What makes a mood-boosting book?

The road

We have had some great recommendations of Mood-boosting Books from readers around the country. There have also been some interesting debates about the recommended titles and what makes a book mood-boosting. For some, it is laugh-out loud novels and witty poems, whereas for others reading something sad with a redemptive ending can be cathartic and ultimately uplifting.

We have had one particularly moving account of the power of a redemptive tale from John Hudson:

My choice is Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’.

Yes, it is set in a post apocalyptic world and yes, the characters are faced with unremitting physical and emotional deprivation and, yes, humanity has been reduced to the most base level of savage survival… But, apart from that…

It is the most powerfully uplifting tale of hope, optimism and trust and, written as a kind of extended poem in language that is at times breathtaking; its beauty just transported this reader.

He read The Road at a particularly difficult point of his life and found it very powerful. He has since returned to it a number of times:

My wife, Eve, has recently died from cancer after a long illness and I found such strength from this book that I read it time and time again.

John Hudson highlights Cormac McCarthy’s view of his most famous work, and John agrees that McCarthy is successful in what he set out to do:

McCarthy admitted to one interviewer that the book was a ‘love song to his son’ and that is how it comes across still to this reader.

Get involved

Have you read a book that may not fall into the traditional category of mood-boosting? If so, we’d love to hear what it is, and your thoughts on what makes a book uplifting.

Email us with your mood-boosting suggestions or share your suggestions on Twitter using #moodboosting.

Find out more about the new Macmillan Mood-boosting Books list.

World Mental Health Day and the 2016/17 evaluation of Reading Well

09 October 2017

We’re marking World Mental Health Day by releasing the 2016/17 evaluation of Reading Well. Read more »

Small final infographic

World Heart Day 2017

29 September 2017

Friday 29 September is World Heart Day, promoting heart health to take on the number one cause of death worldwide. Read more »

Small worldheartdaypic

Back to blog