Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Mood-Boosting Books

There are lots of things I love about England---Jane Austen, London, The Great British Baking Show---but one of the more interesting is the national program of mood-boosting books in England called Reading Well. One in four people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. The program draws on a huge body of research that reading has a strongly positive effect on mood. 

I like the idea of mood-boosting books. Am I certain that there are books that boost my mood? Yes. Am I certain that there are books that boost everyone's mood? I'm not so sure about that.

Nevertheless, when I was given the opportunity to make a list of whatever I want, I decided to share my top ten mood-boosting books.

My Top Ten Mood-Boosting Books

#10 All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

#9 Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico

#8 The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

#7 Life With the Lid Off by Nicola Hodgkinson

#6 A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

#5 Life According to Lubka by Laurie Graham

#4 My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

 #3 Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

#2 Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

#1 The Enchanted April by Elisabeth von Arnim

I've assembled a list of mood-boosting books here and I've added a list of The Best Mood-Boosting Books at Goodreads. To start 2020 off right, I've decided to devote January to reading mood-boosting books that I have not yet read. I will read from this list of books that were recommended as mood-boosting books:

Penguin's Poems for Life
Long Lunch: My Stories and I'm Sticking to Them by Simon Hoggart
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West
A Winter Book by Tove Jansson
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich
Bird Cloud: A Memoir by Annie Proulx
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
The Rest of Us Just Live There by Patrick Ness
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
A Breath of French Air by H. E. Bates
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Give me your thoughts.
Have you read any of these?
Are there any you would recommend for me that are not on this list?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. I've never heard of Reading Well but I instantly love it. What a good idea for a list! I might use this topic for a freebie week in the future. The James Herriot books are among my lifelong favorites and definitely fit the bill. I've heard good things about Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris; it kind of looks like a lesser known book that I loved, "Aunt Jane McPhipps and Her Baby Blue Chips." #7 is going straight to my TBR, and #4 is already there.

  2. I have the Rest of Us Just Live Here and want to read it soon. I go to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer for a mood boost. I still need to read Anne of Green Gables.

  3. London really, I find it an aweful place to go and steer clear. I have read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot and had one autograhed by the actor who played Siegfried in the TV series Robert Hardy. I think there is more than one book and they are very funny. Jerome K Jerome is buried in a churchyard not far from where I live and I have been to a few of the places mention in the book. https://thechurchexporer.blogspot.com/2013/02/three-men-in-boat.html

  4. All Creatures Great and Small was such a good read.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  5. Oh, I love the premise of your post this week, Deb. This can be a hard time of year for me for various reasons, so I'm going to be referring back to this post when I need something uplifting to read to get me through the rest of the holiday season.

    My TTT. Thanks so much for stopping by already today.

  6. I love that you went with mood-boosting reads when given the freebie. That's a very thoughtful topic, and I'm glad to see these.

    Here's my TTT :)

  7. i think mood boosting is a great topic too. i hope you enjoy all the books on your list
    sherry @ fundinmental

  8. So much fun. I raced right over to GR and added a bunch of books to your list. :)

    I haven't read Herriot in years, but would love to rediscover his stories. I enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here quite a bit, but my understanding of The Sun and Her Flowers is that it's pretty teen angsty. I haven't read it myself though!

  9. Great list! It's always good to have ideas for mood boosters. I usually head to romantic comedies when I want a mood boost.

    My TTT.

  10. All Creatures Great and Small is one of my favorites! James Herriot was one of my favorite authors while growing up! I'd love to read his tales again! Happy Tuesday!

  11. The only one on this list I've read is Anne of Green Gables, but I love that series!

  12. Good luck with your 2020 reading! I need to read more of Truman Capote’s work. I really like his nonfiction and short stories.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  13. I like the idea of mood boosting books too, especially since the wintry months seems to be when I need my mood boosted the most. Anne of Green Gables is such a lovely choice too.

  14. I haven't read any of these- but I love the topic! (And I love books set in England too, though I've never been.)

    1. I hope people will add more books to the Goodreads list.

  15. Anything by Jane Austen makes me nostalgic about family. Joanna Trollope takes me back to simpler relationships. Susan Howatch to religious themes and my convent education background.

  16. I really enjoyed the Gerlad Durrel and James Herriot books when I read them ages ago. Now I find myself watching The Yorkshire Vet on AcornTV. It follows the current vets who are in James Herriot's veterinary practice. And yes, there's lots of time spent with their arms up cows' bums. :-)

  17. I loved the Anne of Green Gables series. It's nice you are starting the year off on a positive note.

  18. Erma Bombeck’s books always cheer me up :)


Please share your thoughts.