Pertinent to today’s all-online culture, Standage’s account of the birth of the telegraph reads a lot more like a novel than a history book — thanks in no small part to the colorful (real-life) characters involved.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
“Uplifting” doesn’t mean that we need to avoid the difficult or the sad. It just means that those must be balanced with excitement, joy, and humor. Chabon’s novel delivers.
The Love Poems of Rumi, edited by Deepak Chopra
Persian poet Rumi has been inspiring readers since the 13th century. This edition features new translations edited by Deepak Chopra, who wanted to bring out the verses’ musicality even more.
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Crest Trail so you don’t have to.
100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Marquez
A classic for a reason, García Marquez’s chronicle of the Buendía family and their town of Macondo is vibrant, funny, sad, absurd, and wonderful.
I Am Malala, Malala Yousafazi
A Nobel Peace Prize winner is pretty much guaranteed to inspire.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
Magical realism just makes for a great, uplifting beach read, what can we say? Here, old-school mystery and fantasy get very new-school updates for the digital age.
A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
Explore the fives senses via some of the most beautiful and exciting prose possible. Ackerman’s delightful wordplay makes these essays much more enjoyable than high-school biology — promise!
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
If you love the movie but haven’t read the book… go ahead and treat yo’ self.