Updated: Aug 21, 2022
'Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn't erase it.'
Gail Honeyman - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
A lot of the books here that I recommend do contain certain triggers - I will note the specifics under each book. Please don't pressure yourself to read them if you know you'll find the content distressing.
Some of the best books I've read have genuinely made me tearful. Some so many talented authors bring characters to life - you don't want to say goodbye to them. I thought I would make a little selection of books that I found incredibly moving.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Content Warnings - Self-harm, suicidal thoughts, domestic abuse -(these are the main graphic content warnings)
This was an incredibly difficult read. The writing was beautiful but it covers very distressing topics. Please do not feel obliged to read this one. It made me very emotional because of how attached I became to some of the characters. A Little Life was a very powerful read and I find it hard to compare it to other books I've read. I will attach more information about the book in the GoodReads button below. For me, I thought this book was simply remarkable and exceptionally well done.
'Wasn't friendship its own miracle, the finding of another person who made the entire lonely world seem somehow less lonely.'
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Content Warnings - Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
So far, every Backman book I've read has been brilliant. After finishing Anxious People, I wanted to try out more of his work and finally got myself a copy of this book. I grew so fond of Ove. He was so wholesome and funny. Even though he was fictional, I quickly felt very protective of him. You fall in love with him from the first chapter and his struggles to get a new computer. His developing relationship with a stray cat was so sweet to read. Since finishing this, I've also read Beartown which lived up to my expectations. I'm hoping to read Britt-Marie Was Here very soon! Backman is one of those authors who consistently write brilliant stories. I'll leave further information about this book below.
'You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away.'
Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Content Warnings - Dementia, death and grief
I'm going to cheat and add the sequel: Tales of the Cafe to this rec as well. I found this book both original and exceptionally well written. (Also there is a cat on the cover!)
I read this book in a single evening and grew attached to many of the characters featured. I would also recommend this book if you find yourself in a reading slump as it's relatively short (and also brilliant)
'Just remember. Drink the coffee before it gets cold.'
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Content Warnings - Suicide, suicide attempt
Is this another book I got purely because it had a cat on the cover? Maybe...
Here is another story that I found very moving and emotional. I couldn't fault it and I'm pretty sure it won the 2020 GoodReads Choice Award. I need to add more of Haig's books to my TBR list. I just really got on with his writing style - it was easy to follow and I was engaged from very early on in the story. I think this one has been very popular on Bookstagram too!
'You don't have to understand life. You just have to live it.'
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Content Warnings - Child abuse, alcoholism, emotional abuse
I ended getting a tote bag based on this very book. Similar to A Little Life, I found this book genuinely heartbreaking. Eleanor Oliphant is a character that you fall in love with from the first few pages. I just adore her spirit and overall resilience. Pretty much everyone I know that has read this book has had a similar response.
It is also a challenging read due to the difficult topics it explores so please do check the content warnings beforehand.
'The moment hung in time like a drop of honey from a spoon, heavy, golden.'
Where can I get myself a copy?
These buttons above should take you to online stores where you can find yourself a copy of these books.
I hope this has been an interesting book rec post. I'd like to stress again to double-check the content warnings before you read any of these.
All of these photographs are from my Instagram @readwithmims
New Instagram Account: @jemima_reads
Twitter - @MimsRead