Pencil sketch of book jacket

Quality Quarantining with Comfort Read Novels

31 Days of Resolutions – Day 4

Netflix has been fun, but reading a real book has a special feeling and gets your eyes away from the electric screen. That’s another great resolution for 2021!

You may not be motivated to search out new books. Maybe you would rather read something familiar because you know you won’t be disappointed. This reading habit has a name – it’s called a “comfort read.”

A Comfort Read Does the Trick

The New York Public Library blog describes a comfort read as “a book you return to again and again (even if only to dip into for a chapter or two) for a bit of cheer and warmth.”

It makes sense that comfort reads would be popular during this winter of social distancing.

Here are some of my comfort reads that you may like, too.

Jan Karon’s Mitford Series (booksellers, public library digital loans)

It’s been at least ten years since I first read At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon.

This is the first in her Mitford series. Mitford is a fictional town in North Carolina that is reminiscent of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry.

The main character is a well-read but down to earth Episcopal priest, Father Tim. There are plenty of other characters in this small North Carolina mountainside village.

Miss Sadie is the rich, generous spinster. Then there’s Miss Rose, the bipolar, fashion-challenged wife of Uncle Billy who is the town joke-teller and undiscovered artist.

Cynthia, the pretty but imperfect girl-next-door, and Dooley, the emotionally wounded foster child, help to make this series real and believable.

The first book is the best in my opinion but that hasn’t stopped me from reading and enjoying them all. If familiar is comfortable, you’ll find the Mitford books cozy indulgences.

Flavia de Luce Mysteries (booksellers, public library digital loans)

Were you a fan of Agatha Christie back in the day?

Today those storylines seem a bit predictable, yet Christie’s characters were vivid and fun.

Alan Bradley brings those same qualities to his pre-teen crime detective Flavia de Luce.

The first book in this series is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. We are introduced to Flavia and the de Luce family. We’re let in on Flavia’s sad, motherless situation which sets up the background story tying the books together.

The setting is the 1940s post-WWII English countryside with all of its charms.

Flavia is the youngest child and remembers very little about her mother. She’s got a lot of spunk and curiosity which endears her to the reader but not so much to local police. Her intelligence and persistence helps solve crimes but also gets her into some sticky situations.

Her relationships with her father, sisters, and housekeeping staff keep Flavia realistic and three dimensional. Hats off to Bradley for putting effort into his heroine’s characterization, often sorely missing from today’s mystery novels.

Read this series in order so that the background story makes sense and rolls out appropriately.

I can’t imagine that this book series won’t make it to the small screen one of these days very soon.

For more comfort read ideas check out this post.

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