This kind of prompt tends to come up at least once a year, and for some reason, I always struggle with it! I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s because of the kinds of books I typically read. My favourites tend to be thrillers, YA fantasy, and hard-hitting YA contemporaries, although over the past few years I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary romances too. When I think of books that make me happy, I still tend to gravitate mostly toward children’s books and graphic novels, especially ones that are collections of comics (ie. Fowl Language by Brian Gordon). Contemporary romances can definitely make me smile too, although I’ve definitely noticed a trend toward many of them including some harder-hitting content, such as grief, family issues, or sometimes even abuse, so it’s a little harder to view them as straight-up “happy” books. The same goes for YA contemporaries, but that’s probably because of the kinds of books I pick. I’m not super interested in very straightforward YA romances anymore, so I tend to go for books that have a bit more a spin on them, often involving social justice issues. Looking back on books that make me happy, it definitely leans heavily toward illustrated books.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd and Oddball by Sarah Andersen – I have mentioned both of these series before in posts on similar themes, but they are still very much series that make me happy! Both are collections of comics that feature moments from the author’s real lives. Catana Chetwynd’s comics focus mostly on her relationship with her husband, and Sarah Andersen’s are about a variety of topics. Both are series that I followed on social media before realizing they had also been published as books. They are very quick reads, but I love them!
2) The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter – I picked this book up mostly because of nostalgia, and it definitely made me happy because of the adorable illustrations! Like most collections, I enjoyed some of the stories a lot more than others (mostly the ones I was already familiar with), and next time I probably wouldn’t read them all in a row, but this collection is so fun to read. I’ve always loved stories involving animals and Peter Rabbit is one of my favourites. Even just looking at the illustrations in this book makes me happy.
3) The Babysitter’s Little Sister graphic novels series by Katy Farina – I chose the graphic novel versions of the Babysitter’s Club last time, so it seems only fair to also include the Little Sister series. I didn’t really read much of the original version of the series because I was already too old for it by the time I found out about it, but it’s been a lot of fun to revisit them as a graphic novel. I’m definitely outside of the target age range for these books, but they tend to have the same kind of hilarious “little kid logic” like the Junie B. Jones series, so they’re still fun to read and very cute!
4) Heartstopper by Alice Oseman – I was a little hesitant to include this series because it does contain some more serious content about mental health as well, so it’s not quite as fluffy as the rest of the books here, but this series definitely made me happy. The relationship between Nick and Charlie is just so sweet and I love the way they support each other. The Netflix series did an amazing job of adapting the first books too, so that’s also very much worth watching.
5) Any book by Robert Munsch – I am shocked that I haven’t chosen any of this author’s books for any of the posts on this kind of topic, since his books are almost guaranteed to make me smile, especially Purple, Green and Yellow. His books are absolutely hilarious, and I also love the illustration style used to bring them all to life, at least for the books illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Even as an adult, I still have fun reading these books.