel good book for historical fiction lovers. Set just after WWII, a group of unlikely friends come together to save Jane Austen’s cottage.

A movie star, a farmer, a doctor, and a widow all have personal struggles to overcome. Over the course of the book, the society is able to save more than just the cottage.

I felt like each of the characters were personal friends by the book’s end. It was a lovely read to rekindle hope.

Juliet: A Novel by Anna Fortier

I ADORE this story and have read it numerous times. What if Shakespeare’s Juliet was real and was actually a curse? Alternating between the “real” Juliet’s story and her modern-day descendant’s story, the book proves that love transcends time.

I can’t put my finger on why this story makes my top 10, but it’s a comfort read that I go to whenever I need a pick me up. I re-read it again and again! It has a little bit of everything – romance, a mystery, a contemporary and historical element. It’s such a unique and amazing tale.

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

November 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I was so excited to read Reese Witherspoon’s latest book pick because it sounded so different – a fig tree as a narrator? I wasn’t sure it would work, but Elif Shafak pulled it off with aplomb.

After the recent death of her mother, Ada’s aunt shows up for the winter holiday and Ada begins to learn the story of how her parents fell in love in Cyprus many years ago. Since one was a Turk and one a Greek, their love had a forbidden element that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet….and the Fig tree, now growing in Ada’s backyard, witnessed it all.

Best Feel-Good Books About Books

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner #1

This book was the first book that I read by Jenny Colgan and is different from her others.  It is not centered around food but rather, books. 

When Nina, a librarian, finds herself without a job, she decides to embark on a journey with a mobile bookshop.  There is nothing not to love in this sweet book.

For a complete list of Jenny Colgan Books Ranked, click here.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

This is probably one of our favorite feel good books to recommend to people. The story features a floating book apothecary whose owner can meet you and give you a story meant for your soul.

When he needs to help his own soul, he sets his boat adrift to see where it will take him. I loved every minute of it.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This lovely story about a bookstore and its owner will capture your heart. A.J. Fikry is like a bookstore version of Ove in all the right ways except A.J. is only in his thirties.

The recent death of his wife, bad book sales, and the recent robbery of a rare book is wreaking havoc on his life. But this tale of redemption and unexpected chances has serious soul.

Blush by Jamie Brenner

This newest book from Jamie Brenner is a departure from her previous books that have all been set in coastal towns. This story takes place on a vineyard!

Three generations of women must come together to save the family home and livelihood by having the failing vineyard. This would not be an easy task on any day but, they are also fighting against sexism and the belief that a women’s role is elsewhere.

Vivian, Leah and Sadie must each confront their pasts and their own demons in order to come together.

Thank you Putnam for my copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

For more books about books, check out the Ultimate List of Books About Books

Feel Good Books with Surprising Characters

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Looking for a laugh-out-loud book? This novel about an Indian woman trying to marry her modern English identity with her parents’ conservative Indian values.

She takes up teaching a writing course for widows in her community and she learns so much about herself and them in the process. Between each chapter are hysterical and sometimes raunchy tales written by the widows in her class. I dare you not to smile while reading this story.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is a master storyteller and he does it again with this book. ⁣He somehow manages to tackle difficult subjects without trivializing them but still allowing them to be humorous. ⁣

This book is a story of a bank robbery gone very wrong and the idiots in the story (his word, not mine) who are taken hostage after the failed robbery.⁣It is also a story about compassion, human relationships, and the daily struggles that we all have. ⁣

I love how Backman shows the good in people despite the flaws that make them human. Backman is such a talented writer and is able to vary his style to best tell the story. I loved this book!

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle

This book was my surprise star of the summer so far. I had not heard of the book and thought it sounded great. I loved every minute of it.

Hubert Bird is a widower who has weekly conversations with his daughter in Australia. He tells her amazing stories about how he spends his time. The problem? It is all made up.

Now with his daughter coming to visit, Hubert must find friends and a life to show his daughter.

Hubert gets a second chance at love and friendship but the book dives deeper into Huberts past as well. The depth and sincerity in this book are wonderful and I cannot say enough good things. It was not hard to include this is a list of feel-good books.

Dial A for Aunties by Jessie Q Sutano

I heard great things about this romantic comedy/ murder mystery mashup. It sounds like the weirdest combo, right? This book had me laughing out loud.

Meddelin Chen has an amazing, meddling Chinese-Indonesian family. Meddelin and her four Aunts run a wedding business together. When Meddelin accidentally kills her date and he ends up in a cooler at a wedding with two thousand people, what can go wrong?

This comedy of errors is being adapted by Netflix and if it is anything like the book, it will be amazing too. This book was a favorite of 2021.

For a complete list of our favorite books of 2021, click here

Best Feel Good Mysteries

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

I adored this mystery set during the 11 days of Agatha Christie’s disappearance. It’s told from the perspective of Christie’s husband’s mistress and it is utterly absorbing.

There are layers of mystery throughout, with a side of love story. I never felt I would be able to sympathize with a mistress but I was cheering for her by the end. If you love a good mystery, this is a must-read.

Still Life by Louise Penny

The first in the series of Chief Inspector Gamache. I fell in LOVE with the Inspector, the town of Three Pines and its residents. Louise Penny CAN WRITE.

The mystery was great (and I didn’t solve it) but what got me the most was Penny’s writing style and reflections on the human psyche.

Even though this is a murder mystery, you will fall in love with Three Pines. The wonderful community in this series is the best of what a feel good book should be.

Maisie Dobbs  by Jacqueline Winspear

I read this cozy mystery in one day.  Maisie Dobbs is not your typical PI.  For a start, she is a woman working as a PI in 1929.  She is smart, thoughtful, and fun to read.  

I was looking for a great mystery series and this hit just the right spot. I cannot wait to read more books in the series.

Best Feel Good Books with Quirky Characters

The Very Nice Box by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman

The quirky personality of Ava, the protagonist in The Very Nice Box, is reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant. Being inside Ava’s unique brain was a real treat.

Ava works as an engineer at a furniture company similar to Ikea. She has the same routine every day and is rather isolated socially until Mat Putnam bursts into her life.

As her backstory unfolds, this books goes from romance to thriller in the most delightful way. One of the most original vacation books of 2021. It’s a must-read for laughs and suspense.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

I have read all three of the books in this series and loved them all but this book is special. Anna is a violinist whose career is stuck as she finds herself unable to play a single song to the end. When her boyfriend of 5 years announces that they are going to see other people before getting married, Anna decides to go on a dating app. Her plan: one night stands.

Who does she find? Quan. This book is more than a romance. Hoang does an amazing job of bringing Anna and her struggles with her identity to life. Her pain is palpable and I found myself having trouble breathing I was so upset.

This is Hoang’s best book yet.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this book initially.  Eleanor bugged me in a way that I could not identify.  She is not supposed to be likable initially which is why I persevered and I ended up liking the book. 

As we get to know Eleanor and understand her profound loneliness,  it made me think about what initial judgments I make in other areas.

Feel-Good Books from Celebrity Books Clubs

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

April 2020 GMA Book Club Pick

I absolutely loved this story about Oona who at the stroke of midnight on her 19th birthday, finds herself in her 51-year-old body. She is greeted by a stranger who is waiting for her in her home and tells her that every year, she will jump to another point in her life- she will live her life out of order. ⁣

This is an emotional, well written story that will not only keep you quickly turning pages but make you think about the small things in life that we take for granted. ⁣

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

November 2019 Read by Jenna Book Club Pick

There is so much that I loved about this book.  It is such a feel-good book that is more than what it seems.  It is well-written and funny and made our top books of 2019 list.

The story is about a woman who becomes a nanny for two children who start on fire when they get mad.  There is wonderful humor in this book that is centered around strong and beautiful relationships.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.⁣

This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel

October 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Wow! There are so many things that I loved about this book.  Rosie and Penn have five boys.  The youngest, Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up.  As this family navigates life with secrets, there is never a good time to explain that your youngest daughter was born a male.  These loving and supportive parents try to navigate a world in which not everybody is open-minded.  This book is poignant and all too realistic.  It captures the innocence of youth and the struggles of an entire family. 

For a complete list of Read with Jenna, Reese’s Book Club, or the GMA book club, click above.

Best Feel Good Books About Royals

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Look no further than this royal romance. If you haven’t read this romance loosely based on Wills and Kate’s love story, read no further. This is the end-all, be-all of Royal Reads.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

Not a romance fan? This one is for you then. Imagine what would happen if Queen Elizabeth decided to just stroll out of the palace and hop on the train. This novel was right on the mark and I adored it!

The Royal Treatment by M.J. Summers

The May book challenge was a royal read.  This royal read and funny and entertaining.  It was the perfect light read to indulge in before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Tessa Sharpe is the Royal Watchdog and hates everything about the Prince. Now, in order to save his reputation and his thrown, Prince Albert must invite Tessa to live at the castle with him for two months. This hilarious royal read will leave you smiling.

For the best Royal Reads, check out our post

Feel Good Books to Discuss with Your Bookclub

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelridge

This is a wonderful book about love and survival.  It is so much more than it appears on the surface.  It’s a beautifully written book.

When Sophie and Barry find themselves on an Island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, they learn to depend on each other.  The book moves seamlessly from the past to the present, weaving and intricate tale. It’s one of Kirsten’s all-time favorites.

Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

This is another perfect pick from our favorite Indie bookstore.  Main Point Books in Wayne did a fabulous job of matching me up with this book that I might not have read otherwise.  I needed something with a great story that would make me feel good and this was perfect. 

This is the story of two sisters, one farm and the lives that they share.  I loved this book for its great story, quirky subject, and great writing.  I sat down with this book and had read over a hundred pages before I looked up.

The Lost Vintage by Anne Mah

This book feels like a warm hug. A little bit of historical fiction, a little bit of a mystery, a little bit of romance. It was so nice to read at sunset with a glass of wine.The writing, the story, the whole thing made this book a no-brainer for our feel good books list.

Kate is working to become a certified wine expert and the only thing standing in her way are the Burgundy wines at her families estate (and her first love who lives nearby).

While dealing out the basement filled with generations of belongings, Kate starts to learn about her family during the WWII occupation.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Victoria  Jones has studied the language of flowers and uses it to communicate.  After growing up in the foster care system, she is hesitant to let anyone get close to her.  When she meets a mysterious stranger, she has to decide if she can let someone in and let go of her past.

Kirsten and I both absolutely loved this book and read it before we even knew each other.  The Victorian language of flowers is fascinating.  This book incorporates this language into a story that will leave you wanting more.

We named this the best book of 2011 in our best of the decades post.

Best Feel Good Books about Friendship

Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

This is such a wonderful story about Missy Carmichael. She has lived her life in a constant state of worry and regret. Now that she is alone with her thoughts, she has the time to wonder if she would have done things differently.

Missy is estranged from her daughter, her son lives in Australia and the love of her life, is gone. She spends her days drinking and cleaning overcome by her loneliness, secrets, and regrets. With the help of a wonderful dog and some beautiful friendships, Missy begins to learn the power of forgiving. This novel was an easy pick for feel good books about friendship.

The Helpline by Katherine Collette

Thank you so much to Atria for my copy of this book. I started reading this book and found that I had a really hard time putting it down.  It is one of those books where the main character is completely imperfect and often infuriating but, will grow on you!

If you loved The Rosie Project or Eleanor Oliphant then you will love this book.  Germaine has lost her job at an insurance company and begins working at a helpline for senior citizens.  The mayor has a side project for Germaine.  She wants Germaine to help her in the feud between the golf club and the senior citizen center.  Sometimes, as Germaine will find out, things are not always what they seem.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Mr. Backman has a wonderful way of capturing the reader’s interest with wonderful characters that find themselves in hilarious situations.

I laughed out loud- a lot- while reading. The book A Man Called Ove does indeed start with Ove trying to take his life and continuously being interrupted by his new neighbors.

But, this story is so much more than that. As it progresses, Ove is able to have a profound impact on the life of everyone he meets.

The Lido by Libby Paige 

I picked up this book and couldn’t put it down. I loved it from start to finish. It was such a great read that is really in the spirit of “A Man Called Ove.

This intergenerational story of friendship, love and overcoming personal obstacles, touched my heart.   Kate is reporter whose dreams of becoming a star reporter have dissolved into writing fluff pieces for a small, local newspaper.

She is almost paralyzed by her own fears and loneliness. When she is assigned to write a piece about a local lido closing, she meets Rosemary Peterson. Rosemary is 86 years old and has been swimming at the lido her entire life. The unlikely friendship between these two women is heartwarming and you won’t want to put it down. This is one of the best feel good books about friendship I have read.

For more books about friendship, check out our post “How to host a Such a Fun Age Book Club”

Feel-Good YA Fantasy Books

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

I listened to this book and it was unreal.  I want my son to read this so badly but, I also want him to listen to it as well. It is a story about music.  The audio version plays to music so it is a full sensory experience. 

The story follows a harmonica as it lands in the hands of Freidrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania and Ivy in California. Part fairy tale and part historical fiction, this book is amazing for middle grade and adults alike.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I adored this book by Novik. I loved the strong female characters, the story, and the writing.  This book is an adaptation of Rumplestiltskin that complex and wonderful and the ending had me in tears.

Miryem’s family are moneylenders but her family is in poverty because her father does not collect his debts. In an effort to save her family, Miryem begins collecting the debts herself and soon a rumor begins that she can turn silver into gold. Soon, these rumors spread to the king of Staryk and Miryem’s life changes forever when he comes to see if the rumors are true.

This is a must read to add to your list of feel good YA fantasy books.

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Flora and her brother are pirates on the Dove. In order to protect her identity, she has become Florian and is tasked with protecting Lady Evelyn on the ship until the time she can be sold.

Flora does not intend to fall in love with Evelyn and when the two free a captured mermaid, they change the fate of more than just her.

I am so glad that someone recommended this book to me. It is one of those books that really did not get the visibility that it should have. This book is so well written and is filled with magic while also exploring the power of love.

Click here to see our Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

Feel Good Christmas Books

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan

This is kinda like Love Actually in a bookshop. Nora and Simon’s bookshop is failing, but that doesn’t stop them from anonymously sending out 6 Christmas books to locals who need cheering up.

We see how their gifted books inspire changes in the lives of the recipients, how much their bookshop means to the community, and how all the of their lives intertwine.

I cried a few times while reading this heartwarming tale, but it deals with some pretty heavy subjects like death of a child and suicidal thoughts/depression. This is a must read to add to your list of feel good Christmas books. Any true book lover will adore this Christmas tale.

The Christmas House by Victoria James

This heartwarming Christmas story deals with a few heavy topics, including childhood abuse and abandonment. Charlotte comes to her grandmother Ruby’s B&B with her sister and her mother for the Holiday Season.

She is shocked to see her old friend, Wyatt, has moved in next door with his daughter. But as her romance with Wyatt begins to bloom, dark feelings and sad memories stir for both of them.

This is not so much a Christmas romance, as a story about forgiveness and overcoming childhood trauma.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is back with a stand-alone Christmas story about a failing bookshop and the woman that saves it. Carmen is stuck with no boyfriend, no job, and living at home, while her sister Sophie seems to have it all – beautiful house, great husband, a killer job, and 3 kids with one-more on the way.

When she realizes her client is going to lose his bookshop and home, she overs Carmen up for the job of turning the shop around, offering her a room at her house to boot.

But the long standing rivalry between the sisters is out in full force, Carmen seems to sabotage her own happiness in the romance department, and her bookstore boss might be hiding some family secrets that need uncovering.

A charming Christmas tale in true Jenny Colgan fashion, this heartwarming story also has some appearances from beloved characters from previous books.

For more, check out the 33 the best YA and adult Christmas books

YA Feel-Good Books

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

This book is the winner of the National Book Award for good reason.  I adored this book.  I spent half of it crying and the other half smiling.  This is such a wonderful story about Grace who is adopted at birth. 

When she finds herself pregnant, she puts her daughter up for adoption.  This prompts her to look for her biological mother.  What she finds are two siblings that she never knew about. This is an amazing story told from multiple points of view. This is a must read to add to your list of YA feel good books.

Tokyo Every After by Emiko Jean

What a fun quick book by Emiko Jean. I feel like this book was one part Princess Diaries and one part Crazy Rich Asians.

Izumi Tanaka does not feel like she fits in as a Japanese American in her mostly white California town. When she finds out that her unknown father is actually the crown prince of Japan, she is determined to meet him.

This book was an entertaining and light summer read that will satisfy your desire to escape into a royal getaway.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This is a graphic novel that I read in a few hours.  Prince Sebastian is a prince by day and Princess Crystallia by night. The only one who knows his secret is his seamstress who hopes to make a name for herself with her fashion.

My son read it twice because “I loved the message that it’s okay to be yourself”. I don’t normally read graphic novels, but, I loved it!!! What a wonderfully inclusive, feel good story.

A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Geir

What a cute story. Taking place at a dated luxury hotel at Christmas time, there is an abundance of antics afoot. Jewel thieves, ghosts, kid-nappers, back-door dealings, and teenage drama fill this tome. 

This Young Adult Christmas book is an adorable read for the holiday season.

Best Feel Good Middle Grade Books

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Wow. This was a story I listened to with my kids and we all just adored it.

It’s a story about a deaf girl who is struggling to connect with her community and a whale named Blue 52 who can’t find his ocean community either. She sets out to connect with Blue 52 and along the way she finds her inner strength in a beautiful way.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

This charming story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.⁣

My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family. ⁣

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

This is a best children’s book of 2019 for a reason. I read this as a read-aloud with both of my children (boys 6-8) even though it’s technically a middle grade.

The story revolves around Jaime, who is being punished with community service hours at the library for the summer after she did something wrong in school. Jaime is reluctant to volunteer at first but quickly grows to love the staff and regulars at the library. I adored this charming tale and so did my kids. 

The post Ultimate List of Feel Good Books to Brighten your Day appeared first on Beyond the Bookends.

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