Going into the holiday season can be a lot — there’s the rushrushrush to get everything done (and make it look easy), the inevitable onslaught of cold and flu season, and of course, the weather. The last thing anyone wants to feel when they find a stolen moment to read is blue. So while some of the year’s best books (I’m looking at you, A Little Life) look amazing, they’re going to have to wait in the wings, while their more uplifting cousins take centre stage:
Both books read like a love letter to Harry Potter. In the first, Cath is a university student absorbed in the fictional world of Simon Snow. She writes insanely popular fanfic in which Simon and his vampire roomate, Baz are in love. Carry On is canon – Snow’s story. Read together or alone, both books are uplifting reads.
Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
Despite loving Robbins in my 20s, I hadn’t thought of this book in years until it was mentioned in Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower. It explores the nature of lasting love through the quasi fairy tale romance between Princess Leigh-Cheri and The Woodpecker.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
“Curmudgeon” and “uplifting” are a winning combination in fiction. (See also: A Man Called Ove.) AJ Fikry is a lovable curmudgeon who has closed himself off emotionally. Things change with the theft of his most treasured possession and an unexpected arrival.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
…because geeks need to feel uplifted too. As a bonus, the audiobook is lovingly narrated by
Wesley Crusher Wil Wheaton. Sigh.