Top Ten Picks: 'Feel Good' Books

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Top Ten Picks is an original meme here on the blog where I pick a specific topic, make a list, and post them up here. For a list of previous topics, click here.

I can not count the reasons why I love reading, but one of them would be that books never fail to pick me up when I'm feeling down, stressed, or just plain tired. For this week's Top Ten Picks, I decided to list down the books that will never fail to cheer me up, pick my mood up, get me out of a rut, and/or lift my spirits. In no particular order, here are my choices!


1. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
- You all already know how much I love and how obsessed I am with this series, and though my favorite in the series has got to be the 3rd and the 7th one, the very first book is just one that always makes me feel a lot better. It's the beginning of the magical world that I've come to know and love; this is where it all starts. Everything is a new discovery, and for the most part, it was fun, easy, and light getting to know the world of wizards and magic, of Muggles, and of Hogwarts.

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- I truly think there is just something about reading about a chocolate factory. This book makes me feel like a kid again -- the wonder, the adventure, the ease. It's as if nothing else is happening in the world except for me reading about a group of kids, and a rather crazy factory owner, and like I said.. chocolate.

3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
- When I read these books, especially the first one, I'm transported back in time when I myself was a teenager. I was 15 when I first read it. I picked it up randomly from the shelf because I didn't have any books to read -- being new to California and all -- and it just cheered me up a lot. It kept me company when I was feeling homesick, and when I couldn't talk to my family and friends back home. Looking back, it definitely helped me out. Now, I just really think it's such a light, fun, and heartwarming book about friendship, first loves, and family. Love this book!

4. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
- Yeah, yeah.. it's cheesy, it's melodramatic, it's soap opera-ish. I don't really care. In fact, I love the fact that it is just those and so much more. I feel like it's such a break from reality. Slight spoiler here, but I guess sometimes it's just so nice to read about a love story that has a rather corny, but definitely happy ending. Plus, I adore the main characters! Alex Fuentes and Brittany are just too cute, and they just appeal to me!

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- I have to be honest. It's not the story, and not even the characters, that made me put this on this list. Truth is, this book just simply relaxes me!! I don't know if it's the writing, or the old English words, or what exactly. For some reason, the classics always do that to me, and this one -- so romantic and witty at the same time -- is the perfect pick me up at the end of a stressful week!

6. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- This one never fails to pick me up. I love the writing and I love the fact that no matter how many times I reread it, I always seem to catch a quote I end up loving. And I just really like the characters. I like that the main protagonist is in love with books and literature, and that reading and writing are one of the important themes in the story. I just really like it. It's poetic, and it transports me to a whole other place and time.

7. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
- Stargirl was my #1 favorite female character back when I first read this when I was around 12, I believe. She was just plain awesome. She was funny, strange, and weird.. but in a good way. She didn't care what others thought of her, and she never changed herself for anyone. I love Stargirl -- the story, the characters, and even the cover! Also, I just love the simplicity of the author's writing. Direct, and straight to the point. No unnecessary words. Just plain, yet complex and poetic in so many ways.

8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- This one has its sad moments, but for the most part, it's uplifting, funny, and and thought-provoking. It offers such a unique take as the dog actually takes the POV and is the narrator of the story. I love this one so much. It's just so heartwarming and it makes me smile everytime.

9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- I won't be picking this up and rereading them in years, but when I do.. I feel the same way about it as I did when I read it for the first time. It's absolutely charming and delightful, and I simply can not get enough. Have you read this? Or at least have seen the movie? Because you should. It's good, and has got to be one of my favorite fairy tale love stories ever told :)

10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L' Engle
- One of my favorite YA novels of all time. This book deserves a spot here on this list because every single time I pick this up and reread it, it never fails to make me smile! It just reminds me of days when I was young, and my grandparents would take me, my siblings, and my cousins to a surprise and spontaneous trip to the bookstore. They would tell us we could get ONE book -- any book at all! -- of our choice and they'll get it for us, just because. This was one of those books I managed to pick and read when I was young. I loved it then, and I'll always love it!

If you would like to join in, and I do hope you do, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post, listing all your answers. You do not have to include pictures, descriptions, or explanations, but feel free to put them if you want.
2. Please sign the Mr. Linky box below with the specific URL of your post.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


  1. Great top 10! I recognize some of those books from a few of your other lists, so I know they must have a lot of meaning for you! :)

  2. Oooo Princess Bride is sitting on my shelf right now. I can't wait to read it. I loved the movie.

  3. Good list. I have read several of your books and I agree that they have a high "feel good" factor, especially Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice (which I considered for my own list, but which eventually got pushed to my top 20), and The Princess Bride (one of my top 20 comfort movies).

  4. I've read all except #4 and you've picked some great books! I love your list.

  5. Ha! My feel good books are pretty much just Harry Potter...

  6. Nice choices, Jillian! I adore Stargirl, too. I'll get a top 10 up soon--great choice of topic this week :o)

  7. +JMJ+

    Hmmmmm! The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is actually a book that makes me cry!

  8. Holly - Haha yeah most are repetitive, but I can't help it! :)

    Juju - I loved the movie too :)

    Bibliophile - 'Comfort' movies/books would be the perfect way to describe them!

    Amanda - Haha. True.

    Teacher/Learner - Thank you and looking forward to your list again :)

    E - Yeah, it made me cry and for some reason I really don't like Carmen, but love Bridget and Lena!!

  9. +JMJ+

    Oh, how odd! Carmen was the one I identified with the most. And I didn't really get Bridget at all and don't think I would have liked her very much, had I been another girl at her summer camp. (Which is strange because I also think she's the sort of character who is instantly liked by people and whom only the mean girls are really jealous of. . . Oh, dear: I think I just called myself a mean girl! LOL!)

    And I think everyone kind of wants to be Lena. ;-) But I think that regardless of where my sympathies like my real self mosts resembles Tibby. =P (What do you think of Tibby, Jillian?)

    Do you like Carmen better in the later books, or are you for Bridget and Lena all the way?

  10. I just thought Carmen was so whiny. LOL. I liked Bridget because even though everyone thought she was the 'perfect, tall, blonde hot athlete' she still had a lot of flaws and weaknesses, and to me it made her character more vulnerable and relate-able.

    Tibby is just one of those characters I'm generally okay with. She's not a favorite though.. she's more of in the middle.

  11. Several of these are on my TBR shelves. Look forward to reading them even more now!

  12. Love this topic! My Top Ten are posted at my blog :)

  13. I love The Princess Bride, too! The movie was great (don't get me wrong), but the book is a must-read as well.