You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. –Paul Sweeney
What’s the last book that moved you? Like, really moved you? That made you laugh or cry or completely reconsider your thoughts on life or love? Those are always the books that stick with me. When I come across a book that truly impacted me I can often remember the intricate details of where I bought it or who gave it to me. Sometimes when I’m in a certain mood, reading a favorite book can help heighten the depth of emotion, whatever I may be feeling at that moment.
Just one of the many, many reasons why books are just all of the best.
Speaking of which, here are a few great books and the perfect kind of mood to read them in.
*This in by no means is a comprehensive list, and it was tres hard for me to just pick one (or a couple) for each mood, but it’s something to get you started 😉
1. When you want to feel all the feels.
Me Before You by: Jojo Moyes
Will and Louisa are two lost souls who are brought together under difficult circumstances.
Will was an adrenaline junkie (i.e., mountain climbing, paragliding, skiing) with a high-powered job. A terrible accident two years ago left him paralyzed from the chest down. He now requires round-the-clock care. He is broken and bitter and hates his life.Louisa (Lou) is a small-town girl who just lost her job at The Buttered Bun. With limited skills, she tries various jobs, but can’t find anything she likes. Her job counselor suggests she go to this interview for a care assistant. She gets the job, but immediately starts to regret her decision. Will is not an easy man to work for, but the money is good (and her family needs it) so she decides to stick it out. From there, a relationship builds slowly and believably and blossoms into a beautiful love story.
Yes, this is a romance but not in the normal typical sense. This is a romance in normal life terms, it is messy and confusing and doesn’t go the way you would think it would. JoJo Moyes brings her characters to life in a most believeable way and writes a book that can make you laugh out loud and ugly cry within a few chapters of itself. It wasn’t a fairytale, it didn’t involve any make believe; it was true to the story, a story that I think will stick with you long after you turn that last page.
2. When you want to buy a one-way ticket and never look back.
The Lost Girls by: Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner
At age 28 and climbing the corporate ladder in the Big Apple, BFFs Jen, Holly, and Amanda decide to quit their jobs and travel around the world for a year. I enjoyed every minute of their trek to off-the-beaten path destinations and the friendships and hardships they had along the way. I also loved the fact that their journey did not wrap up tidy with a bow on top- they did not necessarily “find” themselves during this year, but instead got to know each other–and themselves–in a completely different and new way. Their friendship, dedication, and sacrificial love towards each other is beautiful and just all of the amazing. After having finished this book, the first thing I wanted to do was call my besties and plan the trip of a lifetime.
3. When you feel like no one understands you.
The Opposite of Lonely by: Marina Keegan
The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of fiction and non-fiction tales by Marina Keegan, a very promising young writer who tragically lost her life in a car accident. The title comes from an essay that she wrote where she talks about how all she wants in her life is to feel the opposite of lonely, a term which we really do not have a word for. That essay really helps to set the tone for this fantastic book.
This collection of stories, both fiction and non-fiction, (I never read short stories) is incredible! It’s definitely not for everyone, But, as a 20-something millennial who is still trying to figure out what the hell is life… it was perfect. Marina’s insights into what it’s like to be not know the direction your life is taking you, to feel as though no one truly understands you… it’s enough to make you stay up until 4am in deep, deep thought (which I did). She has this way of putting all of your inner emotions and thoughts, ones you didn’t even know you had, into words. It’s ironic then, that by the end of this book, you don’t feel so alone.
4. When you’re not sure if you’re doing that great at this whole adult thing.
Hyperbole and a Half by: Allie Brosh
I’ve been a fan of Allie’s blog for a long time which was why I was so super excited to hear that she published a book containing all of her zany and hil-ARious stories and anecdotes. These stories are funny and touching and are illustrated in a way that will make you LOL (which is why I recommend not reading it while at work). One story in particular which she titled This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult pretty much defines my adult experience. I don’t know about you, but I always start out with the best of intentions and just get thrown by the necessity of persisting with those boring chores in order to count as an “adult.” I’m not sure if this book answered whether or not I am in all actuality a full-fledged adult, but it did make me feel that there are other adults out there who are as confused and strange as I am.
5. When you’re waiting for that person to text you back but they haven’t texted back and now you’re re-examining everything.
Looking For Alaska by: John Green
Looking for Alaska is the debut novel of one of my (and everyone’s) favorite author, John Green. It’s not the most typical Young-Adult novel as it stays away from the usual Boy-Meets-Girl cliché. This is a book which will make you think about the difference between living and existing, and deepen your thoughts on love and life in general. Much like Green’s other books (The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, I’m talking to you), this book will leave you jam-packed with emotions. I personally couldn’t love this book more, as it depicted young love and coming of age in the most honest and truthful way, and I really felt the emotional connection that this book was meant to achieve.
6. When you need a good pee-your-pants, ab-inducing laugh attack.
Yes Please by: Amy Poehler
All hail, Queen Poehler.
No. But seriously. Can someone make that happen?
What we wanted was an afternoon with our best friend and we got that and so much more. Amy Poehler is witty and honest. She admits her faults and is humble when she talks about her good doings. She hit the ground running in comedy and she never looked back and I love being able to take a peek, not only into her career, but into her life. Queen Poehler is basically my spirit animal. She was raised in a supportive family, found her calling in life early and worked her ass off to get to where she is today. She is the perfect feminist mentor without even trying to be one. You will definitely laugh your socks off while reading this poignant look into miss Poehler’s life and career, but you will also be moved and inspired.
7. When you need a reminder of how awesome your gal pals are.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by: Ann Brashares
I first read these books when I was rocking the scrunchies and stirrup leggings back in middle school, but I still love them to all end. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants follows a group of friends Carmen, Lena, Tibby and Bridget as they spend their summers apart. The day before they part ways, they find a pair of pants that fit them all perfectly. What is this madness, you say? Thus begins the journey of the Pants from D.C to Santorini, Greece, Charleston, Baja, California and back. The girls experience an unforgettable summer and only the Pants know everything.
This is my sort of YA book. It’s messy and complicated and funny and smart and honest and real. It’s about friendship and family and love. It’s about deciding what’s important to you and never losing sight of that, no matter how much other things get in the way. It’s about life.This is something like my tenth time rereading (I recommend starting with the first book of the series and finishing off with the last one, The Last Summer of You and Me). This book proves that real life isn’t boring, but joyous and painful and mistake-prone and beautiful and achingly real.
10. When it’s a Tuesday. Or a Sunday. When you’re wearing pants. Or not. Pretty much classified as an all-the-frickin-time read.
Harry Potter by: J.K. Rowling
With a list like this, you most definitely cannot tell me that you’re not “in the mood” to read 😉