Five Comfort Books to Get You Through Blue Monday

Books to the rescue, as always!

Claire Handscombe
4 min readJan 17, 2022


Nadya Shuran via Unsplash

The third Monday of January has been known for some time a Blue Monday in the UK — the most depressing day of the year. It’s particularly rough there, with dark, sunless days and early sunsets and no impending time off work, but it can be a rough patch for everyone. The Independent puts it like this: “The theory goes that this is the time of year when we’re all cold, broke and riddled with guilt that our new year’s resolutions to get fit, drink less alcohol, and be a better human being have fallen by the wayside.”

But, as is so often the case, books can come to the rescue! Huddle on the sofa with one of these comfort books and you’ll feel better.

The Idea of You, by Robinne Lee

I read this book in the depths of winter last year, and it was just what I needed — a hot, engrossing love story between a mum who takes her teenage daughter to a pop concert and the member of the boyband she meets and starts a steamy affair with. The writing is smart and gorgeous, and it’s rocketed to the top of my list of all-time favourites. Chances are you’ll be gripped, and all the things marring your January will recede into the back of your mind while you’re consumed by something else entirely.

Love, Nina, by Nina Stibbe

This delightful book is a collection of letters that Nina Stibbe wrote home when she nannied for a posh family in 1980s London. It’s a lovely, easy read, full of gentle British humour.

Mornings With Rosemary, by Libby Page

A customer came into the bookshop where I work asking for “a book where people are lovely to each other”, and I took her straight to this one. In Mornings With Rosemary (known in the UK as The Lido), a young lonely journalist and an older bereaved widow team up alongside their entire community to save…



Claire Handscombe

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.