Uplifting books for a grey January

I don’t know what it’s like where you guys live, but here in the Netherlands, winter is finally really starting. Right from the beginning of the new year, we were…err…blessed with constant rain, grey skies, and now also freezing temperatures and roads iced over so much that people are literally – I’m not even joking – ice skating on the roads to get to work. (There’s something to be said for the Dutch and our national passion both for ice skating and for getting to work regardless of what the weather conditions are.)

Combined with the loss of the Christmas spirit and all the cheery lights and decorations, January has a rightful reputation as one of the bleakest months of the year.

Which is why, today, I’m going to recommend some uplifting books to cheer you up and carry you through these dark days. Nothing quite like a good story to get you through, amiright.

Hyperbole and a Half (by Allie Brosh)
Not only are all the bright colours splashed over the pages uplifting by themselves, the comics are funny and made me, at least, laugh out loud a lot. This book does deal with some serious topics like depression, but in a totally hilarious (yet accurate) way. A very quick and undemanding read, too, and easy to pick up occasionally to read a bit.
(Goodreads page)
(My review)

Fangirl (by Rainbow Rowell)
A simple & cute story about university students falling in love. Not too intense and easy to read, so it’s nice to just sit down with after a long day at work/school.
(Goodreads page)
(My review)

Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynn Jones)
Magic, a walking castle, fun characters, and the message that you don’t need other people to make you like yourself. Definitely uplifting, fun, fast-paced, and will make you feel a lot better about yourself. Surely something we can all use this month.
(Goodreads page)
(My review)

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (Chris Hadfield) 
Because why not start the new year with some advice on how best to behave in a work environment, while simultaneously learning about what it’s like to be an astronaut. It’ll make you motivated for work, and thankful for being on earth with two feet on the ground instead of stuck in a  (relatively) tiny tin box that’s freefalling in orbit around the planet. Although, granted, they don’t do winter up there – or any season, for that matter. (Which also means no excuses for not showing up at work. Make of that what you will.)
(Goodreads page)
(My review)

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