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12/12/2013 10:57 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Perfect Book For Every Mood

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By Abbe Wright

Feeling abandoned? Zestless? In their new book, The Novel Cure, bibliotherapists (yes, really) Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin prescribe skipping the pharmacy and heading to the library instead.

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Ailment: Claustrophobia

The book: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

How it can help: Revisit this classic to be transported to the wide-open plains of Kansas, where the sky goes on forever and the prairie is as vast as the sea.

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Ailment: Loss of Faith

The book: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel by Rachel Joyce

How it can help: When a man sets off on foot to visit a friend dying of cancer, his 600-mile quest sparks a renewed sense of belief -- in himself and in those he meets along the way. Your faith should be restored by page 50.

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Ailment: Low Self-Esteem

The book: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

How it can help: If a protagonist as downtrodden and hapless as Quoyle can get over the shocking death of his parents and his cheating wife, you can face -- and conquer -- anything.

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Ailment: Stress

The book: The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

How it can help: A shepherd embarks on the solitary task of planting 100 acorns a day in hopes of bringing back trees to a blighted countryside. His mission will leave you feeling at peace with the universe.

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Ailment: Unemployment

The book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami


How it can help:
Instead of feeling depressed, follow the lead of hero Toru Okada, who, while jobless, embarks on a fantastical, liberating journey that changes the way he thinks.

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