Calgon, take me away—in book format, please. Everything is a lot right now—which is putting it mildly—and since you’re no good to anyone if you reach burnout mode, you need to step away sometimes and escape. Recharge the batteries so you can fight another day. Or just remember the good in the world. I’m here to help you do just that with some books that will help you escape from the current horrible news cycle.
We hear a lot about the importance of mindfulness and meditation, which is essentially based on looking inward, but what if looking around us is also a way of finding joy? That’s Lee’s exploration as she looks at our surroundings to identify easy-to-access things that can bring us joy. Think baby animals, confetti, blooming cherry blossoms, and watching a sunset. I mean, I did just smile while typing that sentence.
Jenny Slate is just delightful, and hearing her name makes me smile. If you feel the same way, obviously her book will be a nice escape for you. From vignettes about divorce to a vagina singing sad, old songs, Slate does what she does best and is hilarious and poignant in her essay collection. And she narrates the audiobook, which is important to know if you love author-narrated books.
If you’re looking for your escape from the current news cycle to come in the form of a lifestyle movement, I’ve got two books for you. What began as a group of friends preserving a hidden forest in upstate New York grew into a massive online following of people obsessed with handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. If you’re a fan of architecture, beautiful photography, or just dream of a place to read in quiet, Cabin Porn is a thing for you!
Starting with The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, Knight has consistently taught readers how to give fewer foxes and live a better, calmer, be-you type of life. Oh, and the books are all hilarious, which is just an added win. Now we can work on the fewer foxes with a journal—and if you’re a journal hoarder like me you’ve just squealed! Knight guides you through figuring out what is stressing you out in order to help you manage it. With lots of f*cks, of course.
Related: Sarah Knight’s No F*cks Given Guides
We’re staying with the funny but looking at robots! Whether you’re on board or not, AI is here and definitely to stay. It already does plenty for us, from the silly (like adding animal features to our images) to the life-and-death in hospitals. But how smart is it, and what is it really capable of? Shane looks to answer a ton of questions about AI that we probably really want to know and others we didn’t know we asked: Is Vampire Hog Bride the best Halloween costume?
This book gathers techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, psychotherapy, and mindfulness training for strategies on building a path to emotional well-being. As a person with mild-depression, Weil uses his own experiences and insight to create accessible advice from lifestyle to dietary changes with the goal of mood management.
A reminder that among all the destruction, wars, violence and not-great history of humans, there has also always been humanity's capacity for good. Christakis argues for us not to overlook the human blueprint we all have for love, friendship, cooperation, learning, and most importantly, creating a good society.
May this list give you the escape you need from the current news cycle and inspire more greatness.
What to Read next
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.