Beyond Bestsellers: Up Lit

By Kristi S.

February is here and it’s time for our new Beyond Bestsellers theme. If you need a reminder of what Beyond Bestsellers is all about, here’s a quick recap. For the month of February, we are going to be exploring Up Lit! Never heard of Up Lit? Neither had I until I started doing research for this month.

Up Lit, short for uplifting literature, is a relatively new name for the “feel-good” genre of reading that is making waves in the book world right now. Alongside hard-hitting literary fiction with decidedly upsetting themes, we are seeing a rise in novels of kindness and compassion on the bestseller lists. In today’s fast-paced world, riddled with political tension and bad news, it’s unsurprising that people are looking to slow down with inspirational stories of human connection. This month, we have no-wait eBook access to The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. This is a leisurely paced and charming novel about a woman tasked with returning a large collection of lost items to their owner. Ruth Hogan got a lot of buzz for this novel, and in this interview in the Guardian, she ruminates on the power of Up Lit, saying “…our real life is dark enough. I think people are returning to the idea of fiction as an escape. And usually if we want to escape from the real world, we want to escape to a better world.” I have to agree. I am constantly looking to escape through fiction, even if just for a few hours.

But, escaping into Up Lit is not all sunshine and rainbows. The characters in these novels do often face adversity and pain, but they come out on the other side with an upbeat attitude, having grown and learned. What these books emphasize is hope. Up lit is meant to help restore our faith in humanity and in ourselves. It is all about recognizing that there is good in the world, even when it seems darkest, and inspiring readers to make a change. I don’t know about you, but this is something I really need as I leave 2018 behind and move into a new year.

So, are you ready to start exploring uplifting fiction?

Since Up Lit is mainly focused on tone and character, it stretches across genres. For our deep dive into Up Lit, we’ve divided our reading into four main categories: Contemporary Up Lit, Gentle Romance, Cozy Mysteries, and Faith based Fiction. Not sure where you want to start? Take this quiz to be matched with a list of suggestions.

In addition to our no-wait eBook selection, we also have no-wait on eAudiobooks for Rabbit Cake by Annie HartnettThe Sweetheart Bargain by Shirley Jump, and the Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan. All of these titles are deeply heartwarming with light romance and humor, perfect to brighten our dreary February.

Don’t forget to make lists of your reading through the month and share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

Happy Reading!

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4 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Up Lit”

  1. Peter says:

    The quiz gave me ‘Cozy Mysteries’ to read — I would have never guessed that! Out of the four options it is sensible, though. I wonder if Up Lit type books will become a new staple genre given the status of the world?

    • Kristi S. says:

      I think, considering the theme, cozy mysteries is probably the best fit for you, Peter. Up Lit seems to be here to stay, so you might want to jump on board!

  2. Chickwheat says:

    I have a friend who’s under a lot of pressure and LOVES Up Lit (a new term for me)! I’m sharing this with her right now!

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