Hey, Savvy Readers! Has anyone else spent the last couple of weekends binge-watching Netflix’s new series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? Book lovers were shocked to hear Kondo recommend that people downsize their books collections and give away the unread and unused books that apparently don’t don’t bring us joy. Understandably her comments elicited an immediate push-back from most of the book community, though Kondo later clarified that if your large book collection “sparks joy” then you should hold on to it (thank god). But now that the initial frenzy has subsided, we here at Savvy Reader have been inspired to consider all the books we WOULDN’T get rid of if we decided to declutter our book shelves. We’ve put together a list of a few of the wonderful books that have brought us joy- enjoy!
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A beloved classic published in 1910, this beautiful story still resonates with audiences today. The novel tells the story of a Mary Lennox, a spoiled young girl that, following the death of both her parents, is forced to move in with her strict uncle, and shorty after discovers a walled off, secret garden. As Mary begins to care for the garden she builds friendships and grows as a person. This book is a must read for BOTH children and adults.
The Enchanted Hour by Megan Cox Gurdon
This book is a love letter to storytelling and the lost tradition of reading aloud. Using the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, author Meghan Cox Gurdon outlines both the social and psychological benefits of reading aloud. In The Enchanted Hour, Gurdon demonstrates the ways in which oral storytelling stimulates the mind, uplifts emotional well-being, strengthen social bonds, and dare I say it…sparks joy.
Labyrinth of Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Labyrinth of Spirits is the final book in a four-part beautiful, noir-inspired series that centers around the Cemetery of Forgotten Books- a seemingly endless library filled with the abandoned, and the forgotten books of the past. Each installment presents a different mystery but features the same cast of characters and explores their personal connection to the library. If you haven’t already read it I don’t want to spoil anything else, just know that this series is guaranteed to spark joy for any book lover.
Lord of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Do I really need to explain this one? J.R.R. Tolkien’s renowned fantasy trilogy has set the standard for the modern fantasy genre and has been rightfully hailed as one of the best series of all time. But just in case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the general break-down; hobbits, elves, Mordor, and one ring to rule them all. Now go read the books (you’ll thank me later).
Little Women by Louis May Alcott
Arguably one of the best fictional families EVER, Little Women tells the story of the March household and follows the family’s four daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy through their hardships, losses and victories. This is story about love, and sisterhood, and serves as a great reminder that no matter how far you travel in life, your will always be there for you.
Emma by Jane Austen
Surprisingly not the most popular Austen novel, but definitely one of the most enjoyable. The story centers around the character of Emma Woodhouse, a beautiful, self-assured but utterly clueless young woman, who delights in matchmaking those around her. What makes this novel particularly funny is Emma’s steadfast confidence coupled with her absolute lack of self-awareness- although she does learn from her mistakes…eventually.
BONUS: when you’re finished reading the book, you can check out the hilarious 90s teen film adaption, Clueless!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Let’s be honest, you’ve probably already read this one. But just in case you haven’t, the story follows Jane, an impoverished young woman, who gets hired on as the governess of Thornfield Hall. As the novel unfolds Jane falls in love with her boss, the brooding and mysterious, Edward Rochester. But when old secrets are revealed Jane’s happiness and livelihood is threatened. Although this is definitely a darker read, Jane’s courage and perseverance makes for quite an inspiring story.
Anne of Green Gables by E.L.Montgomery
This one is a personal childhood favourite! Anne of Green Gables is the story of a fiery, young orphan girl named Anne, who arrives in the sleepy town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, after she is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Talkative, imaginative and unashamedly herself, Anne is not the child the Cuthberts expected, but as the novel unfolds both the characters and the reader fall in love with Anne.
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
Imagine life at Green Gables before Anne, told from the perspective of the young woman who would become the Marilla Cuthbert of E.L. Montgomery’s stories. When her mother suddenly dies in childbirth 13-year Marilla is forced to take on the responsibilities of a farm wife. When she is finally able to break away from her past and begin to build a life for herself, her future is suddenly jeopardized and she is forced to choose between her own ambitions and her quiet life at Green Gables. This story offers a fascinating and heart wrenching new look at a beloved character – definitely a must read for fans of the original books.
Those are some of the books that spark joy for us. Do you agree with our list, or did we forget to include some of favourites? Let us know on Twitter @SavvyReader or in the comments below!