Summer Reading Category Spotlight: Kindness & Community Fiction

reading colors your world

Studies have shown that when we witness kindness, we are inspired to be kind to others. Also, reading fiction encourages empathy and increases understanding. Experience for yourself a hopeful combination of these two truths by enjoying stories like these favorites about people and/or communities helping others. For more kindness and community inspired fiction, venture to Lists & Suggestions.

Anxious People book cover

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers—including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages and a plucky octogenarian—discover their unexpected common traits.

Witty; Moving

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend book cover

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist–even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books.

Quirky; Charming

Real Men Knit book cover

The Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

Determined to keep his late adoptive mother’s Harlem knitting shop open, one of four brothers accepts the help of a craft-savvy businesswoman who is hiding her secret crush on him.

Big-Hearted; Sweet

Bring on the Blessings book cover

Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins

When a post-Reconstruction community succumbs to a desperate need for funds and purpose, its mayor puts the small town up for sale and finds a buyer in Bernardine Brown, who believes the town’s sale to be a sign from God.

Engaging; Heartwarming

House in the Cerulean Sea book cover

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days. But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps…

Hopeful; Offbeat

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune book cover

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim

Inheriting her grandmother’s restaurant in a crumbling San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood, Natalie Tan is advised by the local seer to prepare three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to help their struggling community.

Engaging; Sweet

The Switch book cover

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Ready for an adventure in the months after her husband of 60 years departs, a woman from a picture-postcard Yorkshire village offers to swap places with her burned-out adult granddaughter to pursue romance in bustling London.

Funny; Uplifting

The Thursday Murder Club book cover

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Meeting weekly in their retirement village’s Jigsaw Room to exchange theories about unsolved crimes, four savvy septuagenarians propose a daring but unorthodox plan to help a woman rookie cop solve her first big murder case.

Likeable; Suspenseful