recommendations

Comfort reads…blanket forts made of words

There’s a lot of scary stuff out there these days. A lot of my friends (and I) are turning to books for comfort and recharging our depleted batteries. My good friend Kate said it much better than I could yesterday:

So, I’ve asked Twitter to tell me about good comfort reads. List to follow as recommendations come in (and if you want the master list of recommendation lists, it’s here).

Comfort Reads

NB: I didn’t specifically ask for romances, so, unlike most of my lists, not all of these books are romances.

  • Douglas Adams, SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH – “it feels like relief! Arthur gets a happy ending at last.” (Per @katie_blaze)
  • Tasha Alexander, The Lady Emily series – “heroine who bucks the times” (Per @McKennaDeanFic)
  • Katharine Ashe, FALCON CLUB series – “features my most favorite trope – friends to lovers. The slow burn as these principal characters realize the person they adore as a friend is the person they also passionately desire as a lover/partner…SO, SO good.” (Per @em_wittmann)
  • Jane Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – “I know it’s a cliche, but reading the first paragraph is like cuddling up in flannel pj’s, every time.” (Per @AWeaverWrites and so. many. others.)
  • Wendell Berry, JAYBER CROW – “Mainly that it’s set in a remote place & time, its focus is one person’s reminiscences, and it speaks to finding more love in the world. I have a great & abiding fondness for all the characters in his little town.” (Per @Sharripieknits)
  • Jo Beverly, DEVILISH – “Because Rothgar. Need I say more?” I told her she did, so, “Head of the family, afraid to marry and have kids, fiercely protective but not demonstrative, falls in love with a woman he’s determined to hate, who is fighting to retain her control over her own lands while remaining unmarried.” (Per @authorclondon)
  • Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy, HIM and US – “feature my most favorite trope – friends to lovers. The slow burn as these principal characters realize the person they adore as a friend is the person they also passionately desire as a lover/partner…SO, SO good. And HOCKEY!” (Per @em_wittmann)
  • Anne Calhoun, JADED and UNCOMMON PASSION – “I wanted to reread a book set in a library (JADED), and then I remembered how much I loved Calhoun’s writing so I read another.” (Per @RubeLang)
  • Jayne Castle AMARYLLIS, ORCHID, and ZINNIA –  (Per @lolajanebelloli)
  • Gail Carriger, ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE – “a fun YA steampunk romp with just enough peril. Friendship and resourcefulness play center stage” (Per @katie_blaze)
  • KJ Charles, A SEDITIOUS AFFAIR – “So engrossing, and not bubblegum happy, which makes the HEA that more satisfying. I find the historical context reassuring too – it ends in a bad place but I know it got better, which helps me deal with present day trauma.” (Per @alice_exclaims)
  • Jennifer Crusie, ANYONE BUT YOU – “When my mom died I reread the copy of Crusie’s Anyone But You that I gave her. Because Fred.” (Per @jaydee_ell)
  • Victoria Dahl, TAKING THE HEAT – I’m a ride-or-die Victoria fan and this is my all-time favorite of hers. Bearded librarian hero. Awkward advice columnist heroine. It’s funny and sparkly and like a warm hug all at the same time. (Per me)
  • Dinah Dean, THE ICE KING – “beautiful writing, very likeable characters, and so romantic. And in The Ice King, an incredibly unhappy character finds hope and joy again, and it’s lovely to see it unfold.” (Per @_LucyParker)
  • Laura Florand, THE CHOCOLATE KISS – “it’s an escape to Paris and her prose is so lovely” (Per @cmhrose)
  • Laura Florand in general – “heroes who have no problem expressing how very into their heroine they are, and the most beautiful, lyrical, lush way of writing setting. And chocolate.” (Per @_LucyParker)
  • Julie Garwood, PRINCE CHARMING – “It’s a MoC, there’s found family, a strong friend bond (both MCs have besties), humor & the heroine gets justice (both legal & emotionally) & for anyone who’s read it I’ll ask ‘which one is greater & which one is good'” (Per @SashaDevlin)
  • Stella Gibbons, NIGHTINGALE WOOD – One of my all-time favorite books. Filled with wry humor, insight, and never goes the way you expect it to (Per me)
  • Alexis Hall, PANSIES – “I also love the Enemies to Lovers trope & [this book] falls into this category and then segues into Friends to Lovers.” (Per @em_wittmann)
  • Thea Harrison, Elder Races series – “master of the fated-mate trope. Strong characters who would be okay on their own but are unstoppable forces when they stand together.” (Per @_LucyParker)
  • Georgette Heyer, FRIDAY’S CHILD and COTILLION – “Both feature optimistic, happy heroines who make other people’s life better (with help, and not without some drama). They’re not selfish. They don’t change because of society, or to make a man happy. They’re true to themselves.” (Per @dptalia)
  • M.C.A. Hogarth, Dreamhealer series and Her Instrument series – “both SF/F. Positive relationships with HEAs, character growth, funny at times, good action, some psychic abilities such as telepathy, plus they are queer in various ways.” (Per @danceswithlife2)
  • Julianna Keyes, UNDECIDED – “features my most favorite trope – friends to lovers. The slow burn as these principal characters realize the person they adore as a friend is the person they also passionately desire as a lover/partner…SO, SO good.”(Per @em_wittmann)
  • Marian Keyes, SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS – “Marian can make me laugh and cry in a single sentence. Her sense of humour is dark but her stories ultimately are warm and fuzzy. I just loved the characters in that book.” (Per @BellaFlan)
  • Laurie R. King, The Mary Russell series – “smart” (Per @McKennaDeanFic)
  • JaYne Ann Krentz, ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY; FAMILY MAN; HIDDEN TALENTS; WILDEST HEARTS – “I’m a fan of turning to some old-school Jayne Ann Krentz. She was my first very favorite (but not the last) romance author and it reminds me just how happy these books make me.” (Per @lolajanebelloli)
  • Jeannie Lin, MY FAIR CONCUBINE and THE SWORD DANCER – “I love the world of Jeannie Lin’s books. I like how richly cinematic they are, the structure of the books, the language.” (Per @RubeLang)
  • Sarah McLean, NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE – “because I’m still such a square and I love that Ralston helps Callie break some rules.” (Per @Miss_J_Monroe)
  • Lily Morton, DEAL MAKER and SUMMER OF US, “features my most favorite trope – friends to lovers. The slow burn as these principal characters realize the person they adore as a friend is the person they also passionately desire as a lover/partner…SO, SO good.”(Per @em_wittmann)
  • Lucy Parker, ACT LIKE IT – I’ve read and listened to it a number of times. Comfort read = witty banter / appropriate sarcasm, a well-loved trope or two, and a goofy pet. (Per @knitreadrepeat and I concur)
  • Gary Paulsen, HATCHET – “total survival porn” (Per @katie_blaze)
  • Elizabeth Peters, The Amelia Peabody series – “because Peabody & Emerson are my crack” (Per @McKennaDeanFic)
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips, FIRST LADY – “After the election, I re-read SEP’s First Lady. Not sure it would work all the time and I have some issues with it but I needed to remember there were people who cared deeply about this country and government.” (Per @KellyELipp)
  • Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, GOOD OMENS – “I find Pratchett a haven anyway, and that one in particular is just perfect. Funny and sweet and it all works out OK in the end.” (Per @geeoharee)
  • Deanna Raybourn, Lady Julia Grey series, which begins with SILENT IN THE GRAVE – “Everything around me was so uncertain that it was comforting to be surrounded by the crazy, loving March family.” (Per @jaydee_ell)
  • Dorothy L. Sayers, The Lord Peter Wimsey series – “because Harriet and Peter have the healthiest adult relationship I’ve ever seen” (Per @McKennaDeanFic and TOTALLY CONCUR)
  • Nalini Singh, Psy-Changeling series – “very romantic and such incredible world-building that it takes you right out of whatever shitstorm is going on in your own head for a while. And hope, love and happiness always prevail no matter how dicey the outside world gets in her plots.” (Per @_LucyParker)
  • Charlotte Stein, RESTRAINT and LUST DAZED – “Really, a good chunk of her backlist is my security blanket, but those two are my soup and crackers. Situations that could have been so casual and whatever, and there’s so much feeling packed into them. I heart them.” (Per @blackladyblue – and how much do I love “my soup and crackers” to describe a comfort read!!)
  • Sherry Thomas, NOT QUITE A HUSBAND -“I also love the Enemies to Lovers trope & [this book] falls into this category and then segues into Friends to Lovers.” (Per @em_wittmann)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy – “are also my go-tos because I’m a sucker for the language.” (Per @Miss_J_Monroe)
  • Andy Weir, THE MARTIAN – “total survival porn” (Per @katie_blaze)
  • P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and Wooster – “since nothing really bad ever happens in them. And the LOLs.” (Per @_LucyParker)

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