I don’t know about you, but when the storms of life blow like they’ve been doing lately, I usually enjoy reading books with lighter, happier themes or books immersed with hope. This list does not contain novels that are trouble free (who’d want to read that kind of book?), but overall, they touch on easier-to-handle topics, are fun, or shimmer with light, and I hope they encourage you during this time!
- A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck: A delightful middle-grade (but fun for any age!) read about two city-slickers–Joey and his sister, Mary Alice–and their adventures with their atypical grandmother in a rural Illinois town.
- A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck: This book will make you laugh just as much, if not more so, than A Long Way from Chicago. When she’s fifteen, Mary Alice returns to live with her grandmother for an entire year. Will she escape unscathed? Read to find out!
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: Rediscover (or discover for the first time) the magic and wonder of this fantastical world and dizzying dangers in the most lighthearted book of the series. You won’t be disappointed!
4. Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer: A fun epistolary novel of two young girls writing back and forth to each other in Victorian-like London. There, they dive to the depths of several mysteries while dancing and practicing magic.
5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: I’ve probably read this book more than any other, and besides the Bible, it’s probably the one book I’d most want with me in a crisis. Magic spells, handsome princes, ogres, and fairies–everything for a whimsical, enchanting read!
6. Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman: This book contains some sadness, since two best friends are about to be torn apart by life, but it’s written in such a heart-achingly beautiful way. And there are mermaids! And a happy ending!
7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Although tragedy befalls the March household, they face it with dignity and learn much. I love how each chapter is its own fun little anecdote and how hope shines so brilliantly through each page.
8. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle: A non-fiction book about a husband and wife who realize their long-cherished dream of living in Provenance, France. Peter shares of events that will widen your eyes in mirth and wonder: the best ways of truffle hunting, goat races in the middle of town, and gormandizing the glorious cuisine.
9. Stardust by Neil Gaiman: Tristan Thorn traverses into a dangerous and strange land past his village to find the fallen star to give to the girl he loves. A charming, exciting fairy-tale like story!
10. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne: I saved the best for last! This book is also not merely for children. My husband and I enjoy reading it occasionally to each other, and the adventures of the animals of the Hundred Acre Woods (and Christopher Robin) always put a smile on our faces! The pictures help too, of course ;).
What are some lighthearted books you enjoy reading?