View Full Version : Comfort Books

04-05-2014, 10:08 PM

04-05-2014, 10:37 PM
Not necessarily when I am sick, but I often revisit the Narnia books when I am feeling nostalgic or like I just need something comfy and familiar to read. Not sure how many times I have read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but I bet it's more than 10 times. My mama read them to me when I was little and they have always been some of my faves. There is something nice about reading something that you almost have memorized. Some books don't lend themselves well to re-reading...my last stats textbook comes to mind...but some are so lovely. I have yet to read Game of Thrones. Now that I am done with this grad school thing, I'll have to add it to the list.

04-05-2014, 10:48 PM
The Hero and the Crown is a comfort book for me. I have read it umpteen times.

Also I Capture the Castle.

My emotionally turbulent comfort book is A Ring of Endless Light.

When I want to read something when I'm feeling brain dead, I usually reread fantasy I loved as a kid. The Belgariad or the Deryni books.

04-05-2014, 11:20 PM
Anne of Green Gables series is my go-to comfort book, but I'm more of a movie person when I'm sick. I can be completely horizontal with a blanket pulled up to my chin that way.

When I want to read something when I'm feeling brain dead, I usually reread fantasy I loved as a kid. The Belgariad or the Deryni books.

I see that we spent our formative years reading the same books. :rolleyes: Mercedes Lackey, too? I ditched my Eddings books after college, but held on to my Deryni books for a long time.

04-05-2014, 11:36 PM
Oh yeah, Mercedes Lackey too and Robert Jordan. I look back at some of the fantasy I read back then and really grimace (though others are good fun... I kind of hope my kids want to read the Belgariad, honesty... though the rest of the Eddings can be chucked.)

04-05-2014, 11:41 PM
Agatha Christie. Stephen King. You probably won't have time (hopefully not!) for It or the Stand - but really good ones! Ooooh...Stephen King's wife Tabitha King has a series of good books, One on One and Survivor (?) and maybe a couple of others that are good and I've read more than once each.

Good crime/spy fiction series books. Lately I like Cara Black and Arnaldur Indridason (had to google his name to spell it right! :) ). I've been having trouble coming up with good fiction books that are not series that I like lately...tried several duds...a trend towards ugly/weird/gross just for the sake of it? I'm too old for that to be at all intriguing.

I have no idea what fantasy novelists y'all are talking about. Never did sci-fi or fantasy as a kid....it's come up several times lately in conversation for me...maybe I'll check some out.

AnonyMs - hope you feel better soon - but in the meantime, I might be just a weensy bit jealous if you get to spend a couple of days in bed reading (fiction, no less!).

04-06-2014, 12:50 AM
Another vote for the Belgariad and Mercedes Lackey. Although since I had a kid and my reading-without-interruption time has decreased dramatically, it's been the Little House on the Prairie series. They're quick and make you feel grateful for that warm bed :)

04-06-2014, 01:27 AM
I can always read Jane Austen again and again. Also, Terry Pratchett. I never tire of Sir Pterry!

Pennie Elwood
04-06-2014, 01:57 AM
One book I can read over and over again, for no other reason than I like the STORY, is The Mists of Avalon. I've read it 4 times since I've discovered it. At almost 900 pages, it's the longest book I have read the most.

04-06-2014, 07:43 AM
Also I Capture the Castle. Farrar, is there where your blog name comes from? :)

I don't often reread books, and certainly never multiple rereads (at least none come to mind). I can't wait to reread the Harry Potter books, but I'm trying to hold out for DD to be old enough. At first I figured when she was 7, but she is really sensitive, so now I'm thinking it might be longer. Sometimes when I think about rereading a book, I talk myself out of it because I have a million other books I haven't read a FIRST time. :)

04-06-2014, 09:33 AM
Yes, my blog title is a play on that. :)

04-06-2014, 12:22 PM
I alternate between fiction and nonfiction (mostly history these days). It's fiction when I'm sick. Adolescent fiction is my comfort food of literature, so thanks, people, for a list of books to add to my to-read list. I'm not a huge rereader, but Harry Potter, The Mists of Avalon, and The Last Unicorn are ones that have fallen into that category.

04-06-2014, 02:12 PM
I totally agree with your list freerangedad. I have a whole series of Avalon books that I read and reread. I also love the Outlander series. I have to admit though that when I am feeling bad I love to read Amish love stories.

Pennie Elwood
04-06-2014, 08:42 PM
There is an Avalon SERIES???? Lead me to it, STAT! LOL! I am currently 60 pages into another reading of The Mists of Avalon. LOVE it.

04-06-2014, 11:30 PM
The Mists of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mists_of_Avalon) (1979)

Mistress of Magic (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mistress_of_Magic&action=edit&redlink=1) (audiobook edition of The Mists of Avalon, part 1) (1994)
The High Queen (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_High_Queen&action=edit&redlink=1) (audiobook edition of The Mists of Avalon, part 2) (1994)
The King Stag (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_King_Stag&action=edit&redlink=1) (audiobook edition of The Mists of Avalon, part 3) (1994)
The Prisoner in the Oak (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Prisoner_in_the_Oak&action=edit&redlink=1) (audiobook edition of The Mists of Avalon, part 4) (1994)

The Forest House (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forest_House) (1993) (with Diana L. Paxson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_L._Paxson)) (also now known as The Forests of Avalon)
Lady of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_of_Avalon) (1997) (with Diana L. Paxson)
Priestess of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestess_of_Avalon) (2000) (with Diana L. Paxson)
Ancestors of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancestors_of_Avalon) (2004) (written by Diana L. Paxson)
Ravens of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ravens_of_Avalon&action=edit&redlink=1) (2007) (written by Diana L. Paxson)
Sword of Avalon (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sword_of_Avalon&action=edit&redlink=1) (2009) (written by Diana L. Paxson)

I read the Mists of Avalon and then read The Fall of Atlantis. I love those books. The last three were written by Diana Paxson using the outlines that Marion Zimmer Bradley had started.

04-07-2014, 12:34 PM
The Count of Monte Cristo and The Birth of Venus are my go-to books. If I want something a little lighter, I love the Mistress of the Art of Death books.

04-07-2014, 02:08 PM
This will probably sound weird but my go-to is The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. It's nice and long to get me through tough times. (I hate when a book ends right when you start to get really engrossed in the characters.) I have NOT seen the movie - I'm afraid it will ruin the one that plays in my mind as I read, as so many other movies have. :)

04-07-2014, 02:40 PM
Love Mists of Avalon! I haven't re-read that in a long time. My comfort books are usually something easy from Maeve Binchey (like The Glass Lake )or Rosamund Pilcher (The Shell Seekers). The stories are of a simpler time, in a way, but in other ways, life in those places and times were harder and usually more limited for women. The characters are usually able to move through their difficulties of war, love, loss, death, by just getting on with the business of living - enjoying their gardens, making a home and meals for their families, and toughing out what one can't change, and focusing on life's simple pleasures.

04-07-2014, 05:02 PM
My emotionally turbulent comfort book is A Ring of Endless Light.

Love, love, love this book!
Madeleine L'Engle is definitely a comfort author for me. I love the theme of redemption, hope, life.
Also Linda Hogan, especially Solar Storms.
The Hunger Games.
P.D. James if I'm in the mood for mystery.
Isabel Allende.
Like Water for Chocolate.
The Fifth Sacred Thing.

04-07-2014, 06:34 PM
If I want "brain candy" I frequently find my self reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, books by Sarah Dunant (Birth of Venus), The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I really like time travel and historical pieces, so I love the Outlander series which combines the two.

04-07-2014, 06:44 PM
Seize a Nettle by Ann Ritner and Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy by Jean Webster. And if I need comfort and belly laughs The Bagthorpe Saga by Helen Cresswell. I don't employ even one brain cell to read any of them, but I love them.

07-22-2014, 08:15 PM
Books I continue to reread while sick or needy:
Pride and Prejudice
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Beauty by Robin McKinley (I know..it's written for middle school..but I looove it)

I also gravitate towards young adult sci-fi and cheap fairy tale retellings. Sci-fi retellings make me so happy!

07-22-2014, 09:07 PM
Jane Eyre...
The Book of Execution...

Twining's Earl Grey tea...
Chamomile tea...

Pineapple lumps, which have to be imported from NZ...

07-22-2014, 09:29 PM
I turn to stuff I've read multiple times--rarely will I pick up something new.

The Hobbit
The Beet Queen
Alice Munro stories
Sci-Fi always makes me feel comfortable, too. Asimov, Bova, Bear...

07-22-2014, 10:05 PM
Wait, wait, wait - going back to the first post. You read Alas, Babylon when you're sick? That's not exactly my idea of a comfort read, LOL!

When I'm sick I'm usually too miserable to read, which only succeeds in making me miserabler. But when I'm just depressed I go right to my dedicated Pratchett bookcase.

07-23-2014, 12:01 AM
Jane Eyre...
The Book of Execution...

Twining's Earl Grey tea...
Chamomile tea...

Pineapple lumps, which have to be imported from NZ...

Oh yes, Jane Eyre is another favorite comfort read for me!
And if I can manage to find Steampunk without zombies and vampires, I'm golden! There was a series I loved called Her Mysterious Devices (I think) that was wonderful lay in bed all day with tea material.

07-23-2014, 11:57 AM
a couple come to mind. Love walked in by Marisa de Los Santos (and it's not a love story, but a story about love and family). Love in the time of cholera by Garcia Marquez (the book is so much better than the movie).

07-23-2014, 07:00 PM
Wait, wait, wait - going back to the first post. You read Alas, Babylon when you're sick? That's not exactly my idea of a comfort read, LOL!

That was my thought, too. I'm all about a good post-apocalyptic book, but I wouldn't call it comfort reading!

I'm another Madeleine L'Engle person. Also, Bridge to Terabithia if it's the "need a good cry" sort of comfort. The Harry Potter series. Ender's Game. I'm sure there's some grown-up book that would qualify as well, but I'm blanking on it right now.

08-19-2014, 12:41 AM
Tolkien. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are the top two, but any of his fiction makes me happy. I've read LoR and Hobbit each more than a dozen times. I was saddened, during the making of the LoR movies, to find out that "Tolkien scholar" was a real job that other people had carved out for themselves. Missed opportunities.

Maia by Richard Adams is also a double digits read for me, though almost unknown to the rest of the universe apparently. Then anything by D.H. Lawrence always makes for a happy winter afternoon with a warm fire and a wee bit of single malt.

09-17-2014, 01:52 PM
I don't have a specific book I read when I am sick or sad.
Maybe I would be more likely to read a mystery book.

09-18-2014, 11:34 AM
Usually if I am sick in bed... it is a migraine and reading is totally out. But if I had an ailment which allowed me the joy of reading while sick I would probably go back to Franny and Zoey by JD Salinger. I used to read this book once every couple of months from the time I was in high school, haven’t picked it up in years probably. I'm not sure if I even know where my well-worn copy is anymore. If not that it would be Jane Austen...

09-18-2014, 02:06 PM
Watership Down or The Unlikely Ones......both childhood favs of mine.

11-26-2014, 06:45 AM
Try reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennett as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth century drawing room intrigues. Or else, there's Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding. Every page will make you laugh out loud - how Bridget resolves to reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym 3 times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn how to program the VCR. It's hilarious and will keep you in high spirits till you turn the last page.

And if nothing else works, you could always turn to the Harry Potter series - it never disappoints.

12-13-2014, 03:27 AM
The Narnia books, as well as some other C.S. Lewis books. John Irving (all titles), Susan Isaac's "Shining Through", some Alice Hoffman, Harry Potter series, Neil Gaiman (all titles), Dominick Dunne (all titles), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Stephen King, especially "The Eyes of the Dragon".

I love to read and I'm always looking for new titles, sick or not.

12-13-2014, 08:40 AM
My go-to book recommendation, and my favorite choice when I want to reread a book, is Sarah Waters's Fingersmith. Think racy, queer, feminist Dickens (and thereby way more fun than reading actual Dickens). : )

05-18-2015, 07:01 PM
Super necro-ing this thread ... forgive me. ;)

I have many book loves, but when I need a comfort book it's usually depression related. And I just gotta say -- Hyperbole and a Half is a flipping gem. Allie Brosh is a depressed, hysterical genius.



05-18-2015, 07:33 PM
My comfort books are Calvin & Hobbes and Enchanted Forest Chronicles, but when I'm sick or just need something to make me happy I tend to gravitate towards themes or authors. If I don't want to read something that requires much thought process, then I read supernatural/paranormal fluff. Haunted Places anthologies, dime store mysteries, anything with a bit of mysticism and not a lot of critical thinking. If I feel like thinking then I'll go to a trusted author: Jim Butcher is a good one, Tolkien, Doctor Who novels, Eddings, Brooks, Harris, Lackey...I like fantasy when I'm feeling cruddy.

05-18-2015, 07:41 PM
I don't tend to read when sick, but when wanting comfort the Anne of Green Gables is always a good series. I also love rereading all of Elisabeth Ogilvie's books (she is a Maine writer and usually writes about Maine and Maine is my comfort place). I love the Outlander books and all the books by Phillipa Gregory which also mix romance with history. I reread Harry Potter too.

05-18-2015, 10:11 PM
Oh, I haven't read Alas, Babylon in DECADES but so glad you reminded me of it!
I will have to check out your other suggestions, because any woman who recommends Alas, Babylon AND lip balm AND Earl Grey Tea, is obviously my long-long separated-at-birth twin!

05-25-2015, 12:38 AM
I read every day.

I read Harry Potter once a year.

I've read Percy Jackson once a year for the past several years. (Sept. for the Oct. Release)

I read Julia Quinn once a year. (Mostly the first 6 books of the Bridgertons, I never did like Gregory's story.)

I read Sense and Sensibility once a year. (Not much of a fan of the others)

Right now I'm reading Betty Neals, simple, British, love stories. I have 30 on my kindle, I start on the last page of that section of the kindle and keep picking the last book. I will cycle through many of them before I get bored. (Funnily enough my favorite book by her is not on the kindle. I read it any time I need a pick me up.)

12-19-2015, 01:38 PM
The second one I read today, in one go. "The Mindful Parent: Strategies from Peaceful Cultures to Raise Compassionate, Competent Kids", by Charlotte Peterson. SO GOOD! I'm going to read it again (slowly) before giving it back. If you have the gift of time... check it out.

Thanks for the recommendation! I will check it out.

09-10-2016, 06:56 AM
My comfort book would be Little Women, it has always been so ever since I was a child :)

B&Z Mama
09-11-2016, 11:20 PM
Also I Capture the Castle.

LOVE this book. But I had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder!

05-23-2018, 10:29 AM
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06-13-2018, 01:33 AM
Dan Gutman's Baseball Adventure Series, hands down. I'm an adult who, till my son started playing baseball, had no idea what the game was about and didn't care about grown men running around in large circles. Love love this series. It made me admire the heroes of baseball and taught lessons about history, character and humanity.

Mark Twain, esp. Huckleberry Finn and Tale of Two Cities.

David Sedaris, when he was writing about what it was like growing up American, before he became an ex-pat and too famous to be interesting.

Charlotte's Web--every single word is perfect and in the right place. Great for reading aloud. The ending gets me every time.

And right now, I am really enjoying Wally Lamb's I Know This Much to Be True. And publishing houses say that the public won't read a 900 page book as in the days of Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Boy, does Wally prove them wrong....

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