I’d had the idea, once, that if I could get the chance before I died I would read all the good books there were. Now I began to see that I wasn’t apt to make it. This disappointed me, for I really wanted to read them all.
They say that between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be and in this long and cold winter we are currently having, maybe you need a few extra recommendations to curl up with.
I don’t know why I consider a good mystery to be the ultimate comfort read, but this is what I reach for when I’m not in the mood for anything else! Here are my 2 favourite series:
1. The Maisie Dobbs Series by Jaqueline Winspear
A rich historical setting and an interesting heroine – what’s not to love?! Mystery, psychology, war stories and romance combine in these gentle but compelling whodunnits.
2. The Chief Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny
Set is Quebec these character-driven mysteries involve the uncovering of secrets, the searching of souls and the eating of good food. You will want to move to the idyllic fictional setting of Three Pines, you will want to eat all the food, you will even want to witness an unconventional murder so that the wise and lovely Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec might arrive and add you to his long list of suspects. This series is hard not to binge-read.
I’ve been curling up these evenings with Port William’s deep-thinking, slow-moving bachelor barber Jayber Crow (don’t tell Chris). I am always in a happy place with Wendell Berry’s gentle prose and any of his stories about the Port William Membership. If these books are new to you then Hannah Coulter is a good place to start.
New to Me!
There’s nothing like finding a new favourite author and having a back-catalogue to work through!
I recently discovered Anna Quindlen through Blessings and Still Life with Bread Crumbs… and Kent Haruf through Our Souls at Night. I am catching up but there are still many more to read, insert the praise hands.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a charming read about the grumpy old man next door. (It might inspire you to host a Swedish film night which I did for my Book Group – we watched the film and ate IKEA food!)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio is one of those ‘kids’ books’ that everyone should read. I have heard it described as ‘a book that has made grown men weep’, which my husband can confirm!
In Ginny Moon, Benjamin Ludwig gives voice to a wonderful and fascinating heroine – a fostered teenager with autism. It’s a hilarious, and deeply moving, page-turner.
The One-in-a-Million Boy (and the 104-year-old woman who saved his family) by Monica Wood is rightly described as ‘As a lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations’. Flawed characters, unlikely friendships, redemption… I loved this book.
What about you? What books would you recommend curling up with as we take shelter from the Beast from the East?
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