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Cozy Comfort Books

Musing Mondays2

This week’s musing asks:

What’s your favorite “cozy” book — and, by that, I’m meaning “curl-up-on-a-cold-day comfort read”? Or, if you don’t have a particular book, what genre do you most feel like reading when the weather starts to turn colder?

Weather rarely has an effect on what I read. I don’t read a particular book just because it’s bucketing outside on Saturday. I read what I read, dictated by whims. To me cozy books that the ones that don’t require much of critical thinking, ones that you read for what they are. I recently discussed my note-taking habit that entails dialectic journal, a constant mental conversation with the writing, transcribing thoughts onto papers. Cozy books would make reduce the workload of such analysis because you just accept the story as is. Every once in a while a cozy book is necessary to mitigate the brain from heaving working. Literary fiction and hardcore historical fiction are out of the question when I need a comfort read. I have found Haruki Murakami a perfect source for cozy reads. He is, however, by no means shallow—he has the knack to give you a story in a most extraordinary situation, without giving psychological analysis of his characters.

When there is chill in the air, I put on an extra layer, sit on a fleece throw, read whatever that catches my attention over hot tea or an occasional cup of hot chocolate with whole milk.

16 Responses

  1. I’ve got Wind Up Bird and Kafka in my possession but have yet to attempt. I think subconsciously I am a little scared. A personal problem I know. I’ll put that on my ever-increasing list of things to do before I die!

    • Wind Up Bird Chronicle is so far a good read. I’m addicted to Murakami now! Why haven’t I read him sooner? Now there’s all the talk about his chance of winning Nobel.

  2. If it’s raining, snowing, or whatever I sometimes do pick a book that reflects the weather. But each person’s comfort/cozy is different 😀

  3. One my old favorites, and a book that I pull out every few years, is an early Robert Ludlum thriller; “The Scarlatti Inheritance”. It’s a great read on those days when you cooped up inside, but not in the mood for something challenging. Another favorite, and a book I’ve read and re-read countless times, is E. M. Forster’s “Maurice”, or any Forster, for that matter.

    • I have re-read Maurice the past three years, along with James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. These two books revolve around very similar themes and unfortunately, similarly sad endings. Robert Ludlum would be a new author for me to check out.

  4. Great question. Today is the perfect day for it – grim, gray, rainy and cold. I have several old favorites that do the trick when I’m in a ‘cozy’, seeking ‘comfort’ mood:
    THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS by Agatha Christie
    THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT by Agatha Christie
    THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD by Agatha Christie
    CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK by Barbara Peters
    THE BEEKEEPER’S APPRENTICE by Laurie R. King

    All guaranteed to cheer me up.

    • I’m indebted to your great list of books! The three you mentioned by Christie I haven’t read. Recently I have the budding interest to read Laurie King. Is there a order to King to which I have to abide?

  5. I didn’t think I have a particular rainy-day genre or type of book, but there are some comfort books that I feel compelled to reread in a crisis. A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle is one of them. It’s fantasy that’s easy to read but is compelling and doesn’t insult the intellect.

    • Like you, I have an inventory of books I can often re-visit, but not necessarily on a cold, rainy day. I can just be reading these books spontaneously.

  6. Now see, I was worried people were going to read “cozy” and think of the fluff books that require no brain power to read… that’s why I tried to clarify what I meant by saying “curl up with on a cold day” type of book… I didn’t mean fluffy no-brainers. 😉

    But, either way…

    I’ve often thought of doing what you said you already do ~ take notes while reading, in a sense having an ongoing conversation of sorts with the book. There are so many times where a thought will come into my head while I’m reading and I’ll let it pass me by, and then be frustrated when I try to remember it later and can’t. Mind you, this mostly happens with fiction for me, as I don’t take notes while reading fiction. I do while reading nonfiction, though. So, perhaps that’s what I’ll do — start taking notes with my fiction reads, too. 😉

    ~MizB

    • I appreciate your clarification. 🙂
      What you described—about not forgetting what you read–is the primary reason for taking notes. I want to to be able to recall those random (can be important) thoughts that I had while I was reading. Some books are just written to be read is they are, notes would not be necessary. But they can be great comfort reads knowing I don’t have to pause every now and then to take notes. 🙂

  7. I have a bunch of books I call my perennial reads, and I can grab any one of these for a good foul weather read. Here is a partial list:

    # Gerald Durrell: My Family and Other Animals (and several of his other books as well)
    # Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables.
    # J.R.R. Tolkies: The Hobbit.
    # Michael Ende: The Neverending Story.
    # Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Good Omens.
    # Jennifer Crusie: Bet Me.
    # James Herriot: All Creatures Great and Small.
    # Elizabeth von Arnim: The Enchanted April.
    # Terry Pratchett: Moving Pictures.
    # Georgette Heyer: These Old Shades.

    Anything by Terry Pratchett.

  8. I enjoy anything Austen or L.M. Montgomery when I need a comfort read…

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