Books for Every Mood

Whatever we’re feeling, sometimes we just need to revel in it for a little while.  So if you need to feel validation in your angry feminist inner monologue or you’re ready for a whirling literary adventure through time and space, here’s a list of books to satisfy your feelings, whatever they may be.  
 
 
1. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson--for when you just need a good laugh
 
Jenny Lawson writes about her struggles with anxiety and depression--and she’s also captivatingly funny.  She writes in a way that is deeply heartfelt and powerful and gives striking images of what it is like to live with mental illness but also makes you laugh out loud when she describes her wildly odd and amusing life and annotates everything with her hilarious, quirky commentary.  This book is not a sad, bitter, or tragic account of having a mental illness. It’s about living life despite and beyond your diagnosis--and about being “furiously happy” above it all.
 
 
2. In the Woods by Tana French--for when you need a good murder mystery to distract you from the real world
 
This book is confusing, frustrating, and above all, entirely gripping.  It’s a stereotypical murder mystery in all the wrong ways (and I’ll let you figure out what that means when you read the book).  It’s a book you will read in one night--it’s compelling and fascinating, and you won’t be able to put it down. This is a book for those nights you just need to curl up in bed with a mug of hot cocoa and lose yourself entirely.  
 
 
3. The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams--for when you’re feeling adventurous
 
If you’re feeling like indulging your adventurous side but don’t want to leave your bed, you can live vicariously through Vivian and Violet, the two women whose generations-apart stories are told consecutively as Vivian tries to uncover the untold story of her aunt’s (Violet’s) life.  As she searches for clues as to the life Violet led in pre-war Germany, struggling to be validated as a scientist despite her gender, Vivian is taken on her own journey through which she realizes much of her own spirit and independence.
 
 
4.  Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay--for when you’re in the mood to smash the patriarchy
 
Roxane Gay wryly and relatably tackles issues of gender, race, power, and more in her collection of essays in Bad Feminist.  Reading it, I find myself wanting to quote her every other line.  Her validations of women and her definition of the role feminism should play in this world, coupled with discussions about Scrabble and The Hunger Games, make for the perfect read for any self-described feminist.  
 
 
5.  Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie--for when you’re tired of the same old love story
 
This book is a love story in so many different ways, and it’s so beautifully written that it feels like one even in just the language.  It’s about love, but it’s also about family, women, race, immigration, home, independence, growth, struggle, and so much more. This is a book for when you want to feel life in all its depths and complexities.  
 
 
So, whatever mood you’re in, go read one of these books.  It can’t hurt. They’re all incredible and amazing--and they’re all written by women!  Which, by the way, I did not mean to do--it just turned out that all the books I chose for this list have female authors.  If nothing else, reading these books will make you inspired by these kick-ass women writers.