If you read while your family is over for the holidays, I’m guessing you don’t exactly get along, or that something stressful beyond anyone’s control is affecting everyone. So, I’ve put together this list of books to hide behind for a moment, or a day. Hopefully, they will distract you and inspire you to keep the faith in humanity.
1. Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou
Spoiler alert: Maya Angelou never had a daughter, but she did have a lot of love and loads of wisdom. This essay collection will make you feel like setting an extra place at the table for the late, loving mother of all.
2. Romantic Violence by Christian Picciolini
Your Token Racist Uncle™ may be beyond redemption… or maybe not. Memoirs of an ex-white supremacist are difficult to read, but you won’t be able to put this one down. Unless you are throwing it at the aforementioned Token Racist Uncle™, which undermines the message of nonviolence and probably won’t enlighten him, but I can’t say I’d blame you, personally. Hey, I’m a blogger, not a counselor.
3. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
You can always escape your family’s problems by reading about some other family’s problems. Set in Nigeria, this debut novel of now-bestselling author Adichie merits high praise. Also, she’s a highly accomplished writer under 40, so you can be angry at her for being so awesome instead of being angry at some family member for being not so awesome.
4. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Bring some positive energy to the table by reading about Dr. Farmer, a doctor whose mission has brought him from Haiti to Russia. It’s never too early to make a New Year’s Resolution. Maybe this read will inspire a humanitarian goal. Ain’t nobody got time for haters.
5. To The Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei by George Takei
Dubbed Uncle George by his millions of social media followers and fans, Mr. Takei has lived an extraordinary, inspiring life. This man has created a legacy of courage, from his place at the helm of the Starship Enterprise, to his coming out to support marriage equality, to his campaigns to educate Americans on Japanese internment during WWII. Fly on, Mr. Sulu.
6. Dear Mister Rogers, Does It Rain In Your Neighborhood? by Fred Rogers
It’s always a beautiful day in Fred’s neighborhood. In this book, Mister Rogers answers questions from fans in his characteristic way of knowing just how to talk to children. My heart always grows three sizes when Fred speaks (as he does) directly to it.
7. Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives To Suicide For Teens, Freaks, And Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein
Okay, this is the extra-strength oxycodone on a list full of mild gel caps, for those who are really suffering. However, it’s also enjoyable for those who are doing okay at the moment. This cheeky, charming, compassionate guide offers 101 ideas to keep you alive, ranging from the self-loving to the very dangerous and inadvisable (but still better, she argues, than depriving the world of you).
There you have it. Whether you simply need a break from an uncomfortable situation or truly need help, I hope these books get you through the holiday season and beyond with your faith and good will intact.
YouTube Channel: Angie Atkinson
Featured image via Pretty Little Moments