MMGM and #IMWAYR: Books that are gentle with your feelings!

(Y'all, I am so sorry if the post formatting is chaotic—Blogger is such a nightmare sometimes. Now for the post!)

I haven't been reading much lately, and it's kind of a funny reason why. I'd say I'm in a phase right now where I'm trying to feel some important feelings. And it's a balancing act between unearthing those feelings and processing them, and not letting them get in the way of my day-to-day life. (I think I'm scoring a solid 75 out of 100 on that balancing act, which I'm proud of!)

And the thing is, I haven't been reading books because I don't really want to feel anything! 👀 Now, that's definitely an exaggeration—my day-to-day experiences, and thoughts, and the music I listen to all bring up feelings, and I'm happy to feel those. But the idea of plunging myself into a whole emotional universe where I have to deal with someone else's feelings...just really doesn't sound appealing. I have enough feelings to keep busy with, thank you very much. 🤷‍♂️

So then I was trying to come up with a blog post idea, because I'm trying to blog consistently and stay connected with you all...which is hard when I'm not reading! And then I decided, I should make a list of books that are good for when you all maybe feel like I do! For when you're in a reading slump, or sad, or stressed, or trying to make it through, and you just really don't want to take on a whole big emotional burden. For when you want a comfort read, or something healing, or something that will just get that you're in that fragile place, and you need to be cared for.

So I've got a list for you all! With many caveats: It's a Goodreads gadget below because this was faster than torturing myself with images and links in Blogger. The books link to the Goodreads page, not my review, but you can search the book title on my blog and find my thoughts.

The books themselves fall into different groupings. Some, like K. O'Neill's books, lead with compassion, care, and healing, even in the face of pain. Others, like Lucy Knisley's Relish, are nonfiction or memoirs that are less emotional than a fiction story. And still others, like Tyler Feder's Dancing at the Pity Party, are quite obviously about difficult topics but bring either deep kindness, or plenty of humor, or both. I encourage you to research each book and make sure it's a good fit before you start it—or to fight me in the comments if you think I inadvertently picked a tear-jerker for this list! (Some of these I'm a little ambivalent about including myself, but what can you do?)

Also, most of these are graphic novels, unsurprisingly, but a few are not, because I pulled them from the entire history of my blog! (Shockingly, I wasn't always a massive graphic novel reader.) And they run the gamut from MG, to YA, to adult.

Behold, the list:

Books that are gentle with your feelings!

Marshmallow & Jordan
The Boy on the Porch
The Beatryce Prophecy
Yummy: A History of Desserts
Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir
I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir
Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Dumpling Days
Squished: A Graphic Novel
Fly Away
The Tea Dragon Society
Aquicorn Cove
Princess Princess Ever After
The Moth Keeper
Cat's Cafe
One Cup at a Time: A Cat's Café Collection

The Kidlit Lovers' Meetup!

We are now one week out from the first Kidlit Lovers' Meetup—I'm so excited!!! I keep checking the sign-up and seeing people I cannot wait to meet—it's going to be so good, y'all.

If you've missed my announcements before, the Kidlit Lovers' Meetups are a chance for us kidlit book bloggers and readers to get together on Zoom and talk about books, reading, blogging, and more. And the meetups will be on Sunday, June 23, 2024 from 5-6 PM Pacific, and Wednesday, July 24, 2024 from 4-5 PM Pacific.

If you're reading this post, you're part of the target audience for these meetups, so I really hope I'll have the chance to see you there!

Random thoughts:

I've been very into music lately. Billie Eilish came out with an album in May called HIT ME HARD AND SOFT that I absolutely love—it's emotional and confident and creepy and multifaceted and ugh so good.

I also reconnected with the music of one of my favorite bands, Frankie Cosmos—their lead singer and songwriter, Greta Kline, is one of the wisest people alive. Listen to "This Swirling" if you need a song.

Also, something I never talk about here is that I'm a huge nerd about old technology. (I used to read alarm clock instruction manuals for fun. I have a favorite alarm clock model—I have many, in fact. I have written poems about alarm clocks. It's a whole situation.) Sometimes my electronics interest veers into an all-consuming obsession, which is not ideal, but sometimes I can manage it and it's actually a healthy part of who I am! So fast-forward to now—I've been super-into older cameras. I pulled out my mom's 2003 camcorder, which has fade-in and fade-out effects! And picture filters! And titles! And cassettes! And I borrowed my grandmother's 2006 digital camera, which is so chunky and adorable and has a really well-designed menu system. And what's fun is, I actually really enjoy photography (see my inactive photography blog), so I can semi-obsessively nerd out about the cameras themselves, BUT ALSO use them to express myself creatively and get back into an old hobby that's actually good for me!

So those are my goings-on—if you have any goings-on or hobbies on your mind, share in the comments below!

That's all for today—y'all have a fabulous week full of good feelings! ✨✨


  1. Thanks for the book recommendations. I think we all go through phases when we might not read as much as usual. And it's great to have other things we enjoy doing. Exercising and gardening are fun ones for me. I'll miss you next week at the meet-up, but I'm excited to go to my book club.

  2. The funniest thing is that sometimes I read less because I'm too busy at the bookstore! That really is nonsensical because of being surrounded by good books there, but it does keep me from reading! Sorry for your up and down emotions, Max; that happens for all kinds of reasons, good & bad. And, thanks for the book list, will check to see for some new titles missed before! Best wishes for lots of "good" this week!

  3. Great selection of books and I've only read a little over half of them. My future read list is overflowing but that's a good thing! I've tinkered with some old technology and it's amazing how far we've come in a short time.

  4. Glad you are taking time to work through your feelings. Having a husband who is very ill has made it difficult for me to post as regularly this past year. I like books I can escape into when I'm stressed. Enjoyed your list. Have only read a few of the titles, but know of many of them.

  5. Dancing at the Pity Party just broke me, but in a positive way, as weird as that sounds - I also lost a parent to cancer, and the creator's experience resonated with me so deeply and profoundly, it felt like someone had captured all my thoughts and feelings and expressed them far better than I ever could have.

  6. This list! This list! Everything on it that I've read I absolutely loved AND there are a few I haven't gotten to yet that now I need to read immediately since they are in such good company. "Books that are gentle with your feelings" are some of my favorite books! I could never quite categorize what I was looking for either but that title fits perfectly. I like Hilary McKay's Casson family series (starts with Saffy's Angel) for a list like this too. Very wise to take the time and space you need to process feelings. It's such hard work. I'm going to file away this idea to create a book list for a Monday when I don't have any books to share too. Like you, I am trying to be consistent with Monday posts, and I do know how I am: if I skip once, it will suddenly be sometime next year and I won't have posted in months and months. It's nice to have an idea in my back pocket for Monday book emergencies!

  7. Ack. I have only read one of the books on your suggested list (The Prince and the Dressmaker, which I very much enjoyed). Looking forward to the kidlit meet up

  8. I have read Seed Folk- but none of the others on the list (though I have read some books by the authors on the list). Thanks for sharing! The Kidlit meetups sound fun! I think your tech obsession sounds fun. I was just saying that I would love my old camera back from before I had a cell phone. Have fun taking photos. :)


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