9 Books That Bridge the Gap Between Faith and Science

Photo by Bill Williams on Unsplash

Nominally, religious faith and science are viewed as opponents in a grand rhetorical debate. And yet, there’s plenty of interesting debate to be witnessed by those authors who’ve set out to examine the grey areas in which science and belief overlap. In some cases, these are scientists seeking a common ground with the theologians who ponder some of the same questions, albeit from a very different angle. In others, these authors have one foot in each camp, blending a deeply held faith with a background in the scientific method and a rigorous logic to boot.

These books offer a host of perspectives on the places where faith, logic, science, and religion all converge. Regardless of your perspective on the cosmos and the world around us, you may well find plenty to ponder and debate within these pages.

The cover of the book Searching for Stars on an Island in MaineSearching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman’s own background is in theoretical physics; he’s also written a host of books exploring the ways in which science interacts with our daily lives and overlap with the ineffable. In Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, Lightman ponders questions of mortality, the nature of the universe, and the inexplicable questions that the universe poses. The result is a charming, candid, thought-provoking book.

 

The cover of the book The CreationThe Creation by Edward O. Wilson

In Lightman’s book, he explores the ways in which science and religion converge and diverge on some of the grand questions that humanity asks the universe. That isn’t the only way in which scientists and theologians can find common ground, however: in Edward O. Wilson’s The Creation, Wilson makes an argument for environmental preservation designed to encompass both the deeply religious and the scientifically rigorous.

 

The cover of the book Buddhism and Science: A Guide For the PerplexedBuddhism and Science: A Guide For the Perplexed by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

Discussions of the debate between science and religion frequently focus on science’s relationship to the Abrahamic religions. It’s important to not overlook the way that other belief systems can relate to science as well–and thus, this 2008 book from Donald S. Lopez Jr., which explores the numerous ways in which Buddhism and science each approach some of the same questions, and how the two have inspired one another.

 

The cover of the book AgnosticAgnostic: A Spirited Manifesto by Lesley Hazleton

Lesley Hazleton’s Agnostic is a rigorously-written look at (and case for) skepticism in all things, which does a fine job of establishing agnosticism as a distinct system for interacting with the world. Many of the qualities that Hazleton cites as inherent for agnosticism play a large role in science as well–and the end result is a holistic means of examining and interrogating the world, from the physical to the metaphysical.

 

The cover of the book The Big Question: Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Science, Faith and GodThe Big Question: Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Science, Faith and God by Alister McGrath

For some writers and thinkers, science and religion are wholly incompatible; for others, they inform one another, leading to a greater understanding of both. Alister McGrath, who has doctorates in molecular biology and theology, falls firmly in the latter camp, and has lectured extensively on the ways in which science and religion can coincide. The Big Question offers many of his thoughts on these ongoing debates, and an examination of the interconnectedness of the two.

 

The cover of the book Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the MultiverseWorlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse by Mary-Jane Rubenstein

As humans study the universe, questions can appear about its nature–including whether our universe is the only one in existence or part of something much larger. Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s Worlds Without End explores several of the questions that arise when pondering the multiverse–along with the religious and philosophical questions that arise when considering a potentially infinite array of distinct universes.

 

The cover of the book Einstein and ReligionEinstein and Religion by Max JammerIn

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, Lightman returns to questions of Albert Einstein’s own beliefs regarding the universe, which makes for a fascinating counterpoint to Lightman’s musings on the same. Max Jammer’s book offers a more in-depth look at Einstein’s feelings on religion, which defied easy explanation and provide an interesting means by which to consider his scientific discoveries.

 

The cover of the book Faith, Science and UnderstandingFaith, Science and Understanding by John Polkinghorne

John Polkinghorne is both a scientist and a theologian, and he’s been writing about the overlap of the two for several decades now. As its title suggests, Faith, Science, and Understanding is a book that seeks to bring together the two intellectual traditions with which Polkinghorne is most familiar, finding ways in which a belief in God and an understanding of science are fundamentally compatible.

 

The cover of the book The SparrowThe Sparrow: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell

Unlike the rest of the books on this list, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow is fiction. Specifically, it’s science fiction–telling the archetypal story of humanity’s first contact with an extraterrestrial species. But given that a Jesuit priest is involved, this is a narrative in which science and religion are inexorably entangled. That blend of ways of seeing the world has made for several gripping narratives over the decades – see also Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things and James Blish’s A Case of Conscience.

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Excelsior! How Stan Lee Remade American Myth

Stan Lee poses with Spider-Man during the Spider-Man 40th Birthday celebration in 2002 in Universal City, California.

Stan Lee poses with Spider-Man during the Spider-Man 40th Birthday celebration in 2002 in Universal City, California. 

Born as Stanley Lieber to immigrants, he was an avid reader who dreamed of literary fame. He found his way into comics. First, he filled inkwells in the years when the medium was considered a public menace.

Soon, he was writing comics. He split his first name into two in the credits (he legally changed his name in the 1970s) of his earliest works, implying that his new comics imprint, Marvel, had more writers than it really did. And those credits appeared on stories about heroes who were a little more human than the caped crusaders that dominated the comic book shop shelves. Spider-Man might save the day, but he still has to do his homework. The Fantastic Four were a formidable fighting force that couldn’t stop bickering at times. And Wolverine … well, was Wolverine.

The characters also lived in the real world, and Marvel comics sometimes addressed social issues of the time.

From a 1968 column Lee wrote in Marvel comics:

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately.

It wasn’t Lee’s political stances that earned him professional ire, though. From The New York Times:

Mr. Lee was often faulted for not adequately acknowledging the contributions of his illustrators, especially Mr. Kirby. Spider-Man became Marvel’s best-known property, but Mr. Ditko, its co-creator, quit Marvel in bitterness in 1966. Mr. Kirby, who visually designed countless characters, left in 1969. Though he reunited with Mr. Lee for a Silver Surfer graphic novel in 1978, their heyday had ended.

Many comic fans believe that Mr. Kirby was wrongly deprived of royalties and original artwork in his lifetime, and for years the Kirby estate sought to acquire rights to characters that Mr. Kirby and Mr. Lee had created together. Mr. Kirby’s heirs were long rebuffed in court on the grounds that he had done “work for hire” — in other words, that he had essentially sold his art without expecting royalties.

The Marvel characters didn’t stay in the comics forever. As we all know, the screen adaptations of Spider-Man and, later, the Avengers, found gigantic audiences on screen. Marvel now generates billions of dollars in ticket sales with each new blockbuster. The comic books that were once a menace are now a goldmine. And the characters that were once for kids are now for everyone.

Stan Lee may have lived an American story, but then he ended up creating them.

Show produced by Amanda Williams.

NPR, November 14, 2018, first appearing on Books : NPR

 

Romance Writers on How the Genre Empowers Women

Romance novels get a bad rap. Most people judge them without even reading them, and accuse those who enjoy the genre of not reading “real” books.

We gathered together six well-known romance authors to help dispel stereotypes about the genre, and discuss how their stories are especially meaningful to women. Tune in to the video below to see what they had to say.

Transcription of romance authors discussing the importance of the genre for women.

Chanel Cleeton: You know romance gets a bad rap a lot, and we all know that.

Kate Bateman: I mean, people just think it’s literally trashy novels.

Shayla Black: And I grew up in the era of reading romance when it was his love lance and his man root. Let’s just call it what it is, and move on.

Kate Bateman: But as a genre, it’s literally the most feminist literature you can get. It’s like mainly for women.

Tamsen Parker: By women, about women.

Kate Bateman: The entire purpose is to make women feel empowered and feel good about themselves.

Sarina Bowen: The women are always their own savior, alongside with finding somebody to spend their lives with.

Tamsen Parker: In a lot of popular culture media, it’s harder to find really multi-dimensional characters, where I feel like that’s really common in romance. People have families. They have careers. And they have a love interest.

Kate Bateman: I like the fact that my women are kick-asses in corsets. My girls will have cool jobs. So they’re like thieves or they are counterfeiters.

Milly Taiden: I always felt that curvier women, there weren’t enough of them. So that’s why I started writing them. I loved the stories. They were fantastic and the romance was great. But I was like, well, that’s not like a girl like me.

Sarina Bowen: I have actually a female character in one of my books who comes down with a sexually transmitted infection. And it’s a huge disaster and a blow to her ego and her sense of self. And I did once get a letter from somebody who thanked me for writing that story, because that happened to her and she was horrified and embarrassed and felt a lot of shame. But she really loved the portrayal of that event in this book, and that it’s not the end of the world.

Shayla Black: I think there’s so many facets to women. And I don’t think we should have just any one sort of heroine. I’ve written the really shy, come out of your shell types. I’ve written ones that just kick ass from start to finish. We went through a phase in romance, I feel like, where we had nothing but what everybody said was kick-ass heroines. I’m like, that’s great, but for the girls who are super shy? Sometimes even I couldn’t relate. I want to relate to this girl.

Tamsen Parker: You see it in a lot of mainstream, popular culture that FF or lesbian relationships, it’s like this is for the pleasure of somebody else to watch. When you’re looking at the romance genre, you’re talking about women’s pleasure. And that’s really powerful. You don’t see it a lot.

Sarina Bowen: I grew up in a kind of conservative part of the country, where girls my age didn’t talk about sex or sexuality.

Shayla Black: I get a lot of email about this, too, where people feel as if they didn’t really understand themselves, or they didn’t understand that something was OK.

Sarina Bowen: So it’s been a real journey for me to portray women in a positive sexual light.

Shayla Black: This is a way for them to get information, and see it processed through a character’s eyes, and understand how it functions, and how it might function for them.

 

Check out the books:

The cover of the book Next Year in HavanaNext Year in Havana
Chanel Cleeton
After the death of her beloved grandmother, Marisol Ferrera – a Cuban-American woman – travels to Havana, where she discovers her true identity and family secrets that have been hidden since the revolution. Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast between Cuba’s beauty and its perilous political climate. When Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

 

The cover of the book A Counterfeit HeartA Counterfeit Heart
K. C. Bateman
Counterfeiter Sabine de la Tour has decided to bid a reluctant farewell to her double life as a notorious criminal, but leaving won’t be easy – she and her business partner must escape France soon, or face certain death. Her only hope of surviving is to strike a deal with the very spy she’s spent her career outrunning. Now after meeting the arrogant operative in the flesh, Sabine longs to throw herself upon his mercy – and into his arms.

 

The cover of the book Devoted to PleasureDevoted to Pleasure
Shayla Black
When a a blackmailer starts watching her every move, television star Shealyn West hires Cutter to keep her safe, never imagining their attraction will be too powerful to contain. As Shealyn and Cutter navigate the scintillating line between business and pleasure, they unravel a web of secrets that threaten their relationship and their lives. When danger strikes, Cutter must decide whether to follow his heart or lose Shealyn forever.

 

The cover of the book His CustodyHis Custody
Tamsen Parker
Keyne O’Connell leads a good life – she has a great family, a loving boyfriend, and a promising future. But one dark summer night changes everything for Kenye, forcing her into the care of her boyfriend’s intimidating, much older brother, Jasper. Jasper isn’t a good man. He’s a womanizer and a casual drug user with no interest in becoming Keyne’s guardian. But living in close quarters soon stirs up feelings inside them both that are far from platonic. Keyne needs a firm hand to keep her in line, but what she desires could lead Jasper into trouble.

 

The cover of the book Pipe DreamsPipe Dreams
Sarina Bowen
Mike Beacon, a hockey player, widower, and a single father, has never forgotten Lauren Williams, an ex-lover who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers’ office during the play-offs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right. But Lauren’s focused on her plans for the future and won’t let a man get in the way of that. Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie.

 

The cover of the book Fearless MatingFearless Mating
Milly Taiden
Sergeant Major Candace Obermier has arrived at Alpha League Federal Agency headquarters to shut it down. Though A.L.F.A. pledged to protect humans from paranormal threats, they’ve caused nothing but mayhem. Candace thinks the problem lies with the agency’s director, Josh Tumbel. But when A.L.F.A. headquarters is taken in a hostage situation, Josh demonstrates the critical nature of the agency’s existence, and proves his worth to Candy as a protector and lover.

10 GREAT UNDERWATER SCI-FI AND FANTASY WORKS

Star Trek might have told us that space is the final frontier, but the ocean is the frontier that’s right at our doorstep. Largely unexplored, mysterious, and often downright weird (just look at those deep sea volcanic vent biological communities), the ocean has invited storytelling as long as human beings have been dipping our toes into it. Here are some underwater sci-fi and fantasy books that go from the scientific to the fanciful, from shallow water to the deep and cold where you’ll never know what to expect.

cover for The Scar by China MiévilleTHE SCAR BY CHINA MIÉVILLE

The Scar lives in the same universe as Miéville’s Perdido Street Station, but casts off quickly from that weirdly fantastic shore to go to deeper  and even stranger waters. Passengers of a ship are captured by pirates and forced to join the Armada, a floating city of a thousand ships. The strange leaders of the Armada, called the Lovers, are searching for a massive undersea creature called the avanc. But the purpose isn’t just for some kind of great hunt—it’s to harness the massive creature to take the entire floating city to the Scar, a place in the ocean where reality breaks down and everything is possible. The real question is if the Lovers—or anyone—should have that kind of power. But there’s an entire city of ships on a collision course with it anyway.

WHEN WHALES FALL BY DARCIE LITTLE BADGER

When an oceanographer writes undersea tales (and Dr. Darcie Little Badger happens to be one) you know you’re going to get something special and beautiful. When Whales Fall is a short story published in the online magazine The Colored Lens, and it tells of a society of sentient squid sisters who find their way of life threatened by hollow-shelled behemoths on the surface that hunt whales. For other ocean-related goodness, you should check out The Whalebone Parrot, published in The Dark. (And while it isn’t ocean-related at all, you should also read her story Black, Their Regalia in Lightspeed’s People of Color Destroy Fantasy edition.)

A DOOR INTO OCEAN BY JOAN SLONCZEWSKI

Feminist science fiction set on a water-covered moon populated by the all-female Sharers. The Sharer culture is fascinatingly built; it revolves entirely around the concept of nonviolence. Even the language of the Sharers emphasizes that idea, because there is no differentiation between subject and object, meaning that one thing acting upon another can always be linguistically reversed. Of course, an existence of total nonviolence and peace is going to get screwed up somehow; the Sharers encounter people from another planet, who threaten them. They deal with this threat by inviting a man from that planet into their society and teach him their ways; in return he helps defend them from the threatened invasion.

Cover art of Rocheworld by Robert L. ForwardROCHEWORLD BY ROBERT L. FORWARD

It’s an oldie but a goodie, a “hard” sci-fi tale of a spaceship called the Dragonfly (fun fact: the original form of this novel was called Flight of the Dragonfly) traveling to a strange double planet called Rocheworld. One “lobe” of the planet is dry, and the other is covered entirely by an ocean. The ocean world is populated by a water-dwelling species called the Flouwen, who are utterly adorable blobs that also happen to be incredibly good at math. Rocheworld is the opener to a series that goes Robinson Crusoe in a fun way, and ultimately builds a society between humans and the undersea, friendly aliens.

Fantasy Series Comes to an End | Lagoon Nnedi OkoraforLAGOON BY NNEDI OKORAFOR

Aliens have landed in the lagoon that stands next to Lagos, Nigeria, and the city will never be the same. The mixing of land and sea represented by the lagoon morphs into the mixing of alien and human, sometimes harmonious and sometimes very much not. The real question isn’t so much what the aliens want or if they can be trusted, but if the people of Lagos can adjust to this sudden shift in their world, and what they will become on the other side of it. While this first contact story takes place mostly on dry land, the underwater scenes as the aliens arrive are absolutely breathtaking. The sensibility of the lagoon as a liminal space permeate the novel, and at times while the characters are on dry land, they seem to be about to drown. It’s rich, delightful, and beautifully told.

into the drowning deep by mira grant coverINTO THE DROWNING DEEP BY MIRA GRANT

Mermaids like you’ve never seen them before, vicious and bloodthirsty and downright chthonic. Into the Drowning Deep is a sequel to Mira Grant’s standalone novella Rolling in the Deep. In the novella, a ship named the Atargatis, populated with scientists and a reality TV “documentary” crew, goes looking for mermaids and gets more than they bargained for in a messy, bloody, horrifying way. Seven years later in Into the Drowning Deep, the sister of one of the slain passengers of the Atargatis embarks on a new journey funded by the same media company, determined to get revenge and show that the horrifying existence of mermaids isn’t actually a hoax. As you might imagine, the mermaids aren’t a hoax, they’ve been waiting for the humans to return, and things are going to get bloody. It’s a mix of the cut throat horrors of academia, the banal evil of reality TV entertainment, and some excellent B movie monster fun.

The Deep by clipping.THE DEEP BY CLIPPING

The Deep is the story of the society of water-breathing people built by the children of pregnant, enslaved African women who were thrown overboard from slave ships crossing the Atlantic. These people must rise up to fight the violent intrusion of deep sea drilling to their deep, watery home. The Deep is not yet technically a book—it’s a single by clipping.—but if it’s good enough to be nominated for a Hugo Award (which it was, for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in the 2018 Hugos), it’s good enough for you. And remember how I said not yet? Rivers Solomon, author of the fantastic (but not underwater) Unkindness of Ghosts, is writing the book for The Deep, and it should becoming out from Saga in 2019.

REEFSONG BY CAROL SEVERANCE

After nearly dying in a fire while in pursuit of her duties, Angie Dinsman wakes up to find that her employer, the World Life Company, has altered her body totally without her permission. She’s got gills and tentacles now. World Life Company (which definitely does not sound like an evil corporation, no sir) wants Angie to recover some sensitive research that they will definitely not be using in a bad way on a water planet named Lesaat. Angie agrees while secretly resolving to destroy World Life Company from within, and thus her adventure begins. Reefsong has a strong cast of female characters and deals with resonant issues of exploitation (both of environment and people) and environmental damage that make a book that’s well over twenty years old still relevant today.

MEG: A NOVEL OF DEEP TERROR BY STEVE ALTEN

A diver watches in horror as a megalodon rises from the depths of the Mariana Trench, able to escape their deep prison due to a break in the layer of super cold water that has kept them trapped in the depths for millions of years. It’s only a matter of time until the massive sharks wreak terror on the oceans and eat the food chain from end to end. Someone has to stop them. And if this plot sounds suspiciously similar to a movie that came out in the summer of 2018, starring Jason Statham and Bingbing Li, that would be because The Meg was totally based off this monster book that’s so delightfully pulpy, it’s got a giant shark eating a t-rex on the cover.

THE SEA ETERNAL BY LYNNEA GLASSER

Another unconventional offering from below the waves—this is an interactive epic fantasy novel from Choice of Games, and an award winner at that. In The Sea Eternal, the whales have granted merpeople immortality, and all they want in return is help defending themselves from the giant squid, with whom they’re locked in an endless war. But of course, good things never last, and a rogue mermaid tries to destroy this precious whale gift. There are plenty of secrets, and conflicts, and choices to make during reading, following a merperson that can be almost anything the reader wants.


 

This list of underwater sci-fi and fantasy books is sponsored by Lost Arrow, Book I of The Kalelah Series by Marshall Ross.

Millennia ago, the starship Kalelah buried itself seven miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. We have no idea of its existence. It has no idea of ours. And once that changes, everything does. For the worse. Suddenly, two human civilizations – one alien and one Earth-bound – are forced to come to grips with a future neither had ever imagined. And a war nobody wants. It’s a colonization story turned on its head and crafted with all the intrigue and layers of a nail-biting thriller. Readers say, “Like Dan Brown wrote a Crichton story.”
By , November 

8 Books to Help You Navigate Modern Technology

Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Do you feel behind on today’s tech? Do you feel lost in our hyper-connected, fast-paced world?

Have no fear, we’re here to help. The eight books below will help you to catch up with everyone around you, utilize technology to get ahead, and achieve your goals in an efficient and timely manner.
The cover of the book Hit MakersHit Makers
Derek Thompson
In this national bestseller, Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson explains the psychology behind our interests and the economics of the cultural markets that shape our lives. He deconstructs the myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, shows that quality does not equal success, and demonstrates how to appeal to the consumer based on their needs and wants. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to start a business or promote themselves, and stand out from the countless others trying to make it to the top.

 

The cover of the book How to Break Up with Your PhoneHow to Break Up with Your Phone
Catherine Price
This book is essential for everyone that’s addicted to their phone. How do you know if you fall into this category? If you reach for your phone when you first wake up, constantly throughout the day, and then before you sleep, you are guilty of having an addiction to it. Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents an easy-to-follow guide to breaking up – and making up – with your phone.

 

The cover of the book The Square and the TowerThe Square and the Tower
Niall Ferguson
This instant New York Times bestseller documents the pivotal points in world history, including the one we’re currently living through, where old power is fading and new social networks are dominating everything we do. In The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks – like the social network we currently have – have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below.

 

The cover of the book IrresistibleIrresistible
Adam Alter
We live in an age of behavioral addiction. Half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior – whether it be our phones, our social media, our TV shows, or our work. In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why we can’t help but be addicted to certain things. Adam explains how we can use our addictions to improve ourselves and help others, and minimize the damaging effects on our well-being and our society.

 

The cover of the book Zen CameraZen Camera
David Ulrich
In this beautifully illustrated book, David Ulrich draws on the principles of Zen practice and his forty years of photography experience to offer six life-changing lessons for developing self-expression. Zen Camera is a never-before-seen photography practice that helps artists to channel their inner creativity using nothing more than their vision and a camera – even a phone camera will do. Containing eighty-three photographs, this book will allow readers to achieve clarity in an age of distraction, and create photographs that are breathtaking and unique.

 

The cover of the book Build Your Dream NetworkBuild Your Dream Network
J. Kelly Hoey
One thing that we hear constantly in the workplace today is “networking is very important.” But how do you make valuable connections and stand out from the crowd in our increasingly digital world? Acclaimed business columnist and networking expert J. Kelly Hoey offers advice for mastering this old skill in a world where posting, liking, and friending has taken over the way we do things. J. Kelly shows how making small changes in your daily routine, generosity, and goal-focused efforts are all it takes to set you apart from others and make meaningful connections that will lead to opportunity and success.

 

The cover of the book Blockchain RevolutionBlockchain Revolution
Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott
Blockchain technology is the revolutionary protocol that allows transactions to be simultaneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamperproof public ledger of value, and it’s powering our future (it’s best known as the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital cur­rencies). Don Tapscott, the bestselling author of Wikinomics, and his son, blockchain expert Alex Tapscott, bring us a highly researched and easy-to-understand book about the blockchain technology that is driving our future, and explain where it can lead us in the next decade and beyond.

 

The cover of the book New PowerNew Power
Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
In this informative guide to navigating the twenty-first century, two visionary thinkers – Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms – reveal that the rules of power have changed in our society, and are reshaping politics, business, and life. They tackle the rise of huge companies like Facebook, Uber, and AirBnB, the unexpected outcomes of our presidential elections, and the emergence of movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. New Power sheds light on the cultural phenomena of our day, revealing the new power that contributed to their success. This groundbreaking book offers us a new way to understand the world around us and our role in it.

Trend Alert: Popular ‘Up-Lit’ Books to Improve Your Mood

Tired of fictional murderers lurking around every page? Fed up with unwelcome apocalypses, unending wars, and miseries that somehow get worse as the chapters fly by? You’re not alone. We love stories, but they can sometimes be dreary things.

Enter “up-lit,” a book trend with modest intentions: It wants to make you feel better.

Of course, books have always improved readers’ lives, but “up-lit” [uplifting literature] seeks to do this by focusing on empathy and optimism. The characters in this wave of literature are everyday heroes dealing with everyday problems, championing human connection over romance, fulfillment over traditional success.

“These feel-good books tap into mental health and loneliness and anxiety and trauma,” editor Sam Eades told The Guardian about the growing trend. “By the end of the book the characters will have formed friendships, and been swept into a community.”

Want to check it out for yourself? We rounded up some of the most popular “up-lit” titles Goodreads members have been shelving below.

The Keeper of Lost Things A Man Called Ove The Lido Three Things About Elsie
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry The Story of Arthur Truluv
The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes The Trouble with Goats and Sheep The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

 

By Hayley, November 08, 2018, first appearing on Goodreads Blog
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