Leather Chair Reading! Feel Good Books!
I was telling someone at work the other day about the little neighborhood book club I’d recently joined and their response was
“…unless I’m on a plane with nothing better to do, I don’t have time to read a book!”
When you think about it, that’s probably a pretty fair statement–our lives are fast-paced and our days get filled up with so many things that require our time and attention that setting aside time to pick up a good book has to be a conscious choice; this being the case, when I finally do take the time to relax and read a book, I usually tend to choose ones that are uplifting and make me feel better about life. We’re all too aware that there’s an ample amount of media out there that can leave us second guessing ourselves and feeling somewhat despondent!
A Couple Of Feel Good Books Worth Your Time!
So, for this edition of Leather Chair Reading, here’s a couple of my favorite “feel good” books…
“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
Before you give me a hard time about what some might call a “sappy” love story, let me just tell you that in many respects, this book tells my own parent’s sweet love story. Much like the storyline in the book, my mom saw her betrothed (such a dignified word) sweetheart go off to war. While her soldier was gone, my father came into the picture, but in being true to herself and the proper decorum of those days, my mom wouldn’t commit her heart until her war-time hero, so to speak, had returned home so she could give him a fair chance to truly win her heart if marriage was to be in their future. I’m happy to say that unlike Allie’s mother in the “The Notebook”, my grandma was a great source of comfort and support during this time period of important decision-making for my mom.
Much like Rachel McAdam’s character in the movie version of “The Notebook”, my mom wasn’t deciding between a good or bad choice…
…she was simply following her heart!
“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds and that’s what you’ve given me! That is what I hope to give you forever!” The Notebook
Aside from the fact that the chain of events that unfolded in “The Notebook” paralleled my own parent’s courtship, I think timing also played a crucial role in how this book resonated with me. I’d recently lost my dad to cancer, but prior to his passing away, we’d had to make arrangements for my mom to live in an assisted living center since she was suffering from the long-term effects of her worsening Parkinson’s disease, including muscle weakness and memory loss.
When this book first became available in the stores, I happened to pick it up to read to my husband while he finished up some painting he was doing in our family room. As I read the last few chapters, I’ll never forget how my husband and I both ended up sitting on the floor with tears in our eyes, hearts heavy from memories of my father’s recent funeral. You wouldn’t necessarily categorize a book that makes you cry as a feel good book–but for me, reading “The Notebook” was cathartic–exactly what I needed at the time to help me heal, somewhat, from my loss.
In the movie, the wonderful actor, James Garner, epitomized so perfectly the same tenderness and strife that my dad seemed to experience while he watched my mom’s health deteriorate.
If you have lost one or both of your parents, the inspired words of Nicholas Sparks in this insightful book offers a measure of comfort and understanding. Besides, a sappy love story is a great, feel good, summer read sometimes!
“The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews
We read this book together as a family one summer when my children were in college. We love to travel as a family, so the title caught my eye. I think the kids might have grumbled a little when they first read the cover page, thinking it was one of their dad’s “Rah, rah, strive for success!” business guru books. We were pleasantly surprised however, at the great read this book provided; we still refer to many of the neat lessons we learned in it that are intricately woven within the amazing story that is so eloquently told by author, Andy Andrews, of David Ponder, the main character, as he travels back in time, meeting legendary leaders and heroes at crucial times in their lives.
“The Traveler’s Gift offers a modern-day parable of one man’s choices–and the attitudes that make the difference between success and failure.” Andy Andrews
Talk about the ultimate feel good book–“The Traveler’s Gift” truly does inspire you to want to live better! I absolutely love this book and often find myself rereading some of the chapters whenever I need a little “pick-me-up” in my life!
I hope we can all make time to read a few good books this summer! Any good ones you’d suggest?