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