Is there anything better than curling up with just the right book to fit your mood?
There are days where I crave something intense that I can lose myself in and make use of the stash of Kleenex in my closet. Other days, I want light and funny and reading that doesn’t require much use of my brain or my emotions.
May I present to you a list of over 70 books that I’ve read and loved. Each book is placed into one of nine categories, ensuring you will find just the right book for any mood!

Best Book List Ever


Loved by Kids and Adults

The Missing Piece, Shel Silverstein

Owls in the Family, Farley Mowat

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

Danny the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

The Search for WONDLA, Tony DiTerlizzi


When You Need a Chuckle

Eleanor Oliphant if Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out his Window, Jonas Jonasson

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Balli Kaur Jaswal


An Overall Great Book

100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love in a Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Strait is the Gate, Andre Gide

Reader on the 6.27, Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

A Complicated Kindness, Miriam Toews

Three Day Road, Joseph Boyden

My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout

Anything Is Possible, Elizabeth Strout

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

This is How it Always Is, Laurie Frankel

The Dutch House, Ann Patchett

The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again, Elizabeth Strout

Case Histories, Kate Atkinson

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson

Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett

Trickster Trilogy, Eden Robinson

Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson

State of Wonder, Ann Pratchett

The Imposter Bride, Nancy Richler

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

White Oleander, Janet Fitch

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

This Accident of Being Lost: Songs and Stories, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Jan-Philipp Sendker

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Marry Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows

The Help, Kathryn Stockett

The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise, Julia Stuart

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen


Get the Kleenex Ready

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki

A Man Named Ove, Fredrik Backman

The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne

The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Lily and the Octopus, Steven Rowley

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

A Widow for One Year, John Irving

Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

Liesl & Po, Lauren Oliver

Girl in Pieces, Kathleen Glasgow


Hard to Read But Worth it

My Life as a Rat, Joyce Carol Oates

The Book of Ruth, Jane Hamilton

Mercy Among the Children, David Adams Richards

God Help the Child, Toni Morrison

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver


Based on History

The Book of Lost Names, Kristin Harmel

Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill

Letters Across the Sea, Genevieve Graham

The Alice Network, Kate Quinn

Sarah’s Key, Tatiana de Rosnay


When You Can’t Handle Anything Heavy

The Editor, Steven Rowley

The Cracked Spine Series, Paige Shelton

The Bar Harbour Retirement Home for Famous Writers, Terri-Lynn DeFino

The Memoir Club, Laura Kalpakian


Real Life Stories

Untamed, Glennon Doyle

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, Katherine May

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

Care Of, Ivan Coyote

The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

Going Solo, Roald Dahl

Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer

First Spring Grass Fire, Rae Spoon


Writing & Creativity

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

On Writing: A Memoir of Craft, Stephen King

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

Okay are you ready? Let’s go to the nearest independent bookstore or library!

Want to take the list with you? Here is a printable PDF.

Do you have a recomendation for me? Send me an email! In them meantime, I’m just going to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Erica Richmond, she/her 

PS – If you love audiobooks, you must check out a sustainable, local alternative to Audible. Use my referral link to get started!

Looking for more writing inspiration? Sign up for Inspired Ink and receive writing tips, creative connections and real-life stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Erica Richmond

 Erica Richmond, the founder of Open Sky Stories believes that words have the power to provide connection & healing. She lives in Peterborough, Canada with her two teens where they find adventures in everyday life. Erica has published two books: Pixie and the Bees and The Mail Art Stories Project: Mail Art in the Time of Covid-19. Follow Erica on Instagram for daily writing inspiration and real-life stories.