UpLit Books

Uplifting and inspirational books!

November 8, 2023

December’s Saturday Book Club is reading UpLit!


What is “UpLit?”

Here’s what Libby Page, a new writing coach at The Novelry and one of the writers at the forefront of the UpLit revolution, has to say:

“One of the key markers of UpLit, I think (and seems to be the consensus if you have a dig through some of the articles written on the subject) is that while UpLit is optimistic, it is also grounded in reality and that means sometimes dealing with some very real, dark subjects. In my own novels I have explored subjects like grief, loneliness, panic attacks and family rifts. How the characters tackle these issues, though, and ultimately vanquish them, is what provides the ‘uplifting’ part. UpLit novels show characters grappling their way through dark times with the help of friends and community.”

Want to learn more? Check out Novelry’s article What is UpLit?

Hop to: Fiction | Nonfiction, Biography, and Memoir | Graphic Novel



The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List

Sara Nisha Adams

Working at the local library, Aleisha reads every book on a secret list she found, which transports her from the painful realities she’s facing at home, and decides to pass the list on to a lonely widower desperate to connect with his bookworm granddaughter.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman

A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.

The Story Of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

The Story Of Arthur Truluv

Elizabeth Berg

Making daily visits to the grave of his beloved late wife, Arthur forges unexpected relationships with a nosy neighbor and a troubled teen who dubs him “Truluv” before the trio discovers healing and family together.

The Lost Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan

The Lost Manuscript

Cathy Bonidan

Discovering an abandoned manuscript in her Brittany hotel room, a woman falls in love with the story and begins a life-changing correspondence with its mysterious writer.

The Trouble With Goats And Sheep by Joanna Cannon

The Trouble With Goats And Sheep

Joanna Cannon

In 1976 England, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly, after their neighbor Mrs. Creasy goes missing, decide to take matters into their own hands and find her and bring her home, going door to door in search of clues and soon discovering that everyone on the Avenue has something to hide.

The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin

The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot

Marianne Cronin

Determined to leave a mark on the world even though they are in the hospital and their days are dwindling, unlikely friends, seventeen-year-old Lenni and eighty-three-year-old Margot, devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived.

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion

Fannie Flagg

A novel spanning decades, generations and America in the 1940s and today, centers around five women who worked in a Phillips 66 gas station during the WWII years.

All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle

All The Lonely People

Mike Gayle

After lying about his perfect retirement life to his daughter in Australia, a Jamaican immigrant scrambles to make his actual life resemble the one he claimed to have when his daughter announces her intent to visit.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

Nina George

Prescribing books that offer therapeutic benefits to his customers, a literary apothecary in a floating bookstore on the Seine struggles with private heartbreak before embarking on a journey of healing at the side of a blocked writer and a lovelorn chef.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

How To Stop Time

Matt Haig

A man with a secret rare condition that has enabled him to survive for centuries moves to London to become a high-school history teacher and considers defying his protective guardians’ rule against falling in love when he becomes entranced by a captivating colleague.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig

Nora Seed finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, or realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist, she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

The Keeper Of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Keeper Of Lost Things

Ruth Hogan

Collecting things dropped or left behind by others and writing stories about them as a tribute to the fiance who died the day he lost one of her keepsakes, a man bequeaths his estate to his unsuspecting assistant, who bonds with new neighbors while attempting to reunite the objects with their owners.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Linda Holmes

The host of NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour” podcast presents a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young widow and a major league pitcher who has lost his game.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

Jonas Jonasson

Confined to a nursing home and about to turn one hundred, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant, and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old love in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

On Turpentine Lane

Elinor Lipman

Living a mostly peaceful existence in her small suburban hometown where she struggles to ignore the dysfunctional people in her life, Faith discovers mysterious artifacts that make her question a promising new relationship and everything she believes.

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

The Red Address Book

Sofia Lundberg

Living alone in her Stockholm apartment, a ninety-six-year-old woman reminisces through the pages of a long-kept address book before starting to write down stories from her past, unlocking family secrets in unexpectedly beneficial ways.

The Brilliant Life Of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

The Brilliant Life Of Eudora Honeysett

Annie Lyons

Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, a world-weary octogenarian forges an unexpected bond with an exuberant 10-year-old who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees and other social excursions.

The Supremes At Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

The Supremes At Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat

Edward Kelsey Moore

Forging a friendship at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Odette, Clarice and Barbara Jean meet regularly at the first diner owned by black proprietors in their Indiana city and are watched throughout the years by a big-hearted man who observes their struggles with school, marriage, parenthood and beyond.

The Love Story Of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

The Love Story Of Missy Carmichael

Beth Morrey

Reevaluating her past upon finding herself alone at age 79, Missy forges unexpected ties with two strangers and their spirited dog, discovering the power of friendship, family and self-forgiveness along the way.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

The Switch

Beth O’Leary

Ready for an adventure in the months after her husband of 60 years departs, a woman from a picture-postcard Yorkshire village offers to swap places with her burned-out adult granddaughter to pursue romance in bustling London.

The Lido by Libby Page

The Lido

Libby Page

An anxiety-riddled cub reporter for a small London paper is assigned to cover the closing of a local recreation center and bonds with an eighty-six-year-old widow who has swum in the community pool every day since childhood.

The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper

Phaedra Patrick

Finding a mysterious charm bracelet among his late wife’s possessions, sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper breaks from his routine life for the first time since her death and embarks on a quest to learn about his wife’s life before their marriage, a journey that leads to unexpected self-discoveries.

Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce

Dear Mrs Bird

A J Pearce

An adventurous young woman takes a typist job to assist the war effort and lands in the employ of a renowned advice columnist before she begins secretly replying to heart-wrenching letters rejected as unsuitable.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures

Shelby Van Pelt

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a luminous debut novel about a widow’s unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium-and the truths she finally uncovers about her son’s disappearance 30 years ago

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

The Authenticity Project

Clare Pooley

When Julian Jessup, an eccentric, lonely artist who believes that most people aren’t really honest with each other, writes the truth about his own life in a green journal and leaves it behind, others start writing in their own truth, which leads to unexpected friendship and love.

How The Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior

How The Penguins Saved Veronica

Hazel Prior

Determined to find a worthy cause where she can dedicate her millions, octogenarian Veronica rediscovers love, family and connection while bonding with an unknown grandson and infiltrating a scientific team on behalf of endangered penguins in Antarctica.

The Missing Treasures Of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

The Missing Treasures Of Amy Ashton

Eleanor Ray

A collector of objects, Amy Ashton, who believes it is easier to love things than people, finds her solitary existence interrupted when a new family moves in next door with two young boys–one of whom has a collection of his own.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir

Jennifer Ryan

Letters and journals reveal the struggles, affairs, deceptions and triumphs of five members of a village choir during World War II as they band together to survive the upheavals of war and village intrigue on the English home front.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer

In 1946, as England emerges from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey and his eccentric friends, who tell her about their island, the books they love, German occupation, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand : A Novel by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Helen Simonson

Forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century when he falls in love with Pakistani widow Mrs. Ali, Major Pettigrew finds the relationship challenged by local prejudices that view Mrs. Ali, a Cambridge native, as a perpetual foreigner.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

A socially awkward genetics professor who has never been on a second date sets out to find the perfect wife, but instead finds Rosie Jarman, a fiercely independent barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.

My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

My Italian Bulldozer

Alexander McCall Smith

Visiting the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his overdue cookbook, writer Paul Stewart endures setbacks that leave him stranded at the airport until a stranger offers him transportation on a bulldozer, triggering a madcap series of adventures on the Tuscan countryside.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

All Adults Here

Emma Straub

A matriarch confronts the legacy of her parenting mistakes while her adult children navigate respective challenges in high standards and immaturity, before a teen granddaughter makes a courageous decision to tell the truth.

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Still Life

Sarah Winman

In 1944 Tuscany, as Allied troops advance, a young English soldier has a chance encounter with a middle-aged art historian with whom he finds a kindred spirit and who sets him off on a course of events that will shape his life for the next four decades.

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Something Like Happy

Eva Woods

Thirty-five-year-old Annie Hebden is stuck in a rut until her bubbly new friend, Polly Leonard, challenges her to try a new way to be happy each day for 100 days.

Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson

Meet Me At The Museum

Anne Youngson

A professor in Denmark and a grandmother in England begin a correspondence, and a friendship, that develops into something extraordinary.

The Storied Life Of A.j. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.


Nonfiction, Biography, and Memoir

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays With Morrie
An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life’s Greatest Lesson

Mitch Albom

A Detroit sportswriter conveys the wisdom and life lessons of his late mentor, professor Morrie Schwartz–whose appearances on ABC-TV’s Nightline drew a flood of response–recounting their weekly conversations as Schwartz lay dying.

How To Know A Person by David Brooks

How To Know A Person
The Art Of Seeing Others Deeply And Being Deeply Seen

David Brooks

Drawing from the fields of psychology and neuroscience and from the worlds of theater, philosophy, history and education, one of the nation’s leading writers and commentators helps us become more understanding considerate toward others, and to find the joy that comes from being seen.

Atlas Of The Heart by Bren� Brown

Atlas Of The Heart
Mapping Meaningful Connection And The Language Of Human Experience

Brené Brown

Takes readers on a journey through 85 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human.

A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk In The Woods
Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail

Bill Bryson

Published on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, a wry account by the author of The Lost Continent traces an adventurous trek past the trail’s natural pleasures, human eccentrics, and offbeat comforts.

The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year Of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion

An autobiographical portrait of marriage and motherhood by the acclaimed author details her struggle to come to terms with life and death, illness, sanity, personal upheaval, and grief.

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

Man’s Search For Meaning

Viktor E Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

The Book Of Delights by Ross Gay

The Book Of Delights

Ross Gay

The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyrical essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic
Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert

Shares the author’s wisdom and thoughts on creativity, offering insight into inspiration and discussing the attitudes, approaches, and habits needed to live a creative life.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

A young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal diagnosis describes his examination into what truly makes a meaningful life.

Life Worth Living by Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, Ryan McAnnally-Linz

Life Worth Living
A Guide To What Matters Most

Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun, Ryan McAnnally-Linz

A guide to defining and then creating a flourishing life, based on the popular class at Yale.

Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalv�n

Until Tuesday
A Wounded Warrior And The Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

Luis Carlos Montalvan

Shares the inspiring story of how a sensitive golden retriever emerged from a difficult past as a prison pet and trainee at a home for troubled youths to become a dedicated service animal, describing how he found healing and companionship at the side of the author, a decorated and traumatized Iraq War veteran.

Dewey by Vicki Myron

The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World

Vicki Myron

Traces the author’s discovery of a half-frozen kitten in the drop-box of her small-community Iowa library and the feline’s development into an affable library mascot whose intuitive nature prompted hundreds of abiding friendships, in a tale told against a backdrop of the town’s struggles with the 1980s farm crisis.

Becoming by Michelle Obama


Michelle Obama

An intimate and uplifting memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.

Build The Life You Want by Arthur C Brooks, Oprah Winfrey

Build The Life You Want
The Art And Science Of Getting Happier

Arthur C Brooks, Oprah Winfrey

Offering practical research-based practices, this blueprint for a better lifenequips you with the emotional self-management tools needed for taking control of your present and future rather than hoping and waiting for your circumstances to improve.


Graphic Novel

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse

Charlie Mackesy

A modern, illustrated fable for readers of all ages that explores life’s universal lessons from beloved British illustrator Charlie Mackesy