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UP-LIT: UPlifting LITerature - the new book trend with kindness and compassion at its core

With all the upheaval in the world we want to know that empathy and love are values that people still hold dear.

It seems timely to escape into reading books which are life-affirming and emphasise human connection and joy. These books do not shy away from real-life issues, they just preserve an element of hope.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Every day she wears the same clothes to work, eats the same food for lunch, and every weekend she buys two bottles of vodka to see her through till Monday. A small act of kindness shatters the walls that Eleanor has built around herself and she must find a new way of dealing with the world.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter and keeps on walking. He walks from one end of the country to another, with no suitable equipment. Harold is convinced he must personally deliver a letter to an old flame to save her. Along the way he meets various characters, talks about life and tries to find peace and acceptance.

Less: A Novel. Andrew Greer
Arthur Less is so desperate not to attend his ex-boyfriend’s wedding that he leaves the country and travels the world instead. Along the way, Arthur falls in love, reinvents himself and reconnects with his past. Winner of the Pulitzer prize for fiction, 2018.

The Lido. Libby Page
After their local swimming pool is threatened with closure, two women are brought together and eventually form a deep friendship. Kate is a reporter with the local newspaper and has been given the task of reporting on the impact on the community of the closure of the pool. Rosemary is 60 years older than Kate and the pool is her lifeline and holds fond memories of time there with her late husband.

Surprise Me. Sophie Kinsella
Sylvie and Dan have a great marriage and believe they know each other well. To keep their relationship fresh, they decide to embark on Project Surprise Me, which could mean unexpected gifts or outings. When a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they knew each other at all.

A Spool of Blue Thread. Anne Tyler
A story of four generations of the Whitshank family, their lives unfolding in and around their sprawling home in Baltimore. Red and Abby have four grown children and the story reaches back to Red's parents when they first arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s. There are many hours spent sitting on the deck of the old homestead, spinning yarns to their grandchildren. Full of humour and compassion.

Night of Miracles. Elizabeth Berg
A Man Called Ove. Fredrik Blackman
The Keeper of Lost Things. Ruth Hogan
The Great Believers. Rebecca Makkai
A Dream of Italy. Nicky Pellegrino
Educated. Tara Westover