There are books that you just pick up and read and it feels like being enveloped in a soft, warm duvet. These are my comfort books. Over the years my comfort reading list has evolved and my current list has been my go-to list for a few years. I had titles by Ingalls Wilder, Austen, Brontës, Keenes, and Blume in my list when I was growing up. I think these will always be my duvet day standbys, but now that I’m (way) over the age of majority, my tastes are a bit more varied. I find myself reaching for the following books:
The Languedoc Trilogy by Kate Mosse
It’s a series of books that are set in Carcasssone, in the Languedoc region of France, near the Pyrénées. I find myself repeatedly drawn to books that have a bit of historical fiction in them and these definitely hit the spot! They are an excellent read. I started with, of course, the first book of the trilogy, Labyrinth. Once I’d read this, I knew I had to get the other books to read. So I moved on to read Sepulchre and Citadel. It’s not difficult reading, even with the history and the Occitan language inclusions. I’ve read each book about twice now. Next on my to-read list is Kate Mosse’s Winter Ghosts, which is also set in the Languedoc region.
Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
So who hasn’t read the Harry Potter books? I fell in love with the world that J.K. Rowling created. I first started with the Scholastic Books version and moved on to the Bloomsbury editions which I enjoyed the most. It had all the British references that makes Harry Potter Harry Potter.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I was still in the Philippines when I watched Oprah Winfrey interview Elizabeth Gilbert in 2007. Oprah waxed lyrical about the book, how the insights changed her life. That piqued my interest but I didn’t necessarily think it was going to be this mind-blowing read. It wasn’t until I moved to England that I actually read the book, and I read the book at just the right time. I read it when I was at a crossroads of my life and needed to make a lot of difficult decisions about the direction I wanted my life to take and who I wanted to have in my life when I moved forward. It changed my life and helped me get a different perspective. I still read the book, when I need to be inspired or need to think about things differently. Yep, the book is amazing like that. I even did an Oprah – I bought the copies of the books and sent it to my friends so they could read it too!
Julie and Julia: My Year Of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
I love this book but I think part of the reason I love this book is because I really did love the movie and I so loved Amy Adams in it. Amy Adams made the character relatable and made me want to read the book (mostly because I love to cook, read cookbooks and I have a blog where I can be, more often than not, self-deprecating). I think Oprah liked the book as well, which was another factor (I do love Oprah’s book club choices!). I know there are a lot of reviews about how bad Julie Powell really is, how selfish she is and self-centered and all that. But when I read the book, I found myself wanting to find out how she managed to dig herself out of the hole she put herself in. I mean, I know that she had an affair (this wasn’t in the movie), but Julie Powell in her book certainly wasn’t a flat character!
The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris
I was introduced to this book by my therapist. I needed counselling because I was fast approaching a burn-out at work and I was getting more and more sick because of stress and it was affecting my performance and my psyche. I absolutely loved this book because it allowed me to learn how to tackle my worrying (most eldest children will be able to relate to the pressure that we put ourselves under to be perfect, how we all constantly worry that we won’t measure up). The most important thing is that it taught me to think about my worrying differently. I think I’m a long way away from not being a worry-wort (I think that’s what makes me good at my job – I worry about the future too much!) but I’m getting better at dealing with the stress that worrying brings. It is a different approach to therapy. I still read portions of it when I have moments.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
I LOVE this book. I bought it off Amazon because it was about a girl who rode a train everyday. Hello! My daily work commute involves me getting on a train for over an hour to get to work. It was something I thought I could relate to (no spoilers so that’s all I’m going to say). But I didn’t expect this lovely little thriller to grip me in the way that it did. I couldn’t wait to get home so that I could read more of it and find out how the story unfolded. I nearly missed my several times because I was so engrossed! Am so looking forward to Paula Hawkins’ second book. This was an amazing debut! I would suggest reading it before the movie hits the screens (Emily Blunt’s in it!) because they’ve changed a few things in the screenplay.