10 Novels That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
Most of the avid readers I know prefer fiction. When I ask why, the number one answer I hear is “to escape reality.” While that’s not my reason, I can relate. I thoroughly enjoy reading non-fiction, yet my all-time favorite type of book to read is a novel with a straight forward story-line and relatable characters, one that draws me in from the first page and makes me wish it will never end.
The world is a scary place right now, and we can all benefit from an occasional break from reality. Here’s a list of wonderful books that will lift your heart and remind you there is a lot of good in the world!
- The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver
A teenaged girl leaves small town Kentucky after high school graduation to head west. Along the way, she unexpectedly acquires a three year old Native American girl, and her life plans are forever changed. Their story is one of friendship, family, love, and belonging.
- The Secret Life of Bees – Sun Monk Kidd
Lily is a 14 year old girl whose mother died when she was young, leaving her to live alone with her abusive father. She is raised by a nanny, Rosaleen, who she fiercely loves. When Rosaleen is in danger, Lily executes escape for them both. They find refuge in the home of three beekeeping sisters, and Lily’s world expands as she learns the truth about the mother she barely knew.
- We Are Called To Rise – Laura McBride
The lives of three separate individuals come together in one tragic moment, and a child is caught in the middle. As the stories weave together, the reader is taken on an emotional roller coaster. Eventually, each person is called to rise, to stand up and do the right thing.
- Which Brings Me To You – Steve Almond & Julianna Baggot
After a lusty encounter at a friend’s wedding, John and Jane decide to take a step back and get to know each other before going further. This novel is comprised of the letters they exchange after the wedding. They confess with brutal honesty, mistakes, triumphs, and romantic histories. As they get closer to a second meeting in the flesh, you can’t help but root for them and respect the raw emotion of their letters.
- The Martian – Andy Weir
Astronaut Mark Watney has accidentally been abandoned on Mars. A storm forced his crew to evacuate, and believing him to be dead, they left him behind. Sure, Mark’s engineering skills and intelligence serve him well in this situation,as he fights to survive, but his snarky sense of humor and belief in himself make him a lovable hero.
- Love Walked In – Maria De Los Santos
All of this author’s books could be included on this list. I recently named her as a binge worthy author because her hopeful novels are addictive! Here we have the story of 11 year old Clare, abandoned by her mother and searching for her father. She crosses paths with Cornelia, whose life has recently changed drastically. The two form a special relationship and together face life’s unpredictability.
- A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
Four people meet on a rooftop on New Year’s Eve. All of them came for the same reason, to jump. As they share stories, and reflect on the lives they plan to end, things don’t go as expected as they connect with each other. A tale of mistakes and regrets, it is also about second chances and hope.
- A Man Called Ove – Fredrick Bachman
Ove is a grumpy old man living alone, ready to move on from this world. When a rowdy family moves in next door, Ove’s solitary routine is frequently interrupted. A sad, yet comical tale of a man whose loved ones refuse to give up on him.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Written as a series of letters, this novel tells the story of a writer in post WWII London who is seeking a new project. She receives a letter from a man who found her name written inside the cover of a used book. As letters are exchanged and stories are told, we learn how a group of people on Guernsey Island survived the German occupation by sticking together and supporting each other. There are some heavy parts, but the general tone of the book is one of hope and perseverance.
- Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walter
Spanning 50 years, this gorgeous novel chronicles the many ups and downs in the life of an American starlet, and the people who pass through her life. It is a story both tragic and uplifting,about following dreams no matter the timing or consequences.
Do you agree with my list? What books might you add or remove?!