I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a funny or feel-good book to lighten my mood a bit. This has never been truer than it is now, during this whole COVID season of life. If I start a book and it looks even remotely depressing, I’ll put it down and move onto something else a little more uplifting. Here is a list of some of the books that make me laugh, keep me engaged, or just make me feel good. If you’re looking for an uplifting read, you’ve come to the right place.
Books That’ll Make You Laugh:
Learn Me Good by John Pearson—When you go from being a thermal design engineer to being a third-grade teacher, well, you might run into some things you weren’t anticipating. Jack Woodson and his former co-worker, Fred Bommerson, email back and forth with Jack sharing stories of the kids in his classroom during his first year of teaching in a low-income Texas grade school. As Art Linkletter used to say, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” and this book is full of them. And if you like it, there’s a sequel titled Learn Me Gooder.
Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff—If sarcasm escapes you, you probably won’t enjoy this book. But if you’re looking to add a little laughter into your life, this will fit the bill! We Christians are a funny bunch and Jonathan Acuff has managed to capture our oddities in a way that’ll tickle your funny bone. For instance, when discussing the importance of Bible reading, he talks about how it’s pretty heavily suggested our devotional time should happen in the morning. As he puts it, “God is an early bird; Satan is a night owl. Everyone knows that.” That particular line might not hit your funny bone the way it hit mine, but, if you’re a night owl who struggles with early morning devotions the way I do, you’ve probably had these same thoughts. I’ve never laughed so hard or so often while reading a book unless it was when I was reading Learn Me Good.
The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper—While this book isn’t filled with one funny story after another, it still has plenty of humor in it. Caution though—there are also some really sad parts. If you have somehow come to believe that happiness isn’t meant for Christ-followers, this book is for you. Lisa shares both hard and uproariously funny stories to show how God indeed wants us to experience happiness. She also gives tips on how to be happy despite the challenges that come our way.
Books That’ll Make You Feel Good:
Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin—I heard about this book on a podcast about books with an older female protagonist. The story begins when Harriet Beamer loses a bet with her daughter-in-law. Losing meant she would agree to move from Pennsylvania to California to live with her son and his wife. She’s 72 and though she agrees to go, she’s going to do it her way . . . by bus. Not the Greyhound bus, but public transportation local buses. This story chronicles the interesting, quirky, memorable, and harrowing events Harriet encounters along the way. It’s a delightful story, somewhat light in nature and content, and a very fun read.
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg—A little redbird named Jack is at the center of this story. Jack was shot by some teenage hooligans, and a small-town Alabama store owner nurses him back to health—kind of. Though Jack’s not healthy enough to fly free, he’s healthy enough to fly around the town’s only grocery store. (It’s fiction. We all know the health department would never allow a bird to roam freely about a grocery store—hopefully.) It’s there that the whole town falls in love with Jack, including Patsy, a little girl who is soon loved every bit as much as the bird. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but suffice it to say, it’s worth reading. Although this is somewhat of a Christmas story, you needn’t wait until then to read it. It’s a funny and heartwarming tale.
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter—This is a book geared for a younger audience, so you may have already read it. I found it to be a perfectly delightful book. Recently orphaned Pollyanna is sent to live with her cranky, strict, old Aunt Polly. Pollyanna always finds the best in things and is incredibly chatty, which endears her to most everyone around her. But when a horrible accident leaves her crippled Pollyanna, thinks it’s too much to bear. Those whose lives she’s brightened do everything in their power to make her happy again.
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.