One of the best things about books is their ability to sweep us away into an exciting world of new friends, teachers, confidants, and allies.
Staring at a page of only lines of letters, our imagination paints a new world for us.
If we're feeling good, a great book can make you feel even better and if we're stressed or sad, a good book can pick us right up out of that rut. Even a bad book has the ability to change our perspective or inspire us and old favorites let us revisit some of our oldest friends.
Here are a few books that will brighten your day.
Here is the laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of a hilarious year in the life of the devastatingly self-aware Bridget Jones; a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1 1/2 inches, visit the gym three times a week not merely to buy a sandwich, and form a functional relationship with a responsible adult.
Betty Smith$16.99 $15.63
From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family's erratic and eccentric behavior--such as her father Johnny's taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy's habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce--no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans' life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans' daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (Original)
Allie Brosh$19.99 $18.39
FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn't me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I'm not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book: Pictures Words Stories about things that happened to me Stories about things that happened to other people because of me Eight billion dollars* Stories about dogs The secret to eternal happiness* *These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
Francois Lelord$16.00 $14.72
"Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself. . . . And so he decided to take a trip around the world, and everywhere he went he would try to understand what made people happy or unhappy." Hector travels from Paris to China to Africa to the United States, and along the way he keeps a list of observations about the people he meets. Combining the winsome appeal of The Little Prince with the inspiring philosophy of The Alchemist, Hector's journey around the world and into the human soul is entertaining, empowering, and smile-inducing--as winning in its optimism as it is wise in its simplicity.
Fannie Flagg$9.99 $9.19
Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a now-classic novel about two women: Evelyn, who's in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who's telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women--the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth--who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter--even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1), Volume 1: The Illustrated Edition
J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay$39.99 $35.99
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley -- a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry -- and anyone who reads about him -- will find unforgettable.
Ernest Hemingway$12.99 $11.95
The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, "The Old Man and the Sea" has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple. powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificnet twentieth-century classic.
Shel Silverstein and Shel Silverstein$17.98 $16.54
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk ... and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.
The Happiness Project, Tenth Anniversary Edition: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle,
Gretchen Rubin$16.99 $15.63
Gretchen Rubin's year-long experiment to discover how to create true happiness. Drawing on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world examples, Rubin delivers an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
Marie Kondo$18.99 $17.47
Spark Joy features step-by-step folding illustrations for everything from shirts to socks, plus drawings of perfectly organized drawers and closets. Kondo also answers frequently asked questions, such as whether to keep "necessary" items that may not bring you joy. With guidance on specific categories including kitchen tools, cleaning supplies, hobby goods, digital photos, and even building your own personal "power spot" in your home, this comprehensive companion is sure to spark joy in anyone who wants to simplify their life.
John Boyne$9.99 $9.19
Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Mark Nepo$18.00 $16.56
"I would follow this man anywhere his words want to take us," writes Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, in praise of Mark Nepo and The One Life We're Given. "His voice helps us find pathways where we might have believed that no pathway could possibly exist."
One and Yusuke Murata$9.99 $9.19
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem--he just can't seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of 'em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?
Amy Tan$16.00 $14.72
Amy Tan's beloved, New York Times bestselling tale of mothers and daughters Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés$8.99 $8.27
Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society's attempt to "civilize" us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls. Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller, shows how woman's vitality can be restored through what she calls "psychic archeological digs" into the bins of the female unconscious.
Jodi Picoult$17.00 $15.64
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Charles Dickens$6.99 $6.43
In this unabridged version of the original 1843 edition, the classic tale is illustrated with full-color paintings and black-and-white drawings that brilliantly recapture an era and bring Dickens's characters vividly to life. "Michael Foreman's illustrations have brought new life and charm to a story we all know." -- Parents Magazine
Paulo Coelho$16.99 $15.63
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.
Dr Seuss$18.99 $17.47
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life's ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, "Seuss's message is simple but never sappy: life may be a 'Great Balancing Act, ' but through it all 'There's fun to be done.'" A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!
Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams, et al.$26.00 $23.40
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships--or, as they would say, because of them--they are two of the most joyful people on the planet. In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering? They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.
Eat Pray Love 10th-Anniversary Edition: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert$17.00 $15.64
Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love touched the world and changed countless lives, inspiring and empowering millions of readers to search for their own best selves. Now, this beloved and iconic book returns in a beautiful 10th anniversary edition, complete with an updated introduction from the author, to launch a whole new generation of fans. In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want--husband, country home, successful career--but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
Brené Brown$14.95 $13.75
When our embarrassments and fears lie, we often listen to them anyway. They thwart our gratitude, acceptance, and compassion--our goodness. They insist, "I am not worthy." But we are worthy--of self-discovery, personal growth, and boundless love.
Composed by one of the world's foremost scholars of the Kama Sutra and Indian art The erotic sentiments described in the Hindu love classic the Kama Sutra constitute the most famous work on sex ever created. Written almost 2,000 years ago, the Kama Sutra deals with all aspects of sexual life, including the principles and techniques of sexual pleasure and how to best achieve ecstatic expression of life's beauty.
We hope one of the books here widened your smile and helped you build a beautiful day.