Thursday 1 August 2013

The Weekly List #4: My List of Mood Boosting Books

Last week I posted The Reading Agency's most recent list of mood boosting books, and then I went and sat down and tried to write a list of books which, on repeated reading, have never failed to put a smile on my face once I've finished with them. You should go and do the same, seriously, it's harder than it sounds... Here's what I eventually came up with:

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The End of Mr Y – Scarlett Thomas

Harry Potter – J.K Rowling

Anne of Green Gables – L.M Montgomery

The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

Little Women and sequels – Louisa May Alcott

Quentins – Maeve Binchy

These Old Shades – Georgette Heyer

About a Boy – Nick Hornby

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

Anything featuring cupcakes or chocolate by Jenny Colgan

Anything and everything by Noel Streatfeild, but especially Ballet Shoes, A Painted Garden, The Growing Summer and Apple Bough.

How to be a Woman – Caitlin Moran

Things by Bill Bryson are also generally a good bet.

Matilda – Roald Dahl

I realised after a while that the vast majority of these books are either children's books, or books I read when I was in my early teens. I wonder whether that's because kids books often have a more optimistic subject matter or are more humorous? Or just because of the time of life I was at when I read them; do they make me happy because I was less jaded and cynical when I read them? I'm not sure, but I'm inclined towards the latter way of thinking... What would be on your list? And if you do accept my challenge and write one yourself, please leave a link to it in the comments so I can have a look!


  1. Oh I used to love Matilda (the film) so much! I found it mood-lifting and inspiring! I haven't read the book though and I feel I should.

    1. Me too! It was one of those movies where it just made me want to be a better person, and to read and play and be happy. Can't beat that for a message, really... :)

  2. Of your list, I've only read J.K. Rowling, Bill Bryson, and Roald Dahl. I want to read Chocolat some day!

    You've inspired me to make my own list. Here it is:

  3. Definitely agree about Noel Streatfeild! Also Roald Dahl, although I prefer The BFG myself. And, for my recommendation, anything Diana Wynne Jones, but especially her Chrestomanci books.

    -- Anastasia @ Here There Be Books

  4. Awww, Matilda! She was always my favourite Roald Dahl character, obviously... :)

    Other books that I've read multiple times and that always make me smile and cheer me up include 'The Undomestic Goddess' by Sophie Kinsella, Bill Bryson's 'Notes From a Big Country' and 'Good Omens' by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Books about books are more inspiring than mood-boosting, but they're always near the top of my list too when I need something to make me feel better.

  5. Totally agree about Roald Dahl, although I think the Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were always my favourites... and I didn't know Chocolat and About a Boy were books as well as films! I need to go hunt them down soon! I also agree with you about being more optimistic in childhood because the only mood boosting book I can think of for me is Winnie the Pooh :) I'll definitely be back to your blog soon, it's really interesting!

    Please follow me back! :)