It’s that time of year again. The Christmas lights are down but the world is still cold and dark (especially if you foolishly moved to Canada – hello weekend snowstorm). The pubs have stopped serving mulled wine and we’re stuck with several more months of winter without Christmas, which is essentially what made Narnia so awful. Wikipedia tells me that Blue Monday is pseudoscience, but I can see why so many people think today is the most depressing day of the year.
With that said, here are some comfort reading choices to make this allegedly miserable day a little bit brighter. I recommend reading them under a blanket with a hot chocolate.
Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding
I reread this one almost every year in January and it never fails to make me smile. If you’re familiar with the films (and who isn’t?!) you’ll know how loveable Bridget is, but the books are even better. Plus, her feelings about January and the post-Christmas gloom are very relatable. It’s a great choice for a book to make you smile and is just as good the second (or third or fourth or fifth) time you read it as it is the first.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
You can’t help but get invested in Harold’s journey and his sweet compassion and unshakeable determination make this a real feel-good story, even at sad moments. I’ve heard only good things about this book and have only good things to say about it myself.
Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson
I’ve read this one more times than I can count. For me, it’s one of the first stories I turn to if I need cheering up. I loved it as a child and love it just as much now. The characters are pretty inspiring and it sends such good messages to readers, whatever their age. Also, it’s set in sunny Brazil so is good escapism if you’ve had enough of the cold.
The Keeper of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan
This is another story chosen for its lovely characters. It’s full of whimsy and kindness and when you read the last page you feel all fuzzy and warm. Sometimes, all you need is to read a story that lets you like all the characters, and this one does that as well as having an engaging plot.
The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
Almost didn’t mention these because I know they’re already top of most people’s comfort reading lists, but I’d be lying if I wrote a post about books to cheer you up and didn’t include Harry Potter. I read them in sickness and in health and nothing cheers me up quicker than revisiting Hogwarts.