Friday 5th October 2018 is World Smile Day and for anyone that knows me (or that might have read the offerings I’ve published on this blog), you will know that books make me smile! The sight of books, the smell, their design, their contents, talking about them, browsing them – it all makes me smile. And it’s no mean stretch to go from books making me smile to books supporting my wellbeing – both physical and mental – which ties in nicely with next week’s ‘Libraries Week’ with its theme of ‘reading for wellbeing’.

Now, I know this isn’t new or ground breaking – we’ve done blogs about how reading helps wellbeing before – but why not delve into more of the books that those of us who work for Warwickshire Libraries love and that help support our wellbeing.

With that in mind, here are my ‘book smiles’.

 9780743440127Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani


I fell in love with it when I was lucky enough to get an early reading copy back in the early 2000s (wow, I hadn’t realised it was that long ago). I enjoy it because it combines humour, thoughts about grief and losing loved ones, a little bit of jeopardy (there’s an incident with a member of Hollywood royalty) and, of course, a love story to melt your heart.

It’s my escape book – the one I read when I just need to forget about the real world for a time. It was recently made into a film and, though at first, I watched through my fingers in case they had destroyed my favourite book, I am pleased to report that all was fine and I would recommend both film and book.


You by Caroline Kepnes

This dark crime novel is maybe not a read for anyone wanting a lighthearted escapist novel but it is a gripping story line with a villain both scary and captivating. Without giving too much away, it creeped me out (which I realise seems to counter it being a book for my wellbeing) and, for a short time, made me wary about bookshops and booksellers. I’d still highly recommend it though.

That was when people started to worry by Nancy Tucker

This collection of interviews with individuals living with a variety of mental health issues is eye opening and informative. Covering topics from OCD, anxiety and PTSD, it’s an honest look at how those living with these disorders balance their lives and get through the day.

Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson

We are back to the book themed books. This story about missing books, sensitive noses and trips to the library is a fantastic book to share with younger readers. With the poetic prose we’ve come to expect from Julia Donaldson, which makes it a great book for reading aloud, the story is fast paced and funny. Along with ‘Zog’, this is my favourite Donaldson book (I know, I know, but what about the Gruffalo – he’s up there too but these just pip him into third!)

The dinosaur who pooped series by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter

I have a small confession – at first, I liked this series because it was written by two members of McFly but then, when I read them, they made me laugh out loud. I know that is childish – I am a grown woman. I shouldn’t giggle at pooping dinosaurs but the image of this dino eating Christmas trees and planets and pyramids and, most recently, princesses just makes me smile.

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran

This is one I haven’t read yet (it’s only just been ordered) but I am so looking forward to it. It’s a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novel for grown-ups which takes me back to the CYOA books I read when growing up. I cannot wait to see what options this gives me to explore the life of its “plucky but penniless heroine”. I’ll let you know!

So there you have it – a few of the books that make me smile and support my wellbeing.

We look forward to seeing you in one of our libraries next week during ‘Libraries Week’ (8-13 October) and we will be shouting about all the things you can discover when you visit but, for now and for this week, I hope you have a wonderful and very happy World Smile Day and if you want to share the books that make you smile in the comments, I would love to know all about them.