Saturday, January 13, 2007

Comfort Reads

At Christmas this year, I was melancholy. I missed the family holiday gatherings that used to take place every year. Such get-togethers are precluded now by the post-Katrina dispersal of my extended family from the New Orleans area. Before Katrina five families of my cousins lived in Chalmette, and another set of cousins lived in New Orleans' Mid-City neighborhood. The Chalmette families lost everything, with flooding anywhere from eight to sixteen feet in their homes. The Mid-City family lost everything in the downstairs of their home, although their upstairs was untouched. Five of the families now live outside the New Orleans area, some in another state. Only two of the families plan to return and rebuild. Since it will be near-impossible in future for all my cousins to coordinate their schedules of work, children's school, and traveling to return for the annual gathering of yore, I was feeling sad and weepy.

It was time for some comfort reading.

When I need comforting, I turn to some old favorites that never fail to soothe me:
  • Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion
  • Georgette Heyer's Regency and Georgian novels, especially Venetia, Devil's Cub, Regency Buck, Lady of Quality, The Unknown Ajax, Bath Tangle
  • Loretta Chase's The Lord of Scoundrels
  • Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm
  • Diana Gabaldon's Outlander
There are other books on the comfort-read list, but these are at the top. I've read each of these books numerous times. This time I re-read Flowers from the Storm and Lord of Scoundrels. And I felt better.

On a happy ending note for my melancholy, two families of my out-of-town cousins turned up on surprise visits in the week between Christmas and New Year. I was very happy indeed to see them.

What are some of your comfort reads?


Charles Gramlich said...

I don't have particular books thatI go back to. It's more authors and genres for me. When I'm feeling stressed I'll select a book by an author who I've always enjoyed, particularly if I read them a lot when I was younger. And I almost always pick westerns or fantasy, which made up a large bulk of my reading as a kid.

Anonymous said...

Good reading is always a comfort, and I too am glad the holidays are over. Bah Humbug is my other middle name.

My name is sillier than yours, but yours is classier.

RK Sterling said...

You've got some of my favorites there...Outlander, Flowers from the Storm, anything by Austen.

The Harry Potter series always perks me right up. :) Glad you're feelign better. :)