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Thank goodness for comfort reads and how they help us get through any low moments right?

I love comfort reads, some of my faves are also on your list, but I typically don't do re-reads. So, I just try to keep going back to the same authors though when I just want something familiar and good.


The books of PG Wodehouse are favourite comfort reads of mine. Coincidentally one of the ones that I have read is dedicated to Denis Mackail the author of 'Greenery Street'. I have never seen actually seen that book any where.




Ah, I really like The Enchanted April. I've only read it twice but it made a lasting impression. I ought to return to it again soon...


Iliana--I depend on books like these a lot--I'd go a little crazy otherwise, I think! I do like rereading, but I don't do a lot of it. These are definitely books that I like to revisit, though, and it is always good to find new comfort reads, too.
Ed--I don't know why I've not read any Wodehouse (just one short story ages ago). I think I will have to go and dig out the few books I have by him and keep them nearby. I suspect once I have a taste I will get hooked. I wonder if Wodehouse knew Mackail? Mackail is Angela Thirkells brother by the way. Greenery Street is a great read--Persephone Books reissued it--you can try the Book Depository (free shipping to the US) to order a copy. Unfortunately I've never seen any Persephone Books in local stores either!
Linda--You have lots of good ones, too. I thought of Mary Stewart when I was working on my list, but I think I've not read enough of her books yet. She's definitely someone I'd like to read more of, though. Gladys Taber is on my list and I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, too! I must check out those unknown books, now! :)
Jeane--I've only read it a couple of times, too, but it's one that seems perfect for the end of winter when the promise of spring is not too far off. Nice to dream about going to sunny Italy, too!


What a wonderful post. I found some old acquaintances and a few new one's I will have to have a closer look at. Greenery Streets sounds wonderful right now. (I just started to watch British movies of the 4oies. I am often methodical in my movie watching. Brief Encounter is one I can highly recommend.) I always see posts on E.M.Delafield and she makes me curious. Another one for the wish list. I hardly think in terms of comfort read but I sure do read them. For pure escapism I turn to Neil Gaiman, Kristin Cashore, Juliet Marillier and Charlaine Harris.


What a brilliant list. I certainly agree with you about Heyer and Delafield. I'll be able to comment on the Daisy Dalrymple soon as I'm getting a boxed set for Christmas. How exciting is that???? Sometimes I think I'm just a big kid...

Old English Rose

My comfort reads tend to be classic children's fiction, as they always have engaging stories and are written with a wry intelligence which is a delight to read. I've just finished 'Five Children and It' which I hadn't read for years and I'd forgotten quite how wonderful it is. I'm also working my way through the Narnia books, which are similarly delightful. I think it's the combination of adventure with really homely, everyday things like the importance of being home in time for supper which makes them so comforting to read.


What a wonderful list with loads of my personal favourites on there. I adore comfort reads, and more than that, am really grateful to them for giving me somewhere to turn in the difficult times. The Diary of a Provincial Lady has been a life saver in the past. And I've had a longing for Miss Marple lately. Perhaps I should just give into it?

Liz F

When I was growing up comfort reads included What Katy Did, Little Women, The Little White Horse and the wonderfully Christmassy The Children of Green Knowe.
Now my comfort reads include The Diary of a Provincial Lady, Chocolat, Jane Eyre, The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery and Susan Hill's The Magic Apple Tree which is a memoir about life in her Oxfordshire cottage divided into the seasons.


Miss Marple is one of my comfort reads too! And Jane Austen, although I tend to go for Persuasion first. Some of my childhood favourites, like Anne of Green Gables or David Edding's Belgariad series, would definitely be on my list. And Oliver Sacks, as random as that sounds. ;)

(I still haven't read Enchanted April. I think I'm saving it for a rainy day, since I expect to adore it!)

Claire - The Captive Reader

A wonderful list! The Diary of a Provincial Lady and Greenery Street are favourite comfort reads for me as well and while I'm also likely to reach for Austen, Heyer, and von Arnim, my picks are slightly different (Emma, The Grand Sophy, and Elizabeth and Her German Garden). P.G. Wodehouse is also a favourite, particularly the Psmith books.


i really must read some Agatha Christie! My sister read them all and loved them. But I have yet to pick one up.


What a fun list! I think Pride and Prejudice and Enchanted April would have to be on my list too. I also find books about books or essays about books or reading comforting. Reading them is like sitting in a beautiful library, wrapped in a quilt, sunk into a comfortable chair next to a fireplace.


As soon as I saw the title of this post, I had to read it. I love comfort reads--in this stressful day and age, they are an essential to my life. A couple of yours are already on my TBR list, and I'll be adding several more. My comfort reads include the Anne of Green Gables series, any Agatha Christie, one of Mary Stewart's romantic thrillers--especially This Rough Magic or The Moon Spinners (I have a thing for Greece, too), and when I need humor, either Bill Bryson's I'm a Stranger Here Myself or one of the collections of Dave Barry's newspaper columns. I could go on and on but I'll stop now before this comment reaches book length.

Oh, and I highly recommend P.G. Wodehouse!


You've hit on some of my favorite reads, too. I love Coming Home! I'm not familiar with Chandra Prasad so will have to check that one out. And I've wanted to read Greenery Street for a while now so must get my hands on a copy. Great post!


Danielle - Rosamund Pilcher books have long been my guilty pleasure. My mum and I used to read them together when I was in my teens, and then we watched the TV dramatised versions. We love them! I think they're brilliant and not on the same par as a lot of what would also be termed 'women's fiction'. I think Rosamund Pilcher suffers from TERRIBLY CHEESY book covers - if someone like Vintage republished her, I'm sure she'd have a lot of critical and commercial success. And I'm not just saying that to vindicate my reading choices. ;) Have you seen the ITV dramatisation of Coming Home, with Joanna Lumley? It's wonderful!

My favourite comfort reads are definitely books I enjoyed as a child, like The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Little Women, etc, as well as anything by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Persephones, etc. Greenery Street is one of the best Persephone comfort reads - such a feel good, gentle, lovely book. Here's to a marvellous 2011 for you, Danielle. 2009 was a rubbish year for me, and 2010 turned out to be much better. I think sometimes life just works out like that!


On my list of comfortreads Mary Stewart definitely would star. I have started rereading them from the first one published in 1955(Madam Will You Talk)and probably start all over again as soon as I have finished the last one. Also needing to be mentioned: Nina Bawden 'Carrie's War' and the sequel Rebel on a Rock (Carrie's daughter as protagonist).
Thanks for a lovely list to turn to next year.


I can't choose between the Clare Chambers titles either - definitely comfort reads for me.

Michelle Ann

Some on your list I know and love, some I will definitely have to read. Other well written comfort books that I can recommend are Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, (Winifred Watson), Family Album (Antonia Ridge), Shell Seekers (Rosamunde Pilcher), Crampton Hodnet (Barbara Pym), No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (McCall Smith), The Eye of Love (Margery Sharp), Greengage Summer (Rumer Godden), One Pair of Hands (Monica Dickens), I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith), Gigi (Collette), Miss Mapp (EF Benson), Fraulein Schmit and Mr Anstruther (E Von Arnim), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Anita Loos). That's enough for now!

Amanda R.

Harry Potter! I'm rereading it right now. It is good cold weather reading and I can focus on the plot when I'm sleep deprived!


I love von Arnim's books, Barbara Pym, Mary Stewart in fact lots already mentioned. I've just recently started reading Pilcher and I'm really enjoying them. Coming Home is by my bed shouting READ ME but it's on my 2011 list so it has to wait. Mapp and Lucia I love. Children's classics -E Nesbit, Mary Norton, JM Barrie, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde. I could go on and on!


Thank you for the great reads I have enjoyed this year from your reviews and thoughts, you have introduced me to books and authors I have never readand am now enjoying.I wish you best wishes for Christmas and the coming New year.


Caroline--I don't think I ever thought much in the past about what sorts of books I chose to read, but lately life has been so stressful I need books that aren't too demanding and will take me away from things. I think I must have heard the term 'comfort read' when I started blogging, but now I can't remember! I love old B&W movies as well--hopefully you'll write about the movies you've been watching and I can get ideas. :)
Cath--Oh lucky you--I think I have nearly all the Daisy Dalrymple books except the very newest which might still be in hardcover. Of course I have a long way to go as I am only on book #8 I think! I hope you'll post your thoughts on them when you do read them as I am curious what you'll make of her. And I wonder, too, which books come in the set--I've not seen anything like that here in the US.
Old English Rose--You know I think I missed out on a lot of those traditional but classic children's stories when I was little. I didn't have a lot of guidance choosing books, which was fine, but I never made my way to those books everyone else seems to have read. I do have the first of the Narnia books on hand--must get to it soon. And I love the idea of everyday homey things being important--that sounds exactly like what I need right now!
Litlove--Books can thankfully be a safe haven for rough times--I will be eternally grateful to authors for their imaginations and giving me something else to think about when things are difficult! Oh do pick up a Miss Marple--she really cracks me up and I am so enjoying The Body in the Library. I think I would like to live in St. Mary Mead actually!
Liz--Several of those books are unfamiliar to me, but it looks like our tastes overlap a bit, too! I will have to check out that Susan Hill book--I love the sound of a book that revolves around the seasons.
Eva--Yes, save The Enchanted April for a really miserable day (as strange as that sounds) as the story will take you away! I like rereading it right when winter seems like it is never going to end! And though I came to Miss Marple mysteries late, I plan on making up for lost time. They are wonderful books--no matter what anyone says about Agatha Christie. I totally missed out on reading L.M. Montgomery--I think I am going to have to make a point of buying some of those books as soon as I have a bit of extra cash (or maybe a gift card!).
Claire--After yours and a few other comments I pulled out a couple of Wodehouse books that I own (sadly I only have a couple) and I think I might start reading this weekend. I don't know why I've waited so long to read any of his books! And I still have a stack of unread Heyers to look forward to including The Grand Sophy, which I know is a favorite of a number of readers. Elizabeth and Her German Garden is wonderful, too.


Trish--It seems like so many people read her when they were young and I totally missed out on any of her books. As a matter of fact I only read my first one a very few years ago--once you start, I think you'll be hooked!
Stefanie--Now that is a nice thought indeed! You're right--I hadn't even thought of essays but books about books are wonderful. I had pulled a copy of Michael Dirda's very short essays to put on my nightstand for reading before bedtime--no pressure to try and get in one a day or anything--and you're right they are really delightful. From time to time I think how I need to read more books like that--thanks for the reminder!
Kathy--Sometimes I come home from work so exhausted that this is the only type of book I can manage. They are life savers really. I really need to read more Mary Stewart--I've read her Merlin/Arthur books, which I loved and one or two of her romantic thrillers, which I also really enjoyed. I must keep her in mind, and Wodehouse has been duly noted--I've already pulled my two lone Wodehouse novels and they are sitting by my bedside! :)
Pam--I think Coming Home is going to be one of those books I always keep on my shelves to revisit every few years! I love the Prasad book--not sure how I found it, but I've read it several times now. She's very good, but sadly seems not very known in the book blogging world. Greenery Street is wonderful and there is also a book of short stories by the author as well set in Greenery Street.
Rachel--I totally agree about the covers of Rosamund Pilcher's books. If they were reissued in trade size with a really cool cover I bet she would gain an entire new readership. I know I was quite happy to come upon her work and her stories are smart and well written, too. I've not yet seen the movie adaptation--I love the book so much I'm afraid it won't live up to the story, but I might have to try it as you liked it! Persephone books are very good comfort reads, too. I need to keep them in mind more often and hope to get back to my Persephones and Viragos next year. 2010 has been a rubbish year for me (I love the term you use so will borrow it), though I don't talk about personal things here, so I can only think 2011 Has to be an improvement! :)
Catharina--I think I am going to have to pull out one of my unread Mary Stewarts as she seems a great favorite of readers! I saw the movie adaptation of Carrie's War not realizing it had been made from a book--I really must get my hands on a copy as I am sure the book will be much better--plus I've been wanting to try Nina Bawden's work--she is a Virago author!
Julie--I've enjoyed everything I've read by Clare Chambers, though those two are my favorites! I still have several unread books by her on my TBR pile and am a little afraid to read them--I like the idea of having a new Clare Chambers book waiting for me.
Michelle Ann--I thought of Miss Pettigrew! I even loved the movie. It is also a comfort read for me. You have lots on your list that I am at least familiar with--must check them out. I have read one Pym--want to read more, loved Greengage Summer--want to read more Godden, the Loos is also on my list....I think our reading tastes are very similar! :)
Amanda--I rushed through the last few Harry Potter books--I need to reread the whole series sometime as well. You're right--they are wonderful comfort reads and lovely escapism books, though there is more to the stories, too, depending on how far you want to take the text.
Katrina--I'd like to read more Pilcher as well--she has quite a few books out there. I will likely start with September as I know I have a copy on hand. I have heard many good things about the Mapp and Lucia series of books and really should try them as well--I have the first book on hand and always see used copies at the public library book sales I go to. I should try Edith Nesbit as I know her books are so popular in the UK--I'm not sure how much of her work was ever published here, but surely I can find something in the library!
Merilyn--Thank you so much for the kind words and I am always happy to hear that any of the books I write about might appeal to someone else. This is what I like most about blogging is the chat about books and authors and sharing ideas! Happy Holidays to you as well and Best Wishes for 2011!

Margaret Powling

Comfort reading? Well, my childhood favourites - ballet books by Lorna Hill, and then the essays of the late Bernard Levin (a surprising choice, but do try Conducted Tour and Enthusiasms) and then there are the novels of Rosamunde Pilcher, not just Coming Home - I preferred The Shell Seekers and also Winter Solstice (that's the one to read around Christmas time - but forget the films, they're dire, with the exception of the film of September, which even Mrs Pilcher recommended), and Diary of a Provincial Lady (of course!) and the six Mapp & Lucia books by Benson, and Enchanted April, quite the most delightful book. I also enjoy the Lyttelton Hart Davis Letters, all six volumes (letters between George Lyttelton, father of the late Humphrey and the late Rupert Hart Davis, publisher.) Perhaps a surprising choice, these two men of letters, with lots about publishing and cricket, but so, so enjoyable.

Jean at The Delightful Repast

Danielle, you would think since I'm all about comfort *food* that I would have thought of comfort *reads* before--I love it! I'm long overdue for some and will definitely look to your wonderful blog for recommendations just as soon as I get the time scheduled. My ideal comfort day would have rain, a cat, a good book and a proper cup of tea!

Dorothy W.

I tend to turn to Jane Austen as well, or to a mystery writer such as Elizabeth George or P.D. James. I like your list and want to read a number of books from it, including the von Arnim and the Delafield. And also more Christie!


Margaret--I do plan on reading more Rosamunde Pilcher--not sure why I've not yet read more, though I did read The Shell Seekers several years ago and loved it. We've got some similarities in authors (no surprise there!), but I will have to look up the few that are unknown to me. The nice thing about comfort reads is that anything goes--whatever makes you feel happy to read and gives you a break from everyday things--so if it is cricket--why not!
Jean--I love comfort foods, too! For me it's something along the lines of a bowl of chili and a grilled cheese sandwich! :) Rainy days with a cat close by and a good book and cup of tea sound right up my alley as well.
Dorothy--Sometimes I just like to dip into Pride and Prejudice--I know the story so well, that just hearing her prose is enough. Elizabeth George is also great and I am reading her latest right now and really enjoying it--things were a bit bumpy with the characters the last few times out, but things are finally (thankfully) getting back to normal this time around. I think you'd like both von Arnim and Delafield! And Christie is always great in my book--I'm happy I have so many unread books yet to read!


Don't apologise for comfort reads Dani! They shouldn't be worthy or challenging, just comforting & familiar. Even if you're reading a Christie or Heyer that's new to you, it will be a comfort read because you know exactly what you're going to get from the book the minute you open it. Merry Christmas. I look forward to reading the blog in the New Year.


Lyn--Why do I always feel slightly guilty about comfort reads?! I've really needed them this year, but it is with a slightly guilty feeling that I read other book bloggers posts who seem to be reading lots of "Good" challenging contemporary fiction or classics. Silly I know. Reading for me is almost all pleasure so I am often lazy about it. But it is good to have dependable authors to turn to!! Hope you have a wonderful Holiday, too, and I do hope you'll visit in the New Year--I hope to maybe keep up a bit better next year with blog reading as well!


I read the Pilcher book years ago and sadly, don't remember much about it. Time for a re-read I suppose!


Kathleen--Unfortunately books fade from my mind all too quickly as well. When I read Coming Home for the second time last year it felt almost like I was reading a new novel. My memory is awful, which is why I like to write something about my reads here to help me remember.


Danielle...I was surprised to find "The Enchanted April" in your comfort reads list. I've started reading this book and found it utterly fascinating. I really liked how Mrs. Wilkins gathers up her wits and meets up with Mrs. Arthbunot...still hanging at the page where they interviewed a Mrs. Fisher. Having read your note now, I'll be sure to complete this book.

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