Recommended life-affirming reads

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Amor Towles

21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel...

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Insomniac City

Insomniac City

Bill Hayes

Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. It is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.

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 Read reviewThe Loudness of Unsaid Things

The Loudness of Unsaid Things

Hilde Hinton

If you loved Boy Swallows Universe and Lost and Found, you will love this debut novel. A stunning story about family, loneliness and isolation that will make you laugh, cry and be a bit kinder to those who are lost.

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The Lost Love Song

The Lost Love Song

Minnie Darke

The Lost Love Song is a bewitching novel about love, second chances and the power of music, from the author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling Star-crossed . . .

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Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Geoffrey Trousselot

A beautiful, moving story about a small Japanese cafe that offers its visitors the chance to travel back in time, to find an answer to the question: what would you change if you could go back?

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Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Jess Walter

Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white,...

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The Best Kind of Beautiful

The Best Kind of Beautiful

Frances Whiting

A warm-hearted novel from the author of Walking on Trampolines about music, grief, relationships, gardens, love, laughter and family.

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 Read reviewThe Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

Robert Hillman

A gorgeously written, tender, and wise novel about love and forgiveness in 1960s Australia, in which a lonely farmer finds his life turned upside down by the arrival of a vibrant librarian.

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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

Maggie O'Farrell

The Sunday Times No. 1 Bestseller - an extraordinarily intimate memoir of the the brushes with death that have made Maggie O'Farrell the woman and the writer she is today.

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 Read reviewThe Place on Dalhousie

The Place on Dalhousie

Melina Marchetta

From the bestselling author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this perfectly crafted novel about families, relationships and the true nature of belonging.

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Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.     

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 Read reviewThe Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Olivia Laing

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of...

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 Read reviewWords in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue

Cath Crowley

This is a love story. It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. It's the story of how we leave our histories in the things we love - like books.

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 Read reviewThe Travelling Cat Chronicles

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel

It's not the journey that counts, but who's at your side.

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 Read reviewFar From the Tree

Far From the Tree

Robin Benway

Far From the Tree is a raw, compelling, and ultimately uplifting story of what it means to be family.

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 Read reviewEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

An astonishing story that powerfully depicts the loneliness of life, and the simple power of a little kindness

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Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind

Pianos and Flowers: Brief Encounters of the Romantic Kind

Alexander McCall Smith

In Pianos and Flowers we are invited, through the medium of sepia images, to glimpse a world long departed. In these stories, inspired by long-lost photographs, the lives of the people in the frame are imagined and then explored,...

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 Read reviewThe One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

Jonas Jonasson

After a long and eventful life Allan Karlsson is moved to a nursing home to await the inevitable. But his health refuses to fail and as his 100th birthday looms a huge party is planned. Allan wants no part of it and decides to...

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 Read reviewLife After Life: Winner of the Costa Novel Award

Life After Life: Winner of the Costa Novel Award

Kate Atkinson

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able...

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Grown Ups

Grown Ups

Marian Keyes

A brand-new book from the Number One bestselling author of The Break and The Woman Who Stole My Life.   

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 Read reviewStation Eleven

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.

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How to Stop Time

How to Stop Time

Matt Haig

The Sunday Times top ten bestseller from the author of Reasons to Stay Alive and The Humans

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 Read reviewThe Starless Sea

The Starless Sea

Erin Morgenstern

This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting...

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The Summer Book

The Summer Book

Tove Jansson, Esther Freud

An elderly artist and her six-year-old grand-daughter are away on a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. As the two learn to adjust to each other's fears, whims and yearnings, a fierce yet understated love...

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