It’s the middle of winter, the cold seems endless and the sun hasn’t come out in days. If you’re feeling a little down, you’re not alone, but there are ways to help banish the winter blues. This is the perfect time for some simple self-care: a cup of your favorite tea, a humidifier diffusing a soothing essential oil and a great uplifting book—something to buoy your spirits and your reading list.
A genre in itself, “Up Lit,” is best known for being championed by books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project. These are books that provoke thought, laughs and even tears but in the end leave you feeling joy—a joy that will last all the way to spring.
California Girls by Susan Mallery
Finola seems like she has it all until she finds out her husband is cheating. Zennie is independent and has bigger things on her mind than a breakup. And Ali’s engagement has just ended quite unceremoniously. The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for these three sisters who get dumped in the same week, but side by side, they will try to rebuild their lives.
The Time is Now, Monica Sparrow by Matt Howard
Monica Sparrow is spinning a bit. In her orbit is her prospective career as an author, a house full of stuff she knows she doesn’t need and a cloak of grief that continually weighs her down. But there is also her difficult sister Diane, her stepbrother Jamie and Xavier, her would-be editor—if she lets him at her work. Can four isolated people find a new start together?
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
A surprise marriage proposal may be just the thing some women long for—but not Nikole and not when it’s from her boyfriend of only five months and definitely not when his intentions are plastered on the big screen at the Dodgers game. But instead of guilt or humiliation, Nikole wants to script her own happily-ever-after—especially if it means rediscovering herself with a handsome doctor who says he’s also not looking for anything serious.
In Between Days by Eva Woods
Rosie Cooke is in a coma—an “in between” state. Then something strange starts to happen. Rosie finds herself revisiting scattered moments from her past. But why these memories? And what do they mean? As each piece of the puzzle comes into focus, Rosie struggles to face the picture of her life that forms. But with every look backward comes a glimpse of what might be and Rosie just might discover that she has much to live for.
The Lido by Libby Page
Kate is a 26-year-old journalist prone to panic attacks. When she is sent to write about the closing of the lido, a local recreation center, she meets Rosemary, an 86-year-old widow who has swum there for decades. Rosemary begins to tell Kate about her years at the lido and it soon becomes clear that the history of the two are inextricably intertwined. As Rosemary opens up to Kate, they find that they are both transformed—by friendship and by the lido.