So, it’s a little intense right now. Ok, it’s a lot intense right now and I know how hard it is to cope, how hard it is to keep it together, how exhausting it is carrying the weight of worry and unanswerable questions and uncertain future.
I also know we need to escape. We have to take a break. This can be really hard and I find my mind often wanders while I am reading/watching/listening and generally trying to distract myself.
So I’ve compiled a list of books that are easy to read, require minimal “mind work”, and just generally left me feeling light, happy, and hopeful. I’ve tried to include a wide smattering of genres – whether it’s fantasy, adult fiction, contemporary, or comic book… these are my top picks for an easy, happy read.
I have also included my Reading Playlist that is nice to have on in the background and a list of movies and TV shows that give me comfort, make me laugh, make me happy. So take some time away from media, pop on a playlist, curl up with a book, or tune out with a show.
Take care my friends.
Happy, Hopeful Reads:
1. Snapdragon by Kat Leyh: Hand on heart, my favourite comic I’ve ever read. If you are a fan of The Tea Dragon Society or The Cardboard Kingdom, you will adore this story. More importantly it will touch your heart and leave you with hope.
2. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen: You’ve likely heard me mention her before, but Sarah Addison Allen is my favourite go-to author for a good, comfy read set in a charming Southern town with romance and magic. Really any pick by her is awesome, but I really love this one … mostly because of all the yummy food.
3. A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson: Fans of A Man Called Ove need to take note of this oldie but goodie. Mr. Malik has been in love with Rose Mbikwa (the leader of their local bird society) for years. Now in his sixties, he is working up the courage to ask Rose to the Nairobi dance, unfortunately another suitor arrives to complicate things. Now the two men battle it out for Rose’s affection through a most serious challenge: identify the most species of bird in one weeks time. Friends, this book is just delightful.
4. The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson: If you’re a rom-com fan, you will eat this Miss Congeniality style romance up in one sitting. I know I did.
5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: One of my ultimate favourite romances, and by romance I mean r-o-m-a-n-c-e. Charm, heart, wit, and steam … a great escape.
6. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills: If you’re looking for your next great YA Contemporary, you’ll find some pure joy here.
7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee: I talk about this one a lot, but I simply adored this hilarious YA historical fiction/romance/contemporary smash up. Montey is a loveable buffoon, that you can’t help but cheer for.
8. Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey: A clever, delightful regency era YA(?) that is a fun and sweet combination of mystery and romance.
9. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: It is hard to find fantasy that isn’t a little bit bloody & violent or some disturbing … and while there are a few tense moments here, I haven’t read a fantasy that brings as much cheeky humour as this one. It is a light fantasy that will leave you smiling.
10. Caraval by Stephanie Garber: Now I will say the first few chapters are a little gritty, but it soars away from there. If you want to get lost in a dreamy fantasy world and magical carnivals & swoony romances are your thing … this is a fun, escapist read that will fit your bill perfectly.
25 of My Go-to Happy Shows & Movies:
(Prepare for Rom-Com overload in 3…2…1…)
1. Gilmore Girls (are you even surprised?)
2. One Day At A Time
3. The Blind Side (Or really any Sandra Bolluck film because, well, massive girl crush here)
4. Arrested Development
5. Grace & Frankie
6. Father of the Bride – I mean it is completely ridiculous, utterly cringey, absolutely unreal … and I love it.
7. My Big Fat Greek Wedding … why the wedding theme?
8. Mrs Doubtfire
10. The Devil Wears Prada
12. The Great British Bakeshow
13. Schitt’s Creek
14. The Office
16. New Girl
17. 30 Rock … although I’ve never actually finished the whole series for some reason…
18. Anne of Green Gables …. except for Matthew, but still …
19. Freaky Friday
20. Ramona and Beezus
21. Ralph Breaks The Internet
22. Nanny McPhee
23. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day