21 Books to Read When You’re Sad

By | March 19, 2019

If you discover the grey clouds golf shot a damper on your mood, these books to scan once you are unhappy can facilitate bring the sunshine back to your life! From moving family sagas to tender romance to feel-good fiction, this list of books to scan once you are unhappy can have you ever feeling higher in no time. Publishers’ descriptions enclosed.

1. Unmarriageable

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

“A fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society.”—NPR
Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.
A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

2. Good Riddance

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

“Effortlessly charming . . . The book inspires a very specific kind of modern joy.”
—New York Times Book Review
The delightful new romantic comedy from Elinor Lipman, in which one woman’s trash becomes another woman’s treasure, with deliriously entertaining results.

Daphne Maritch doesn’t quite know what to make of the heavily annotated high school yearbook she inherits from her mother, who held this relic dear. Too dear. The late June Winter Maritch was the teacher to whom the class of ’68 had dedicated its yearbook, and in turn she went on to attend every reunion, scribbling notes and observations after each one—not always charitably—and noting who overstepped boundaries of many kinds.

3. The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

The hysterical, clever, and unforgettable sequel to Jonas Jonasson’s international bestseller The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

He’s back. Even older. Even funnier.

It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harboring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un. Yikes!

4. The Matchmaker’s List

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it.

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community

5. A Love Story for Bewildered Girls

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

‘FUNNY, HONEST, BRILLIANT’ Nina Stibbe, bestselling author of Love, Nina

Grace loves a woman. Annie loves a man. Violet isn’t quite sure. But you’ll love them all…

Grace has what one might call a ‘full and interesting life’ which is code for not married and has no kids. Her life is the envy of her straight friends, but all this time she has been waiting in secret for love to hit her so hard that she runs out of breath, like the way a wave in a rough sea bowls you over, slams you into the sand, and nearly drowns you.

6. The Lido

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

**INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER**

“In many ways, this meditation on community and swimming follows in the footsteps of the enormously popular A Man Called Ove… Both are charming and heartwarming.”—Kirkus Reviews

WE’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS—OR TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing.

7. Family Trust

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE FALL BY

The Washington Post • Elle.com • Buzzfeed • Entertainment Weekly • Bustle • The Globe and Mail • Apartment Therapy • Town & Country • Harper’s Bazaar

“American literature knows family about as well as anything else….By now the clichés write themselves. Yet debut author Kathy Wang confidently leans into them, spicing up old stories — the tense reunions and fatal betrayals and dying fathers — with fresh faces.” (Entertainment Weekly)

8. Dear Mrs. Bird

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

This charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about a young woman who longs to be a war correspondent and inadvertantly becomes a secret advice columnist is “a jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People)—for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

9. California Girls

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters
who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

10. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

“A laugh-out-loud funny, pitch-perfect novel that will have readers rooting for this unlikely, relatable, and totally lovable heroine, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is the ultimate escape—and will leave moms everywhere questioning whether it isn’t time for a #momspringa of their own.” —New York Journal of Books

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

11. See You in the Piazza

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

Bestselling and beloved author Frances Mayes discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine

The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country’s offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions–from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks.

12. White Elephant

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

The White Elephant looms large over the quaint suburban town of Willard Park: a gaudy, newly constructed behemoth of a home, it soars over the neighborhood, dwarfing the houses that surround it. When owner Nick Cox cuts down Allison and Ted Millers’ precious red maple—in an effort to make his unsightly property more appealing to buyers—their once serene town becomes a battleground.

13. The Editor

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

14. Meet Cute

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl in this sexy standalone romantic comedy.

15. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

The author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows follows her acclaimed America debut with this life-affirming, witty family drama—an Indian This Is Where I Leave You—about three Punjabi sisters embarking on a pilgrimage to their homeland to lay their mother to rest.

The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come.

16. The Southern Side of Paradise

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

From internationally bestselling author and “rising star of Southern fiction” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author) Kristy Woodson Harvey comes the third novel in her Peachtree Bluff series, in which a secret threatens the tight-knit bond between a trio of sisters and their mother.

With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.

17. Red, White and Royal Blue

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

A PopSugar Must-Read Book of 2019!
What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

18. The Unhoneymooners

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

19. Queen Bee

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

“If I could only read one writer from now until the end of my life, it would be Dorothea Benton Frank.” —Elin Hildebrand, the New York Times bestselling author of Summer of ’69, The Perfect Couple, and The Identicals

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank’s Carolina Lowcountry in this evocative tale that returns at long last to her beloved Sullivan’s Island.

20. How Not to Die Alone

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

Smart, darkly funny, and life-affirming, How Not to Die Alone is the bighearted debut novel we all need, for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, it’s a story about love, loneliness, and the importance of taking a chance when we feel we have the most to lose.

21. The Stationery Shop

21 Books to Read When You're Sad

From the award-winning author of Together Tea—a debut novel hailed as “compassionate, funny, and wise” by Jill Davis, bestselling author of Girls’ Poker Night—comes a powerful love story exploring loss, reconciliation, and the quirks of fate.

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