Checking In: Talking Fitness Again
And Here We Are

Reading for Hope

All week long, I look for . . . 

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And then on Fridays?
I report back!

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Earlier in the week I was explaining to my daughter about how I was looking for hope. She suggested that I might find it in a book -- and she mentioned a particular book that she had read recently. 

This one . . .

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I had never heard of this book before . . . not on any of the "best new books" lists, not on any of your blogs, nowhere. (Probably because it fits into the "fantasy" genre. . . ) But when I talked to Erin about it, I knew I needed to read it. (Erin is as picky a reader as I am, so I take her recommendations seriously.)

Here's her Goodreads review . . .

"What a delightful story of growth, redemption, empathy, and love. An extremely human story about people who can change even in the face of deep, systemic prejudice. A hopeful thought in times like these.

This book was comforting and reading it was a joy throughout. The oppression of magical youths as a metaphor for racism was occasionally a bit on the nose, but honestly it worked for me.

Sometimes, you just need a happy story that inspires hope. This book is exactly that."
            ---- Erin, Goodreads review

As soon as I read that, I just knew I needed to read it.
A "happy story that inspires hope" . . . she says.
So I dropped everything, found the book, and dove in.
I'm not finished yet . . .  but friends? This book is totally delivering!
This book is a delight. It brings HOPE!

Which got me thinking:  There are books that disrupt our thinking and books that challenge us and books that entertain.
So, of course, there are also books that bring us hope!
Books that restore our faith in humanity.
Books that we need right now.

I decided to make a list of books I've read that do just that -- inspire hope. (And it was easier than I expected, because these books are among some of my more favorite books.)

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (quite possibly my favorite book of all time)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
This is Happiness by Niall Williams
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Then, I did a little digging around on the internet . . . and I discovered that there is a Goodreads Restore Your Faith in Humanity book list. Buzzfeed has put out a similar list. And the Guardian just published an article on the subject as well (they call it "comfort reading").  Turns out . . . reading for hope . . . is A Thing!

My recommendation in the looking-for-hope department this week?
Pick up a book!
Not just any book, mind you -- but one that will restore your faith in humanity!
Get to reading.
And when you're tempted to sneak a peek at the news headlines . . . pick up the book instead!

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What books might you add to the list? What books have you read that inspire hope?

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My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest and read -- and things that bring you joy. 

Don't forget to look for hope.
Find a book that fills your soul.

 

Comments

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Bonny

This is a wonderful and welcome post! In a deja vu moment, Ryan just recommended House in the Cerulean Sea to me yesterday. He's a big fantasy reader and said he is on his second audio listen. As for my own hopeful reading suggestions, I'm about halfway through A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and am finding it full of hope. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig is a memoir of his life with depression, but he writes about how living without hope taught him to look for and celebrate it. Both The Shipping News by Annie Proulx and The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher are go-to hopeful books for me. I'm looking forward to more recommendations from other readers!

Dee

I think we're going to be needing those books more than ever in the next few weeks (months?)

Vicki

Oh, what a great post! Thanks for this... looking forward to checking back to see what others have to offer, too. Wonderful. (And MAYBE there's a kickstarter for me in here.)

Debbie

I recently re-read my grandmother's 1943 edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I always find this book restores my hope. I did a bit of research on the book and found out that during WWII there was a book program to boost the morale of the GIs and their most requested book was A Tree Grows In Brooklyn!
In addition to the books you listed, I would add these books that bring me hope and comfort: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu, Mink River by Brian Doyle, and The Essays of EB White.
I have heard of The House in the Cerulean Sea, it was on the Modern Mrs. Darcy summer reading list and it didn't appeal to me, but you have changed my mind and I will be adding it to my TBR list.

Kat

All.Of.This!! I am off to find a book that gives hope! Thank you for the suggestions!

(also, A Man Called Ove - EXCELLENT and John Boyne's The Hearts Invisible Furries - even more excellent!)

And what Debbie said... ATGiB was phenomenal! (as are her other suggestions!)

kim in oregon

Thank you for all the great book suggestions with this post!

Carolyn

THIS is the 'list genre' I've been needing! I've been struggling since my summer reads streak--so, quite a few weeks--and I wasn't sure why. But I think you may have tapped something here. Thanks :)

Sarah

I would add to your list Fredrik Backman's My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. There are some sad parts, but overall it's wonderfully heartwarming, much like A Man Called Ove.

Carole

What a great idea for a book list. Maybe we'll create a library display of books that make us feel hopeful. I added The House in the Cerulean Sea to my TBR list the other day when I saw you had added it, I think it sounds delightful.

Mary

Cerulean Sea was in Modern Mrs Darcy's Summer Reading Guide and I've heard from many that it's their favorite book of 2020. It is definitely on my TBR list for the fall. Katie (at the Cozy Burrow) suggested an old Mary Stewart title Thornyhold and I read it in two days ... delightful a restoring my faith in humanity kind of way. and others have recommended L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle and I have it from the library. I've only read Montgomery's Anne books and they always remind me that happy endings don't always look like we expected ... but they still work out.

Pam

I find Anne Tyler's books hopeful - or at least I leave them with my faith in humanness bolstered. I especially like DInner at the Homesick Restaurant.

Jane

I like your advice to find a book that fills with hope. I'm going to go searching with that in mind.

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