Staff Picks: Comfort Reads
Being stuck at home with scary news, we thought you could all use some recommendations of books that bring us comfort. The New York Times published some author comfort reads but your library staff also has some excellent recommendations of books they love and love to reread. Click 'Place Hold' to order a copy:
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Recommended by: Katie
Genre: Crime Fiction
The books in this series hold a special place in my heart. They are an easy read and the characters are all interesting people. But they are a “comfort read” for me because they are set in Botswana, a place that I have visited, loved and spent a good deal of time. The imagery of Botswana is amazing. With the author’s descriptions, I can picture the acacia trees, hear the Go-Away-Birds, and smell the red bush tea as if I was still there. It was a time in my life that will never fade from memory, and reading these books takes me right back.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Recommended by: Rebecca
Genre: English Literature, Romance
The greatest love story of all time. I always swoon… Fitzwilliam Darcy: “My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Sigh.
Mary Oliver Poetry / Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
Recommended by: Sheila
When I need some encouragement, I turn to the poetry of Mary Oliver. She helps me “get back to basics” and embrace gratitude for nature and simplicity! Verses like this renew my hope: “ If you’re John Muir, you want trees to live among. If you’re Emily, a garden will do. Try to find the right place for yourself. If you can’t find it, at least dream of it.” (from “Leaves and Blossoms Along the Way”, in the book, Felicity). The poems in Dog Songs, make me laugh because her descriptions of dog behaviors so match the experiences I’ve had with my pets!
Born A Crime By Trevor Noah
Recommended by: Jen
I loved this book so much! I felt for him during the dramatic life events that he endured because of his family, but also laughed aloud during his hilarious, unbelievable stories. Even before being in showbiz he has had such an incredibly interesting life. I heard that he’s writing another book and can’t wait for it!! Glad I was stuck with him for a while during the pandemic!
A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
Recommended by: Kaeli
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
this historical romance set after World War I, main character Anna--a young
Russian countess--flees Russia penniless and takes a job as a servant for an
English aristocrat, hiding her identity. This is a classic romantic novel with
whimsical, sometimes exaggerated characters that readers will love to love and
love to hate.
From Here to Eternity
Recommended by: Pat
Most people are familiar with the beach scene from the movie From Here to Eternity, but the book, by James Jones, has so much more, and is long enough to keep you busy for a while.It is set in pre-attack Pearl Harbor, and alternates several plot lines (history, military, power and love).The one that grabbed my heart was the young, uneducated soldier who falls in love with a hooker with a heart of gold. She is amassing her nest egg so she can go back to Ohio and teach school, but not have to marry for security – a common issue in that era. Their afternoon trysts are punctuated with lessons in literature, which, in turn, gives the reader a life reading list.
Norman Mailer said of the author: “the only one of my contemporaries who I felt had more talent than myself was James Jones. And he has also been the only writer of any time for whom I felt any love.”
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Recommended by: Sarah H.
Genre: Historical Fiction
A childhood favorite of mine that I have reread many times and created a fan of the genre of historical fiction ever since. Though a controversial Southern perspective today, this epic story is filled with unforgettable characters. Scarlett's transition from the opening pages to the very end is absorbing and tragic. GWTW is a captivating classic you should add to your list.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Recommended by: Marissa
Genre: Science Fiction
I love how the real-world setting of the book is so bleak, but the virtual world is fantastical and wonderful. It’s a great escapist book and manages to stay funny and upbeat. Even without knowing many of the pop culture references, I always have a blast when I read this one.
Uncle Fred in Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse
Recommended by: Jane
Genre: Comedy, Humorous Fiction
British humourist P.G. Wodehouse
is my comfort read author, everything from Jeeves and Wooster to Blandings
Castle to, my especial favourite, “Uncle Fred in the Springtime.”
Life by Cynthia Rylant
Recommended by: Ami
Genre: Children's Fiction, Nature Writing
My comfort reads these days are
for my daughters… first on the list is Life by Cynthia Rylant and a very
close second would be Someday by Alison McGhee. Both are very
inspirational reads and point to a promising future for us all!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Recommended by: Stephanie
Genre: Historical fiction; Romance; Science fiction