These Books Are Guaranteed To Brighten Your Day

by Charlotte Ahlin
Ashley Batz/Bustle

I know that this will come as a shock to you, dear reader, but life is occasionally not so great. We all have our low moments. We've all been down in the dumps. Every once in a while, we all eat more than the suggested serving size of ice cream while weeping openly after a bad day at work. That's why everyone needs a dependable book to hide behind when the going gets tough. Books are always there for you in your darkest hour. So here are a few books that will cheer you up, no matter what's got you down.

These are the books that can make you laugh, even when everything else is life is exploding and/or falling apart at the seams. They can make you smile, or even just feel like you're stepping out of your own garbage life for a brief and shining moment of peace. The big, dramatic, tragic books of literature might get all the credit, but cheerful books are a lot more fun. Happy books are doing the heavy lifting of keeping society from collapsing into a mess of sad, anxious people with sad, anxious reading material.

So pick up one of these cheery books, and remember that this too shall pass:


'Hyperbole and a Half' by Allie Brosh

Look at that drawing of a dog. Don't you feel better already? Even though Allie Brosh candidly addresses her own struggle with depression in this graphic novel memoir, she still manages to make every page a sheer delight. In this book you will find dogs, cake, evil geese, and a lot of very unique art expertly executed in MS Paint.

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'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' by Mindy Kaling

Reading one of Mindy Kaling's books is like gabbing with your actual friend. She's not going to pretend that life is all roses and cupcakes, but she is going to make you laugh hysterically and consider the idea that rom-coms might be a sub-genre of science fiction. This book of essays is a guaranteed pick me up for even the gloomiest of moods.

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'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams

The galaxy is a very large place (as Douglas Adams puts it, "you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space"). So somewhere out there, there might be someone immune to the hilarious, irreverent charms of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But I've never met that person, and so I think you should read this book of utterly bizarre, wholly hysterical space adventures.

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'Letter to My Daughter' by Maya Angelou

Some people find absurdist space adventures to be the perfect antidote to every case of the blues. But if you prefer something a little more grounded in reality, try Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter. Through essays, memoir, and poetry, Angelou offers advice on living a life of meaning to you, her daughter. It's a beautiful, uplifting, funny, and honest book that's sure to brighten your day.

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'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery

Anne is undoubtedly the most delightful Canadian orphan in all of literature. She runs around getting into scrapes and dying her hair green and seeing breathtaking beauty in the most ordinary of places. Reading Anne of Green Gables is sure to remind you that, no matter how bleak your circumstances, the world is a wide and occasionally lovely place.

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'Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters' by Mallory Ortberg

If you're a fan of classic literature, then this book is sure to pull you out of any funk and make you weep with laughter. Even if you haven't read all of the "classic" canon, you can find something to cackle at in this book. Mallory Ortberg is a certified comedic genius, and her "modern" conversations with the great characters of literature will change the way you think of your favorite books.

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'Good Omens' by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Yes, this is a book about the apocalypse, and yes, it will still cheer you up. It's a fun book about the apocalypse. It's even uplifting, from a certain angle. But mostly, Good Omens a story about a very anxious angel and a very cool demon trying to find the misplaced anti-Christ, and it's ludicrously funny from beginning to end.

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'The Phantom Tollbooth' by Norton Juster

If you haven't read this book since you were a kid, pick it up again. And if you've never read this book, pick it up for the first time and discover that math can be fun! That's what young Milo discovers when he goes through a toy tollbooth and into the mysterious Lands Beyond. The Phantom Tollbooth is that rare book that is both educational and heartwarming and full of puns.

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'Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk for Now and Later' by Adam J. Kurtz

Sometimes the best way to cheer yourself up isn't to step into the magical Lands Beyond, but to pick up a pen and deal with your feelings, as unpleasant as that might sound. Pick Me Up is part journal and part pep talk, and every page will offer you a little something to feel good about. Keep this book handy for small, creative doses of good vibes every now and then.

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'Where the Sidewalk Ends' by Shel Silverstein

When all else fails, Shel Silverstein is there to make life a little more bearable. Where the Sidewalk Ends is full of odd, often funny, and occasionally even touching poetry, with wonderfully strange drawings to match. It's more or less impossible to make it through a whole poem without reliving all of your best childhood memories or, at the very least cracking a smile.

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