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It's time for comfort reads here again as my husband's factory is going to be laying off workers AGAIN in the next couple of weeks. He has been working here for a few years after being laid off in 2008 from a job he had had for 18 years. We are still financially devastated from that lay-off. I turn to prayer, comfort reads, and vanilla chai latte mix. It is a situation that perpetually hangs over us now all the time, coming to crisis mode about every 9 months.


You have to read the Richard Jury series by Grimes; I am sure that you will love it and they are old enough that it is always easy to get them at the library. Good luck.


It's so lovely to have comfort reads to turn to when life gets stressful. I have plenty of those myself--cozy mysteries by Patricia Wentworth or Agatha Christie, or perhaps a reread of an old Mary Stewart or one of the Anne of Green Gables stories. I have never read Martha Grimes, but Hotel Paradise sounds good to me. I have read a couple of Cleo Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries, and they're fun and light. I still have one on my TBR pile that I picked up at the library bookstore for 50 cents. Another couple of series that sort of fall into that same type of reading experience are Elaine Viets' Dead End Jobs mysteries, and Diane Mott Davidson's series featuring caterer Goldie Schultz. You might enjoy those as well. You can never have too many comfort reads!


Thank goodness for comfort reads--if for nothing else than a little needed distraction, right? So sorry to hear the threat of possible layoffs hang over you and your husband's heads! I work at a university and although right now things are not as unsettled, we went through a number of years of budget cuts--it's really frightening. 18 years is a long time to work for a company--how awful that your husband lost his job. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that you and he don't have to go through that yet again. It's really hard to recover when something like that happens. Wouldn't a little stability be nice?? I have yet to try chai lattes--but will have to do so sometime (I have been working my way through the menu....).


I think I have the first few Richard Jury mysteries as I have wanted to try them for (gulp) years! They sound good, and I like the idea that the titles are from pub names (am I remembering right?). And it is always nice to pick up an established series so if you like them you'll have lots to explore and look forward to(and as you say borrow from the library!). :)


I totally agree with you on having an array of good comfort reads to choose from. I have wanted to read a Miss Silver mystery ever since you choose her for your 'lost in the stack' book. I even pulled out the first one and it sits on my bedside pile! :) I try and read a Christie or two every year--haven't done so yet--for some reason I've been reading fewer mysteries this year--not out of lack of desire, but lack of time (as is always the case). And yes, Mary Stewart--maybe I should pull one of those unread books from my pile (do I dare with so many already on the go and all so good???). Aren't library sales great? I really need to go to my library's 'sale room'--it's open every Thursday afternoon I believe. They used to do quarterly sales, but now they just have normal weekly hours they are open. Not sure why--but it's been ages since I last went. I will check out the the other two authors you mention--I have heard of Diane Mott Davidson, but as of yet haven't tried her books. I do love cozies, though I tend to stick with Golden Age cozies--I like these others--more thematically done rather than straightforward detective stories.

vicki (bibliolathas / skiourophile)

I'm a comfort re-reader rather than new-reads-reader in times of crisis, or when I have a deadline. Crime or children's books or Heyer!


Barbara Pym is always a favourite comfort read for me. Always makes me laugh. Also Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights & Persuasion as I've read them so many times I don't need to concentrate too much.


Where would we be without comfort reads! I love mine - usually crime fiction, or someone hugely readable like Barbara Pym or Elizabeth Pewsey. I really understand why people re-read in times of stress, but on the whole I like to work my way through something in one of the piles as comfort reads are such a temptation to buy! I'm so glad you enjoyed Petite Mort, Danielle. That was one I found hard to put down when I was in the middle of it!


Seriously stressed with more work than I really want to think about (I'm a work-to-live sort of person not live-to-work like my other half who has to be busy at every moment that he is not actually asleep - very wearing I can tell you!)and doesn't help that the only reading time I get is either very late at night or if I am on a train somewhere!
Currently reading The Great Gatsby which I am determined to finish before the film comes out! As it is a nice slim book I am carrying it about with me and reading at every given opportunity - the downside is that the formerly pristine volume is starting to look a bit on the dog-eared side!
Hoping to be able to get through Enchanted April too in the next week or so and I have to say that they are both fitting the bill very nicely!


Sorry you are still so stressed. It's good to have such wonderful comfort reads on hand. When I'm especially stressed I like fiction that is all plot and action so I get all caught up and forget about things for awhile. I hope calm finds you soon!

Clive John Edwards

I love Wodehouse (and have read all of them when I was younger). The only ones I couldn't really get into were the golfing ones. By contrast, Jo doesn't have time for him at all.
The Cleo Coyle sounds interesting. Must investigate.


Wodehouse is my top choice for comfort reading. I also really like the movie version of A Damsel in Distress, with Fred Astaire, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. P.G. Wodehouse wrote the screenplay. The dance numbers are fantastic!


Yes, to all the of the above for me, too, though I don't read as much YA/children's lit as I would like. I do have certain faves I like to return to again and again, though often I like to try something new and hope I have chosen wisely.


Do you have a favorite Pym novel? I have only read Excellent Women which I really loved. It's her centennial birthday year this year, isn't it? I want to read a book or two by her--she sounds quite tempting right now, too. Persuasion is my favorite Austen, and I'm with you on Jane Eyre. I liked Wuthering Heights, but have only read it once. And I know what you mean by the familiarity of a story and not needing to concentrate too hard but just sit back and enjoy the story.


I seem to spend an awful lot of time with comfort reads these days, but I am trying to balance them out with other books, too. I don't know Elizabeth Pewsey so must check her out. And I think I am going to look through my Pym novels as well for something to read this spring (if I can call it spring....). I do reread but I'm totally with you on liking to add to my pile of absorbing reads, too. I like stories that are newish but maybe a certain type that I am likely to enjoy. And Petite Mort kept me thoroughly engrossed--helped me pass many an hour at the gym--which says a lot since there are so many distractions there!


Hi Liz--so nice to hear from you--I've been thinking about you and meaning to reply (properly) to that email you sent me ages work has been chaotic, too and on top of things I have been learning lots of new things as there have been a number of changes at my job. Trying to balance it all out has made me a little stressed as well, hence the desire for some good, gripping sorts of stories. I saw that Cornflower is reading Enchanted April for her book group-I've read it about three times now and would have been tempted to read it yet again only I am still only halfway through the Mabey she chose last time around! I am hoping to finish it, though I am afraid I might have abandoned the Iain Pears novel (I really would like to finish it, but have so many other books started...). I love The Great Gatsby--another book I've read a few times but it has been ages now since the last go! I should really read more of FS Fitzgerald's books. Oh, to have unlimited reading time, eh? I hope all is well otherwise and that things calm down a bit for you soon!


Yes, calm is what I'd like! I am taking a day of vacation on Monday as I am getting precariously close to maxing out and then I can't earn any more--can't have that happen!! So I am hoping I can spend the day reading and working on my needlework! I tend to read a lot of plot driven fiction generally I think, but it's very much appreciated at times like this.


I have only read a couple of short stories by Wodehouse, though I have found several of his books at used bookstores. I am with you when it comes to not being drawn to golfing stories, though I think I do have one (another used bookstore find--I think I bought a whole pile of them actually). The Cleo Coyle is fun--lots and lots about coffee as you would expect. Very light and untaxing sort of read.


Glad to hear you say that as I think it is the next book I am going to pick up to add to my reading pile (having finally finished another book). I had no idea it was made into a movie--must check it out when I finish reading as I love Fred Astaire--how fun! Thanks for the heads up.

Margaret Powling

I might be incorrect, but I think that Elizabeth Pewsey now writes under the name of Elizabeth Edmondson.
Not heard of Diana Mott Davidson so another to check up on.
My comfort reading is always my childhood ballet series my Lorna Hill (still a child at heart!) I must say, Cleo Coyle sounds fun ... I've been reading the first couple of Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs and have enjoyed those. I have the first Miss Silver book but never read it ... maybe now's the time.
Currently reading Warpaint by Alicia Foster, excellent so far ... broken off reading the latest Maisie Dobbs for it as it arrived yesterday and I just couldn't resist ... but I will return to Maisie shortly!


Lovely post, Danielle. I haven't bought or ordered any books for two weeks and the first post I came back to yesterday was this one. i had to place an order for Hotel Paradise right away.
A few years ago I had a crime phase reading only crime for a month or more. I read almost all of the Richard Jury novels. They are equally cozy and hilarious. I loved them.
I've got On What Grounds here as well. I always think I like noir but at the end of the day, I prefer a good cozy (apart from psychlogical thrillers which are my favourites). Reading about coffee can never be wrong. :)


I really love Hotel Paradise. I am reading slowly to savor it, but I think I will speed to the end now so I can pick up the next book. If you've enjoyed her Richard Jury novels (and I need to go pull the first one out of my bins as I want to try one of those soon), I suspect you will enjoy the Emma Graham books. The Cleo Coyle is very much a cozy--very easy reading--kind of 'mystery-lite' if you know what I mean. And for someone who doesn't know much about coffee (but is now enjoying it--well, the jazzier drinks like lattes and cappucinos) I am learning all sorts of interesting things. I've not read any psychological mysteries/novels really this year...will have to fix that soon, too. Did you get in any reading on your vacation?


Not really. That is I read one book I had on the kindle, The Hunger Games part 2 - Cathing Fire. It was ideal on the plane and while sitting at the airport and I started Snapper which I've finished meanwhile. Other than that - no chance. I didn't even buy books.


On a trip like that I think airplane reading would be the only type I would manage, too!

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