Trend Alert: Finding Kindness Between the Pages with ‘UpLit’

I don’t know about you, but I feel like winter has been going on forever. I don’t remember what it feels like to not wear winter boots, shovel snow, or slip around on ice. While I’m lucky enough to live somewhere with lovely sunny (but cold) days in the winter, it’s still a season that gets a lot of people down. Add to that all of the economic and political uncertainty in the world, and sometimes you just need a bit of positivity! So why not combat that with some sunny and happy listens? Enter UpLit!

What is “UpLit”? UpLit is a term for novels that are inspiring and focus on empathy, human spirit, and friendship. They are very much set in the real world and may even deal with sad situations, but they have an element of optimism, and most importantly, they end on a high. If the book leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling after you read it, chances are you just read some UpLit.

Here are some of our top UpLit titles that we know you’ll love! For more suggestions, check out our book list!

Gone Viking by Helen Russell, narrated by Juliet Burton

Super organized but frazzled mum Alice likes to think she is always on top of everything, but is she really? After a fair amount of cajoling, she finally agrees to her sister Melissa’s advice to take a break.

Hoping her sister will book a fancy spa, Alice soon discovers that this is NOT what her sister has planned. She ends up in Denmark, at a “How to be a Viking” getaway.

As Alice learns to forage for food, takes up sword fighting, and builds boats, she also learns a lot about herself, her relationship with Melissa, and starts to realize that there are a lot of changes she needs to make in her life.

This is a fun and hilarious listen, definitely emphasized by Juliet Burton’s enthusiastic narration. It’s also a lovely story of a relationship between two very different sisters.

Publisher’s summary:

Frazzled mum Alice Ray likes to think she’s on top everything—she has FOUR bags-for-life in the boot of her car for heaven’s sake. But after spectacularly embarrassing herself at work, she finally gives in to her sister’s pleas to take a much-needed break.

But this is not the luxury spa holiday Alice hoped for—instead, she finds herself in Denmark, in the middle of nowhere, on a ‘How to be a Viking’ getaway.

Can the two sisters finally learn to get along or will learning to embrace their inner warrior just make them better at fighting? Two sisters. One Scandi holiday they’ll never forget…

Read more and sample the audio →

Just After Midnight by Catherine Ryan Hyde, narrated by Kate Rudd

If you like to listen to books that make you cry, you’ll love this. I was drawn to it because I love horses, and this is as much a story about horses as it is a story about friendship.

Both Sarah and Faith are escaping unhappy situations. When Faith is tasked with taking Sarah on a trip to help her recover from her mother’s death, Sarah begs her to take her to see Midnight, the horse that was once hers.

Together, the two women learn to come to terms with the people and situations that have damaged them.

Publisher’s Summary:

No longer tolerating her husband’s borderline abuse, Faith escapes to her parents’ California beach house to plan her next move. She never dreamed her new chapter would involve befriending Sarah, a fourteen-year-old on the run from her father and reeling from her mother’s sudden and suspicious death.

While Sarah’s grandmother scrambles to get custody, Faith is charged with spiriting the girl away on a journey that will restore her hope: Sarah implores Faith to take her to Falkner’s Midnight Sun, the prized black mare that her father sold out from under her. Sarah shares an unbreakable bond with Midnight and can’t bear to be apart from her. Throughout the sweltering summer, as they follow Midnight from show to show, Sarah comes to terms with what she witnessed on the terrible night her mother died.

But the journey is far from over. Faith must learn the value of trusting her instincts—and realize that the key to her future, and Sarah’s, is in her hands.

Read more and sample the audio →

The M Word by Eileen Wharton, narrated by Julia Franklin

Feel-good novels almost always seem to center around younger women, so it’s awesome to hear a story about a slightly older woman.

Roberta Gallbreath is middle-aged and menopausal. She hates a lot of people—mostly her kids, her ex-husband, and the majority of people she works with.

When her mother dies, Roberta reads some of her mother’s old letters and discovers information regarding her heritage. Based on this new information, Roberta decides that she needs to start becoming a better person.

This is a great self-discovery tale with a lot of humor! Julia Franklin adds so much character to Roberta and her family that you cannot help but laugh out loud!

Publisher’s Summary:

Roberta Gallbreath is middle-aged and menopausal. She dislikes her children, detests her ex-husband and despises her colleagues.

When her mother dies, Roberta is left with a pile of letters and a mystery surrounding her son. The letters reveal Roberta’s heritage is not what it seems and she is soon on a mission to become a better person.

Told with humour and emotion, this is the tale of one woman’s journey to find out where she came from. As she looks to the past for answers, more questions are raised. Will Roberta discover who she really is?

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I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

I love, love, love, love, love Sophie Kinsella. I really do. I would say all of her books could be included in this blog post. She is the queen of UpLit! Two of my favourites are Remember Me? and My Not So Perfect Life, which both made me laugh out loud, and were a welcome breather from the two suspense listens that I had going on.

In I Owe You One, Fixie Farr, the aptly named main character, is that friend we all have who tries to fix other people’s problems. When she meets Sebastian in a coffee shop, he asks her to watch his laptop. She does so, and ends up saving it from disaster. To thank her, Seb scribbles an IOU on a business card, and thus begins a flurry of IOUs (and crazy situations) back and forth from Fixie to Seb, and vice versa.

The uplifting narration from long-term Kinsella narrator Fiona Hardingham is wonderful as always. She’s 100% the best narrator for an UpLit novel.

Publisher’s Summary:

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend…she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU—but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help—and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs—from small favours to life-changing debts—and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants? 

Read more and sample the audio →

Dinner Party by Tracy Bloom, narrated by Juanita McMahon

When you have kids, you get into a routine, and oftentimes, it means you lose touch with friends. Sometimes because they are in different stages of life than you, other times it’s just exhaustion!

Beth, Sarah and Marie have busy lives, but make the effort to meet up once a month for a couples dinner. It’s always fun and laid back—until Simon, a last-minute guest, is invited to a dinner. As Simon becomes involved in the group, the relationships between the friends and their husbands start to unravel…

Publisher’s Summary:

Beth, Sarah and Marie have been friends forever. Now they are grown up, with busy lives, busy husbands, busy kids…but they still find time to meet up over dinner once a month. A cosy, comfortable gathering of happy couples—or so they thought.

Until one night, someone brings along a last-minute guest whose wife has just left him. Simon is standing on the doorstep in floods of tears. While the women do their best to console him, their husbands feel the need to mark their territory.

And as Simon becomes more involved with the group, his presence changes everything these three couples thought they knew about each other, leading to a final dinner party that no-one will ever forget. 

Read more and sample the audio →

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The Season of Love: Rom-Coms and the Newest Trend in Audiobooks

I love romantic comedy novels. Much like their movie counterparts, some people are snobby about them. But I love them. Why? Because they are comforting, and in a world that is always busy, and often scary, romantic comedies bring us escapism, passion, and most of all, a ton of fun!

Obviously, I’m not alone here. We at Audiobooks.com have noticed a surge in the number of rom-com titles, and no wonder! In 2018 we saw a big trend in movies and TV bringing back the rom-com in a big way (Crazy Rich Asians, Mamma Mia 2, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), and so it makes complete sense we’d seeing this in the audiobook world too.

So sit back, get a bar of chocolate (or whatever your comfort food is), and stick on a few of these listens.

1. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne, narrated by Jayme Mattler

In the same vein as her last book (The Hating Game), Sally Thorne brings us a fun romantic comedy about a twin sister and brother fighting over an inheritance, and the sexy best friend who comes between them. Darcy, the main character of the book, has a massive crush on her brother’s best friend—who has always been off limits for her…until now. Now tasked with renovating and selling her grandmother’s house, Darcy has to concentrate on figuring out how to protect her inheritance, while also trying to figure out how to seduce her brother’s best friend. 99 Percent Mine brings lots of laughs, and Jayme Mattler‘s narration really brings Darcy—and her feisty attitude—to life.

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2. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May, narrated by Penny Scott Andrews

Have you ever felt like giving up everything, and moving to the middle of nowhere? Rosa Larkin, inherits a near-derelict shop in a quiet English village from an anonymous benefactor. She plans to sell it, but there’s a condition to ownership: she cannot sell the shop. So she either has to make a go of it, or give it away. So, Rosa decides to stay and run the shop, and much hilarity ensues! Add in a rugby player, a sexy plumber, and Rosa’s hilariously-named dachshund, Hot, and you’ve got a side-splitting combination!

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3. Accidental Tryst by Natasha Boyd, narrated by John Lane, Cassandra York

Did you love the movie You’ve Got Mail? If you did, or if you love a good opposites attract-type romance, you’ll love Accidental Tryst. Two strangers mistakenly switch phones at an airport. Trystan is a rich workaholic with an attitude. Emmy is a caring, sweet, free-spirited southern girl. On paper, it shouldn’t work…but it does! The fun and witty banter is intensified by John Lane and Cassandra York’s amazing narrations, which bring this novel to life.

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4. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren, narrated by Shayna Thibodeaux and Deacon Lee

One of the great things about modern rom-com novels is the fact that the heroines are multifaceted characters. They have varied jobs and roles they fill and aren’t just two-dimensional traditional heroines. In this audiobook, Millie Morris is a professor who’s “perma-single.” She and her male best friends/colleagues make a pact to start online dating. However, straight after making the pact, Millie and her best friend, Reid, have a one night stand, which makes things awkward, so they agree to just stay friends.

After failing horribly at online dating, Millie decides to create a fake online account. Enter “Catherine,” Millie’s fictional persona, who…of course…gets matched with Reid…

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5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, narrated by Carly Robins.

This is SUCH a cool listen. The heroine, Stella Lane, works in a well-paid, technical job, making algorithms that predict customer purchases. However, her social life is not as successful as her professional life. Helen finds it hard to be in relationships, which she attributes to being on the Austistic spectrum, as well as a lack of romantic experience. So she comes up with the idea of hiring an escort to get “experience with a professional.” This hilarious read can get pretty steamy, but it’s a great read from a unique perspective and a neurodiverse author.

Read more and sample the audio →

New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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