Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Share YOUR favorite comfort reads!


We all have comfort foods we turn to when we need a delicious treat that's guaranteed to satisfy. We have favorite TV shows, movies, and books that do the same.

I know I can depend on chocolate to cheer me up, the Dick Van Dyke show to make me laugh, Star Trek to transport me away, and The Sound of Music to start me singing.

But what about books?

What book (or books) do you turn to when you need an excellent read? Do you re-read at all? I know many people with well-worn copies of favorite tomes, and just as many who swear never to repeat read because there's just too much the world has to offer, so why duplicate?

Two of my favorites are pictured here. These are my go-to stories, my comfort reads.

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury takes my breath away with his poetic prose and gripping tales. Whenever I read this one I come away believing it's possible to change the world and believing I can make a difference. Better yet, I come away believing I should.


Outlander
, by Diana Gabaldon is rich enjoyment at its finest. Just as Claire is transported by forces beyond her control to 1745, I'm pulled into her story from the moment she and Frank begin their second honeymoon, just before she marries Jamie. Confused? It's worth reading, trust me.

I've read both of these books multiple times. I fully intend to read them again.

Why? Because doing so gives me comfort, enjoyment, and excitement. I love these books and their authors and I sigh with pleasure every time I crack open their spines because I know I'm in for a fabulous ride.

What about you?

Here's your chance to share your favorite comfort reads. In the comment section below, tell me (and other readers of this blog) which books you turn to when you need a story you can count on. If you never re-read, tell us that, too. Do you have a favorite author who you turn to again and again? Do you save his or her new releases for those days when you need something you can depend on?

This should be fun. I've shared mine, now I hope you'll share yours in the comment section below. One lucky commenter will win a $10 bookstore gift certificate! I'll announce the winner after Bouchercon, specifically Friday, September 23rd. That gives everyone plenty of time.

I can't wait to hear all about YOUR comfort reads!

37 comments:

Jessica said...

This sounds pretty cliche, but anything by Agatha Christie. Especially the Poirot ones. I grew up watching the TV show based on Poirot books with my mom and have always loved them.

Dru said...

My comfort read is Naked in Death by J.D. Robb. I just loved watching this strong woman fall hopelessly in love with someone who is so wrong for her, but so right.

Booklady said...

I'll re-read an Agatha Christie, too. Though these days, I usually just get them on Playaway format. I also love to re-read classics - To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Tom Sawyer. Now that my sons are in high school, I find myself re-reading to keep up with them - just in case they might want to discuss a book with boring old mom.

I love Gabaldon's books, too.

Julie Hyzy said...

I've got a new one for my to-read list now, Dru. I haven't read J.D. Robb yet, but now I will.

Agatha Christie and the classics are go-to books for me. I adore Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Thanks!

Kelley said...

My comfort reads are by M.M. Kaye, Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters (but not the Amelia Peabody, I haven't those. I can't get into them from some reason). Also, I can always re-read Agatha Christie or Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe.

Lori said...

A Wrinkle in Time - but the cozy mysteries are my comfort reads too!

Court said...

Dracula by Bram Stoker and Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I've gone through multiple copies. I prefer to read these in paperback form. I need the feel of the pages as I let the words comfort my soul.

Julie Hyzy said...

So many great books! I'm really enjoying this!

Pattie T. said...

The Agatha Raisin books by M.C. Beaton, as well as the Hamish MacBeth, but I can relate so much more to Agatha who is my age, suffers from the not-so-occasional twangs of arthritis pain, yet still has a few good bits left.

Carol N Wong said...

Instead of a particular author ot genre for comfort reads, I always turn to cozies and books that don't have a lot of violence like Amish fiction and books about dogs, and cats. One of the latter is Dewey. I could read that one over and over again and still feel good.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Marlyn Beebe said...

My comfort reads are Jane Austen novels, primarily PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and the L.M. Montgomery ANNE series.

Jeanine said...

I love bunches of different authors and read everything they write such as: Julie Hyzy of course, Charlaine Harris (ALL of her series and stand alones) Clive Cussler, Barbara Michaels, J.D. Robb, Jefferson Bass, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and tons of other authors as well.

Heather said...

I usually have too many new books to re-read too often. I love Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. When I'm in the mood to re-read something that is strictly an inspirational romance I go back to Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series. The third, "Love's Long Journey", being my favorite. If I'm in the mood for SciFi it would have to be Peter David's Next Gen book "Q-in-Law". That will make you laugh out loud if you are a Next Gen Star Trek fan! I don't know mysteries I might have to pick up a White House Chef mystery but I forget who the author is..... No seriously those are my new favorite series and if you could ask my friends they would tell you when I get a new one then I drop everything till it is read! :)

NoraA said...

This is going to sound so strange here... but when I'm looking for an old friend to just lose myself in. I grab something by Robert A. Heinlein. I grew up reading his teen works right along with Nancy Drew.

Bev said...

JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is a great one for me. I've reread Jan Karon's Mitford series when I need a boost. I also have quite a list of cozy mystery series that I keep up with.

runner10 said...

Normally, I do not re-read books, but Nicholas Sparks is always good to fall back on.

Jon said...

No telling what comfort reads are, no matter what the current diet, is there?

For me, it's either Ken Grimwald's _Replay_ and the idea of living your life over again, or, when in need of serious grounding, _Throw the Long Bomb_, a 60s YA football book. Maybe I want to be a rookie again...

Too deep for now. Gotta pack for Bouchercon.

erika said...

For me it is Pride and Prejustice. I read it for the first time in Freshman High School English and have read it once every year since then. Janes descriptive words and sense of whit are just captivating. I also have a list of cozy authors that I read and can usually find one I fallen behind on.

Booky65 said...

My favorite are mystery/suspense and I love your books. I'm also hooked on Terri Blackstock, Laura Lippman and for fun foodie books/mysteries, I love Joanne Fluke and Cleo Coyle. I have a stack of TBR that I'll have to live to be 111 to get anywhere near completing and that's only if I never buy another book (FAT CHANCE) so I generally don't re-read. But SOOO Love Ollie and Grace!

Nor said...

The only books I have ever re-read are "Little Women" and most of Jane Austen's works. So, I'd have to say this is where I go for comfort reads.

SteveZ said...

My Bible, of course, especially Book of Psalms; Book of Proverbs; Romans; Ephesians, Galatians; 1 John and Revelation. However, I get comfort from reading and rereading other books, like Evidence that Demands o Verdict, by Josh McDowell, notes on the validity of the Bible and Christianity; Who Moved the Stone by Frank Morrison, a lawyer who was gradually convinced of the historic reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the more recent, thought provoking Heaven by Randy Alcorn; the audio versions of the Aubrey/Maturin sea novels by Patrick O'Brian; The Starry Room, a wonderful astronomy essay by Fred Schaaf that inspired me to begin looking at the sky in the 1990s; and astronomer Leslie Peltier's beautifully remembered memoir, Starlight Nights.

RBinPerson said...

Well, I thought I left a comment, but it's not showing up. Apologies if it's repeated. One of my favorite books is "REPLAY" by Ken Grimwood, a fantasy love story about a couple who re-live their lives over and over. Kinda like Groundhog Day only it's a lifetime instead of a single day. I've "replayed" it four times. And then there's always Ian Fleming...

Carol said...

My comfort reads are the old timers - Rex Stout, Stuart Palmer, Agatha Christie, Earl Derr Biggers. Life seems less complicated, people more polite (except for Wolfe), and there is usully a smile or two somewhere. More left to the imagination.

-k said...

Anything by Nancy Atherton, really, but her debut, Aunt Dimity's Death, can make anything better.

Karen said...

Fun to read the comments - I rarely re-read, so don't keep a lot of books, but I do have a box full of Agatha Christie's - I love Tommy & Tuppence especially. A more modern writer is Ann Purser and her Lois Meade and Ivy Beasley series, I love these characters who live in a world where people do bicker and still care for each other. I have read all of the books in her series.

Mom2MandJ said...

I do Jane Austen also, Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion. Or if I only have a little time, I read an Asterix comic. They always make me giggle.

Vickie said...

What book (or books) do you turn to when you need an excellent read?
I keep biographies on my keeper shelf for my 'excellent reads'. Biographies or autobiographies of my favorite President, Harry Truman as well as strong women I admire like Madeleine Albright, Katharine Hepburn, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Do you re-read at all? I have books on the keeper shelf and I do reread from time to time certain books. Harry Potter series is a definite reread.

pennyt said...

Like many of the above comments, I have a full shelf of Agatha Christie - but I also love the Aunt Dimity books and I own and have read and reread all of them. I love happy endings.

Rosemary said...

Here's another vote for J D Robb (aka Nora Roberts) and any book in her "In Death" series. I also enjoy Nancy Bartholomew and Stephanie Bond's Bodymovers series. Tons of other favorite authors I love to follow and I really enjoy the Alex St James series by Julie Hyzy (nudge, nudge - please write more of them)

Bear Chick said...

Comfort books lately are cozy mysteries and I read too many series to mention (although I will mention Ollie and Grace!). Rereads--To Kill a Mockingbird, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and The Cracker Factory. And I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in 1975 and 2000-got a date to read them again in 14 years!

Maureen said...

There are a bunch of books by Linda Howard that I will re-read when I am feeling like a want a comfort read. They include Dream Man, Mr. Perfect, Open Season and Cry No More.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

GaleinGa said...

I love to read Anne Lamott. She is one author I can re-read. Also love White Oleander.

Lisa Gillette-Martin said...

Mysteries tend to be my comfort reads - I have a huge collection of cozies! For books I re-read, I tend to go back to ones I loved as a child - Little Women, Harriet the Spy, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Little House series, anything by E.B. White... They never lose their appeal!

Karen C said...

I have so many books on my TBR list I haven't had time to re-read any lately. I don't have a book that I would call a comfort book although I do re-read my books. I do have all of the JD Robb In Death books!

Maggie said...

I love pretty much every book I can get my hands on. However, my two favorites, and really the only ones I will ever re-read on purpose are "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin and "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. They never get old and feel like home to me.

Cookie said...

I was transferred to a new office and one day my 'new boss' and I were discussing books. She shared with me Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. Uck! This is not the type of book I would read. But one day I was stuck, to cold to go out for lunch, and no book with me. Darn! I reluctantly picked up "Outlander" and began reading. I was hooked. Found myself sneaking a peek at the and reading snippets all day long. I too, like Julie have reread "Outlander" a couple of times. This book has mystery, romance, action, excitement, and a wee bit o'fantasy, everything you could want in a book.

Julie Hyzy said...

Cookie - I love your story! When I shared Outlander with my best friend, she resisted. For quite a while. Now I think she's a bigger fan than I am! It really is a fabulous series!