Saturday, April 23, 2011

Comfort Reading

Hi everyone! I apologize for my recent absence- it's been a crazy few weeks, what with college decisions coming out and revision for A-Level exams. This is a quick post amidst the madness, and unfortunately I won't be posting much over the next two months due to these nutso exams.

On to the post!

Due to my recent jet-lag induced insomnia, I've been doing a lot of bedtime reading to try and help myself drift off. Fellow insomniacs and jet-setters alike will know that when you're trying to read a bit before you nod off, not just any book will do. You're not looking for something new and exciting that's going to send your adrenalin through the roof; you want something familiar. You want some comfort reading.

What, may you ask, does such comfort reading entail? Well, having analyzed extensive data (*ahem*...or just had a look at what my recent comfort reads have been), I've come to the following conclusions:

-They're often standalone books, or at least one of those series where you don't have to read one to read the others, etc.
-Usually have some element of humor.
-They usually verge more towards light & funny than dark & gritty.
-They're books you know well, probably because you've read them countless times.
-They're not always your favorite books, though some of my best comfort reads definitely are.

Why is this? I assume it's because that when you're reading something familiar your brain kind of goes on autopilot (ahh, I like him...ooh, nasty character...SQUEE!!) and disengages, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

Some of my recent comfort reads have been:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This one definitely defies the 'not necessarily your favorite' rule. I adore this book, recommend it to everyone and their second cousin, and will probably never get tired of it. How could I get tired with the painfully sweet but altogether probable romance between Anna and Etienne? I don't think my brain particularly disengages on this one, I probably just dissolve into a puddle of happy goo and melt into good sleep.

I bet it gives me great dreams, too. Always a plus.

 All American Girl: Ready or Not by Meg Cabot

Ahh, Meg Cabot. She's the QUEEN of comfort reading, seeing as she writes funny, lighthearted books that aren't a thousand pages long. This illustrates my point about those series books where you don't really have to read the first one first; I have read All American Girl but it's been a while, and you don't really need to re-read it to spontaneously pick this one up. Sam saved the President and is going out with his son. *BAM* let's pick up book 2. And laugh until we cry.

 Hope was Here by Joan Bauer

I haven't ever seen this book around online and I can't imagine why. It's got it all: good overcoming bad, girl finally finding a true family, and a cute romance. I can't find a proper summary anywhere, but it's about Hope, who moves with her Aunt Addie (a cook extraordinaire) to Wisconsin after they get scammed out of all their money. They start working at a diner (Addie as the chef, Hope as a waitress) owned by G.T. Stoop, who's both battling leukemia and running for mayor against the very corrupt incumbent. Hope has to deal with a new town, all the nasty politics, plus a crush on the 6'4" and brooding grill man. A quintessential comfort read.

What are your favorite comfort reads? Let me know in the comments!


Two exciting notices:

-I'm going to be attending the Alpha speculative fiction summer writing program this year. Besides meeting all sorts of incredible people (who I've already sort of met through an online group for attendees) I'll also be given lectures by my all time favorite author: Tamora Pierce! Needless to say, I'm extremely excited. :)

-From September onwards, I'm going to be attending (an awesome) college in the USA! On the East Coast, no less, so I'm super psyched to (hopefully) be attending bookish/blogger-y events over the next four years. Woohoo!



  1. Your blog is my comfort reading for tonight....thank you for the suggestions! I love your posts!


  2. Anna and the French Kiss is one of my comfort reads too. Little Princess is one, and The Host. I generally have series, though, that work too; the Jacky Faber books, Harry Potter (I'm cliche...), the Kel books by Tamora Pierce. :P
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's freaking out about meeting Tamora Pierce. I didn't realize Holly Black was coming back for 2011, though. I love her books!


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