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What are your comfort reads, those books you turn to again and again to get you out of a reading slump or simply because they're awesome and you can't get enough of them? It's okay if they're not YA titles -- feel free to list whatever you'd like.
Mine are anything by Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta (specifically The King of Attolia and Jellicoe Road, respectively). If I read one book by either author, I might as well have all of their books at hand because I'm going to want to read them. I'm also a big fan of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my #1 comforting book - it takes me back to when I was six years old and banging on the back of my closet door hoping it would take me to Narnia. Alas, it did not. :( I have to settle for reading the book, over and over again. I read Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper when I want to feel in awe, and also because it is just such a cool book.
There's also my Complete Sherlock Holmes which hasen't failed me yet when I need something to read.
Ditto Megan Whalen Turner. I also really like most of Robin McKinley's stuff. And yes, Narnia is pretty much the epitome of comfort read!
Other comfort reads include the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery and the Borrowers series by Mary Norton. And A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Anything by Tamora Pierce. I love her Alanna series, and the Immortals series.
Some books that take me out of a rut, any time:
- Pride and Prejudice, too. When you love fiction, it's impossible not to love it, IMO.
- Enthusiasm. A YA spin on P&P, and a very cute one at that.
- Rebecca. Such a beautiful, beautiful work of art.
- Unwind and The Hunger Games Trilogy. They remind me that, no matter how sucky my teens were, they could have been much worse. =)
Can't think of any other at the moment, but I know there are two or three more I read so often that they're falling to pieces. Will post back.
i've acquired a long list of comfortable reads now.
first and foremost is probably The Giver. i seriously love that book. the book i love almost as much, as read just as often, is Fahrenheit 451. they are actually right next to each other on my shelves right now.
Suzanne Collins's books have been go to books when i needed something to pick up between bookstore trips. i've read The Hunger Games trilogy a couple times and i really adore the Gregor the Overlander series.
adult go-to books include Pride and Prejudice, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, Lamb by Christopher Moore, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
MAny of mine have already been mentioned -- The Chronicles of Narnia, any Megan Whalen Turner, early works by Robin McKinley (particularly Beauty), almost any Diana Wynne Jones, and almost any L.M. Montgomery, but especially The Blue Castle and Jane of Lantern Hill. The Harry Potter series, of course. Cyrano de Bergerac. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. The Mitford series by Jan Karon. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Anything by Louisa May Alcott, particularly Eight Cousins and Rose In Bloom.
Just thinking about them makes me want to reread them all!
When I was a teen, I would always go back to John Marsden, specifically Letters from the Inside but I also re-read his other works quite a lot as well. I also really liked People Might Hear You by Robin Klien.
In my early twenties, it was the Harry Potter series (or more specifically as much of it as was published at the time) as well as The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
Recently, I really liked Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci. I read it for the first time in 2009 and have reread it twice since. It's quick and fun. I think it has the pacing of your stock standard chick flick rom-com. And romantic comedies are a guilty pleasure and a total 'comfort view' for me. I can't tell you how many times I've watched the films in Hugh Grant's back catalogue. So, yeah, Boy Proof has the pacing, predictability and cutesy-factor that all good rom-com have and, as such, it's a definite comfort read for me.
I've got a lot of comfort reads, but especially love Georgette Heyer (The Grand Sophy in particular, Connie Willis (Uncharted Territory and To Say Nothing of the Dog), and Caroline Stevermer's A College of Magics and A Scholar of Magics. I'm with you on Frances Hodgson Burnett--definitely strong memories of happily reading her a a child, as well as Joan Aiken's Nightbirds on Nantucket.
After 9/11 I read nothing but Brian Jacques's Redwall series for three months.
I'll usually end up reading through all of the books that I own by Tamora Pierce. That usually gives me a few weeks of comfort reads.
I would start with any and all Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, Rendezvous with Rama, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Isaac Asimov's Robot stories and then audio versions of P.G. Wodehouse, Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia cycle.
And I'm sure there are others...
Joe, I've already read them... but thanks for the recommendation anyway. I enjoyed them a lot.
>17: I love People might hear you and reread it often. Funny how such a disturbing book can be a comfort read - but it is! I am not Esther by Fleur Beale is a very similar story and almost as good.
Robin McKinley would have to be my no. 1 comfort read author; Beauty and the Damar books especially but I can reread any of her books really.
Random YA comfort reads that I return to again and again:
In summer light by Zibby Oneal
The solitary by Lynn Hall
Paradise Lane by William Taylor
The Gibson Girls by Jean Revill (no touchstone)
Happy Endings by Adele Geras
You're welcome, Andy. Glad to know there's someone else who really liked those. Maybe she'll do another one?
Joe, I sure hope so. Every so often I do a quick search to see if a third installment is in the works but so far no luck.
Saker, I know! I seemed to like disturbing books in my teenhood. I'll have to check out I Am Not Esther.
The Penderwicks. I don't even care that it's not YA, THIS BOOK IS SUMMER. It's so cozy.
#24: What are People Might Hear You and I Am Not Esther about? They look interesting from their tags, but I didn't see any reviews.
>29: Both of them are about a teenage girl who finds herself living with a family who are basically part of a religious cult. In People might hear you, her mother marries one of the leaders, and the girl is expected to adopt their ways and conform like her 3 stepsisters. In I am not Esther the girl's mother disappears after leaving her with relatives who are in a similar sounding religion. Both cults are very patriarchal, with women expected to obey their fathers until their arranged marriages, dress modestly, not have a career (or even go to school), and not leave the house without a male family member. Both books show how the girls (and others) try to rebel, and the consequences. Don't ask me why I class these as comfort reads! - they are both quite disturbing, but unputdownable.
I am afraid my comfort books are a very obvious choice, Harry Potter. I have all the books, all the audiobooks (read by Stepen Fry of course) and all the films so far on DVD and there is rarely a month when I haven't read/listened/watched something Harry Potter (despite now being 25 years old!). In my defence my life is rather stressful at the moment so anything that relaxes me is good :)
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