Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

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benway
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Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by benway »

I’m looking for recommendations for mood-boosting books. They can be fiction, poetry or non-fiction.

My preference is for books that made you feel good rather than those that “changed your life” or any self-help books.

What are some of the best books you’ve read that you found to be uplifting and why?

Thank you for your suggestions.
Last edited by benway on Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
downshiftme
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Re: Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by downshiftme »

Factfulness - Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

It's full of facts, statistics, and well reasoned arguments why much of the doom and gloom news is not just incorrect, but the world is actually improving and likely to continue to do so. Encouraging and uplifting.
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GerryL
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Re: Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by GerryL »

Go-to book for boosting my mood: Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language by Richard Lederer. It is a collection of typos, bloopers and grammatical disasters from school essays, insurance claims, accident reports. etc. When I learn that a friend is dealing with a serious illness, I get them a copy of this book as a form of "laughter is the best medicine."
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steve roy
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Re: Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by steve roy »

Fiction/non-fiction books that boosted MY mood:

“Life on the Mississippi” (from Chapter 4, where the “cub pilot” fun begins). by Mark Twain

Novels of Raymond Chandler (“The Big Sleep” being the first)

The Spenser novels by Robert S. Parker

“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller

And if you’re an American history buff...

“Burr” and “Lincoln” by Gore Vidal

Also any collection of Vidal essays.
stuper1
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by stuper1 »

One of my favorite books ever: Watership Down

I know talking bunnies sounds like a stupid plot, but once you get into it, it's a great book. I read somewhere that the author modeled the book after a tight-knit group of soldiers with whom he served in WW2. The overall themes of the book include loyalty, courage, and love for nature.
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Alexa9
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Alexa9 »

Herman Hesse's books are inspirational and philosophical. Lots of introspection, transformation, and discovery. They make me want to sell everything and travel.
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bertilak
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by bertilak »

Here's an off-the-wall recommendation: Rudyard Kipling's Kim.

This is not explicitly a "feel good" book, but it makes me feel good whenever I read it, which I do occasionally.

In large part, the book is about the relationship between young Kim and the old lama he has joined up with: Here is a passage that shows their relationship early on in the story. They are discussing the people who gave them food and shelter for the night. Kim is carrying all their food and baggage. As they walk along the lama is contemplating other people’s spiritual progress and Kim is focused on the practicalities of the here and now. Each is comfortable in his own role.
  • ‘Pity it is that these and such as these could not be freed from the Wheel of Things’ said the lama.

    ‘Nay, then there would only be evil people left on the earth, and who would give us meat and shelter?’ quoth Kim, stepping merrily under his burden.
Here is a passage where an old soldier, retired after many battles, remarks on the busy Grand Trunk Road as he walks along it with Kim and the lama for a short while.
  • All casts and kinds of men move here. Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunnias, pilgrims and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river from which I have withdrawn like a log after a flood.
The book is also a grand adventure and spy story with close calls and clever maneuvers by Kim as he learns the spy-craft trade. There is a cast of memorable characters to keep you amused!

Kipling was a poet and that shows in his prose.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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camillus
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by camillus »

I like science fiction. I like the fantasy element which usually gets me out of my current situation and engages my imagination. A lot of science fiction is about a main character or a team overcoming an obstacle.

Examples: Ender's Game, the Martian, the Dune series (though that is quite heavy).
cheapedy
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by cheapedy »

Check out Jean Shepherd books, he is known for "A Christmas Story"

His books are compilations of short stories about growing up/kid/teenager in the 1940's. Later books are about his time in college and the army.

All hilarious!

Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories is my favorite.
guymontag
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by guymontag »

The Count of Monte Cristo and Shogun come to mind.
Island John
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Island John »

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamodis and Steven Kotler

Provides a positive outlook on the future.
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mhc
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by mhc »

I always felt better after reading Dr Seuss books to my children, especially Fox in Socks. I find the rhythm and humor very soothing.

I also find Psalms very comforting and uplifting.
Totrep
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Totrep »

I go for light-hearted, humorous books to boost my mood. I looked at my bookshelf for inspiration and came up with two suggestions:

The 13 Clocks, a fairy tale by James Thurber

Any of the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P.G. Wodehouse
Fallible
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Fallible »

benway wrote: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:26 pm I’m looking for recommendations for mood-boosting books. They can be fiction, poetry or non-fiction.
...
What are some of the best books you’ve read that you found to be uplifting and why? ...
Anything that brings perspective and insight, especially with good humor. That would include works of
Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, Cervantes, Chekhov, Frost, E.B. White, Thurber, and many more.

For some really fast mood boosting, still nothing faster for me than Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" books. Here's the caption from one of my favorite strips. It's a simple conversation between Charlie Brown and his sister Sally:

C.B.: "It was the last game of the season and we lost."

Sally: (As she walks away, obviously bored.) So what does that mean?

C.B: Well, in the long run and as far as the rest of the world goes, not a thing. (Then throws himself headfirst into a beanbag chair.) But I can't stand it!!"
Last edited by Fallible on Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Freefun
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Freefun »

How to get filthy rich in rising Asia.

It’s a funny book and quick read!
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?
bh7785
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by bh7785 »

camillus wrote: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:29 pm I like science fiction. I like the fantasy element which usually gets me out of my current situation and engages my imagination. A lot of science fiction is about a main character or a team overcoming an obstacle.

Examples: Ender's Game, the Martian, the Dune series (though that is quite heavy).
Ender's game is one of my favorite books, and I've read a lot of them.
mega317
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by mega317 »

I loved reading about the Apollo program--most recently Apollo 8 by Jeffry Kluger and A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. It makes me feel good to read about major historical accomplishments, teamwork, etc.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
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djpeteski
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by djpeteski »

You Are an Ironman by Jacques Steinberg
Six armature athletes chase their dream to complete Ironman Arizona.

Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset on and off the Court
Jay Wright
Story of Villanova 's NCAA championship.
kayakprof
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by kayakprof »

For absurdity and hopefully some good belly laughs:

"Straight Man" by Richard Russo

"Broom of the System" by David Foster Wallace

"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by bloom2708 »

https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life- ... s=stoicism

Lots of golden nuggets in this book.
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steve roy
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by steve roy »

One more (a book I found intoxicating when I was young and was sorry when the tale came to an end):

“The Wind In The Willows”
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benway
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by benway »

Thank you, everyone, for your excellent suggestions. I’ve already checked a few of these out of the library and I’m off to a great start. Much appreciated!
startwithtruth
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by startwithtruth »

This one is pretty famous so maybe you've read it; a really special book:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This one is a favorite; really outstanding audio narrated by Scott Sowers if you're into audiobooks. I frequently listen to this book on a timer at night when trying to fall asleep:
English Creek by Ivan Doig

I go in for humorous novels when I need a mood boost; if you don't mind fantasy, this is one of the funniest Discworld novels (my husband is currently reading it for the 3rd time). It stands alone just fine, no need to worry about reading the rest of the series before or after:
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Finridge
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Finridge »

Almost any of Dr. Seuss' books. This is not a joke.
denismurf
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by denismurf »

About once every other year, I re-read Dakota, A Spiritual Geography, by Kathleen Norris. She has a way of transporting me to the Great Plains with just words; no pictures. I always feel calm and refreshed after reading just a few pages.

Norris is a poet, a teacher, a preacher, and an occasional resident of Benedictine monasteries. I am none of those and so need to tap the brake pedal few times before entering her world. It's always worth the effort.
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Dottie57
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Dottie57 »

The Hobbit
Most Jane Austen novels.
Shelby Foote’s books on Civil War.
mega317
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by mega317 »

Finridge wrote: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:59 pm Almost any of Dr. Seuss' books. This is not a joke.
Except the lorax. Sad. The end doesn't turn it around for me. Fox in Socks is underrated.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
Caduceus
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Caduceus »

You could try Mary Oliver's poems. Simple, full of nature and light. If you are feeling down, these poems really make a difference.
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Re: Your Best Mood Boosting Books (not self-help)

Post by Limoncello402 »

I like history, and well written books about the triumph of human spirit over huge odds lift me up. Highly recommend such books as Unbroken: The Louis Zamparini Story, and The Boys in the Boat. Thrilling!
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