5 Best Books … About Hope

5 Best BooksCassandra of Indie Reader Houston runs the meme: “5 Best Books”. Every week, a different topic is suggested by Cassandra and participants list what they think are the 5 best book for that topic. Click HERE to see the topics for the next few weeks.

This week, the topic is Hope. What follows is a list of very different books in which hope is an important topic in some way or another.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

A great book about the troubles of an Oklahoma family in the 1930s. They are driven off their land, and seek work in California, just like several 100s of thousands of other people. Work is scarce, pay is low.

During the trip to California, and after arriving, the family, who are 12 to start with, slowly fall apart, and in the end there are just 6 left. The book ends when there is no more work, no more food, and it has rained for days. Still it ends with some hope: the family are still ready to help other people who have greater needs than themselves.


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

.In a post-apocalyptic world, a man and a boy are travelling on foot. They are cold (there are ash clouds above them all the time,  they cannot see the sun) and hungry.

They hope to get further South (maybe they expect it to be warmer there) but they encounter body-hunters (for food!) and thieves/murderers along the way. They are both not sure whether it’s better to be dead or alive, but they struggle onwards anyway.

So bleak! And so beautiful!


The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil

The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya BasilAnil and Lina both have an Indian background, but Lina is Muslim and Anil is not. They are very much in love, but Lina doesn’t want to disappoint her parents. For some time has a secret relationship with Anil while her parents think she’ll accept their choice of husband.

Anil keeps hoping Lina will tell her parents and marry him.

It’s a great book full of dilemmas and lies.


State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder by Ann PatchettMarine Singh works for a pharmaceutical company in the US. When a colleague of hers is reported dead in the Amazonian jungle, she is sent to investigate.

It’s a remote place where another colleague has been based for years, doing research with the native people. She isn’t exactly keen to see Marina show up.

While the book itself is not really about hope, it’s me, the reader, that kept hoping Marina would get home safely again. The jungle is full of dangers and she doesn’t get much cooperation from the people there.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin

A virus has escaped from a research facility and affected people feed on anything they come across, including other people.

It doesn’t take long before groups of people have barricaded themselves in while the affected run free and prey on the healthy people.

A group of healthy people then wants to travel across the country in search of other survivors.

They keep hoping for a better life in which they can live safely and have enough food. Great book, a bit like The Road in the sense that people keep hoping for better, against the odds.

What books about hope are your favorites?

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com and bookhelpline.nl. We edit books and articles for independent writers.

29 Responses to 5 Best Books … About Hope

  1. Won’t forget The Road. Would love to read Ann Patchett’s new book.

  2. I will do this post later today (so busy this morning), I love it when you post the Five. I love that some of the books you mentioned are hopeful. I haven’t read The Passage (have a copy though) but it seems like it’s a dark book, I need to change my perspective…. of course it’s about hope. Now that I think about it, many of the books I shy from are probably about finding hope and life.

    • Leeswammes says:

      It’s fun to do 5 Best, Mari – and it’s good to hear that you appreciate the posts. The Passage is a dark book, but it’s about people trying to survive when it’s almost hopeless. Almost.. they keep hoping it’ll get better.

  3. I’ve only read The Road out of those five, which I loved. I really, really want to read Grapes of Wrath and The Passage though – which one should I go for first?

    • Leeswammes says:

      Boof, The Passage is post-apocalyptic like The Road while The Grapes of Wrath is historical fiction – so quite different. I suggest you start with The Passage.

  4. I agree. I loved The Road and Steinbeck. Two excellent choices. Would like to read The Passage. The cover looks spooky and intriguing.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Very bleak hopeful stories, Judith!
    I didn’t see any hope in The Road myself so I can see you are more of an optimist than I am.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, the hope in The Road was, for me, that they kept going on despite all the hardship. So they must have hoped for a better life (unlike the mother, if you remember).

  6. Leslie says:

    Nice choices. Only one I hadn’t heard of.

    I had a tough time getting through Grapes of Wrath. Depressing in a very, very depressing way. I liked State of Wonder. I saw lots of hope in that one. The Road and Passage are sitting on my shelf waiting for me to have time to read them.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Leslie, The Grapes of Wrath is very depressing, but also very interesting and beautiful. I mean interesting given that it could really have happened like that, and I learned some history about people in America. Enjoy The Road and The Passage, I loved them both.

  7. Trisha says:

    The Passage didn’t jump out at me when I read the topic, but I think it’s a perfect fit! Nice choices!

  8. Laura says:

    The end of The Grapes of Wrath is so heartbreaking and yet so hopeful- great choice. I love this meme and I haven’t actually seen it before- I might have to participate sometime!

  9. Hope? Well, I suppose you could say To Kill a Mockingbird is about hope. But apart from that I can´t come up with anything intelligent tonight. I hope my sore throat will be better tomorrow.

  10. Good choices! I am still trying to decide whether or not to read The Passage.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Lola, even if you’re not into vampires (which I am not really, just a bit every now and then), it’s a great book. Especially if you enjoy dystopia types of books.

  11. Kinna says:

    Dying to read State of Wonder. Hope – that not in a lot of books that I read :).

    • Leeswammes says:

      Kinna, in most books it’s me, the reader, that’s hoping things will end well. And especially books about survival are really about people not losing hope.

  12. Athira says:

    I was fascinated that you put State of Wonder as a book about hope, because I felt a little sad by the time I was done with it. But after reading your explanation, I understood. I did have that feeling in me too, all the time while reading the book.

  13. I’ve only read The Road from the list (which is quite bleak), but they all sound fantastic. Must add to Mt. TBR.

  14. Vishy says:

    Wonderful list, Judith! I have seen the movie version of ‘The Road’ and it was quite bleak. I want to read the book version and see how it is compared to the movie. I also want to read ‘The Grapes of Wrath’. Thanks for this post 🙂

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