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?
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.
The Story Of Arthur Truluv
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 Trouble With Goats And Sheep
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
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 Little Paris Bookshop
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
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
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
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.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry
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
An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life’s Greatest Lesson
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
The Art Of Seeing Others Deeply And Being Deeply Seen
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.
A Walk In The Woods
Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World
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.
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.