Top Ten Tuesday: Books that are like pep talks

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share ten books that make us smile. Today I thought I’d specifically recommend ten books that feel like pep talks. There’s nothing better than a pep talk from a family member, friend, or mentor, but sometimes a pep talk from a book is the next best thing.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. From reaching career goals to addressing family struggles, this memoir feels like a pep talk for it all. I really appreciated how Michelle Obama walked us through her life, showing both ups and downs. It’s an important reminder that life is not a clear path forward; rather, it is meandering and unpredictable. {My review}

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Although this book doesn’t directly feel like a pep talk in the way that a memoir or collection of essays might, it nevertheless delivers an important message: life is about stories and people and finding where you belong, even though that route may not be the easiest or most apparent at first. I read this book immediately after a break up and found it to be so comforting. {My review}

Sourdough by Robin Sloan. This book is aptly titled because it feels like a warm, soft loaf of bread: comforting, cozy, and delightful. I adored this book in an unexpected way, in large part because of its emphasis on going after what you’re truly passionate about. {My review}

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. I’ve recommended this memoir in countless posts, but that won’t stop me from recommending it again! This book truly feels like Dolly Alderton is sitting across from you giving you a witty, hilarious, raw, poignant pep talk. {My review}

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. This is the last lecture of Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who had been previously diagnosed with terminal cancer. Titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” this lecture is incredibly inspirational and so, so moving.

Girl Up by Laura Bates. Although this book is geared towards teenage girls, I think it contains important reminders for everyone about how people don’t have to strive to conform to society’s expectations of what we should be. I so wish I had had this when I was in high school! {My review}

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This memoir is gripping, inspirational, moving, and so well written. I think this is one of the books that I’ve recommended to people the most offline. It’s an amazing reminder that it is never to late to make a big change in your life. {My review}

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. I read this earlier this year and cannot stop thinking about it (I’ve actually been tempted to reread it already!). It’s such a great pep talk for bookworms especially, and is a perfect reminder of why books are so amazing. I can’t recommend this one enough if you’re in the need of some cheering up! {My review}

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. This is my favorite Sarah Dessen book, mostly because of the rather unique ending for this genre. (I don’t want to give it away, so you’ll just have to read and see for yourself!) Perfect if you’re looking for a summery pep talk by the ocean. {My review}

Matilda by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl in general is always my go-to for feel good books, but Matilda is an especially warm and fuzzy one!

What books that feel like pep talks would you recommend? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that are like pep talks

  1. I love a book that feels like a pep talk. Everything I Know About Love and Wild are so perfect for that. Have you read Tiny Beautiful Things, the collection of Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar columns? If not I think you love it – it’s serious pep talk material.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea! I also found The Starless Sea oddly comforting. I read Wild at a point when I was trying to find my way, and briefly semi-considered hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (I didn’t! Trust me, in my case, that would have been a BAD idea!). It made it seem enlightening. Like I would come through the experience wiser. I always love 84 Charing Cross Road and Matilda!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read The Starless Sea yet, but I’m glad to hear that it’s a comforting read! (: Also, Charing Cross Road sounds so interesting, I’m adding it to my Goodreads TBR asap! Thank you for the recs 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Was not expecting to see The Starless Sea on the list, but your reasoning makes total sense. The book is on my massive backlog of books I need to read, and I’m so excited to dive into the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! 🙂 And I completely agree about Becoming. I listened to the audiobook as well and it was just so amazing. I don’t often reread memoirs, but I will absolutely be rereading that one at some point!


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