Elevate Your Mood! 16 Uplifting Books for Book Clubs

16 uplifting books for book clubs

Could your book club use some uplifting books for a change? Many book groups make a point of choosing reading that will lead to serious discussions of important issues, but it's also important to foster the sense of joy and well-being that books can bring into our lives.

Plus, "uplifting" doesn't have to mean insubstantial. Plenty of books that address unpleasant realities still land on a hopeful note and leave room to feel positive about the future. Books that focus on social and political problems can do so through a lens of human closeness and community, and those that include sadness and grief can also offer plenty of humor and heart.

Whether you're looking for a cozy mystery, a travel adventure, a societal critique with a funny and optimistic bent, or a story that celebrates the strong ties between people maintained over years or generations, we have something for you. The list below includes all types of uplifting books from recent years that come highly recommended from our reviewers or from BookBrowse members participating in our First Impressions early reader program.


Celebrating Black History Month With Books

Celebrating Black History Month With BooksIn celebration of Black History Month, we feature more than 70 outstanding contemporary works of nonfiction and historical fiction by Black authors.

From now through to the end of February we're giving readers free access to these books, all of which have a review, an excerpt, a range of read-alike recommendations, and a "beyond the book" article that looks at a historical or cultural aspect of the book.

You can also explore many other genres of books by Black writers, such as contemporary novels, short stories and fantasy, with almost every book backed by a review, beyond the book article and an excerpt.

In fact, you can get even more specific by customizing your search to filter hundreds of genres, settings, time periods, and themes (for example: Black authors + Adult-YA Crossover Fiction + Set in Africa).

All these filters are available to you for free during February but are normally only available to BookBrowse members and patrons and staff of subscribing libraries.


Honest Reader Reviews of 2021 Books

reader reviews of some of the best 2021 books

There are many places to find reader reviews on the web, but it can be a challenge to know which are truly independent.

The reader reviews offered through BookBrowse's First Impressions program are trustworthy because only our members can post them. Members have the opportunity to request books to read months ahead of publication in exchange for their honest opinion. They can request specific titles but the books are assigned by an algorithm. This approach helps ensure that the overall consensus will not be influenced by readers with personal connections to the author.

It also results in candid, thoughtful perspectives from our members that give a glimpse of the experiences they've had with a book. By seeing the similarities in reader reactions and opinions, you can better decide if a book is one you're likely to enjoy. And with all of the reviewed books available, you're sure to find many that appeal to you.

Below are this year's First Impressions titles. If you'd like to see more books, we have reviews of over 750 available for you to browse!


Best Books of the Year 2021: Award Winners

2021 Best Books of the YearLast week, we introduced you to BookBrowse's Top 20 Books of the Year, as chosen by our subscribers. Now, it's time to announce the award winners. The winners for Best Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Debut and Best Young Adult Novel are the books with the highest ratings from subscribers in their respective category.


The Top 20 Books of 2021

Top 20 Awards Logo For more than two decades, BookBrowse has published an annual list highlighting the best of year titles according to our subscribers, and what excellent taste they have!

Take a look below to see which books made our Top 20 list for 2021 (books are displayed in publication order).


Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

Best Books for Book Clubs in 2022

2021 has proven to be another uncertain and unpredictable year. We hope that you have weathered it well. As you begin to gear up for next year, here is a list of books as a starting point for whatever need your book club is looking to fill, whether learning more about the world, diversion or simply a unique and memorable reading experience. To that end, we have selected a dozen works that we think will be great choices for your book group in 2022. All are already available in hardcover and ebook, and are newly released or soon to be released in paperback.

Our picks this year span debuts, works by established authors, and several different places and periods in history. They feature many people, particularly women and girls, who find themselves in a state of transition, out of place or belonging to multiple places. In A Million Things by Emily Spurr, 10-year-old Rae must fend for herself when her mother disappears. In the The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson, two women who have come to crossroads in their lives take a journey together along the canals of England. In The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson, Ruth Tuttle finds she must go backwards before she can move forwards, unearthing a secret that she attempted to leave behind years earlier. Patricia Engel's Infinite Country follows a teenage girl, Talia, whose family is spread across continents, and Love and Fury by Samantha Silva pays tribute to a major early feminist who forged her own path in both life and work, Mary Wollstonecraft.


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