Goodreads Blog

20 Favorite Pick-Me-Up Books

Posted by Hayley on October 12, 2017
The right book can chase away even the gloomiest moods. In the company of cheerful characters and playful prose, worries slip away and anxiety fades. Everyone should have at least one pick-me-up book. We asked on Facebook and on Twitter: What's yours?

Today we've got some of your top answers, from laugh-out-loud capers to heartwarming stories of friendship and romance. If your favorite didn't make the list, share it with us in the comments!

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Comments (showing 1-50 of 51) (51 new)


message 1: by Oda Renate (last edited Oct 13, 2017 12:06AM) (new)

Oda Renate You missed: Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1) by Meg Cabot
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich
No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella


message 2: by Breslin (new)

Breslin White Chic lit always makes me feel better


message 3: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Oda wrote: "You missed: Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1) by Meg Cabot
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich
No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom"


If we're talking Meg Cabot, my favorites are the All-American girl series and the first four Princess Diaries.


message 4: by Caroline (new)

Caroline The cover on "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" is great.
It made me smile!!


message 5: by Phoenix2 (new)

Phoenix2 Caroline wrote: "The cover on "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" is great.
It made me smile!!"


Me too : )


message 6: by Vera (new)

Vera Harry Potter is always my choice!!!


message 7: by Oda Renate (new)

Oda Renate Katsuro wrote: "Oda wrote: "You missed: Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1) by Meg Cabot
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich
No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom"

If we're talking Meg Cabot, my favorites are ..."


True I could have just said Meg Cabot books. But that series espesially for me.


message 8: by Jim (last edited Oct 12, 2017 01:56PM) (new)

Jim Personally, I would always recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog above Three Men in a Boat, but maybe that’s just me. It’s a delightful book.


message 9: by Katherine (last edited Oct 12, 2017 02:46PM) (new)

Katherine Hayward I'd recommend all of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella .
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (and in fact all of Judy Blume's books) are on my TBR list- I haven't read any. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is too.


message 10: by Erika (new)

Erika Mine is a little bit of a strange choice: The Great Gatsby. It's the opposite of a happy book, but I've read it so many times that it's like spending time with an old friend, and it always cheers me up.


message 11: by Judith (new)

Judith Jim wrote: "Personally, I would always recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog above Three Men in a Boat, but maybe that’s just me. It’s a delightful book."


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Anderson Interesting mix in your list. Loved "Let's Pretend this never Happened" .... soooo funny. And Three Men in a Boat is such a classic funny read. I'd maybe add Nick Hornby's High Fidelity to your list, always makes me smile when I read it.


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Anderson And "A Man Called Ove' by Fredrik Bachman, ticks all the boxes for humour and being heart-warming and uplifting. A lovely book


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather Barbara wrote: "And "A Man Called Ove' by Fredrik Bachman, ticks all the boxes for humour and being heart-warming and uplifting. A lovely book"


I agree!


Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary" Whenever I'm down about the way this country is going I like to read apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian novels. Reason being they make me feel better because they tell how things could be worse. One of my favorite such authors is Bobby Akart.


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ Erika wrote: "Mine is a little bit of a strange choice: The Great Gatsby. It's the opposite of a happy book, but I've read it so many times that it's like spending time with an old friend, and it always cheers m..."

Same here!


message 17: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Little House on the Prairie? Uplifting for whom? They were part of an illegal rush of settlers into the Osage Diminished Reserve commonly called Indian Territory. Few people today realize, and perhaps Laura herself didn’t know, that a section of Kansas was once called Indian Territory. As Amy Fatzinger writes in her dissertation Indians in the House, Wilder raises “a great issue that was still problematic in the 1930s, when Little House on the Prairie was written and remains so today: the Euro-American preemption of lands occupied by Native Americans.”
Come on, Goodreads! For real- come on already!


message 18: by Saifa (new)

Saifa I have always loved 'My Family and Other Animals'; even the title makes me smile!


message 19: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa My happiest (and favorite) book of all time is Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Full of sweetness and comedy leavened with Steinbeck's love for humanity, especially the underdog.


message 20: by Kaemea (new)

Kaemea Katie MacAlister's Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend (Got Fangs? and Circus of the Darned) is my all time feel better book. Who can keep from laughing at Viking ghosts who pillage McDonalds and line dance?


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris I love Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but the ending depressed me.

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Remember? His pet got eaten alive and almost no one cared.
*MAJOR SPOILERS ABOVE*


message 22: by Sofie (last edited Oct 12, 2017 11:44PM) (new)

Sofie For a quick fix of a laugh I always go with the short story 'I'm Sorry I Bit You in the Leg During My Job Interview'

Otherwise:
Especially her dogs. They make me laugh so hard.
Another Jenny Lawson masterpiece. This or I source her blog for her best taxidermy stories.
A light and fun read about when the Queen started reading.


message 23: by Swaye (last edited Oct 13, 2017 12:35AM) (new)

Swaye Sofie wrote: "For a quick fix of a laugh I always go with the short story 'I'm Sorry I Bit You in the Leg During My Job Interview"
Wow, that story is hilarious! 😂😂😂 In fact, the whole site is pretty amazeballs.

My top 3 additions to this list are Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs, She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouse, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging and The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4


message 24: by Anne (new)

Anne Williams Any Terry Pratchett will do it for me, particularly the Watch books...


message 25: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Maureen wrote: "Little House on the Prairie? Uplifting for whom? They were part of an illegal rush of settlers into the Osage Diminished Reserve commonly called Indian Territory. Few people today realize, and perh..."

There's always somebody who has to find something to quibble about on a list... you're totally overthinking this.


message 26: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Here's one of my favorites:
Men in Kilts


message 27: by Kefiloe (new)

Kefiloe So happy to see Goldman and Sedaris on this list! I highly enjoyed reading The Princess Bride and Me Talk Pretty One Day.


message 28: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Gale Oda wrote: "You missed: Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1) by Meg Cabot
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich
No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
[bookcover:I've Go..."


Stiff upper lip by Lawrence Durrell.
Never fails to make me laugh.


message 29: by Marie (new)

Marie This list is just what I need today :-( Time to grab my Jeeves & Wooster books!


message 30: by Liz (new)

Liz Katherine wrote: "I'd recommend all of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella .
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (and in fact all of Judy Blume's books) are on my TBR list- I haven't read any. A Tree Grows in Brook..."

You have not fully lived until you've read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret!


message 31: by Charlene (new)

Charlene I wold add "Evil Librarian" by Michelle Knudsen. What a riot.


message 32: by Kay Dee (last edited Oct 13, 2017 09:14AM) (new)

Kay Dee books i found lol funny

Lisa Lutz 's The Spellman Files it is a mystery/spy. crazy funny family series.
The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1) by Lisa Lutz

Jasper Fforde's A Thursday Next Digital Collection: Novels 1-5 smart laughs with lots of puns and literary references.
One of Our Thursdays Is Missing (Thursday Next, #6) by Jasper Fforde

Carol Burnett's This Time Together and other biographies on audio, read by burnett. some of the stories she repeats. some are not funny but a lot are.
This Time Together by Carol Burnett

Tina Fey'sBossypants on audio read by the author, lots of lol moments with some serious stuff mixed in.
Bossypants by Tina Fey

some funny romance authors- not all are lol but most are, not all are well written but most are.
Tessa Dare
Julia Quinn
Sarah MacLean
Olivia Dade
Jen Turano

Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer so very funny. none of his other books are similar to them. i found that strange but i am glad he wrote it. i wish he had written more like this instead of the romances.
Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach now it might not be as funny to men since it is the angst/coming of age of a HS boy. but i found many moments jut lol cuz boys are just.... well boys. he wrote sequels to this story but i didn't read those.
Stupid Fast (Stupid Fast, #1) by Geoff Herbach

and there are some more biographies/memoirs i have listened to of comedians that had many lol moments as well as serious stuff. so i'll list some.
Tim Conway
What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway
Trevor Noah
Born a Crime Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Aziz Ansari
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (not a memoir or bio but funny and serious like the others)

Ellen DeGeneres -all of 'em


annnnnd i'm done.


message 33: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald "Cricket in Times Square" by George Selden was a favorite mood-lifter for me as a child.


message 34: by Lani (new)

Lani I loved Charlotte's Web as a child. I wanted to swing on the rope swing and listen to the animals talk. Heck who am I kidding. I still love it as I have just found the audio book and have the author read it to me when I need an escape.


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald Thought of some others!
Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing
Velveteen Rabbit
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Little House in the Big Woods
All the books by Beverly Cleary!


message 36: by N (new)

N Serjeantson The Swap
Bounce by
Megan Shull
are two books that really warm my heart!


message 37: by Eule (new)

Eule Everything Discworld, also 84 Charing Cross Street and Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.


message 38: by Jen (last edited Oct 16, 2017 07:05AM) (new)

Jen All Things Great and Small, by James Herriot.


message 39: by Sarahmarie (new)

Sarahmarie Harwood One by Richard Bach I always feel uplifted and reenergized every time I re-read this gem of a book. For that matter, all of his books are worthwhile reads.

I am definitely going to look up that short story mentioned earlier in this thread. Just its title had me laughing my head off! :-)


message 40: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Anything by Fanny Flagg! Her characters are a hoot.


message 41: by Carol (new)

Carol Wexler Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons-a British classic. Very funny but don't bother with the film.


message 42: by Simone (new)

Simone Jim wrote: "Personally, I would always recommend To Say Nothing of the Dog above Three Men in a Boat, but maybe that’s just me. It’s a delightful book."

Ditto! And I'd have to add Bellwether & Even the Queen: & Other Short Stories.


message 43: by Dancingdogs (new)

Dancingdogs Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson is a book a read 20 years ago and I vividly remember laughing uncontrollably at parts of it.


message 44: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Dancingdogs wrote: "Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson is a book a read 20 years ago and I vividly remember laughing uncontrollably at parts of it."

It is a great book and funny.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Has anyone ever read 'Little Teepee On The Praire'? It's a hoot (it's about owls). Honestly. Seriously.

Seriously though, I always find the last few sentences of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Bluebeard' always give me a lift. The rest of the book isn't too bad, either.

'Three Men In A Boat' has me laughing insanely, for the most part of it. It's about people who take themselves too seriously. And you have to laugh at that...


Judith A. Gervais Alexander McCall Smith
No.! Ladies Detective Agency and 44 Scotland St


message 47: by Anne (new)

Anne Williams Also anyone read The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford? Makes me smile just thinking about it...


message 48: by Dancingdogs (new)

Dancingdogs Anne wrote: "Also anyone read The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford? Makes me smile just thinking about it..."

Oh yes - great book!


message 49: by Anne (new)

Anne Williams So glad you liked it, it's pretty unique I imagine but just so innocently funny!


message 50: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Dancingdogs wrote: "Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson is a book a read 20 years ago and I vividly remember laughing uncontrollably at parts of it."

I also liked I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away. Really, you can't go wrong with any of his books!


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