Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Comfort Books

Over at The Magic of Books, we are offered this question:
So, have you ever found a book or books that you keep coming back to and re-reading and re-reading that just provides a sense of balance or comfort?
Ah, comfort books. It's a wonder the paper hasn't disintegrated from my comfort books based on how often I've read them. Here is my list of just a few of the books that make me feel cozy.

1. The Anne of Green Gables series, especially Anne of the Island and Rilla of Ingleside, by L. M. Montgomery

2. Dear Enemy and its predecessor, Daddy-Long-Legs, by Jean Webster

3. Christy, by Catherine Marshall (not a children's book, but definitely among my comfort books)

4. An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott

5. Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter

6. The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery (also not a children's book)

7. The Trixie Belden series, by Kathryn Kenny

That's just my short list. I have many more that might be comfort books on a given day, but these above are the most-reliably-comforting.


featherbee said...

I have two comfort books, one of which is the same as yours.

Anne of Green Gables (Just the first one though, not the whole series.) There was a long period of years when I would read this book every spring. It's been a couple years since I've picked it up, perhaps I should again.

A Christmas Carol: I've been reading this one every Christmas since around High School. I love the language in it, and the images that are conjured. I also highly recommed listening to Patrick Stewart's reading of it. Simply wonderful!

Little Willow said...

Commenting just on yours, first:

I adore the Anne novels. The first two are my favorites.

I have read DLL but hadn't a clue about Dear Enemy. Oooh. (As a friend would say, "There's a book you HAVEN'T heard of?")

I enjoy Alcott but have yet to read AOFG. I most definitely read LW and Eight Cousins. (Did I ever tell you about the version of Little Women I read where Beth lived?)


Now, my words on comfort books: I find books in general to be comforting - the escapism they offer, the imagination they encourage and nuture, the solid beginning, middle and end.

mjd said...

Yea!!! you included An Old-Fashioned Girl. This used to be my favorite book,and I still enjoy the story. This is one of the few books that I have read more than once.

I am visiting from PJ the Librarian's The Magic of Books.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the comments!

Featherbee, Anne is always worth another visit. Refreshes the spirit.

LW, Dear Enemy is my most frequent read. It's the same format, but is about Judy's friend Sallie, who has been talked into running Judy's old orphanage. There are parts of it that are dated (eugenics discussions) but otherwise it has the same spirit, humor and warmth of DLL. You can read it online, but then you don't get the cute illustrations, so I do recommend the paper version.

LW, I definitely want to hear more about the alternate universe version of Little Women!

MJD, Thanks for the visit. I love Polly. She's ultra-good without being sanctimonious. And she's independent like Jo, but somehow even more so. Also I've always remembered scenes from OFG vividly, such as the grandmother's story-telling, the candy, the party, the walk in the park, the opera, Jenny's sad story, the women-artists, the dress party, etc. These little pieces stand out more clearly for me than parts of Little Women even.

PJ Librarian said...

I am definitely going to be on the look out for An Old-Fashion Girl now. It has been mentioned a couple of times and I haven't read it. I thought I was a true and well-read fan of Louisa, but I have missed this book. Or, may I have read it and just do not remember the title, which isn't unheard of with my brain. Thanks for the list.

Robin said...

Maybe this is what's missing from my life - a comfort book. I will start looking for one a.s.a.p. xo