These days more than ever it seems vital to pick joyful reads. So, I have compiled a list of three books that I believe cannot fail to move you and bring you happiness. I hope you read them all — truly they are at the top of my must read and perfect to gift book list!
Firstly, we have T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. This book can be enjoyed by a middle grade reader up. Klune primarily wrote this book for adults, but after a clever suggestion from his editor to remove the two f-bombs an earlier draft had this book has been enjoyed by readers of all ages. The themes of acceptance, love, found family, and kindness are a pleasure to read.
The book follows Linus Baker, a Case Worker for The Department in Charge of Magical Youth, as he travels to the most secret of all magical orphanages run by Arthur Parnassus. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a book about overcoming the social script, facing prejudice head on, and learning that saying yes to love is the most powerful triumphant thing one can do. You just have to read it!
Synopsis: “A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”
Secondly, if you haven’t read The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse you must. This is an instant favorite of mine. It is poignant and heartfelt. This book would make a lovely gift to a child or adult. Love, love, love!!!! This slim book highlights some of life’s most difficult lessons: that storms will pass, what acceptance truly means, and how to have compassion for ourselves and others. The illustrations are moving, as are the beautiful and deceivingly simple words.
Synopsis: “Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons. The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online – perhaps you’ve seen them? They’ve also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Perhaps you saw the boy and mole on the Comic Relief T-shirt, Love Wins?
Here, you will find them together in this book of Charlie’s most-loved drawings, adventuring into the Wild and exploring the thoughts and feelings that unite us all.”
Last but not least, we have Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers. Having grown up with Mister Rogers on television, it was incredibly moving and nostalgic for me to read this book. It does a wonderful job of combining many of Fred Rogers profound thoughts into one compact, enjoyable read. I loved reading this myself and plan on gifting this book in the future.
Synopsis: “An inspiring collection of thoughts to take with us on the paths we travel in life.
For all the roads we choose to travel, and even those we don’t, Fred Rogers has an observation, a story, some insights to share. Whether you’re facing graduation, a new job, a new baby, marriage, any change in your life–expected or not–the wisdom that Mister Rogers offers can contribute mightily to the grace with which you handle the change.
With sections titled Who You Are Right Now, Loving and Being Loved, and Guided Drift, Fred addresses the scope of human transitions. It all comes down to knowing we’re valuable, and that we’re worthy of that value. As Fred would say, “You don’t have to be anything more than who you are right now.”
In her Foreward, Joanne Rogers shares the Fred she knew. With stories from their life together, the joys as well as the struggles, Joanne shows how Fred looked at life as a journey–with the ups and downs and in-betweens.”
Please let me know below, what is a book that has brought you joy?