Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comfort Books

Whenever something bad happens, I generally respond by re-reading favorite novels...books I know end well, books in which good triumphs over evil,  books that I read as a young person, books that are mass-market paperbacks with yellowing pages falling out of broken spines....

Books that tells stories of characters who become real for a time because my eyes are looking for them on the page.

Often, these comfort books are fantasy fiction. Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Percy Jackson are old friends. Anne with an e of Green Gables fame is a bosom friend, as are Darcy and Lizzie, Claire and Jamie.

Right now, I'm re-reading some of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, although the paperbacks are in such terrible shape that I did use birthday money to replace a few for my Nook. These books have dragons...nice, life-saving dragons who are big and powerful and kind. I want them to be real in the same way I want owls to deliver the mail, the way a child wants Santa to be a real man living with crafty little people at the North Pole and a reindeer whose nose lights up.

For a time, the worlds of imagination are real, and then we're better able to cope with the real reality out there. Stories help us heal.

What novels do you re-read for comfort? What stories soothe you? What stories transform your funk?


  1. Susan - one of my absolute favourite books for this is "Ladies of Missalonghi" by Colleen McCullough. If you haven't read it, give yourself a gift of it this Christmas!

  2. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is a wonderful set of books. Adventure, history and a wonderful relationship tossed in.

  3. Those words definitely go together: Comfort. Books. I smiled when I read your list, because it's so similar to mine. Anne was one of my best friends, growing up, and remains so to this day. Another series favorite author is Patricia Veryan. Her heroes have a little dash and a little humility, her heroines are spunky and sweet. All a little similar, predictable... *comforting*

  4. Definitely the Anne books, also Narnia and Jane Austen.
    I would probably re-read the Mitford books if I owned them but I read them all from the church library.

  5. My favorite book as a girl was "Sara Crewe" or "The Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read it over and over. This summer, for my 50th birthday, my second daughter gave me a copy. It is one of my most treasured items...always made me believe that no matter what - good was just around the corner!

  6. I've been meaning to reread the Hunger Games series, pretty much the only books I read this year. Very sad fact, I don't read enough.
    We are getting a Kindle Fire soon, so hopefully that will change?


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