Books Featuring Kindness – Mental Health Awareness Week

orangutan list

We’re moving into mental health awareness week and I have to confess it’s a subject that’s been on my mind lately (tbh not something I typically talk about, but let’s just say I was doing ok… and then a global pandemic came along and laughed in my face!). And with the theme this year being kindness, I thought it was a worthy subject to highlight in books. Now is a time, more than ever, that we could do with a little bit more kindness in our lives!

wonder

Wonder– an impactful story that focuses on friendship and kindness. I love how this isn’t just one individual’s struggle for acceptance, it’s about other people learning to be accepting.

stargirl

Stargirl– a story that seems to be about first crushes and friendship, it ends up being so much more.

anne-of-green-gables

Anne of Green Gables– what I love about this is not only how it begins with an act of kindness, but how it continues to assert the importance of kindness across the series and has one of the most good-natured heroines in literature.

the morning gift

The Morning Gift- Eva Ibbotson’s characters are fundamentally kind- some of the kindest I’ve read. So, of course I knew I had to include one of her books. The reason I chose this is not just for the heroine’s unwavering goodness, but because in this case, the love interest’s act of kindness is not just generous, but a lifesaving act.

hitler's canaries

Hitler’s Canaries– similarly, this is a story of lifesaving kindness. Hitler’s Canaries is an inspirational and incredible story of enduring humanity- and it’s based on real events. If you are looking for a positive WW2 story, then this is perfect.

goodnight mister tom

Goodnight Mister Tom– this evacuation story is so moving on multiple levels, not least because it is about finding love and support in an unexpected place.

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– I have such a deep love for this book, because it shows people coming together and supporting each other in the darkest times. It is about going above and beyond for the sake of humanity- and that is simply wonderful.

eleanor oliphant is completely fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– I thought this was going to be about romance, but it’s a lot more about the redeeming nature of friendship- and it is all the more beautiful for it.

a man called ove

A Man Called Ove– if you told me about Ove, a crotchety and depressed old man, I’d expect I wouldn’t like it. Yet, for its really dark subject matter, it actually ends up being a surprisingly redemptive read, showing how we can save each other from ourselves. In this heartrending tale, we can see what we owe to each other.

christmas carol

Christmas Carol– speaking of redemption, Dicken’s classic is one of the most famous examples. Here is a story about how realising that human connection is more important than profit- and that’s perfect for any time of the year.

five people you meet in heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven– surprisingly for its subject matter, I found this a light and life-affirming read, showing the positive impacts we can have on each other’s lives- without even knowing it!

before I fall

Before I Fall– more than just a contemporary, this was an unexpected story for me. It showed how people can have hidden depths, how friendships can be more important than we realise and how (ultimately) it is vital that we do the right thing.

eat pray love

Eat Pray Love– this is more than just a physical journey around the globe and I got a lot more out of it than I expected. Yes, the author is giving and promotes positivity. Yet what I liked the most was how it was just as much about being kind to yourself, as others.

And I’ll end on that note! What did you think of these books? Do you plan to read them? And what are some of your favourite books featuring kindness? Let me know in the comments!

47 thoughts on “Books Featuring Kindness – Mental Health Awareness Week

  1. From this list I only read Wonder and rated it 5 stars.

    I think A Court of Thorns and Roses and its sequels can be added to this list as well. No spoilers, but you have to read between the lines to find some of the acts of kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah glad you liked that one too.
      Oh that’s an interesting choice- I wouldn’t have thought of that! I see what you mean (especially with regards to Rhys… haha I’ve read it so I’m hoping no one looking at the comments is bothered that I’ve spoilt it a little)

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  2. Wonder is a book I want everyone to read. It just touched me in such a hug way, and what a message! Before I Fall is my favorite of Lauren Oliver’s book. Man, I was sobbing for Sam by the end of that book. She experienced such tremendous growth, and I just wanted the loop to end differently for her.

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  3. Thank you for this list!!
    A man called Ove has been recommended to me few years ago; as it seemed like another book in french that I’ve read. I still have yet to read it, but it’s nice to see it on this list! While I am from canada, and very near where the autor “created” the green gables… I have yet to read that too xD Although I love to watch the Tv show “Anne with an E”, maybe I should try reading it at some point, ahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wishing you all the best! I know this pandemic has been just awful for anyone at all susceptible to anxiety: it’s got threats of death, constant uncertainty, shaming and blaming, the works.

    I love your choices, though I haven’t read all of them. I don’t know whether you’ve read any Alexander McCall Smith, but his characters tend to be quite saintly … especially the ones in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

    And I must say “hear, hear” to your choice of Anne of Green Gables. Who else would see in her arch-enemy a “kindred spirit”?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! 💕 Yeah thankfully I’m lucky to have a good support system/people in my life- I do worry about a lot of other people in a lot more difficult situations though :/

      I haven’t- but I have heard of the series and am curious!

      Thank you!! Glad you agree! Absolutely!! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great choice with Eleanor Oliphant! It really took me by surprise … I’ve started giving it to my undergrad students (most who are going into social work or clinical psych) upon their graduation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great selection. Ive seen the movie for the Guernsey book (I was interested not only for this literary society aspect but for a great friend I had, from nearby Jersey).

    I have found WWII plotlines of civic duty and patriotism under harsh circumstances a comfort, during a time when we all must all work together to defeat this common threat.

    Im sure theres a book behind it, because it’s so good, but the Foyle’s War tv series is excellent, for stories of how people perform bravely under the pressure of an outside threat, and how cowardice and betrayal can infiltrate their ranks.

    When bombs are falling all around, people show their true mettle.

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  7. I’ve rarely read any WW2 books that are positive since most of them seem to be in the “troubling but brave but most miserably and irredeemably sad” category (if that makes any sense) so I think the idea behind Hitler’s Canary sounds fascinating! And I’ve heard many lovely things about A Man Called Ove so I can’t wait to get that out of my TBR some time. A book I think sports many kindnesses but many dramatic wretched things is Les Misérables, especially when taking Jean Valjean into consideration!

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  8. Sorry to hear you have not been doing so well. It has been tough here too but I feel ok today. I loved this post but it did highlight my lack of books featuring kindness. This surprised me. I did think of any of Pratchett’s books with Vimes in – because he is fundamentally a very kind character despite his rough edges. But my top selection is any of Alexander MCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies detective Agency books. They are awash with warmth and kindness.

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