Recommendations | Wholesome Stories to Keep Your Heart Warm While It’s Raining

Hi bookish friends!

Are you feeling cold? I don’t know about you, but I sure am! It’s starting to get very chilly here in Lisbon and the leaves are falling everywhere creating a beautiful Fall scenery. This is my favorite time of the year, so I’m beyond happy!

There is no better time to cozy up with a book and a cup of tea/coffee than now! The rain outside and the soft blankets made me think about all the books that made my heart warm, and that’s exactly what I’m bringing you today: wholesome stories to keep your heart warm while it’s raining!

I have an amazing selection of 5 novels to keep you warm during the Autumn/Winter season. Here they are:

I personally loved all of these books because all the stories are amazing! I have to warn you that the saying is true: before the rainbow comes the storm. This means that things may get ugly before they get better in some of these books, so don’t expect these to be roses and butterflies from beginning to end! Still, all of these are incredibly wholesome and I would highly recommend every single one of them to you!

Okay, let’s go through them individually!

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The first book I want to talk to you about is “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune. Before I’ve even picked this up, I saw countless positive reviews on every single social media platform. This book is very unique! I would describe this as an amazing fantasy book with great characters and a wholesome story.
I’m so happy I decided to buy this and give it a try. It easily became one of the best books I have ever read! The story is beautifully written and easy to follow, it’s full of magic and humor, and the interactions between the kids and the adults were very heartwarming.
This book suits everyone of every age. It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult or a kid, this story is meant for everyone. The hype is real and it’s definitely worth it, can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”

2. Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior

Next on the list is a very underrated book in my humble opinion: “Away With The Penguins” or “How the Penguins Saved Veronica” by Hazel Prior. It’s not a very common thing to find in books, but this one in particular can be found with two different English titles.
The wholesome factor in this book is enormous. Not only is the story fun and it has amazing characters, but it also talks about topics such as family bonds and it has a huge environmental aspect regarding nature conservation and endangered species. I also loved how realistic the entire story feels!
It was a really fun book to read and I think it’s a great option to pick up if you’re looking for something light and heartwarming – and even if you’re not, I would still recommend you this book! It’s charming and you’ll fly through the pages. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a story with penguins? If you don’t love penguins already, you definitely will after reading this book!

Synopsis

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime…

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway… And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today… today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Another book I thought was worth mentioning is “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. To be fair, Fredrik Backman writes amazing, wholesome books… but for me this one is the best!
It was an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end! This story is about an old man named Ove, who is a very strict and short tempered man. He doesn’t get along with any of his neighbors and he has no plans of changing that. But what no one knows is that underneath his hard shell is a man who suffered a lot in life and still carries a lot of sadness and grief within.
There are a lot of sad scenes – so prepare your tissues -, but there are also a lot of funny scenes that balance the sad. I completely understood Ove and his pain, and I cared a lot about him and his story – I was rooting for him the entire time! So naturally, I cried a lot. Not only when I finished the book but also during most of it.
Fredrik Backman’s writing style is very unique, and he has a talent to mess with your emotions. But if you’re not interested in reading the book, I’m glad to tell you that there is a movie adaptation! I personally haven’t watched it, but I heard it’s good. Either way, I would still recommend the book. It’s an amazing, emotional book that I will never forget!

Synopsis

“A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.”

4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The next book I want to share with you is the amazing “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. This was my first time reading a Matt Haig book and I absolutely loved it!
In this book, the main character reviews her life decisions to send a clear message: make readers understand they’re exactly where they need to be and we shouldn’t regret anything in our lives. It makes you think about all the decisions you made, big or small, and how they made an impact on the course of your life.
I fully understand the hype of this book and I’m happy it is so popular, because I know for sure I will never forget what I’ve just read. It’s a book that makes you think about life after death and life regrets. It’s incredible, I can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives whe might have lived.

Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?”

5. The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns

Last, but not least, I present to you the final book recommendation: the book “The Woman in the White Kimono” by Ana Johns.
This book is absolutely stunning! It reminded me of my all-time favorite book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, so I couldn’t help falling in love with this story. It’s essentially an historical love story, but you can take a look at the synopsis below to understand better what this book is about!
A cool thing about this book is that it is based on a real story. The inspiration came from someone close to her that lived a similar reality, so she worked on this fictional story for years before publishing it. But don’t be fooled: this is so much more than a love story. It’s a story about heartbreak, love and loss.
This book is beautifully written and the reading experience is very immersive. Not only will you feel like you traveled in time, but you also get a good glimpse of what life in Japan was like in 1957. I can’t stress enough how beautiful and wholesome it is, I can’t recommend it enough!

Synopsis

“Oceans and decades apart, two women are inextricably bound by the secrets between them.

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage to the son of her father’s business associate would secure her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community, but Naoko has fallen for another man—an American sailor, a gaijin—and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation—one that calls into question everything she understood about him, her family and herself. Setting out to learn the truth behind the letter, Tori’s journey leads her halfway around the world to a remote seaside village in Japan, where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

In breathtaking prose and inspired by true stories from a devastating and little-known era in Japanese and American history, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.”

Aaaand now you know what to do while it’s raining outside! We’ve reached the end of the list and I truly hope you found this post interesting. Some of these are very popular, but hopefully you haven’t heard about one or two of them… until now! 🙂

As always, you know the drill: I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me! I love to find new books.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂

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