July 11th is Cheer Up the Lonely Day, I’m here to wonder what version of lonely is even being referred to. In my mind, there are two: the romantic version that appears in songs and the generic, which applies to everyone and anyone. Since I want to reach more people, and since I am not much of a romantic, the second version is what I will be referring today. (Though I suppose they are really the same and one is just a more specific version of the other).
Loneliness is something a lot of people felt over the global pandemic, separated from each other as we were, and for many that loneliness might be coming to an end with the winding back of restrictions (I feel the need to add an obligatory “be careful, the pandemic isn’t over here”). However, its disappearance probably doesn’t mean that everyone suddenly will only be happy, always and forever.
But the 11th is Cheer Up the Lonely Day, which I’m sure just talking about loneliness is probably not helping. We’re all here for strategies. How do we cope? What do we do to fix everything? How do books hold all the answers? Well, I’m sure books can’t hold all the answers (shocking, I know), but there’s always the chance that they might and sometimes that’s good enough for me, at least for a while.
In the spirit of cheering up, here are five book or book-related recommendations that always make me happy:
The Quidditch World Cup (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
(This reference is not in endorsement of J. K. Rowling’s transphobic opinions. Please support trans people).
Up until recently, Harry Potter had always made me happy, and the part I often found myself drawn to the Quidditch World Cup. I think it was less what happened and more of just the atmosphere of celebration. Magical camping combined with visiting family and friends (I’m not a huge sports person so the match was secondary, but still fun). Really, the entire fourth book, when people weren’t in danger and Voldemort wasn’t rising, was fairly festive and made me feel like I was looking forward to the events myself. (Sorry Harry, I know you didn’t have any fun being chased by dragons and such…)
Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Singing Travelers
(Avatar: The Last Airbender isn’t a book, but there are comics, so its book related).
Really, all of Avatar is comforting, from the adorable animals to the fun characters, but the singing travelers in “Book 2, Episode 2: The Cave of Two Lovers” are incredibly memorable. At one point, they sing a song about not being sad that there’s been a cave in, and I often found myself singing it to myself while stuck in quarantine. It was fairly helpful.
(TW: disease for the next one).
Will Henderale’s Demon Pox Song (Clockwork Prince)
Will Henderale is occasionally a mixed bag (I know, I know, it’s complicated and he turns out to be a very nice person, but in most of the books his behavior ranges between humorous and irritating), but his joy at discovering that demon pox (a magical sickness that eventually turns those infected into demons) is contagious. I’m curious how long he’s had the song prepared. Years? It’s entirely possible. I aspire to approach the world with this sort of enthusiasm.
Love and Friendship by Jane Austen
Love and Friendship (Technically spelled as Love and Freindship) serves as a parody of romance novels and is absolutely ridiculous. I read it for class once and was surprised that one: it was short, and two: it fit my sense of humor almost perfectly. Two characters send letters back and forth, one describing her ridiculously dramatic life and various adventures. Be prepared for lots of dramatic fainting.
The Secrets of Deltora Book I Read as a Child
This book served as a companion to the series Deltora Quest, though I remember more from it than I do its parent material. I do remember this book though. Basically, it serves as a guidebook to the story’s world, explaining the various attractions, creatures, and people one might expect to come across. Reading it feels like planning a fun fantasy vacation where every other creature can kill you.
Share your favorite books and book or book related recommendations!