Uplifting Books When You Need Them Most: 14 Options
Uplifting books for book clubs or individuals that will lift your spirits!
If you are looking for heartwarming, uplifting books, this list has twelve great options for you!
Sometimes, we truly need the happy or hope filled ending that comes from reading uplifting books. I truly believe that books are a way to cope with reality and encourage us when we need them.
I put together a list of uplifting books that are great by themselves or for book clubs that contain lots of discussable content but will also leave you on a high note.
I hope this list of uplifting books will bring you exactly what you need right now!
*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any of the uplifting books purchased through the links in this post at no extra cost to you! Please consider using Bookshop.org to support indie bookstores everywhere!
Uplifting Books for Book Clubs or Individuals
The Authenticity Project
When Monica finds an ordinary notebook with a secret confession inside that encourages the next reader to live authentically, she scribbles her own confession and passes it own. As the notebook continues its journey, the writers eventually find each other and connect in ways they never imagined!
This book was an unexpected surprise for me, since I hadn’t heard of this author before! I’ve since read her latest, Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting and found the same charming level of strangers looking for a connection in a busy world. These are heartfelt, uplifting books that are just what our world needs.
A Man Called Ove
Backman is a master of capturing human emotion and the longing to feel connected. A Man Called Ove starts off unexpectedly, with an old man realizing he has nothing left to live for. But as he keeps getting foiled in his attempts to take his own life, he starts to realize the people he’s so grouchy about have found a way into his heart.
Life’s Too Short
Vanessa has a successful business showcasing her travels on Instagram. She makes sure she enjoys every moment of her life, even when her sister abandons her daughter, leaving Vanessa to pick up the pieces once again. When her ridiculously hot next door neighbor steps in to help, she can’t help imagining a future life with a husband and kids, something that is never a guarantee.
Easily my favorite of Abby’s books, I was blown away by the depth of this romance novel. This is emotional and bold and full of learning to live life to the fullest. Incredible.
How To Walk Away
by Katherine Center
Katherine Center has an undeniable knack for stories about strong women overcoming extraordinarily difficult circumstances. If you want to read uplifting books featuring an incredible story of a journey to finding happiness and purpose in any situation, pick this up right away!
Mere hours after getting engaged to the man of her dreams, Maggie finds herself in a hospital facing unfathomable and life altering injuries. She struggles between depression and optimism, setbacks and finding a new purpose. All with the help of her new physical therapist and formerly estranged sibling.
Honorable mention if you want another Katherine Center goes to What You Wish!
Key To My Heart
by Lia Louis
This book centers around a widow dealing with her grief, but it’s incredibly uplifting and authentic. Lia Louis does an impressive job taking a tough topic and guiding readers through her journey with care and hope. I adored this!
Two years ago, Natalie’s husband died tragically leaving her adrift and lost in a world she can’t imagine without him. Her only solace is playing a piano in a London train station, where she can be completely anonymous and get away from everything in her head. Until someone starts leaving sheet music that is directly tied to her former life.
As she attempts to uncover the mystery, she begins befriending new people and even attempting to date again, but still struggles to understand whether her late husband is somehow guiding her back to him.
The Giver of Stars
by JoJo Moyes
Moyes breaks away from her usual stories to tackle historical fiction and does a terrific job. Set in rural Kentucky during the Great Depression, The Giver of Stars tells the story of the female packhorse librarians. These women took it upon themselves to deliver books to poor families in their community, facing danger at every turn.
This novel was a slow read for me, but I enjoyed every bit of it. The descriptions of the hills of Kentucky are breathtaking and the relationship between the women is moving. It’s a story of independence, friendship, love and dedication. A unique historical fiction addition to this list of uplifting books for book clubs!
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
by Josie Silver
I’ll admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of Josie Silver’s last smash hit, One Day in December. I couldn’t resist the concept of her new release though. Lydia’s devastated when her soulmate and fiance is killed in a crash. The grief is all-encompassing, until she discovers her sleeping pills allow her to be with Freddy when she’s asleep.
She has to decide whether to work through her grief in her real life or continue visiting the alternate reality where Freddy still lives. Doing both takes too much of a physical and mental toll. This isn’t an easy rom-com type read, but I thought it dealt with grief really well, ultimately making this uplifting books list for the ending. Thankfully I’ve never had to go through anything similar, but it’s still devastating to read.
Save this list of uplifting books for book clubs for later!
The City Baker’s Guide To Country Living
by Louise Miller
It has loads of country charm, delicious desserts, and an endearing love story. Olivia escapes to her best friend’s small town in Vermont after her career goes up in flames, literally. Livvy accepts a stint as the pastry chef at a local inn and moves in to a small property nearby. She quickly realizes she’s there to help the owner reclaim the blue ribbon at the apple pie contest.
Through various twists and turns and a chance at love, Livvy discovers how much she loves the country life. There’s nothing like small town baking that makes uplifting books special!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman
Readers and book clubs will love this sweet story about a woman who works in a bookstore! Nina is quite happy with her job, trivia team, cat, and reading habit. If she ever starts to get an inkling she might be missing something, she just dives back into her books.
This existence is upended when a father she didn’t know dies and reveals a whole family that desperately wants to get to know Nina. Will this change finally be enough to break her out of her shell?
Abbi’s writing is always insightful and witty, with just the right amount of quirky and sarcastic!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This WWII historical fiction novel is a heartwarming journey into the lives of a few residents of the island of Guernsey during and after the German occupation. Juliet is a writer who begins a correspondence with them and slowly gets to know them through their letters. It’s beloved by everyone who reads it and was adeptly turned into a movie on Netflix!
You can also hop over to my list of the best WWII historical fiction for more books like this one!
The House In The Cerulean Sea
by TJ Klune
This addition to my list of uplifting books for book clubs is all due to bookstagram bringing this to my attention! A sweet, touching fantasy about accepting yourself and others. This is the definition of heartwarming. I just wanted to hug this book and never let go.
Linus is tasked with inspecting an orphanage that is home to some very unusual and dangerous children. During his time there, he learns there may be more to life than the endless, safe routine of his job.
Evvie Drake Starts Over
by Linda Holmes
Recently widowed Evvie Drake is struggling to get her life back on track. Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher, can’t throw straight anymore, and doesn’t know why. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. But rules are made to be broken.
It’s always a pleasant change of pace to read about singles in different stages of life. A widow and aging baseball player certainly aren’t the usual candidates for romance. Ultimately, this story was about overcoming their struggles, with an unexpected bonus from finding each other.
Set On You
by Amy Lea
This is the perfect uplifting books of 2022 for anyone who gets sucked into fitness influencers or ramps up their workouts for the summer! It features an incredible message that’s a much needed play on “body positivity” and rampant “self love”.
Self made fitness influencer, Crystal, finds a new nemesis when a brawny, annoying (but gorgeous) man steals her favorite squat rack. Their rivalry heats up each day they cross paths at the gym, until one night they unexpectedly meet in the real world.
The last thing she wants is to actually fall for this jerk, but the more Crystal gets to know Scott, the more there is to love.
The Beach Trap
by Ali Brady
Two debut authors team up for this last spot on my uplifting books list. Estranged friends are reconnected after taking dual ownership of an old beach house. Over the course of the summer, they begrudgingly discover what they missed and loved about each other all those years ago.
This is the perfect blend of women’s fiction and romance which creates the perfect uplifting books addition. The characters find a beloved friendship again with a few opportunities for romance along the way. These polar opposite characters each have redeeming qualities so you’re hoping for the best for both of them!
Which of these uplifting books for book clubs would you pick for your next meeting?
Great list! My novel, The Paris Predicament, is a quirky tale about an American chalk artist in France. It is also a fun, uplifting read.
Amazing list. Your blog should be called neverenoughtimetoreadnovels LOL.