Reading As Self-Care: Spend The Long Weekend With One Of These 5 Uplifting Novels

by | February 17

I don’t know about you guys, but this week has been a doozy over at Glom HQ. Maybe it’s the complete meltdown in D.C. seeping into other aspects of life, but I think it’s safe to say that we could use a break from reality. Ironically enough that break will come in the form of a holiday celebrating a legacy that is in severe peril, but I digress. THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!

(Related: Meet GlomBox: The Pop Culture Book Haul of Your Dreams)

So if you, like me, are looking for a few novels for the long weekend that will a. keep you captivated enough to not check Twitter, and b. make you feel a little bit better, read on.

1. We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride

Sick of me talking about Laura McBride? TOO BAD. Whenever I’m burnt out or just flat-out exhausted by the news cycle, this is the book I cuddle up to. Just read this quote, and you’ll understand why:

“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.”

Read it: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Indiebound

2. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Ugh, I love this book. Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again this weekend. If you care about books or words or bookstores or stories and want to be reminded that those things are important and have power, this is the book you need to read right now.

“After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this:
A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”

You’ll get it once you read it. Get going.

Read it: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Indiebound

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Thank God this is a convo in print because I’ll be honest with you I still don’t know how to pronounce my man Ove’s name. Some people are saying “OOO-vuh,” others swear it’s “ooo-vay,” and still others claim “ah-vey.” It’s beyond me. The point is that A Man Called Ove is a GD delight, and the exact type of book you want to get wrapped up in on a weekend like this. The premise sounds sad (cranky old man trying to kill himself) but it’s actually funny, charming, enjoyable to read, and extremely hopeful.

One of my favorites: “Parvaneh gives him a dismissive wave. “Oh, don’t concern yourself about that. Ove is quite clearly UTTERLY LOUSY at dying!” Ove looks quite offended by that.”

Read it: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Indiebound

4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

There is one author that never lets me down when I need a pick-me-up: Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor & Park is particularly life-giving, but really anything Rainbow Rowell has put on paper is 1000% worth your time. The woman just doles out feels nonstop feels but it’s so WELL DONE that you don’t feel even the slightest bit silly for getting totally swept up by it.

“There was something about the music on that tape. It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and her stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the world, wasn’t what she’d thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing.”

Read it: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Indiebound

5. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

I know, seems like a weird choice, but hear me out. Even though it’s a somewhat…shall we say…somber premise (a woman lives alone translating stockpiles of books into Arabic that no one will ever read), this book falls squarely in the “it all matters” category. Not to mention the “power of literature” category, which is what this is at its heart. Not to mention the writing itself is gorgeous.

“When I read a book, I try my best, not always successfully, to let the wall crumble just a bit, the barricade that separates me from the book. I try to be involved.

I am Raskalnikov. I am K. I am Humbert and Lolita.

I am you.

If you read these pages and think I’m the way I am because I lived through a civil war, you can’t feel my pain. If you believe you’re not like me because one woman, and only one, Hannah, chose to be my friend, then you’re unable to empathize.”

Read it: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Indiebound