In the Mood for…

Mood reading is one of those buzz words on Bookstagram that has made me start to believe that perhaps almost everyone who reads a lot is a mood reader. It seems hard not to be.

For certain, finding the right book has been all the harder in this continued time of moods being all the more fickle.  This January in particular I’ve been finding that I’m not so naturally reaching for a book as I usually do and looking for a way to change that.

Perhaps in particular because of that desire, I thought matching some books to a variety of moods would be interesting to think about.  First up are books for the adults and next you’ll find picture books for the kids in your life.

The links, as usual, are affiliate.  Thank you so much for using them or shopping small, my friends. It means a lot.

I’m in the mood for…

Cozy Comfort

  • Alexander McCall Smith’s A Promise of Ankles
  • Thank you to Vintage Anchor for my review copy! I absolutely adore the 44 Scotland Street series.  The books follow the lives of a cast of characters who live on Scotland Street in Edinburgh and are full of charming digressions and musings and  comical, dry details. If words like episodic or subtle or quirky appeal to your reading taste or if you want to get swept up into the minutiae of the Edinburgh world, do pick these up!  For those of you who already enjoy this series, the latest hit the spot just as much as the others always do.  Comfort through and through.

Absorbing Hijinks

  • Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
  • Thank you to Minotaur Books and St. Martin’s Press for my copy!  When I first read the blurb for this one, which is essentially a single mom getting caught up in the world of contract killing and the mob, I immediately thought of Bill Murray in The Man Who Knew Too Little- anyone else know that movie?  Instead of getting ridiculous, though, this book manages to both be darkly humorous and realistic. If you’ve ever thought about what you would do in various crime situations (um, is this a weird thing I’m confessing or am I not alone?), then you’ll find yourself believing that this crime writer and exhausted mom could actually find herself in the scenarios she does.  The book felt refreshingly different and, in a time when I think most of us are particularly looking for books that grip us, this is absolutely one you’re going to want to ride along with.  It comes out February 2!


  • Daina Ramey Berry’s and Kali Nicole Gross’s A Black Women’s History of the United States
  • I haven’t been seeing this title around as much as it deserves! This is a fantastically researched exploration of how Black women have always been essential to the shaping of the United States.

Quiet Heart Moving

  • Renee Watson’s Piecing Me Together
  • An all-time favorite book, this middle grade is such a gem.  I won’t even say more.


  • Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing
  • I’ve seen an uptick in people looking again for dystopian YA reads and this is one almost no one seems to know about that is so good.  If you are looking to be swept up in a book reminiscent of The Hunger Games or Divergent, this one will more than do the trick.

The kids and I are in the mood for…

Educational Laughs

  • Jane Porter and Maddie Frost’s So You Want To Be An Owl
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy! This one is such a big hit with everyone in the family.  We talk about it all the time.  The book is outright just fun, as your kid will giggle trying to follow the lessons from Professor Olaf Owl about learning to be an owl, and it’s packed brimful of absolutely fascinating information about owls.  There is so much I’d never heard of before and it’s delivered in this wonderful package. Highly recommend!


  • Jane Porter and Maisie Paradise Shearring’s The Boy Who Loved Everyone 
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy! Dimitri is a little boy who tells everyone and everything, “I love you”, but gets no “I love you” responses back.  When he asks his mom about this, she explains to him that people and things show love in different ways.  I think this is such a special book about the very tender-hearted people in our world that opens up great dialogue about social interactions and love in general.

Page-turning Silliness

  • Lou Peacock’s and Alison Friend’s Mr. Brown’s Bad Day
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy! This story follows the very important Mr. Brown with his very important briefcase and then the madcap chase once it goes missing.  What do you think is going to be inside this very important businessman’s briefcase? This is a cute one that will leave you smiling.

Nostalgic Sweetness

  • Bob Graham’s Ellie’s Dragon
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy!  When I first read this book, I immediately felt myself drawn back to a book from my childhood: The Red Woolen Blanket. It turns out, it’s by the same author and, it turns out, this author is so good at capturing the bittersweet passage of time. Ellie finds Scratch, her dragon, in an egg carton one day and this story follows the two of them growing up together and what happens when she no longer feels the pull to her imaginary friend.

Getting Your Kid to Sleep

  • Sophie Ambrose’s Bedtime for Albie
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy! Albie, a warthog, does not want to go to sleep. He just wants to stay up and play. Sound familiar? Of course it does.  I think our daughter is comforted by this one (she’s talked about it a lot) because she can relate to Albie and I like the visuals of all the animals and their soothing nighttime activities.

Imaginative Storytelling

  • Jonarno Lawson’s and Qin Leng’s Over the Shop
  • Thank you to Candlewick for our review copy! Wordless picture books used to, oddly enough, intimidate or bore me.  Since then, I’ve grown to really appreciate them.  This one, with its lovely soft illustrations, tells the story about a run-down apartment over the store of a little girl and her grandparent.  If you like stories with found family and hope, do check this one out!

Hygge Bookish-ness

  • Annie Silvestro’s Bunny’s Book Club
  • This is easily one of my favorite picture books and I think anyone who loves to read is going to be so happy reading this one over and over again.  The illustrations of the animals all reading together melt me every time and you’ll feel extra cozy and content reading this one.


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