With all the recent snowfall and cold winds, we are granted no better reason to stay inside and read. Here are some of my favorite books that  make me smile, even on the coldest and snowiest of days.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

“NIMONA is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. LORD BALLISTER BLACKHEART is a villain with a vendetta.”

 If you like anti-heroes, this beautifully illustrated and easily readable graphic novel is for you! The supervillain Lord Blackheart teams up with an adorkable sidekick, Nimona, to cause some serious dissonance within their city and destroy Lord Goldenlion, the golden face of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. This unlikely pair brought me laughter, tears, and forced me to question the discrepancies between the villain in my own story is versus who would qualify as public enemy #1. The writing and illustrations within Nimona are equally compelling, and reading it was a breeze– I didn’t put it down until I finished, and then picked it up again within the hour to reread it! This is most certainly the feel good book of my winter. Be on the lookout for the movie adaptation coming in January of 2022!

Gmorning, Gnight! Little pep talks for me & you by Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrated by Jonny Sun

From the man who brought us Hamilton comes another poignant and detail-oriented experience. Though admittedly far more lighthearted than a glimpse into the founding of America, Miranda nonetheless provides us with the forethought and care we’ve come to expect of his pieces of art; even the font has a purpose in his book of well-wishes. Started by tweets of affirmation in which he wished his followers a good morning and good night; sprinkling in what, as he admitted in the introduction, he needed to hear that day, Gmorning, Gnight! features original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry that provide a bright spot amidst cold, cloudy days. I would remiss not to mention the wonderful illustrations that accentuated each “little pep talk;” all of which are intentionally drawn with the words on the page in mind. If you are looking for a cute coffee-table book that leaves your heart smiling, look no further than this book of happy thoughts.

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