Picking a book can be tricky. There's the fear that you'll pick a shit one, the concern that you're reading too much of the same thing, and the need to look into yourself to ask: what do I really want to read right now? Maybe I spend too much time picking new books, but I hope at least some of you can relate?!
I try to switch up the genres I read all the time so that my reading can become a bit more diverse, and so that I'm always pushing myself to expand my comfort zone. A lot of the time my book choices depend on what kind of mood I'm in, so today I'm sharing a great book for every mood you might be feeling in the hope that it helps to make the choice a little easier.
Angry: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This absolutely had me fired up and channelled my internal rage into something external. Fuck the American police system, and fuck racism. THUG is a story about a teenage black girl living in the US. Her friend is murdered by a cop for no good reason and she bears witness to it. The rest of the book is all about her struggle for justice for the boy she grew up alongside, and how hard it is to get.
Fearful: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a great one go to for this. It makes you realise that no matter how many setbacks you have, and no matter what age you are, you can change your life. The book is split into three sections: the first part is in Italy, the second in India and the third is in Indonesia. I found the India section genuinely soothing, and it calmed so many of my fears about my own future.
Lonely: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This novel speaks out about what it's like to go to university and be separated from everyone you know for the first time. The main character is a twin, and as her counterpart gets more and more distant over their time at uni, she starts to struggle. It's a tale about finding friends when you don't even want to spend time with you, and can't understand how anyone else could. It shows that you need to reach out when you're feeling low, even if it feels like nobody cares.
Happy: When Dimple met Rishi by Sandyha Menon. This is such a light and joyous read. If you're already feeling chirpy, it's only going to improve it. This is a YA romance filled with awkward moments, a lil sadness, but overall just a generous amount of love and friendship.
Excited: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Who can resist the glitz and glamour of Gatsby's parties?! Although the book is about the destruction of the American dream, it's also a book about hope and everyone always looking forward to the 'next big thing'. Plus, it's a quick read if you're feeling a little antsy with excitement.
Nervous: Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley. Another YA read, this is about a 16-year-old agorophobic boy. His struggles are getting worse and worse, until he finds a friend determined to 'fix' him. The book shows that mental health problems can't be fixed quickly, or in the way other people want them to be, no matter how hard someone tries. It's a comforting read, full of humour and love and happiness, which is exactly what you need when you're on edge.
Frustrated: Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson. This fast paced thriller will have you turning every page as fast as possible. There are no dry moments, and when everything clicks into place the book becomes so utterly satisfying. Our main character suffers with amnesia from a car accident. Every morning she wakes up thinking she's in her twenties. She doesn't recognise her own reflection, anyone around her, or where she is. Her husband Ben takes care of her, but one morning she finds a note written in her own handwriting, telling her not to trust Ben. From this point on, she's determined to remember exactly what happens to her to each day before she falls asleep.
Apathetic: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Sometimes apathy is a good thing, but sometimes it's a sign that you're boxing up your feelings in a negative way. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a quick read that absolutely tugs on every single heart string. It tells the story of the holocaust through the eyes of two eight year old boys: Bruno, the son of a Nazi commander, and Schmuel, a Jewish inmate in a concentration camp. It's such a potent story packed full of intense emotions.
Sad: 'Milk and Honey' by Rupi Kaur. The poems in this book are so powerful that it's something I'm always coming to when I feel sad. Reading the book cover to cover is cathartic, in that it gives you time to absorb yourself in your sadness, and then claw your way up out of it. I prefer to read a scattering of Rupi's poems, looking for hope on each page that opens itself up to me.
Romantic/flirty: Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence. This is SAUCY in ways I never expected. It was written in the 1920s, but not widely published in the UK until the 1960s, and even then went through an obscenity trial. The author uses the word fuck repeatedly, as well as cunt and the whole relationship the book is based around is between an upper class woman and a working class man. *Fans self* can you even IMAGINE how rage-filled the stiff upper lip public was?
Peaceful: Any Sherlock Holmes novel by Arthur Conan Doyle. There's something so twee about this books. Each story is quick and easy to read, and has an air of an adult Enid Blyton book. It's a relaxing read that is perfect for snuggling up with a cup of tea and feeling content with.
Envious: Shiny Happy Person by Terri Cox. I'm a sucker for feeling envious all the damn time. I'd like someone else's hair/house/skin/Insta following count please, ya know? But, it eats away at you. Shiny Happy Person is a tale of one woman's struggle with depression, how that's impacted by envy, and how to rise out of the depths of your own despair.
Struggling: Remember This When You're Sad by Maggy van Eijk. There are so many important messages in this book for when mental health issues get on top of you. There are tips and lists of ideas for things that might help, but importantly these are interspersed with anecdotes from the author to avoid the book becoming draining.
Stressed: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. The secret's out, I'm a fan of historical fiction, but hear me out on this. We all know the outcome of the story of Anne Boleyn's marriage to Henry the Eighth, don't we? So there's no nasty shocks waiting around the corner for you. The book is juicy, filled with gossip, and totally distracts you from stress in your own life. It's a *fairly* relaxing read as nothing in it is going to be too surprising, and Gregory's books are something I always come back to when I'm feeling like stress is getting the better of me.
Creative: 'Start Where You Are' by Meera Lee Patel. This is one of my favourite creative journals I've come across. It encourages you to look into yourself and your life and create words and art based on it. The watercolour art already in the book is incredible, and I love that each double page spread has a motivational quote on it.
Nostalgic: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling. Is there anything that brings you back to childhood more? It's short, it's comforting, and it always reminds me of the excitement that came with reading the whole series for the first time, and waiting for each new release. It makes me happy even thinking about re-reading this.
Childlike: Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. Sometimes we need to retreat into our inner child, and Winnie-the-Pooh is a great way to do that. Most versions of the book have beautiful illustrations and it's just a comforting read that takes you back to a simpler time. Also, how excited are we all for the Christopher Robin movie?! I cannot wait!
What are some of your go-to books for different moods?