Looking for an inspirational story? 10 feel-good books to read right now

Have nothing to do? Read these inspirational books to pass the time and boost your mood.
Woman on couch reading
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By Kara Quill

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We could all use a little good news these days. Despite what you may think, it is out there! Whether it's John Krasinski's "Some Good News" YouTube series, finding new ways to celebrate graduation or a man winning the lottery twice in one day, there are several uplifting stories around us to help lift our mood. Another great source of inspiration during this time can come from books.

Reading can provide entertainment, escapism or even just something to do — especially right now. I don't know about you, but I'm having trouble getting through my pre-quarantine reading list. The stories all seem too sad, require too much brainpower and just simply don't seem hopeful enough. Luckily, we've got just the fix with a list of inspiring, uplifting books to read when life doesn't hand you any lemons at all.

1. "Girl, Stop Apologizing," by Rachel Hollis

This book is all about achieving your goals and helping women reach their potential. The New York Times bestselling author challenges women to stop talking themselves out of what they want and go for it instead.

2. "Becoming," by Michelle Obama

A great way to be inspired is to read about people who inspire you. This memoir by the former First Lady is full of wisdom and storytelling. Netflix has also recently announced that they will be releasing a documentary about Obama of the same name.

3. "Educated," by Tara Westover

In keeping with our strong storytelling theme and overcoming hardship, this memoir is the perfect inspirational read. Westover grew up in the mountains of Idaho with survivalist parents who isolated their children from the rest of society. The story follows Westover as she decides to get an education, travels and asks herself important life questions.

4. "The Hilarious World of Depression," by John Moe

Depression was common in the author John Moe's family. What started as a podcast has transformed into a book that is currently trending on Goodreads. As Moe dealt with his own depression, he also began to notice coping mechanisms in other comedians. You wouldn't expect a book that details depression to be laugh-out-loud funny, but this one is. This book will be released on May 5.

5. "The Year of Magical Thinking," by Joan Didion

This book has recently found its way to my reading list. Didion was having what can only be described as a horrific time. Her husband had recently died and her daughter was unconscious in the hospital. In her subsequent book, she paints a picture of universal experiences in an honest way.

6. "Hill Women," by Cassie Chambers

Trending on Goodreads, this memoir follows multiple generations of the author's family as they navigate poverty, kindness and make choices for their own futures.

7. "Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A true (as told to me) story," by Bess Kalb

The author's grandmother shared a lot of wisdom with her family, often saying, "If the earth is cracking behind you, you put one foot in front of the other." Even after her death, Kalb's grandmother is there for her in the form of voicemails, revealing the stories of generations of strong women.

8. "Sigh, Gone," by Phuc Tran

This memoir is trending on Goodreads in the inspirational category, and it's easy to see why. At some point, we've all felt like we don't belong and this story paints a vivid picture of those feelings. This coming-of-age story depicts the author's immigration to America, trying to assimilate to his new home and eventually finding his passions.

9. "The Opposite of Loneliness," Marina Keegan

This collection of essays and stories had me hooked from the foreword by Anne Fadiman. The author died in a car accident at age 22, but the writing she left behind continued to touch and resonate with millions of people.

10. "Untamed," by Glennon Doyle

Everyone is talking about this memoir from Glennon Doyle — with good reason. The book explores how Doyle found her voice, examines the cultural conditioning of women and how to believe in yourself. In Doyle's words, "The braver we are, the luckier we get."

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