As most of you know, here in Colorado we’ve been virtually fast-frozen this last week. This doesn’t make us all that much different from the rest of the country. My friends in Texas are also under ice.
This is Sarah, though if Charlie wants to add his own favorites, it might make this even more interesting. And now — with more interest!
I’m not someone who deals well with cold. In fact, you could say I deal very badly with cold. It makes me cranky and short tempered and it makes me feel hard-done-by. When snow and ice make it hard for me to take my daily walk, it gets worse. So…
This is when I turn to comfort stuff. Comfort foods, surely, sitting under the blanket with my husband and drinking (no sugar) hot chocolate, say. Most of my other comfort foods are now barred to me, by my attempts at low carb.
Fortunately in addition to comfort foods, I have comfort books, and even comfort movies, which come calorie free.
You know comfort books as well as I do — they’re the reads you turn to when you’re too tired, too nervous, too out of it to read something new. Going back to them is like greeting old friends, like pulling that blanket over you.
These are not the sum total of my comfort reads, and some of them, to be honest, are also guilty pleasures. Most of them I encountered at the latest in my teens, though Heyer I discovered in my thirties. And this is a different list from my summer “comfort reads” and “comfort movies” though I couldn’t define the difference for you.
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite (Winter) things:
Pride and Prejudice, both the book and the A & E mini-series. Yes, I know, women in Jane Austen’s time had it tough, and even the gentry lived worse than the poor today, in many significant ways. But this novel/series, while not being total fantasy is not unduly realistic, and it allows me to escape to a time far away where true love (and correct behavior) bring their own reward.
And speaking of true love, yep, I’m a geek girl. I like The Princess Bride so much that my kids can shout the lines along with me. The same goes for Galaxy Quest. Both are goofy and fun, and leave you smiling. (Well, they leave me smiling at any rate.)
When I have time — not this year — I find great comfort in sitting by the fireplace (or the heater) with The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and the much inferior (but more historically accurate) Vicomte de Bragelonne.
Other winter favorites — sort of like candy canes and chocolate chip cookies I can’t have — are The Harlequin Tea Set and other Stories by Agatha Christie, Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer, Methuselah’s Children by Robert A. Heinlein, and Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett.
Of course, I’m always adding to my list of favorites and comfort reads. You probably are too. Maybe one of the books below will become one of your perennial favorites.
[Charlie here:] Honestly, between the cataracts and professional reading I don’t have a lot of time or eyesight to fall back on the old favorites recently. When I do though, there are a bunch of things you’d think I’d have memorized (and practically do — cue me with a random page of Stranger in a Strange Land), but when I want something familiar and comforting to read, I probably go first to the Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester; Robert A Heinlein, especially the so-called Heinlein juveniles, which did so much to shape my childhood; the James Bond books by Ian Fleming (and not the modernized successors, which vary from readable to execrable); and Nero Wolfe.
When a dragon loses part of his horde, mending his heart may cost more than the Cat can bear.
Christmas at the Drachenburg will be bleak indeed unless Rada Ni Drako can break through her old friend Joschka’s terrible grief. But the Drachenburg family’s pain may shatter Rada’s still-healing heart. Or it may teach her a lesson about love.
A Cat Among Dragons short story.
Great Ward is now Crumbling, after 3,000 years of peace. Two unstoppable enemies prepare to invade … and blue frog magic is almost gone.
Now comes the death of a very uncommon acolyte, revealing centuries of secrets when the wizard Vorin investigates why she died… reopening an ageless war between himself and the ever-grasping Order she joined.
If he fails, his magic will be gone forever and East Thumb Peninsula will be lost. If he wins, and entire society must change.
Taking it Back: A Path to Freedom is an allegorical novel that echoes some of the ongoing events currently unfolding in the United States. It is meant to be a gesture of support for all the liberty lovers who, in the trenches today, are bravely working to ensure that there will be a land of the free tomorrow. I hope you enjoy it.