When Dark Words Can Brighten Your World

by Emily Roberts on February 23, 2013

When you’re feeling downright miserable and want to read something that will help you feel better, what’s the kind of book you would instinctively reach for? Probably a light and entertaining volume that you know would perk up your mood.

Often, though, humorous tales that you otherwise love, have a completely opposite effect during these times of gloom, leaving you more upset than before, at the “unfairness” of the world. It is probably for times like these that Martin Chilton suggests you pick up Thomas Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure” or Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.” Don’t be surprised if you find yourself counting your blessings and feeling relieved that you’re not a character in these gloomy stories.

By the way, it’s not just adults who can benefit from an occasional dose of bleak narratives. Howard A. Ludwig writes that a bummer book or two in your kids’ reading shelf can help them learn that bad things sometimes do happen, but they should see the positive aspects of life even during those hard times. Ludwig has given a list of books that you can add to your children’s library. One of them is “A Story for Hippo,” by Simon Puttock. This is a tale of a monkey and a hippo who were close friends. Hippo dies and Monkey can only but cry all the time. Eventually, Monkey learns that sharing stories about Hippo with others makes him feel better.

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