I feel like January-February is always the most down time of the year. The festive season is over, Spring feels like it will never come, and Easter (and chocolate) is still far away. It’s cold, almost always raining, and you have to go back to work and/or education. If you’re on the other side of the world, it’s all the same, but it’s starting to get colder instead, which isn’t fun either.
So today I’m going to be recommending you some books that might help a little. I’m not saying that any of these are miracle workers, and in fact you might disagree with some of them, but books have always been my crutches and maybe a book down here can offer you a crutch, too.
Click the links of any titles that interest you – it’ll take you to a magical place of wonderness*.
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling
This is a given on any post about bringing you out of the darkness. I recommend my favourite, of course: Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
This is a FANTASTIC memoir/self-help/non-fiction book. I cannot recommend it enough. Matt became very depressed a few years ago, and this is a book about his journey and, of course, his reasons to stay alive.
- Simon vs. The Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This is such a sweet, well-written LGBT romance, and I just want to read it all over again already. Simon has been emailing the mysterious “Blue”, another boy who shares the same secret. But then the emails have been taken, and Simon – and, inadvertently, Blue – is being blackmailed. This book is feel-good and, don’t worry: it has a happy ending.
- Anything by Rick Riordan (mythology-wise)
No, that isn’t the title of the book; I genuinely recommend every novel by Rick Riordan. I would definitely suggest either Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods or Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes, though, if you don’t want to start reading a series. They’re told in the same style as the original PJO books, so I’d definitely suggest them, and they’re short stories for light relief.
- The Odyssey by Homer
This might seem like an unusual pick for this list, but I have the MARVEL comic edition of The Odyssey on my bookshelf and it makes me happy every time I see it. Odysseus would have been a questionable hero in today’s society, but I love disappearing into the past to read about his quests. I don’t think I need to describe the synopsis of this book. Kind of also helps that I picture Hugh Jackman as Odysseus, which isn’t a bad thing.
- Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
This book/series is SO AWESOME! Robin Stevens is a fantastic writer, and I would definitely recommend anything written by her. I still have to get Jolly Foul Play, book 4, but I cannot wait. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are drawn in to murder mysteries in this series, set in the 1940s. The first book follows after a teacher has been found murdered, and Daisy and Hazel are determined to find the killer. This book has the (rubbish, IMHO) title of Murder is Bad Manners in the USA.
- Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
This is the first in The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, a steampunk series set in the 1880s. Tessa Gray arrives from America, determined to meet up with her brother and start a new life after their guardian and aunt has died. But London’s Downworld is dangerous, and Tessa meets a mysterious group who call themselves Shadowhunters. I love The Infernal Devices so frickin’ much, and I hope you do, too.
- Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
This is a memoir by Lucy Sutcliffe, who meets her long-distance girlfriend online. She writes about how she came to accept her identity, and the homophobia she has experienced, as well as so many other things: going to university, meeting and losing friends, and moving to America, where she now lives.
- The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
In this fantasy universe, Isabella cannot leave her island. As the cartographer’s daughter, with a knowledge of the stars and armed with pots of ink, she volunteers for the rescue search when her best friend – the princess – goes missing. This is a fantastically-written novel, and I can’t wait for Hargrave’s next book. I loved the relationship between the two main characters, and it was just fantastic and bittersweet. This novel is called The Cartographer’s Daughter in the USA.
*aka it’s Goodreads page.
“Now, where is that half novel?” you ask, having just now to referred back to the title after reading that sentence. Well, dear readers, I wasn’t quite sure how to write this out, but my half novel is this: two lists.
Yeah, it’s cheating and didn’t really work, but titles are tricky things, y’all.
I’m going to link you to my 2016 Favourites List on Goodreads, and here’s a link to my 2017 Favourites. If you’re still struggling for recommendations, try looking there. I don’t favourite books that make me feel bad.
I hope that this list has been helpful for at least one person out there, and you might even find a new favourite book. Please let me know any of your books that help you when you’re having a bad day in the description below!
And of course, here’s a song to listen to while you’re reading. I don’t know why, but I’ve actually started grinning since I’ve been listening to it.