How’re you feeling today? Maybe it’s been a long day, and you’re in need of a great adventure! But sometimes we need a good scare. Or a good cry. For every mood, there’s always a good book. Which is why I compiled a list of different books for different moods.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Written from the perspective of Leo, this is the story of Stargirl, a spunky, independent teenager who moves to a small town in Arizona to attend Mica High School along with Leo. He observes Stargirl closely, as she does not seem to live by the unspoken rule of the school: don’t stand out. She wears different outfits to school, sings Happy Birthday to her classmates on her ukulele, and cheers both teams at the high school’s football games. Leo and Stargirl eventually enter a relationship and Leo struggles with her rise and fall from popularity, as he does not wish to be connected with someone in the spotlight. Spinelli tells a unique story about nonconformity and the importance of staying true to yourself through the very unique character of Stargirl.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Anthony Peardew collects and keeps lost items. He collects lost items because forty years ago, the same day he lost a valuable keepsake given to him by his fiancee, Therese, she unexpectedly passed away. Since then, he sought consolation in rescuing the lost objects of others. During his twilight years, he realizes his goal to reunite the objects with their owners remains unaccomplished. When he passes away, he bequeaths his mission to his assistant, Laura, along with his house. The story focuses on Laura, as she picks up where Anthony left off, documenting each object and putting it online in an attempt to find the owner.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Written from the perspective of a loyal dog, Garth Stein tells the story of Enzo. Enzo watches as his master, Denny Swift, a professional race car driver, finds the love of his life, has a daughter, and eventually loses his wife to cancer. Enzo firmly believes in reincarnation, and he believes if he is prepared, he will be reincarnated as a human in his next life. In his journey to “hone his humanness,” he helps his owner through the ups and downs in life. Fair warning, Enzo dies at the end, but the ending isn’t entirely sad.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
When Leigh’s mother commits suicide, Leigh is certain her mother turned into a bird. Her father takes her on a trip to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents after her mother’s death. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, does not speak her grandparents’ language. She struggles to communicate during her stay, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find her mother as a bird. While she tracks down her mother in her new form, she ends up uncovering family secrets and developing a relationship with her grandparents. Leigh must work through her grief as she learns to navigate life without her mother.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
In the future, when humans have left Earth to colonize habitable planets, Patrick Ness brings us a story about a pre-teen boy, Todd, and his dog, Manchee, who reside in Prentisstown on an alien planet called New World. Prentisstown consists of only men, who claim all the women and most of the men of the town died during a great war with the local native inhabitants, called Spackle, around the time of his birth.
During the war, Todd is told that the Spackle released a “germ” that caused the deaths of the women and created the “noise.” The “noise” is the sound of everyone’s thoughts, including that of animals. When Todd learns a secret about the town and its history, he runs away just days before his thirteenth birthday. The story follows Todd and Manchee as they discover the truth behind the town’s past and what really happened to the citizens of Prentisstown and New World.
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
Set in the unknown Alaskan wilderness at the end of the 19th century, Colonel Allen Forrester receives a commission to successfully navigate the Wolverine River. The key to the riches of Alaska lies in this river, and Colonel Forrester must navigate it with a small group of men. He cannot turn it down, even though he recently married and his Sophie, is pregnant with their first child. As her husband leaves, she does not relish the idea of living in a military barracks by herself for the next year. The novel switches points of view between Sophie and Colonel Forrester as they both navigate their own challenges, worlds apart.
The Anomaly by Michael Rutger
Nolan Moore, an archaeologist turned conspiracy theories documentary host, sets out with his film crew to follow the footsteps of an explorer from 1909. The explorer claimed to have located a lost cavern in the Grand Canyon that contained hidden treasures. Nolan and his crew manage to find the cavern, but it’s not what they expect. The cave soon turns against the crew and it’s a fight for their lives to get out.
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar
In February 1959, nine experienced hikers ventured into the Russian wilderness of the Ural Mountains. They were never seen alive again. Their bodies were located on Dead Mountain. It was apparent their tent was cut open and the hikers fled into the darkness of the night without warm clothes or even shoes. Some were found with broken ribs and crushed skulls, some whose clothes emitted radiation, and another whose tongue was missing. This mystery was later titled The Dyatlov Pass Incident. Still today, no one knows what really happened that night. Some speculate it was aliens, the Abominable Snowman, or the Soviet Army. But Donnie Eichar takes it all into account and puts forth his own theory about what might have happened to those nine hikers who lost their lives on Dead Mountain.
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Some of you may know Ann Brashares from her famous series, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but I’m here to tell you about a standalone book she wrote called My Name is Memory. And it’s very different from the Sisterhood. If you’ve ever seen the movie Hancock, it’s the same concept. A couple who is destined to be together, continue to find each other with each lifetime. Sometimes as a couple, sometimes just in passing.
Daniel has “the memory,” the ability to recall past lifetimes, and he can’t forget the first time he saw Sophia. He has followed her for centuries, across continents, just to be with her. But they’ve never been able to stay together for long. When Sophia (or Lucy this time around) finally realizes who Daniel really is, the force that drives them apart each time reappears. If they are ever to spend a lifetime together, they must understand what continues to break them apart each time.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945, World War II has just ended, and Claire Randall is on her second honeymoon with her husband, Frank, in Scotland to rekindle their marriage after they both served their country. During their stay, Frank researches his ancestry and they come across a stone circle in the area. When Claire returns to the stone circle to retrieve a flower she saw, she touches the main stone and finds herself in the same location, but in the year 1743. She is a sassenach, or an outlander, to the local Scottish people. Gabaldon tells Claire’s story as she makes her way through a different time, amongst a different culture.
I hope this list of books helped you find your next favorite book! What books do you like to read when you’re feeling happy, sad, adventurous, scared, or romantic? What are some of your go-to novels when it comes to certain moods? Leave a comment below!