It’s my belief that there’s a book out there for everyone. Whatever you’re interested in, want to know more about, or need to hear, someone’s probably written a book for it. I’ve also come to realize that there’s a book out there for every mood. Books for when you’re brave. Books for when you’re hurt. Books for when you need a laugh.
Today, I wanted to talk about comfort reads. Books that have the magical ability to whisk us away to a happier place, lift our moods on a crummy day, and read like they were written just for us.
If you grew up surrounded by books and loving fantasy, Inkheart is a must-read title. Mingling magic, mystery, danger, and literary references, Cornelia Funke is a master at making you believe in the world beyond a book’s pages. I guarantee you’ll feel nostalgic reading it, even if it’s your first time.
Her curiosity was too much for her. She felt almost as if she could hear the books whispering on the other side of the half-open door. They were promising her a thousand unknown stories, a thousand doors into worlds she had never seen before.
I grew up with a healthy appreciation for the classics, and Little Men was my favorite audiobook as a kid. I remember listening to the cassettes while I was sick with the flu one summer. There’s something homey and wholesome about Louisa May Alcott’s writing, which blends morals and childish mischief in the most loving way.
It takes so little to make a child happy, that it is a pity in a world full of sunshine and pleasant things, that there should be any wistful faces, empty hands, or lonely little hearts.
As my favorite book of all time period, Howl’s Moving Castle has to make the list. There’s something really special about reading your favorite book. No matter how many times you’ve reread that poor beat up copy, it’s always exciting to be there again, rediscovering favorite lines and reliving favorite scenes.
The demon at length fell to singing a gentle, flickering little song. It was not in any language Sophie knew—or she thought not, until she distinctly heard the word “saucepan” in it several times.
A more recent discovery, The Tea Dragon Society is a short little fantasy graphic novel that is just stunning! Looking at beautiful art always improves my mood, and the quiet, atmospheric storytelling is wholly unique when paired with high fantasy trappings. It’s one of those books I wish I could live inside.
Once upon a time, blacksmiths were as important as magicians. They made tools for healers to cure the sick. Shoes to shod the hooves of working animals. Swords for adventurers to slay monsters. The world was forged in iron… Once upon a time…
Natalie Lloyd has a lovely storytelling style that you can really sink into. Having lived in Tennessee for part of my childhood, the Southern mountain setting is familiar, but what makes The Key to Extraordinary is the sense of awe and wonder over the world we have the privilege to live in.
I know there is a true and scientific explanation of where the wind comes from. But I like to think it happens when clouds shrug their shoulders. When stars spin hard enough for a few lucky people on earth to get caught up in their cosmic whirl. Sometimes wind just feels like weather. But sometimes it feels special, like it’s carrying something with it.
Much like The Tea Dragon Society, I favor the slow pace and dreamy setting of the Statuary in Meadowsweet. Sweet and satisfying themes of family are muddled with magic and mixed with the mundane. It’s a fantasy that feels like it could be home.
Eventually, he came to a lump of white stone so smooth, it felt waxy under his fingertips. He turned it over and caressed its underside, which was marred by chisel marks, and asked, “Are you the one?”
Laying his cheek against it, he admired its silky surface; then he held it to his ear, listening intently. The rock did not say no, so perhaps the answer was yes.
Discovering this book at the library last summer was one of the highlights of the year. I love every bit of how vulnerable Confessions of an Imaginary Friend is. This book breaks your heart to pieces and fills you up with joy at the same time—not an easy balance to strike, I assure you. I still recommend this book all the time, especially my writer friends.
To tell the truth, I was beginning to think you would be in awe of anyone if you saw the parts of them that no one else gets to see. If you could watch them making up little songs, and doing funny faces in the mirror; if you saw them high-fiving a leaf on a tree, or stopping to watch a green inchworm hanging midair from an invisible thread, or just being really different and lonely and crying sometimes at night. Seeing them, the real them, you couldn’t help but think that anyone and everyone is amazing.
Maybe you’d think it’s odd to call a collection of comic strips a comfort read, but sometimes all you need to feel better is a bit of relatable humor! Adulthood is a Myth is one of my favorites for finding the humor in everyday scenarios, and never fails to lift my spirits.
Your turn! What books do you turn to for comfort?