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Feel-Good Reads to Boost Your Mood

There’s nothing like a good book to get you out of a funk. When life gets heavy, sometimes you just need to escape from life for a while, and a book is a great way to do just that.

Here’s a list of some new releases that are sure to leave you feeling a little happier. Hopefully these books will make you laugh, give you just a little bit of hope, and allow you to forget your troubles (even if it’s only for a few hours).

  • 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

    Can you fix your life simply by choosing to love yourself? Thirty-year-old Nina decides to test the theory. She is at the lowest point in her life and has nothing left to lose. What’s the worst that could happen? She goes on a journey to find thirty things she loves about herself by her next birthday. This hilarious novel will have you thinking about starting your own self-love journey.

  • Deconstructed by Liz Talley

    When Cricket Crosby finds out about her husband’s affair, she decides to do whatever it takes to learn the truth and get revenge. Her assistant Ruby, whose goal is to become a fashion designer, decides to help Cricket with her investigation. This novel explores an unlikely friendship on a journey that will have you crying from laughter.

  • Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

    This debut novel follows down-on-her-luck Sadie Green. In a particularly low moment, Sadie attempts to find a one-night stand to dull the pain, but mixes her dating app with a roommate-finding app. This leads her to Jack Thomas’ door. She unexpectedly finds herself in love with his home and accepts his offer to stay in his spare bedroom. Of course, this is only the beginning of Sadie and Jack’s story.

  • Yinka, Where Is Your Husband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

    Yinka is a smart, successful, and independent Nigerian woman. She has everything in her life figured out except when it comes to the love department—something her family never lets her forget. When her cousin gets engaged, Yinka decides it’s the perfect opportunity to find the man of her dreams to take as her date to the wedding. She knows she will succeed this time. As she begins her highly organized plan to find a man, bigger questions about identity, culture, and meaning start looming.

  • Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson

    Nora Hughes is living the path to her dreams as an editorial assistant at Parsons Press—or so she thought. After five years of being overworked and underpaid, she discovers her pay is being cut, making it impossible for her to even pay rent. She decides to take her future into her own hands by taking another position at a rival press to supplement her income and poach some of Parsons’ authors. Things quickly get complicated, making Nora question where exactly her loyalties lie.

  • The One True Me and You: A Novel by Remi K. England

    Two Events. One Weekend. Kaylee Beaumont is excited to meet all of her internet friends in person at GreatCon, as well as use this opportunity to explore her queer identity. Teagan Miller has her eyes set on the $25,000 prize of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA Pageant so that she can go off to college and be her true self, but she’d much rather be at GreatCon. When they cross paths on the first night, their connection is undeniable, but there is way too much to risk their secrets getting out, right?

Happy Reading!

forest full of green leaves

Asian American Authors of the Pacific Northwest

Exclusionary policies and widespread discrimination have historically made the Pacific Northwest unwelcoming for immigrants of every generation, often creating spaces where Asian Americans are unwelcome and unsupported. Recently, an uptick of hate and xenophobic violence has called attention to charities such as Stop AAPI Hate and #HATEISAVIRUS, which work to end systemic violence and protect Asian communities in America. A list of charities to support, including the ones above, can be found here. In the meantime, you can help uplift Asian American voices by supporting the works of Asian American authors who create and contribute to the richness, diversity, and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Nicole ChungAll You Can Ever Know

Born in Seattle and raised in Oregon, Nicole Chung writes on adoption, identity, and her experiences growing up in a predominantly white town as an adoptee from Korea. According to Time magazine, “Nicole Chung delved into her own cross-cultural adoption to unpack our collective strengths and weaknesses when it comes to responding to our differences . . . opening readers’ eyes to the complexities of cross-cultural adoption, Chung makes a resounding case for empathy.”

Michelle ZaunerCrying in H Mart

Not only an acclaimed writer but also a musical performer under the moniker Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner’s debut novel, Crying in H Mart, is a memoir about grief and connection through the lens of food and culture. The Seattle Times called the novel a “warm and wholehearted work of literature, an honest and detailed account of grief over time, studded with moments of hope, humor, beauty, and clear-eyed observation.”

Jamie FordThe Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Author of Songs of Willow Frost and Love and Other Consolation Prizes, Jamie Ford delivers a “tender and satisfying” story of the parts of Seattle history that “we would rather not face,” according to Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain. The New York Times best seller, The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, follows Henry Lee, the Chinese American narrator, as he navigates his past through the streets of Seattle. Ford himself grew up in Ashland as well as Seattle.

Linda TamuraNisei Soldiers Break Their Silence

Raised in Hood River, Oregon, Japanese American author Linda Tamura’s sophomore novel, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence, explores the history of Japanese American soldiers in World War II who returned to Hood River after the war and were imprisoned in camps despite being American citizens. Tamura, author of Hood River Issai: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon’s Hood River Valley, is a professor at Willamette University and works to “[celebrate] the history of Japanese Americans and inclusion in Oregon,” according to her website.

E. J. KohA Lesser Love

Poet, translator, and winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award for her memoir, The Magical Language of Others, E. J. Koh lives in Seattle and was raised in and around diasporic Korean communities, according to LSU Press. The poetry collection A Lesser Love touches on romantic, platonic, and familial love, as well as the parent-child relationship.

Ruth OzekiA Tale for the Time Being

Described by the author as a “particularly Pacific Northwest kind of book,” A Tale for the Time Being follows teenagers Nao in Tokyo and Ruth in British Columbia as they piece together mysteries of the past, unraveling family history and the conflicts of Japanese culture. Ozeki, the author of All Over Creation and My Year of Meats, is a Japanese American filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. According to The New York Times, A Tale for the Time Being is a “delightful yet sometimes harrowing novel . . . many many of the elements of Nao’s story—schoolgirl bullying, unemployed suicidal ‘salarymen,’ kamikaze pilots—are among a Western reader’s most familiar images of Japan, but in Nao’s telling, refracted through Ruth’s musings, they become fresh and immediate, occasionally searingly painful,” with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calling it “beautifully written” and “intensely readable.”

Shawn WongHomebase

Homebase, a coming-of-age story set in California during the 1950s, follows Chinese American teenager Rainsford Chan as he comes to terms with the truth of the Chinese American experience after the death of his parents. Shawn Wong, a Chinese American author and professor at the University of Washington, also wrote American Knees and has co-edited several anthologies.