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If you’ve been on the lookout for book club books that uplift your spirits, you’re in for a treat.
To be honest, book clubs don’t always have to choose literary fictions with deep themes.
Sometimes, it’s okay to grab a book that is more fun and lighthearted in mood.
In this blog post, I’ve curated a list of the best uplifting book club books that promise to leave you with a warm heart.
The books on this list are all uplifting in their own way.
The best part is that the list has some of the best works of authors such as Lucy Score, Beth O’Leary, Emily Henry, Mitch Albom and many more!
Best Uplifting Books for Book Club
Remarkably Bright Creatures Shelby Van Pelt
This is one of my favorite books from the list.
Remarkably Bright Creatures combines elements of heartwarming friendship, personal reckoning, and the resilience needed to confront the past.
The story centers around Tova Sullivan, a widow who finds solace and unexpected companionship in Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus at the Sowell Bay Aquarium.
The unlikely friendship between Tova and Marcellus and the overall narration really make this book an happy good book for discussion.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Next in the list is a feel-good book recommendation for your book club about a girl trying to find a place that she can finally call home.
August is in New York City, living with a few weird roommates and doing a waitressing job along with her studies. However, on her first day of class everything seems to go wrong. She is devastated and almost drawing in the spilled coffee.
Thankfully, she receives an unexpected kindness from a subway girl named Jane and it really made her day.
But soon she discovers that Jane is in fact displaced in time from the 1970s.
One Last Stop is a funny, modern romance book with plenty of heartwarming moments.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Happy Place is a delightful and emotionally rich story.
We follow Harriet and Wyn, a once-perfect couple, hide their breakup from friends during their yearly Maine cottage getaway.
With the cottage up for sale, this marks their final shared week.
The story has a mix of humor, charm, and depth as Harriet and Wyn grapple with their feelings while playing their designated roles.
The book deals with many inspiring themes related to relationships, which is why I think this would an an excellent choice for an uplifting and thought-provoking book club discussion.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
Introvert Nina Hill has always preferred a quiet life.
She is the only child of a single mother and has the best job in the world. She will happily spend as much time as possible with books.
This is also her way of avoiding people and surprises that might give her panic attacks. But when time comes she is forced to meet people, a lot of them who turn out to be her relatives.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a hilarious tale, filled with vivid characters which makes the story a perfect pick-me-up for book club memebers.
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
Romance author Lucy Score’s latest is a charming small town romance novel.
The main character is Naomi, who has a knack for cleaning up her twin sister’s mess. And this time she left her fiance at the altar to save her troublemaker sister in Knockemout, Virginia. However, little did she know that she is going to be a guardian for her niece that she never knew existed.
And what’s more, she is in a new town with no job and no home.
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Linus Baker is a Case worker and lives by the rules. He leads a secluded life in a tiny house with his cat.
Now, he has been given a top secret assignment by Extremely Upper Management.
His task includes travelling to a mysterious island to investigate the orphanage where six dangerous children reside.
But then once there Linus is able to find a home for the first time.
The House in The Cerulean Sea is a delightful book club choice that chronicles the story of chosen families.
Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce
The Sunday Times bestselling author AJ Pearce’s second novel is a follow up to her first novel Dear Mrs Bird.
Things are going well with Emmy Woman’s Friend magazine.
After her previous boss Henrietta Bird’s departure, she is the wartime advice columnist and is given more responsibilities. One of which is to write articles about the wartime female workers. She realises how hard it is for women to be working in the factories for less pay along with taking care of their children.
Yours Cheerfully is an inspiring book club pick that brilliantly elucidates the hardships and challenges of working mothers in the war time.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
From the author of Flatshare comes an uplifting tale about two women from different generations who want to escape reality and find new life.
The Switch follows 79 year old Eileen is looking for a second chance in love. As her tiny village isn’t the right place for her endeavours, she decides to swap places with her granddaughter.
Meanwhile, Leena, who just had a nervous breakdown at work, agrees to it immediately.
An engaging novel with rich characters that you wouldn’t be able to put down.
The Library by Bella Osborne
Introvert Tom is lonely and clueless about his future. Having lost his mother when he was eight, he is living with his alcoholic father.
Maggie is an enthusiastic woman who loves people. Their unlikely friendship begins at the library, where these lonely bookworms spend the majority of their time. Later they join the mission of saving the local library.
The Library is a beautifully written feel-good novel that exemplifies the joy of books.
Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac
Allie is a hardworking and young researcher who loves to spend time with her family.
But when she finds a letter from her grandmother’s cupboard, which contains a secret about her deceased mother’s past, everything changes.
As her grandmother refuses to talk about it, Allie decides to hire a detective to investigate the matter. Shortly after, Allie travels to Italy, along with her best friend, Ed, who is also battling his own share of problems.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
In 1946, as London is slowly emerging from the clouds of WWII, writer Juliet Ashton is searching for a new subject for her book. Then she receives an unexpected letter from a native of the island of Guernsey.
As they exchange more letters, she learns about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society of the Island and their love for literature. Fascinated by the island and the people, Juliet decides to travel to Guernsey.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a poignant story, must-read uplifting book club novel.
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
American author Mitch Albom’s inspirational memoir explores the profound meaning of life and the most important lesson in it.
Morrie was Mitch’s former teacher and loved his job a lot. Both had become close friends. However, after graduation Mitch hasn’t been in touch, until he learns about his best teacher’s illness. And realises that it’s his last chance to meet him.
Thus the two decide to meet every tuesday, it’s what Mitch calls his final class- lessons in how to live.
Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink
A true bookworm will know the joy of spending endless hours of reading.
Always buried in books, disconnected from the outside world.
In Dear Reader author Cathy Rentzenbrink discusses this very notion.
How she is rarely seen without her nose in a book. In every chapter she discusses a book that changed her life or helped her overcome the struggle.
An uplifting book club memoir that is filled with childhood memories and plenty of book recommendations.
One Day In Summer by Shari Low
One Day In Summer is set in 24 hours and follows three characters, each story having a certain relation that’ll unfold over the course of the story.
First we meet Agnetha, at the age of 45 year, has finally got time to reevaluate her life.
Having spent decades looking after her children and parents, she finally wants to live for herself. Meanwhile her ex-husband who happened to marry her ex-best friend is going through a rough patch in marital life.
And then there is Hope, who is finally going to meet her biological father, Aron. An heartfelt story that you would love.
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
Jessica Anya Blau’s dazzling novel takes you back to the Rock n Roll era of Hollywood.
Set in 1970s Baltimore, the story centres around fourteen-year-old Mary Jane. A shy girl who follows the strict house rules and loves cooking. When she lands a job as a summer nanny at The Cones’, the whole family is excited at the prospect of working at a respectable household. However, it turns out that The Cones’ are actually an utter mess.
There is litter in every corner and it’s always cereal and takeout for dinner.
Suddenly the young Mary Jane discovers a whole new life.
Mary Jane is one of my favorite happy and uplifting book club choices.
The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
79-year old Julian Jessop is certain that nobody is honest. People are always pretending to be someone else.
So he decides it’s time to write the truth about himself in a green notebook and calls it, The Authenticity Project. He then leaves the book in a local cafe so that next person has the chance to write in it.
The owner of the cafe, Monica, picks up the book and reads the content. Soon she also writes her story in the book and leaves it in the bar next door.
As the notebook is passed on from one character to the other, each shares their vulnerabilities and loses.
The Authenticity Project is an insightful and inspiring novel for your reading group in 2024.
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Marianne Cronin debut novel The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot’ is dearly funny and narrates a tale of an intergenerational friendship between two residents of the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital, 17-year old Lenni and 83-year-old Margot.
As both have lived 100 years, when adding their ages, they decide to celebrate their long life by painting memories of their lives. And their friendship deepens as they share their life stories.
This heartwarming bitter-sweet tale is a testament to love and friendship.
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
If your book club is looking for a fun and happy book that will leave you in an exciting mood, Guncle is a fabulous choice.
The book centres around retired sitcom star, Patrick leading an isolated life with occasional socialising. When he learns that his best friend and brother’s wife, Zara, passed away, he is forced to bring her two little kids to his house.
Well, he adores them so he doesn’t think twice about the prospect! After all, how hard can it be to look after two kids! A warm story about family and friendships.
The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn
The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside tells the story of Dawn Elisabeth Brightside who has been running away from her past for a while.
After finding shelter in St Jude- a hostel for the homeless, she has finally come to terms with her urge to flee. Although she herself is struggling with mental illness, she constantly tries to help others. And we also meet Grace, a social worker who is in charge of the hostel.
Another inspiring book that tackles the themes of mental health, homelessness and addiction.
Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson
Lillian and Madison were inseparable at school. But the former had to drop out of school to save her wealthy friend, Madison, from shame.
Now here she is again begging Lilian to save her once again. This time she is married to Senator Roberts and a father of two kids. Lilian is asked to be in charge of these two, inflammable children (literally).
The problem? Lilian needs a job, but she has no clue how to take care of children, as she never had a functional parent.
Nothing To See Here is really a feel-good book recommendation that your book club members would enjoy. There is something special about novels that tell stories of a dysfunctional family and parenthood, written in a hilarious tone.
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey
If you loved A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine you’ll love this lovely book.
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael follows 79 years old Missy is leading a solitary life in the family home where once her husband and children had lived. Now that they are all gone, she feels the stillness is haunting her.
Until, she meets the lovely Angela and her son Otis. Subsequently, Sylvie and Bobby.
This unexpected friendship gives Missy a new life and a family. A charming uplifting story that shows how friends and community can be life-changing.
The Lido by Libby Page
26-year-old Kate is a junior reporter for a local newspaper in Brixton, London who is responsible for covering small stories.
Her new assignment includes writing about the closing of the local lido (an outdoor pool and recreation centre). That’s when she meets 86-year-old Rosemary to whom the Lido has been an essential part of life.
Katie and Rosemary with the help of their community work together to save the Lido.
The Lido is a warm, affectionate and heartwarming book club choice about love, friendship and the power of a community.
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
If your book club loves uplifting reads, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an excellent choice.
Curmudgeon A.J. Fikry runs Island Books on Alice Island, which is on the verge of closure.
Fikry plans to sell the bookstore and auction his most precious possession, a rare collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe. However, his confident plan takes an unexpected turn when the collection is stolen, thanks to his habit of drinking. Amidst these challenges, a mysterious package arrives, changing everything for Fikry.
If you enjoy stories that bring joy and inspiration, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is a perfect addition to the uplifting book club reads.
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
If you’ve read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you might have been curious about the famous Queenie Hennessy, for whom Harold had walked miles!
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy is a sequel where you will learn more about her story.
Now she writes a long letter to Harold describing her childhood and university days.
She also confesses secrets that she has been hiding from him for years.
The thoughtful narrative, coupled with touches of black humor make this book an inspiring book for book clubs.
There are so many wonderful books that are uplifting for book club members in 2024. I really hope you will have a thoughtful discussion about these book recommendations.