One of us is not going to make it.

A few of you have asked me about this article about ABC making Let’s Pretend This Never Happened into a TV show and people are like, “Why aren’t you talking about this?  Is it a secret?” and it’s not a secret and has been in the works for years now but the truth is that most shows never actually end up getting made and honestly, I only agreed to do it because I think it’ll be fun to write about if it’s a success and probably even funnier to write about if it’s a weird failure.  My only concern now is that the article says that the pilot is about me going back home because of “a death in the family” so I had to call my mom yesterday and break the news that one of us is not going to make it and now we’re setting up a death pool to guess who it is.  My mom thinks it’s her but my guess is that it’s more likely me because I think it would be a really cool M. Night Shyamalan twist to murder your lead in the first episode.

But that is not my post.  It’s just a non-related preamble to my real post which is about books.  If you’ve been reading here this week you’ve seen that I’ve been fighting off a mild but stubborn bout of depression.  I’m fine but I’m utterly unfunny at the moment so I’ve spent this week resting, doing art projects with Hailey on the couch, and reading.  Lots and lots of reading.  And I’ve noticed that so often a book can save you in just the right way so I’ve gone back to some of my favorites…the books that I read over and over because they bring a strange comfort, or calming perspective, or are old friends I’ve missed and needed to see because I can visit them without the need to actually make conversation or wear pants.  I was looking though my lists of books that I loved so much that I sometimes I wish I could erase them from my head and present them to myself anew.  I found myself wondering how many other perfect books are out there that I haven’t found yet.  And how many I’ll never find.  And then I started to get depressed again so instead I decided that I would share a few of my comfort books and maybe it would inspire you to share some of yours and then we can all discover them together.

These aren’t necessarily the books that made my mind shift, or that taught me the most valuable lessons, or that were required reading to be human…these are Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.08.31 AMthe lovely guilty pleasures that somehow feel like home when I read them – and I realize this is going to be weird because a lot of these books are dark and fucked-up but sometimes dark and fucked-up can be a comfort, so stop judging me.

A few of my favorite comfort reads:

Anything by Mary Roach, but especially Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Gulp: Adventures in the Alimentary Canal.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story by John Berendt

Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard by H. P. Jeffers  (It’s out-of-print so check second-hand shops and indie book stores with connections.)

From the Dust Returned  and Bradbury Stories by Ray Bradbury

Everything by Shirley Jackson or Lucia Berlin

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn

As soon as I hit “publish” I’ll remember one hundred others I forgot, but that’s okay because I suspect you’ll remind me.

Your turn.

445 thoughts on “One of us is not going to make it.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My comfort book is “Right Ho, Jeeves” by PG Wodehouse. The school prizegiving never fails to cheer me up.

  2. I love LAMB! I also love THE STUPIDIST ANGEL, which is a wonderfully hilarious take on an angel trying to give a child his Christmas wish. (It ends up with a Zombie dressed as Santa, you cannot top that.)

  3. Even when you’re unfunny, you’re funny 🙂

    I love A Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and basically anything by Madeleine L’Engle. I still go back and read Andromeda Strain or Sphere when I’m feeling groundless. Little Town on the Prairie is up there too for comfort books. There are SO SO many, those are just the first to come to mind.

  4. I love Lamb!

    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is my favorite; I also like the Parasol Protectorate books by Gail Carriger and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, and Elizabeth Moon’s Heris Serrano and Esmay Suiza books.

  5. Not dark, but Hitchhiker’s Guide, of course

    (I love that I would also consider this book to not be dark, in spite of the fact that it starts off with the destruction of the entire world. A cheery British accent can make such a difference. ~ Jenny)

  6. All of the Harry Potter books, It and The Stand by Stephen King, Dresden Files, and the Iron Druid Chronicles.

  7. Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor, the Discovery of Witches trilogy, anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Harry Potter. These books are a few help set my world back right side up when I’m off kilter. Xoxo to you Jenny!

  8. I adore Stiff. I loaned it to a friend and it never came back. I’m reading her Boink now. My go to feel good books always end up being romances. I don’t have much of it in my life and this fills the void. Okay, I’ll admit. Bodice rippers. Love them. They just take me away.

  9. “they don’t require me to actually make conversation or wear pants.”
    I don’t believe you could stop being funny if you wanted to. Your sense of humor is one of your life-savers. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  10. Steven Brust’s THE SUN, THE MON, AND THE STARS. a fairy-tale, within a story about art and commerce, and what’s important, and how.

  11. Have you ever checked out Edward Gorey? His books are illustrations but I think you’d find them rather interesting.

    And considering your father is a taxidermist maybe the show is how he steals your corpse, preserves you and props you up in the corner.

    (LOVE Edward Gorey. I have a giant collection of his illustrations. ~ Jenny)

  12. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. Didn’t see the movie, but from the commercials I’m pretty sure the movie wasn’t even close to right. The book is an amazing, beautiful story.

  13. Good Omens, The Night Circus, Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, Geek Love, A Clockwork Orange.

  14. A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving – I lose myself completely in it, which is definitely part of the appeal.

  15. When I was a kid it was Heidi. Must have read it about 20 times. Which is strange because I hate milk, have never liked goats and don’t especially want to live on a mountain.

    As an adult I haven’t read many things more than once, so this is a short list: Good Omens; The Catteni series by Anne McCaffrey, and also the brainships series but especially The Ship Who Won; The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series; Terra by Mitch Benn; Jayne Eyre.

  16. Anything by Mary Roach and most (not all) of Christopher Moore! Also some of the early works of Jasper Fforde. And of course, either of your books, Jenny.

  17. Little Women/Good Wives
    To Kill A Mockingbird

    It’s lovely to go back to the same familiar characters over and over.

  18. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

  19. Well, Pride and Prejudice of course, but also False Colours by Georgette Heyer & any of the Vorkosigan books by Lous McMaster Bujold. They all remind me – in different ways – how humor will save us all.

    (Have you read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies? Silly, but I recommend. ~ Jenny)

  20. I am in love with both Peter Mayle and Bill Bryson. Mayle’s fiction has been quite good (Hotel Pastis is a fave), but one of my favorites is a collection of articles he did for GQ several years ago called Acquired Tastes.

  21. A Widow for One Year by John Irving
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss

  22. There are lots to mention but the one that comes to mind for you is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman — it was so sweet and wonderful and utterly not what I expected from the title.

    (So good. All of his are. ~ Jenny)

  23. Wow. Just re-read We Have Always Lived in the Castle yesterday!
    I tend to go back to my childhood and re-read Madeline L’Engle or C.S. Lewis.

  24. My comfort book is The Princess Bride by William Goldman. You may not think it is possible, but I love it even more than the movie. You get to know Wesley, Buttercup,Fezzik, Inigo and all the wonderful characters even better in the book and for a very lonely little girl it was so comforting to have these friends to turn to. Even as an adult, it still makes me laugh out loud. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a good read.

  25. one of my very favorite books! I read it for the first time when I was 11 yrs old and it haunted me until I found it again at 50 and reading it now I understand it so much better then 11 yr old me. I had never forgotten the book or the title, I looked for years for a copy and one day it was on Amazon. I used to wonder about them and what happened to them….

  26. I suspect this will not be a new find for anyone, but the Diagon Alley chapter of the first Harry Potter has gotten me through so much “Asshole-Anxiety” that I couldn’t not mention it. I make sure to always travel with that and the Princess Bride movie just in case.

  27. I just thought of a dozen more as well, plus with so many of the titles other people have posted I’m all OH YES! THAT ONE TOO!
    Maybe if they kill you off they’ll taxidermy you and Victor will have long meaningful conversations with your stuffed self and then he will win all of the arguments.
    Although I would hate to see that happen. Also I would hate to see you killed off. 😀

  28. Any of the Newford stories by Charles de Lint — they’re a gentle kind of urban fantasy that makes me believe that there is magic in the world.

    Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman for its ridiculousness, yet great storytelling

    I Never Promised You A Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg because sometimes I need to read about someone winning their struggle…even if they have to rewin it every single day.

  29. The Hundred Secret Senses – Amy Tan

    (How could I forget Amy Tan? I read her the night before my wedding because it was my comfort book at the time. ~ Jenny)

  30. I havent met anyone else who has even read Geek Love, never mind liking it as much as I do. !!!!

  31. ugghhh should have said which book! “We have always lived in the Castle” my book to go to when I am rock bottom is ” The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle”.

  32. Any of the Anne of Green Gables series, because L.M Montgomery is awesome and does not get nearly enough credit for being a kick-ass regionalist writer and expert at “local color.”
    Also, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, because it is utterly charming and actually got me to start writing honest-to-God letters to my friends.

  33. I know it’s going to sound hokey, but when I need a lift I read “Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.” It’s not really a religious book, more about the magic that resides in us all. It never fails to lift me. It’s full of stuff like this: The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.” It’s by Richard Bach. Also, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” because you can read it for the story or just the footnotes. It’s amazing. (DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE).

  34. I will have to revisit Me Talk Pretty One Day! Watership Down, A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Poisonwood Bible.

  35. Georgette Heyer. Almost any one of her books will work, but I have a deep love for “The Toll Gate” because it’s about normal people, not aristocrats.

    And in a completely different vein – PJ Tracy’s “Dead Run” which is dark and has made me suspicious of milk tanker trucks.

    I also re-read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series.

  36. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, actually anything by Terry Pratchett. Small Gods is another that I re-read often.

    Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I will never get tired of the May Sisters.

  37. “Good Omens” never fails to cheer me a little. Or, Christopher Moore’s “Coyote Blue.” Both bring me to a new and more peaceful place.

  38. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, and Anne of Green Gables, though I usually reserve that for the depression at the edge of springtime. And ridiculous Regency romances and vintage Gothic novels where the cover has the lovely young woman running away in the dark from the foreboding castle with the single light in the tower window.

  39. Parable of the Sower- Octavia Butler
    Abhorsen- Garth Nix
    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake- Aimee Bender

  40. I too am usually comforted by dark, twisted shit. So that being said…. Anything by Joe Hill, specifically Horns. Anything by Neil Gaiman, specifically Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and Ocean at the End of the Lane. (<–You should totally read that last one. Think you’d really appreciate it.) And a bit of a different flavor but, Life of Pi by Yann Martel is hands down one my favorite books.That’s just to name a very, very few. Books are my brand of therapy.

  41. i LOVE we have always lived in the castle!!! and right now i am reading your book, finally. i am taking it to my traditional thanksgiving celebration.

    you know, the kind of traditional where you arrive by boat and cook on an open fire and eat alone in the dark under a temporary shelter.

    thanksgiving solo camping. it’s totally a thing.

    and i have your book with me.

  42. I go back to the books I loved as a kid. I highly recommend “Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield Fisher and The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. Also pretty much anything by Tamora Pierce.

    But seriously, Understood Betsy. I read it probably twice a year.

  43. My bedside books:
    The Razor’s Edge
    The Book Thief
    Traveling Mercies
    Good in Bed
    The Namesake
    Little Women

  44. I read Lamb for the first time last year, and I utterly adore it. Something I love which is a bit of a departure from your list is The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantok. Good xmas wishlist item.

  45. Oh so many…
    Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
    Pillars of the Earth
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
    Anything by Clive Barker but especially the Abarat series

  46. American Pastoral by Phillip Roth because it’s so brilliantly written it made me gasp and so deep it levitated me out of my seat. Feel better soon, Jenny!

  47. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I have a particular love of the idea of someone having the choice to live anyway they want. I love that it is dirty and scary and full of love and choice and bravery. Croup and Vandemar still terrify me every time a read it and I am always surprised at how noble Richard really is. And I want to be Hunter in another life. Anything by Stephen King since I am able to sink into his stories so deeply that whatever is bugging me can’t seem to find me while I read. I still mourn deaths in some of his books like they were people I have known. Particularly in IT.

  48. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – A fantasy YA about two young, boy wizards who think they’ll one day have to fight to the death, but realize they’re actually in love. Imagine if Harry and Draco realized all the angry tension between them was because of a suppressed, secret longing. I wish so much that I could read this book for the first time.

    The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon – I cried the whole way through this but it was a good, cathartic cry, and the ending was happy.

    Sati by Christopher Pike – I think I’ve read this a zillion times since high school and it always makes me think

  49. I’m a fan of all things Edgar Allen Poe…I like Richard Bach’s early stuff too, especially Jonathan Livingston Seagull, it helps me refocus and remember that being an individual is a really good thing.
    Oh and also Neil Gaiman. I have to give you credit for introducing me to him. Thank you!

    This list is great! It’s reminding me of books that I love and should read again.

  50. My go-to book is Pride and Prejudice and for extra comfort, I’ll pull out the BBC version on DVD. My guilty pleasure is the Twilight series (don’t judge me!). Also, the Dresden series read from book one to the end.

  51. The Dreden Files, Preston and Child’s Pendergast series, and anything Anita Blake. C E Murphy’s Walker papers too 😊

  52. Little Women is always a fave. It’s cathartic to get through the Beth storyline and to the other side. And anything Nora Roberts/JD Robb because even when her characters are battling for the world (Cousins O’Dwyer or Sign of Seven trilogies) or just serial killers (In Death series), people fall in love, have redemptive moments or just plain laugh in spite of all the crap.

  53. can’t complain about Mary Roach, but don’t forgot “Bonk”. and Christopher Moore is a genius!

  54. I read Catch 22 every year. Not the happiest book, but I think it’s a great reminder that sometimes when everyone is telling you that you’re crazy, that you’re actually the sanest person around.

  55. Oh gosh, now I have even more books to add to the already unending piles. But one of my absolute favorites is Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden, I’ve read it so many times. And had no idea it was fiction the first few times I read it. It’s so beautiful.

  56. Books and macaroni & cheese. Two of life’s beautiful comforts. I may be 40, but sometimes I just have to grab an old Nancy Drew book to find the comfort of childhood. Sometimes, though, it’s Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. Or irreverent and beautiful blog posts…such as I’m reading today.

  57. Any Terry Pratchett book but especially Night Watch and Reaper Man. Children’s books include Thimble Summer and Goneaway Lake by Elizabeth Enright. (Probably out of print but awesome. Capture being a kid.) Second the Vorkosigan books by Bujold.

  58. A Monster Calls, Looking for Alaska, Fault in our Stars, generally somebody is dying somewhere somehow.

    Or the funny ones Good Omens, anything in the Bartimaeus series, Terry Pratchett in general.

  59. My comfort books are mostly young adult fantasy with a few exceptions:
    The Lark & the Wren by Mercedes Lackey; Whatever the official name is of the Alanna/Lioness series by Tamora Pierce; Little Women by Alcott; The BFG, Witches, and Matilda by Roald Dahl; The Enchantment Emporium and The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff; The Blue Sword and The Hero and The Crown by Robin McKinley; Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett; Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon… The list could go on, but those are some of the ones I read most often. I often get much more pleasure out of rereading a favorite than even discovering a great new book.

  60. The Color Purple
    Flowers for Algernon
    She’s Come Undone
    GIrl, Interrupted
    Shit My Dad Says
    The Thief of Always
    The Shack
    Drowning Ruth
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven

  61. I started rereading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern this week. It’s magic and comfort at the same time.

    My other go-to’s are the Harry Potter books, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Adams), Good Omens (Gaiman & Pratchett), and Stardust (Gaiman).

  62. For me it is The Time Traveler’s Wife and Charlotte’s Web. They are my “happy place” books.

  63. That is a fantastic list. Mine (other than Lamb) is Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman. Anytime I feel down, a few chapters with the characters in that book perk me right up.

  64. For me, it’s The Song of Fire and Ice. The “Game of Thrones” series. Lots of death, intrigue and plot twists, including the main character dying in the first book!

  65. Hm…My favourite comfort thing is probably watching (My Neighbour Totoro), but maybe reading Coraline and The Neverending Story. Not that they’re guilty pleasures, just both have lines/themes I find comforting. (the former, making the point that bravery isn’t being unafraid, it’s being afraid and doing it anyway, the latter re: anxiousness about change that “nothing is lost, everything is transformed”).

    Actually, leading on from Coraline, a lot of Gaiman’s stuff I find comforting. I reread Anansi Boys the other day, and Sandman is pretty much my go-to. I know he deals with a lot of dark stuff in his writing, but it doesn’t seem gratuitous and there’s usually something hopeful and gentle in there too. There’s a lot of love and wonder that seem to infuse his books; a clear-eyed optimism and the importance of individuals; their dreams and inner worlds.

    “I think hell is something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go.”/ “I think maybe Hell is a place. But you don’t have to stay anywhere forever.”


    Now that I think about, what is more of a ‘guilty pleasure’ type thing, is reading (very young) children’s books (or being read to by my partner, that is the BEST). We have Paddington and Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? Though I start to tear up at “I’ve brought you the moon, Little Bear,” said Big Bear. “The bright yellow moon, and all the twinkly stars.” :3

  66. Anything for billy by Larry McMurtry, writing down to the bones by Natalie Goldberg, and my grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry. So much love no matter how many times I read them. Oh and the Dresden files because let’s face it Harry Dresden is my book boyfriend

  67. When I first glanced at the picture of the book cover I read “We Have Always Lived in the Casket.” I’m not sure if it says more about me or you that I didn’t even question it both as a title or a book you would read.

  68. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. I love the story and it’s written in a way that I feel like I’m there – the perfect means of escapism.

  69. Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Pride and Prejudice because I’ve read them 100 times and they remind me of being a kid. Also Terry Pratchett novels generally hit the spot.

  70. “And the walls became the world all around.” ~Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
    To this day the walls become the world around me and I escape. I like to re-read this book over and over again as a reminder of the power of imagination.

  71. A few more that come to mind:

    A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
    The River Why by David Duncan
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flag
    Wool series by Hugh Howey
    Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
    Idiots in the Machine by Edward Savio
    A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
    By Blood by Ellen Ullman

  72. Little Women
    Time Traveler’s Wife
    Any JD Robb
    Any Dick Francis
    Any Piers Anthony
    Any Nero Wolfe
    (I don’t do many highbrow books, I just want t go away when I am reading)

  73. The Stand by Stephen King
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    The Secret Garden and Swiss Family Robinson
    anything by Agatha Christie–particularly her Miss Marple books


  74. Jenny, My favorite is this awesome book called “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” preferably while not wearing pants, or while wearing “buffet pants” (though I would think the name is self-explanatory, but for the novices, these are pants that expand painlessly and never feel restrictive, even at the best buffet ever.) Since you’ve probably read that so many times, you have it memorized, go for Bill Cosby’s “Fatherhood” because even though he is a pig, he is still really funny.

  75. Any- and everything by Jane Austen. Ditto by Dick Francis. (Horses! And mystery!) Georgette Heyer. Megan Whalen Turner’s “Queen’s Thief” series. George Really Rotten Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” because, despite all the awfulness, I always see new things and the books always make me forget real life. The short stories of Lafcadio Hearn, Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar. Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” (or anything, really). Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books. And so much more, but I must shut up before I blather you to death.

  76. When I’m spiraling, books about others who deal with and overcome their anxiety or depression are a comfort to me, like…hm…Furiously Happy.

    Anything by Rosamund Pilcher because her books are akin to curling up by the fireplace with a nice hot cup of tea.

    The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfeld, or any books on mindfulness so I can learn to accept my emotions.

    Out on a Limb by Shirley MacLaine and similar books about people on a search for something larger than themselves to give me perspective.

    Janet Evanovich is always good for a laugh, and laughs are good when I’m struggling.

  77. I’m new here, so I’m surprised and delighted to see Christopher Moore and Neil Gaiman mentioned frequently. I love “Good Omens” and Moore’s “The Serpent of Venice” (yes, Shakespeare mugged and redressed while unconscious). The Discworld books have been my go-to, particularly the ones dealing with the witches and the Night Watch. Years ago, I got into Patrick O’Brian’s novels about Captain Aubrey and his “particular friend” Stephen Maturin, set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The books are a bit tough to get through because of the vernacular until I found the audiobooks by Patrick Tull. He was a great narrator with a rich voice and he made it much easier to follow the stories. Driving home from work after midnight, I’d sometimes sit in my driveway in the dark to listen to one more chapter.

  78. I need help, from anyone here. Several years ago, and not because social media took over my brain, I stopped being able to read. Oh, I can read the words. But it’s like I get ADD immediately and can’t stick with a book. I don’t have ADD issues. Can anyone suggest a book, maybe that’s a story or essay collection, maybe humorous, that could get me going on reading again? Maybe tips on how to NOT be distracted from reading? I really think reading is vital. I was a voracious reader before! Then I went through a bad mental illness episode (for, like years) and I’m good on that now, but need to reboot on the reading thing. Thanks.

  79. My comfort book is The Prize Winner Of Defiance, Ohio. By Terry Ryan
    There is nothing you can’t survive- at least that is what Evelyn Ryan teachers the reader in this memoir. Read it. You’ll never doubt the power of words again.

  80. I am absolutely bookmarking this post for everyone’s book suggestions! It’s an amazing range and I keep seeing my favorite authors. My favorite “disappear into the book” reads are:
    Quest for the Faradawn by Richard Ford
    Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice
    The Zanzibar Cat by Joanna Russ
    The Hobbit and LOR by Tolkien
    (and anything by Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, Nancy Kress, Dean Koontz, or Stephen King)

    Oh yeah–Christopher Moore, Terry Pratchett, and the Sweet Potato Queens books for laughs

  81. I listen to Terry Pratchett books at work. Every day. While I work away, shuffling paper, there is a part of my brain that gets bored. Entertaining that part with audiobooks makes me happy and helps the day fly by!

    I still haven’t read The Shepherd’s Crown, so I haven’t listened to the book … there’s a right way to do things after all … but I’m so sad that there won’t be any more Discworld books. 🙁 It makes me treasure the stories I already have all the more.

  82. My go to book is always The Phantom Tollbooth. I love getting lost with Milo when I feel lost – especially love The Doldrums.

  83. I read pretty much all the time, but the books I read when the world seems to be closing in are: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “Lamb,” and the entire Discworld series (in order, twice in the last few years – the world can close in awfully tight sometimes).

  84. Anne Rice’s Vampire trilogy, weirdly. Dune. The Count of Monte Cristo. I think it’s anything we’ve read over and over in the course of our lives because we like to go there, and because we know the road, we know how it goes so it doesn’t challenge us the way we enjoy when we’re not so in need of comfort.

  85. Anne of Green Gables. This sturdy heroine, Anne Shirley, and her outlook often lifts me up. As does Sara Crewe, Little Princess, and Mary Lennox, Secret Garden. Returning to those books is wonderful and comforting.

  86. My people! My head is bobbing up and down so much I’m guessing my fellow train commuters think I have a tic!

    Anansi Boys (especially the audiobook narrated by Lenny Henry) and most of the Discworld series never fail to entertain me. And Madeline L’Engle is a definite go to. As is the Harry Potter series.

    #41 Pamela – my girlfriend lent me her copy of Geek Love a few years ago, what a breathtaking book! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before then.

  87. Prire and Prejudice, Good Omens, The Night Circus. P&P and Good Omens were the two books I go back to over and over again (and if I could get my hands on a copy of The Night Circus I’d reread it again.

  88. All the Dresden Files books tend to make me happy, as well as the Terry Pratchett Discworld books.

    Oddly enough, the Dark Tower books are also comforting.

    And as a surprise to nobody (given my Twitter handle) any wrestler autobiographies are favorites of mine, but especially the ones by Mick Foley and Eddie Guerrero. Even if reading Eddie’s makes me cry every. Damn. Time.

  89. Ooh. Seconding Terry Pratchett and the Discworld. Particularly the ones in the Witches series. <3 Granny Weatherwax and her takes on ‘headology’.

  90. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially the Fellowship of the Ring. Read it the first time in high school in the 70s. Have re-read it many times since. So hopeful and hopeless at the same time. Middle Earth is where my mind goes when it needs a break from this Earth.

  91. I’m currently reading Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series and it is SO WONDERFUL. Honestly. Even better than the rest of his books. It has ALL the witches in it, and it would be wonderful to give to girls because the protagonist is realistic and amazing. I already know it’s going in the rotation for any time I need sensible advice about life.

  92. The absolute essential books for me would be:
    The Edgar Eager Magic books
    Little House series, but especially The Long Winter
    Jane Eyre
    The Faded Sun trilogy by CJ Cherryh
    This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
    The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (seriously you guys, read this beautiful book)
    The Lord of the Rings
    The Secret Garden
    In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

  93. Did you see that there is a new collection of posthumously published essays from Shirley Jackson?

    My favorite comfort reads are several books from Robin McKinley, and classic mystery novels.

    I think you would love The Mummy Congress.

  94. Lisa W. This happens to me from time to time. I just persist until I get it back. Right now my problem IS social media, and being overwhelmed by things. I suspect being overwhelmed is due to social media as well. I am stuck in this rut.

    As far as books go, as a librarian, I have many books at hand at any time. I will not share how many I own, how many I have yet to read, how many I have checked out from the library or how many I have on hold at the library. 😉

    My go to would be Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I have read Gulp and Stiff by Roach and loved them. I have such varying interests that one minute it’s science, the next history, then spirituality, then fiction, then mysteries and more. I have to belong to Goodreads in order to remember what I read, and what I liked, and what I want to read that I had to return to the library. My kitchen table is covered with books, as is every other surface in the house. I do not know if I could read the same ones you read, but I will look them up to see if they will do for me. If dark, I usually cannot handle it.

  95. I agree about Mary Roach. For some reason I also like the Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilman, about a little old lady who becomes a courier for the CIA. They’re lighter than popcorn, but each is set in a different country, so there are travelogue-like sections, and you always know that nothing really bad is going to happen to anybody. Rift by Liza Cody is also fabulous if you can get your hands on a copy.

  96. Anything by Miriam Toews, but two in particular: A Boy of Good Breeding, and A Complicated Kindness. Also, I have been meaning to pass on this taxidermied gopher museum to you Jenny: Never been there myself, but the pictures always crack me up 🙂

  97. #100 Lisa W. Have you tried audiobooks?

    I’d suggest starting with short stories. Neil Gaiman has a few excellent collections out there if you like the fantasy /sci-fi genre. (actually, skip genre. He’s excellent.)

    David Sedaris has several great books that are collections of essays. I’m partial to Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, possibly because it was my into to Sedaris. Sarcastic, touching, and very relatable.

    Maybe treat reading like a new meditation practice? Just try for a page a day and be loving to yourself. Or even go to children and young adults books. Less intimidation and pressure to finish?

    (hugs) I hope reading comes back to you!

  98. Finally someone who has actually read Geek Love! I’ve brought this book up hundreds of times over the years only to be met with a blank stare. Maybe you have to be a bit left of center to enjoy it? For me it’s anything Steinbeck and it’s really hard to pick a few with so many amazing books. However there were two books that did come to mind as perfect escapismns.
    1) Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. How can you not love Ignatious Reilly?
    2) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This book is a real mind F and a commitment of time but well worth it IMHO.

  99. The kids from Stephen King’s IT were my only friends for a while, and I still love them for it. His Dark Tower series had much the same effect. And whenever I’m down with the flu or something I’ll re-read Harry Potter. N0S4A2 by Joe Hill was a really good read too… Main person had migraines, so could relate. 🙂

  100. Carolyn Turgeon’s Rain Village. I also like her re-telling of various fairy tales.
    Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley.
    Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins.
    Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
    Lenore comics by Roman Dirge (who can’t be helped by the adventures of a cute little dead girl squishing things)
    Outside of that, anything by O.R. Melling, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Coupland, PG Wodehouse, Robertson Davies… and on and on… I LOVE BOOKS!

  101. Anything by Patricia Highsmith or Raymond Chandler. But their both dead, so I take my time working my way through them. Highsmith is very psychological. She wrote Strangers on a Train and the Talented Mr. Ripley. Chandler wrote detective crime noir novels – The Big Sleep.
    Also, I really love Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. It’s written by a reverend and so there are some religious undertones, but it’s part cookbook, part memoir, and part spirituality. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy, at least I’m not and I did.

  102. My comfort books are anything by Elizabeth Enright – children’s books, but so so comforting to me, particularly Thimble Summer. Plus anything Jane Austin or in-the-tone-of Jane Austin. Plus more recently, the Outlander series.

  103. LOVE those two Mary Roach titles! Why doesn’t everyone know about her? I reread the Harry Potter series once a year and cry harder every time. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Shining Through and Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs.

  104. I re-read books like other people re-watch movies. Having now typed that, I think people don’t say “re-watch” movies or TV. I wonder why that is? We definitely say “re-read”. Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, LOTR, the Hobbit, Jonathan Strange, Princess Bride, and The Once and Future King are what I crack open when I need to find my level and regroup. I experience a very modern, sinister glee in imagining what Elizabeth would think of me reading of Mr. D’arcy while not wearing pants or a bra.

  105. There are two books by Stephen Fry, one is short works called PAPERWEIGHT, which was only published in the UK, so can be hard to find, but really great, and his first novel, THE LIAR, which is laugh out loud funny. Also Hugh Laurie’s novel THE GUN SELLER which is funny and suspenseful. I have gone back to THE LIAR multiple times when needed. Also, LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED is a go to for feeling better.

  106. I see I’m not the only one who still goes back and rereads old childhood favorites. These are a few favorite children’s/YA books that I will grow old with:

    So You Want to Be a Wizard, by Diane Duane
    The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julie Andrews (yes, THAT Julie Andrews)
    Behind the Attic Wall, by Sylvia Cassedy

    As far as more recent works go, I don’t know how I ever lived without The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Rêveurs unite!

  107. Little Victories, Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living, by Jason Gay. His writing reminds me so much of yours; he’s kind of like a male version of you!

  108. Have you read anything by Carrie Fisher? Because you 100% should. The Best Awful is my personal fave. Shockaholic and Wishful Drinking are great too. She and you together inspired me to ‘come out’ with my mental illness, and it has made ALL the difference. I usually give a strong language disclaimer at this point, but you’ll probably deal with it ok.

  109. “Soon I Will Be Invincible” by Austin Grossman

    Anything by Jum Butcher – the Dresden Files books as read by James Marsters are aces (I listen to the entire series, then start all over again, again and again).

    Scalzi – Lock In, Fuzzy Nation, Agent to the Stars, Redshirts, Thr Android’s Dream (all in audiobook form too as read by Wil Wheaton)

    Ready Player One is a new go-to book.

    The Charlie Parker series by John Connolly.

  110. Lisa W., you definitely need to start out with short stories. Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day would be perfect. It’s touching, and hilarious, and you can just read one of the stories at a time so you don’t have to make a big commitment to reading it.

    If you like fantasy at all, Robert Asprin’s ‘Myth’ series are very short, light and fun.

    I like to take long hot baths in the winter with a book and a glass of wine and snacks. It’s super relaxing, so it might help you get into the reading.

  111. So many that we all love. I won’t repeat but add The Elegance of the Hedgehog, anything by John Scalzi, and The Untimely Death of Oyster Boy and Other Short Stories by Tim Burton.

  112. I love Lamb! That book is hilarious!!! Fool and Serpent of Vince by Christopher Moore are great as well. I have Serpent of Vince on audiobook and the narrator is too perfect not to listen to more than once.

  113. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell. I own his books both in hardcover and digital forms. Madeleine L’Engle is also an author whose books I return to. I am not a religious person, nor do I enjoy YA fiction. However, I bonded with Meg Murry right from the start and haven’t forgotten her or Charles Wallace.

  114. Anything by Richard Bach (I desperately want to learn to fly), but especially Illusions.

  115. I’m comfort reading at the moment, it’s Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice (but before that Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat). I comfort read with the Harry Potter series, too, but Anne Rice is my go-to, has been for the last 20 years.

  116. I love The Night Circus for the crazy, The Thirteenth Tale for the use of language and Bel Canto for the intrigue. I will download Lamb to start and maybe spend the day on the couch.

  117. Thank you for the suggestions. I have a few of these in my 731 book to read pile (yes of actual books. I also have a virtual list on They are organized by author, so no one can say I’m a hoarder. They are on shelves just waiting to be read. I read about 150 to 200 books a year, so I am set for about four years. I keep buying books, so I hold steady at about 725 book waiting to be read at all times.

    But, in my defense, I have a book blog, so I need a lot of books, right?

    I hope you get feeling better, and with rest I’m sure you will. You’ve been pretty busy gallivanting all over the country lately.

  118. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings will always be my favorite comfort read because the copies of the books I have are the old paperback versions my dad gave me ages and ages ago when he first said that I should read these books. They are cheap paperback mass market editions but they are full of scribbles from 7th grade me and years of folded and work pages from all the times I have reread them over and over. I should actually get new copies so that I can read the books without having my original copies fall apart completely.

  119. We are overrun by books, which makes me afraid to start listing loves, because I don’t want to hurt the kids I forget at the moment, which will way outnumber the ones I remember to list. Here is whatever springs to mind at the moment:

    Our Souls At Night – Kent Haruf (recommended by a great friend with awesome taste!)
    Also by Kent: Plainsong, Where You Once Belonged, Benediction, The Tie That Binds,

    The Red Tent – Anita Diamant (also recommended by a great friend with awesome taste, but a different friend)

    The Hunger Games trilogy – I don’t usually read popular stuff, but these were unexpectedly wonderful.

    I liked To Kill A Mockingbird, and loved Go Set A Watchman. Sometimes the people you adore can be the most disappointing and enraging, and yet you still love them oh so much.

    Pride and Prejudice – again and again.

    Shel Silverstein – especially The Missing Piece. He can make me cry in such a repairing way.

  120. East of Eden.
    When you aren’t being forced to read it or being graded in what buts if wisdom you can puck from it, it’s a powerful tale of a fuckes up family. Two tales, actually.

    And for me, it was the first hint I had that my generation didn’t invent perversion’ which was disappointing. But if you have to learn that sort of thing eventually, it sounds better to be able to say things like, “I learned about bondage from John Steinbeck.”
    It’s all about the name dropping.

  121. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Giver, the Harry Potter series, and anything by Augusten Burroughs.

  122. @Lisa W. | November 25, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Hi Lisa! Well, for humorous, I’d recommend Jenny’s books if you haven’t picked them up already 🙂

    For not humorous… I can recommend short story collections…though they’re the opposite of comforting, tbh. Michael Marshall Smith’s What You Make and Stories: All New Tales, a collection edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio (particularly recommend Jeremy Deaver’s ‘The Therapist’). Not something you want to read in a cabin in the woods at night, like I did ;p

    I read A Spy in the House of Love by Ananis Nin a while back. It’s very good, and very short. Also The Outsider/The Stranger by Albert Cannus and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury I seem to recall being fairly short (but good). Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut.

    As for tips…all I can think of is not to put pressure on yourself and don’t force it. Just read in small chunks; a few pages or chapter a night, say. Grow gradually. Or maybe read out loud* – I know it’s incredibly slow, but if you’re only reading small bits at a time, it shouldn’t matter, and will make it harder to just accidentally skim over things or for your thoughts to drift.

    Or maybe audio books could be a way back in?

    Also (and I know it’s kind of obvious) follow your interests. You can branch out and broaden later, but for re-igniting a passion it’s probably better to go with topics/themes/genres that you know you already like to hold your interest. (not sure what they are, so recommendations difficult!)

    *This actually helped me a lot with plays, which I was trying to read like novels and then getting hopelessly lost. Trying to essentially ‘act out’ each bit by reading it out-loud in a tone of voice I thought might be appropriate to what they were saying helped enormously. That was reading Hamlet in the bath ^^; (I was in the bath. Not Hamlet).

  123. When I need a pick-me-up, it’s usually because I’m missing someone — many of my family members have died. Then I pick up a Harry Potter book — the first, the fourth or the seventh. Because in those books, the folks Harry love get to come back. It gives me great comfort.

    Hope you shake the blue and have a great holiday!

  124. Eleanor Farjeon– “Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard” and “The Little Bookroom.” I don’t know what else to say than that she wrote my brain on paper. She wrote stories that feel like every fairy tale you ever read, but quirky and strange at the same time. Comforting and unsettling and old and new and dark and light entirely wonderful.

    When my soul feels hateful and shrivelled, she gives me hope.

  125. For me it’s always Terry Pratchett….especially the Death books…. in fact, i should read one right now…

    “What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?”
    ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

  126. I also ADORE all of the Gail Carriger books. Also anything by Deanna Raybourn (Julia Grey series, especially), and the Magnificent Devices series by Shelley Adina. All fun Victorian mysteries with female characters who find strength to do things they didn’t realize they could. (which is what I always need, also why I’ve read them dozens of times)

  127. Oh oh oh… Susan Cooper’s “The Dark Is Rising” sequence. So dark yet shining, filled with fear and hope, and pragmatic about how, even if you make it out alive (yay! happy ending!), things are never the same. There is comfort in someone writing tenderly about the lack of comfort in this hard world.

  128. Unlurking because I haven’t seen my favorite here: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s epistolary, so it’s easy to pop in and out wherever you happen to pick it up, and, as I told a friend yesterday while recommending it for comfort, it’s like getting the biggest, warmest hug from the kindest, weirdest, loveliest people you’ve ever met.
    (Disclaimer: skip the chapter on the animals if you’re feeling fragile. You won’t lose anything by skipping it, I promise.)

  129. I love the love for Geek Love. It’s such an amazing, fabulous book and I should go reread it immediately.

    I have done a lot of nodding at the comfort reading choices here – Heyer, Alcott, Tamora Pierce, L’Engle, Austen, Robin McKinley, L. M. Montgomery, Dick Francis, Nora Roberts – because they’re on my stack too. I would also add The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and the Riddle-Master trilogy by Patricia McKillip, because they’re lovely and make me cry.

  130. This is such a great post. I am definitely bookmarking it to come back to so I can write down some of these books from people who like the same things as I do. I have such varying taste in books that my comfort books really depend on my exact mood at the time, but here is a (probably rather long) list of the ones that really come to mind.

    Lots of YA books, anything by Madeiline L’Engle, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (absolutely my favorite book since I was in middle school), The Girl Who Owned A City by O.T. Nelson, anything C.S. Lewis and so many others.

    Anything by Augusten Burroughs, but specifically Dry, which always makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

    My copy of American Gods by Neil Gaiman looks like its been through a war, I’ve read it so many times.

    Also, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore and almost anything JD Robb.

  131. The Secret Garden, definitely. Or anything by a Bronte sister. Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, and Rebecca! Bodice rippers? Oh, yeah.

  132. GOOD OMENS by the late great Sir Terry Pratchett and that Neil Gaiman guy you seem to be vaguely familiar with. One of my favourite go-to books for making me feel less bad about myself.

  133. Apart from both of yours, which I truly love and are my absolute favourite comfort reads, I also love:
    Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
    Everything ever written by Jeanette Winterson but especially Written on the Body
    And, comfort reading at its finest, Confessions of Georgia Nicolson!

  134. Anything Ray Bradbury…especially Dandelion Wine. And Kurt Vonnegut is my hero. His book, Slapstick, is awesome. Themes of madness, civilization imploding, creativity, and Lonesome No More! It also has my favorite quote of all time. “So why don’t you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don’t you take a flying fuck at the moooooooooooon?”

  135. Geek Love is one of my top ten books of all time so I’m glad you love it too. I’d add Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones, Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson, and anything by Lorrie Moore.

  136. Lamb The Gospel according to Biff…. I was reading this book years ago. Reading it in the waiting room at the Breast Clinic waiting in those horrible top gowns with a room full of other women in the same get up. We were all waiting for horrible things to come. This was not the place to be reading this book. I was laughing so hard and making snorting noises trying to not laugh which only made me laugh harder. Everyone was looking at me. I pointed to the book and said I was sorry for disrupting everyone’s intense waiting.

  137. I read old graphic novels when I’m way down. I am pretty sure I was raised to comic books, and Judy Garland films. 🙂
    I bought up The Maxx, everything by Gaimen, Xcalibur, X-Men, Power Pack, Amythest, Wonder Woman, and the oh-so-NOT-appropriate-for-my-age-then Manga, Freeman. 🙂 I stilled read them, and it’s like an old pal is visiting.

  138. So many good books here! My go to’s have already been listed (Harry Potter Series, but especially the early ones) and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, but particularly the first and third books. Sometimes carving the time for reading is hard, so I listen to them on Audible and Davina Porter, who narrates the Outlander series is fantastic. Finally, the BBC production of Neverwhere on Audible is stellar and so worthwihile. It’s like reading and watching a TV show all at once (but the pictures are in your mind). Highly recommend. You can do other things like crafts and read at the same time!

  139. My comfort reads are anything by Sarah Addison Allen. I don’t typically reread books, but I’ve read all her books 3 times.

  140. “I’m utterly unfunny at the moment…” Except for the entire first paragraph of this blog. 😉

    My comfort books are Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Pride & Prejudice (I even own the annotated edition, so if you want to know how much Darcy makes in today’s dollars or what a barouche is, I can tell you), and Road Fever by Tim Cahill.

  141. OMG, Me Talk Pretty One Day is hysterical! I had it on CD so I could listen to it over and over again in the car. “Had” being the operative word – I’ve loaned it to someone and can’t remember who. Hearing him read it to you is amazing.

  142. A series no one has ever heard of: Diary of A Provincial Lady by E M Delafield
    Snarky mom humor from the 1930s. Delicious. Feminist. Hilarious.
    My copies are falling apart. My security books. Thanks for reminding me. Holidays and the darkness are weighting me down. These books are calming to me.

  143. I’m so excited to read all these comments and updating my goodreads! One of my favorites, that I’ve gone back to over and over and am listening to again right now is “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Something that is not “self help-like” that I enjoy when I want a fun “light and fluffy” but entertaining and funny book is the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. “One For the Money” is the first one. They get better as the series goes on.

  144. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle, Harry Potter, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith…all put the earth back on its axis for me!!

  145. Neverwhere
    Game of Thrones series
    Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. by Angela Roquet
    White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
    and Goodnight Moon because it was my sons favorite book when he was small and it reminds me of all the times we cuddled on the couch together while I read it to him over and over.

  146. “Witch of Blackbird Pond” is a childhood favorite that I still love to reread now and then. “Poisonwood Bible” is another favorite…because who doesn’t enjoy seeing a clueless white male missionary making a fool of himself in front of his wife and daughters and the villagers he is attempting to enlighten. (And yes, there’s lots more to it than that.)

  147. Nation by Terry Pratchett. It’s funny and a little sad and uplifting, with a young girl as the protagonist.

  148. The Night Circus is so amazing! Totally agree with that one. Also, the Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is one of my new favorites – this is her first novel and it’s wonderful! Similar feel to Gaiman’s work with a more feminine voice.

    Oddly, when I get depressed, I often need to cry but can’t. Then I go to The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audry Niffenegger. SO much better than the movie, dark but beautiful meditation on love at all ages. It makes me cry every time but in a good way – which I know only kind of makes sense. This is one I have to read as an actual book, not on a Kindle.

  149. I agree with the mention of audio books. I love them and have found some new authors to listen to when I check used book stores, and the usual book stores. I have a 45 min commute, and listen both ways.

    As to helping me deal with things, I like movies better than books. My go to there is The Princess Bride, and many of our tribe love it too!

  150. I got seriously into walter moers a few years back. His books are German young adult character fiction. Seriously amazing story arches in colorful fantastic worlds, with characters and heros you immediately love and cheer for. i recommend Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures – for its love story and adventure, The City of Dreaming Books – for any book lover who needs an escape, The Alchemaster’s Apprentice – for cat people or wizard people. his entire zamonia series is incredible. you must check it out!

  151. I don’t have a comfort book – I use music to bring me out of moods. Anything from Robert Plant to Hoobstank to Foo Fighters to the music of my youth in the late 80’s.

  152. My Antonia by Willa Cather and all 21 of the Travis Magee books by John. D. MacDonald. These books just take me back to an easier time when I was reading them. I can’t wait for your tv show.

  153. I haven’t read all the replies yet so this may be redundant, but my suggestion is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” of 4 books. Even the first page starts me laughing! Well, of course the 2 best books in the history of books, both by the FABULOUS Jenny Lawson 😉 Also, Garrison Keillor’s books about Lake Wobegon are pretty happy-inducing.

  154. I need to stop reading this at work, because I am getting NOTHING done. I will be re-reading at home later and scribbling a list to take to the bookstore. My go-to book is Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. I have read it at least once every year since third grade. Definitely a YA, but I love it. Also anything by Stephen King (I just read Dr. Sleep, and it was amazing!). And, of course, your books, which I pick up and start reading from wherever they opened (I do the same thing with The Princess Bride).

  155. I can’t believe no one suggested the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich! Completely mindless and silly, but I can read them over and over again. The most recent (23) just came out a week or so ago and this one was one of the best in my opinion. David Sedaris’ Barrel Fever is high on my list because it includes “The Santa Claus Diaries” which are just PERFECT for this time of year. Happy reading 🙂

  156. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott takes first for me. Been reading it yearly (usually around Christmas time) since I was 9. Also, anything by Maeve Binchy. Reason For Hope by Jane Goodall. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. And a recent new “go-to” comfort book- East of the Sun, by Julia Gregson.

    If I don’t stop myself now, I’ll end up adding to this list all day. 😉

  157. I see several mentions of Little Women, which I never personally cared for, but as a kid I was in love with it’s sequel, Little Men. Maybe because I was a tomboy. I wanted to be a boy so I could live with Jo at her school too.

    Just about anything by Anne McCaffrey, especially the Pern series, and if I’m feeling particularly fragile, I have a large library of Enid Blyton books. There’s something about British school kids, getting into (and out of) trouble, making friends and having adventures that has always drawn me in. Who wouldn’t want tuck boxes, filled with gooey cakes and treats, sent from home, sneaky midnight feasts, and camping holidays on your own, with friends and the obligatory dog for companions? (For added twisted fun, Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson and friends did a pretty hilarious spoof of these, if you can find it. Probably on YouTube.)

  158. Any of the Vorkisigan books from Lois McMaster Bujold (named my son Miles), Dresden Files series and The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. There are more but I’m a lazy phone typist…

  159. Stiff was one of the best books I have ever read!!!!! We had so many discussions at my house when I was listening to it on Audible. My son and I talked for hours!!! And I agree on those Stephanie Plum books….they got me through my husband’s deployment to Iraq. They are laugh out loud funny…and some days they were the only light in my day while he was gone.
    PS…the only other books that actually made me laugh out loud while lying in bed reading was yours!!

  160. I grew up reading the Little Women books andthe Chronicles of Narnia, so those are the ones I go back to when I want to forget that I’m a grown up with responsibilities. The Stand by Stephen King is (oddly) my go-to book when I’m feeling ill, it’s amazing how comforting a book about plague survivors can be. When I want mindless, trashy novels because I can’t focus on anything else, I go for Laurell K Hamilton.

    And finally, both your books got my through my most recent dark patch, and helped me remember that it doesn’t last forever. Thank you so much for that.

  161. I’ve never noted before but in this instance I feel like I have to answer about two of my favorite books to read especially if I’m feeling a little down because this has been one of those weeks and I’ve re-read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh and then I re-read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. What I really liked that I had forgotten about was that when I went to put Hyperbole & a Half down I noticed your name on the back of the book. I had forgotten that your review was on the back of the book. That’s how I ended up buying both books in the first place. On Amazon when you buy one book they recommend the other.

    I still need to buy Furiously Happy.

  162. What do you do when the depression takes away your ability to read? I’m a huge reader, but when I’m struggling (and I am now) I lose my ability to concentrate enough to read and take myself out of myself. It’s like one of my biggest soothers has been stolen from me. 🙁

  163. Jitterbug Perfume always puts me right. And the Christopher Moore set of books about vampires in San Francisco (can’t remember the names, not enough coffee yet.) But those are best listened to on audio books as the narrator throws in the BEST accents for characters!

  164. Oh, Lord, I could go on and on about my favorites. In fact, I’ve got on ongoing series on my blog right now covering my top 14 (yeah, not 10, that would be too fucking normal). Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, Life of Pi, The Stand, anything Terry Pratchett or Stephen King, The Prince of Tides, Reynolds Price’s Kate Vaiden, Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies (child of the South that I am!), Wuthering Heights and yes, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened made the Top 14. Not that I’m trying to kiss ass or anything . . .

  165. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

    It reminds you of your childhood daydreaming of the ultimate dream world where magic happens.

  166. I need to add a lot of these suggestions to my Nook. I love getting new book suggestions. I also adore Lamb and Stiff.

    My go to books for when I am depressed or sick are Anne Bishop’s Dark Jewels series. Sort of dark almost not quite romance but with magic and ghosts and stuff. They are a comforting extension of my mental family. I just can’t do the audiobooks because I don’t like the reader.

    I appreciate the post, even when you aren’t really feeling it.

  167. I have been enjoying the Stephanie Plum books. So fun. It’s a nice escape from a stressful day. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  168. Anything Pratchett, the Redwall books, Roald Dahl, HHGTTG… in my most recent severe battle, I kinda lost the ability to focus on adult books (and I usually read a few a week) so I reread many of my childhood favourites. Anne of Green Gables, Emily, The Secret Garden.

    I don’t think any of my comfort books are predominantly dark but…

    My comfort FILM is Fellowship of the Ring but thats another kettle of fish

  169. I can’t believe there’ve only been two votes for the Hunger Games so far…
    I love many of the books that have been mentioned, but the Hunger Games feels like home because Katniss seems like such a socially awkward introvert, and everything doesn’t work out perfectly for her, but she makes it to the end of the book.

  170. Good Omens by Pratchet and Gaiman, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, anything by David Sedaris or Christopher Moore, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Dumplin by Julie Murphy or my all time fav that never fails The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Also anything that takes me back to Narnia, Middle Earth, or Hogwarts

  171. So glad you like Geek Love-local PDX talent. Potter lifts my dark days but honestly I’m more of a repeated bad movie watcher.

  172. I retreat to the books of my childhood:
    The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare
    Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
    Both deal with being alone, or being an outsider, but forging your own (resourceful) path.

    For pure escapism, plus an enormously cathartic bawling session near the end, you can’t go wrong with the His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman.

  173. Neverwhere. The Stand. My favorite Christopher Moore is A Dirty Job. I also have a not-so-secret love of Diana Gabaldons Outlander series. So… Basically any book where life as you know it is thrown into disarray and you reinvent yourself.

  174. I love how many agree with my no. 1 Good Omens. I’ve tried to get my book club to read it but when I try to describe it they all just look at me funny.

  175. My favorite Christopher Moore is A Dirty Job, but Lamb was pretty hilarious too. Looks like I’m about to add another 100 books to my list of things to read…

  176. Without doubt, “The Historian” by Elisabeth Kostova. I so TOTALLY wish I could delete it and reread it for the first time. I found it at just the right moment in my life, and it provided just the right sort of escape. I’ve re-read it about 6 or 7 times, and always end up peeved at the awful reviews it’s gotten over the years. Good Omens is up there, too, along with C.S. Lewis’s (regrettably sexist but absolutely beautiful) Space Trilogy.

  177. I used to go on road trips when depressed and loved the audio versions of “The Cat Who…” mystery novels. Something about going back to the same small town, the same couple of restaurants, the same characters was just very comforting. Just don’t read the last book in the series – it didn’t make sense with the rest.

  178. The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments and Chronicles of Narnia. Authors include: Laurell K Hamilton, Christopher Paolini, Dianna Gabaldon, PC Cast, Rita Mae Brown, Patricia Cornwell and Sue Grafton. Lots of other books too, but these are at least yearly reads.

  179. I AM SO EXCITED to see other Tom Robbins fans in the comments! YAY! There are so many books listed above that I totally LOVE but that are not necessarily my comfort books. My heart’s balm includes Little Women (like many here, always and forever); Harry Potter; the Flavia deLuce mysteries by Alan Bradley; pretty much any LM Montgomery books (I own them all); a Celtic mythology-inspired middle grade fantasy novel I read as a child called The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea, which I hunted down as an adult so I could have my own copy; Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson; the Strangers in Paradise comics by Terry Moore; The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers; The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield; Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

    To Lisa W. in comment 100 – as others suggested, have you tried audiobooks? Sometimes those are easier, because it’s like someone is reading a story to you. My other suggestion would be comic books. There are so many with just amazing stories that are not just the super heroes most people think of with comics, and the visual format might help you stay engaged. For audio, I think David Sedaris books are hilarious – and even better when you hear him read them, honestly. He can make me cry with laughter. For comics/visual arts-based books, it maybe depends on what kind of stories you typically like, but since I know you like Jenny’s writing/books and assume you’ve read those already, try Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

  180. This comment is in the 200’s so it probably wont get read by anyone other than myself and those few who comment just below me… Hello, future commenters… Anyway, I recently read a book that made me think “I wonder if Jenny Lawson has read this yet. I bet she would like it.” The book is Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. If you have already read it then you know how awesome it is and can stop reading because you know what I’ll say next. If you haven’t read it, definitely do. It is dark and enlightening and funny at the same time. Highly recommended.

    (I LOVE that book. ~ Jenny)

  181. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I know I’ve read it at least a dozen times and it still makes me laugh.

  182. Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (so wonderfully weird and concise). Also by RB, The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (an ice cold house in middle of a desert with two women and two very amusing and befuddled assassins seeking a creature in the light of a chandelier).
    Titus Groan or Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake because the writing is just wonderful.
    Little Big by John Crowley. Moments of gorgeous language, a strange house with 10 different facades in the shape of pentagram and three generations of wonderfully odd folks.
    Oh and Terry Pratchett – especially Guards Guards and Wyrd Sisters but really anything set in Discworld. Always fun puns, wonderful characters and the brilliantest (new word alert) of amusing plots.

  183. I constantly find myself returning to Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series – it has a perfect blend of macabre, humor, sexiness, and weird. Highly recommend.

  184. Huh. As a life-long reader (OK, I was read TO for a few years), I’ve been surprised to find I’m just not interested in reading lately. I started several books and just gave them away after a few pages. I finally found one that I “got into,” but then after a couple of chapters I read the ending and gave it away, too. Now I’m thinking audiobooks might do the trick. (Yes, I realize what my lack of enthusiasm for former joys in life most probably means.)

  185. My guilty pleasure is The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux. I guess it’s considered a romance, but it’s such a funny, uplifting story about 3 women changing their lives! I adore Mary Roach, but my go to book when my spirits are down is Annie Dillard’s Pilgram at Tinker Creek. She weaves magic with her words. It’s non fiction, and explores the bigger picture. That book is a comfort every time. I’ve seen so many wonderful selections here! Thank you for posting this!

  186. Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner. She is how I discovered you. Let’s Pretend this Never Happened came up as a must read since I had read the other. Best suggestion ever!!

  187. #43 Nicole – my jaw literally dropped open, because those were the two books I was going to say. Obviously we are either the same person or platonic soul mates.. Cheers!

  188. The Donna Andrews Meg Langslow bird series. It always makes me laugh. Harry Potter, Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He’s so concerned with order and justice, but has a romantic side too. And Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini. It’s an awesome movie too, but the book has a lot of angst and backstory that you just can’t miss.(plus he wrote a few short stories about Peter Blood that only make sense if you read the book)

  189. My go to is truth and beauty by anne patchett. Coupled with autobiography of a face by lucy greeley. Those two really get me out of my own head for a while, and are about such a beautiful friendship. And I really like alison bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novels because she describes how you feel as a child in a crazy family so well. But, I tried to lend those graphic novels to a friend and she thought they were weird, so maybe I’m alone in that one.

  190. Hands down- A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut. It always reaffirms my faith in humanity in the way that he highlights the simple absurdity of the human condition. He’s a kindred spirit, and you can never have too many of those.

  191. A bit random, but I loved Julie Powell’s (of Julie & Julia) second book, Cleaving. Lots of people didn’t, but she’s so dark and honest – I re-read it every so often to remind me that I’m really not alone when nothing makes sense.

  192. When I’m really trying to escape, Alice Hoffman often does the trick, especially Practical Magic (the book is far better than the movie). Hoffman’s books often have the feeling of a fairy tale, even though they deal with fairly real personal issues, too.

    Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is another book (okay, graphic novel) worth reading. It’s based on her blog of the same name, and her description of the craziness of her life, her dogs, and even her struggles with depression are amazing… and make me laugh until I cry.

    And I haven’t picked this up yet, but I’m pretty sure it would make anyone laugh: Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach – the audio version, as read by Samuel L. Jackson.

  193. Georgette Heyer was very, very good with amusing characters and dialogue. I particularly enjoy “Faro’s Daughter,” “Friday’s Child,” The Grand Sophy,” “Cotillion,” “Frederica,” and the best (imho) — “Sylvester, or The Wicked Uncle.” Also loads of fun are her murder mysteries, which are “modern” (1930s – 1950s). “No Wind of Blame” is hilarious!

  194. This is exactly what I’ve been doing after hitting “the hard spot” a few weeks ago.
    I just finished Lamb for the first time after previous mentions in this page.
    It helped so much!

  195. When I spiral, I can’t read because my attention span goes to shit. Soooooo I watch stand-up comedy on Netflix with my PJs on and a comforter all around me (not just over) and partake of Oreos and milk or some good dark chocolate and some merlot.

  196. Most anything by Don Carpenter. A Couple of Comedians, The True Story of Jody McKeegan, Turnaround, and Fridays at Enrico’s are all comfort books for me.

  197. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    It’s like taking a vacation without going anywhere (with a friend who is funnier than anyone I know in real life).

  198. Holy shit I need to read more. I love love love getting lost in a book and looking forward to escaping inside it. I’ve read more than half of the comments and just wish I’d read half the books listed. I’ve meant to. Oftentimes I even buy them or download them and they just sit there, judging me.

    But I do love me some Sarah Vowell. Witty, droll, intellectual without being uppity. I got introduced to her through NPR as well as by reading a bunch of David Sedaris. Holidays on Ice by Sedaris is perfect. Never fails to make me piddle.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  199. I reread Harry Potter 1-7 repeatedly while going through my separation/divorce. Finish 7, pick up 1, repeat. I also love love love The Secret History, and every time I read it I find something new. I’m currently reading the Lavender Garden and it is wonderful. I got it from the library but I might have to buy it so I can reread it as many times as I like and not wait.

  200. I try to avoid re-reading books so I don’t miss out on new ones, but there are a couple I’ve picked up again for comfort.

    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, obviously.

    “When I Was Five I Killed Myself” – Howard Buten. A smaller, shorter story translated from German, clearly it was the title that drew me in. Written as if it was a child telling the story, Burt is in trouble for something he did to Jessica.

    “The Sleepwalker’s Introduction to Flight” – Sion Scott Williamson. The main character has an accident, then is told he will die if he falls asleep. Adventure ensues. Read when you’re suffering insomnia if you want to feel terrified and on the journey with him.

    “Drink Slay Love” – Sarah Beth Durst. A vampire girl gets stabbed by a unicorn, which makes her like the day time and other weird things. Pretty funny.

    “Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody” – Michael Gerber. This one is kind of average (I picked it up cheap and think I like the other Barry Trotter book, if there is one), but I enjoy a good parody and it’s a lot shorter than reading an entire Harry Potter book.

    I’ve only got to make it through 15 more school days and then I’m free. Free for 6 whole summery weeks to enjoy Christmas and family and friends and beaches and not feeling horrible about how hard it is to get my students to listen to me and not become horrible adults.

  201. Ray Bradbury made me want to be a writer even though I’ve learned he was kind of an asshole. So I also feel like he’s taught me not to be an asshole if I ever become a successful writer, which I guess balances it all out.
    I’m currently reading a collection of flash fiction which is amazing, and also Simon Pegg’s autobiography. He is so smart and so nice and funny I think he must have really been created in a lab.

  202. “Lirael” by Garth Nix. It isn’t as action-driven as his other novels, and I just love how DESCRIPTIVE it is. Yes, please tell me for umpteen pages all the details of a giant library.
    “Spindle’s End” by Robin McKinley.
    “Vamped” by David Sosnowski. Hilarious.

  203. Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter (the first one), a book called Vertical Run, and the first Outlander book by Diana Gabaldon.

  204. I tend to read children’s books for comfort. Books by Shel Silverstein. The Little Prince. Sometimes an adult book like Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse. I just got my “Never Give Up” pin in the mail today. I pinned it on my jacket but I am considering putting it on my purse. Wherever it will be seen a lot would be good.

  205. In addition to the usual suspects listed here– Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, Harry Potter series– I love Sharon Shinn’s fantasies (especially the angel series and the 12 houses series) and Robin McKinley, especially Deerskin, which is dark and wonderful (although, as they say, trigger warning, as there is a terrible rape scene). For pure escapism, it’s hard to beat Joanne Harris. She’s known mostly for Chocolat and its sequels, but I really love Holy Fools.

  206. Maggie Furey’s tetralogy The Artefacts of Power. They were the first fantasy novels I ever read and I found them randomly in the library around age 14. I’ve never met anyone who has read them and I feel like they just found me when I needed them. I get really invested in characters and stories, often feeling more depressed when a good book ends so the fact that the story I s split over 4 books means I don’t feel like that.

  207. Also, may I add, when I am truly, seriously stressed out, I read survival stories – I figure, if that guy can survive a huge storm on a teeny sailboat in the ocean, or that group of WWII medical staff can survive their plane crashing behind enemy lines in the mountains, I can probably get through whatever it is I’m going through too. 🙂 My boss knows this about me and he monitors my Goodreads list just in case, LOL.

  208. So many books…so little time.

    The Thirteenth Tale, The Myth of You and Me, all the Sweet Potato Queens books, Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time series…I should probably stop…

  209. I’m having a rough couple of weeks and I found myself (re)reading books of Diana Wynne Jones. I have other things to read but somehow nothing else satisfies me at the moment. I guess I’m going to start rereading another one… and maybe read one of those I haven’t yet after that? I’ll see…

  210. Winters Tale, Mark Helprin. Absolutely beautiful. Not poetry or prose, but the words sing their way onto your heart.
    The only book I’ve read more than twice. 12 times and counting.

  211. I downloaded the sample of We’ve Always Lived in the Castle (I think Neil Gaiman mentioned its one of his favs) and now you mention the author, so of course I’ll buy it! My favorite book to read when “I’m blah” (my code to my husband that I’m depressed) is Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore.

  212. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one of my all-time favorite reads. I rarely re-read anything, but I pick up Wuthering Heights about once every 5 years. I think it is a perfect novel.

  213. Just about anything written by Kinky Friedman, Robert G Barrett (popular Aussie author with a cult following from all walks of life), & of course Douglas Adams.

    I also read up on borrowed library books about dogs, both training books & true stories of dogs, as it’s hard to stay depressed when thinking about dogs (at least it is for me).

    From time to time autobiographies, or biographies, but they have to be about or by people who have really struggled; it won’t make me feel better if it’s a sob story about first world problems.

  214. Crazy! I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle immediately before reading your first book and I loved it, strange coincidence that I read them together. My comfort books are The Fart Party volumes by Julia Wertz, she never fails to make me laugh. Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and the Turn of the Screw by Henry James (my dark choice).

  215. if I can’t read due to concentration problems, or when I get a sore shoulder from holding books open in bed, I like to binge watch TV, Arrested Development, Star Trek Original Series, The Hitchhikers Guide TV Series, or anything that’s a bit left of centre, funny, politically incorrect, or just makes you focus on something other than your problems.

  216. I’m going to have to save this blog post and come back to it any time I’m ready for a nother book. I’ve recently been re-reading all of the Harry Dresden novels. I love the series novels because I can visit all my old friends doing something new. LOVE Patrick Rothfus and the Kingkiller Chronicles but I’m itching to get ahold of his 3rd book. Not good with the patience.

  217. I love Rosamund Pilcher’s September.
    But I think the Blogess and her readers would really enjoy Sheri Reynolds book A Gracious Plenty.
    Check it out!
    Glad it’s only a mild depression, I am reading Furiously Happy at THIS very moment and vow to make that my depression battle cry!

  218. When I’m really down and depressed I read Harold and the Purple Crayon. It’s swèet and simple and reminds me that whatever trouble Harold finds himself in he always manages to find a way out. Watching Harold create his own world with just a purple crayon gave me my start as an artist. Thank you Harold!

  219. I love The Magician’s Elephant by Kate Dicamillo. I’ve read it with my daughter several times, and it truly is magical. Haley might enjoy it too!

  220. How I knew my intended was going to be “the one”: he mailed his books to me in preparation for moving from another state and in addition to all the usual suspects, we now had redundant copies of ‘Stiff’!

  221. Question: I have a friend suffering from depression. Would she need to read “Let’s Pretend…” to get the gist of “Furiously Happy?”. I haven’t read 2nd one yet.

  222. Oh yeah, my books. Kids books; Harry Potter, Gregor the Overlander, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and sometimes Pride and Prejudice.

  223. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott; The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout; Anything by Nora Roberts (Three Islands Triology is great!); Harry Potter (because!); The Emily Series, L M Montgomery; A Letter of Mary, Laurie R. King (the entire Mary Russell Series is good); and so many more…

  224. I love Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. All Gaiman and Pratchett. My family adores any book with the Wee Free Men, especially on audiobook.

  225. “Desperation” by Richard Bachman (Stephen King). The story itself is terrible and horrifying, but it’s an old friend, always there when I need comfort.

  226. I study human decomposition (forensic taphonomy). I have been gifted “Stiff” no fewer than three times so far.

  227. This is so great because I’ve been looking for my next great read for some time now. I love all the suggestions here and can’t wait to check some out. Hooray!

  228. “Lamb” of course.
    “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon” by Rachael Malai Ali
    “Life Inside” by Mindy Lewis
    “Surviving Survival” by Laurence Gonzales
    “Still Life with Chickens” by Catherine Goldhammer
    “The Philosopher’s Diet” by Richard Watson
    “On The Move” by Oliver Sacks
    “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    “Happy All the Time” by Laurie Colwin
    “The Gun Seller” by Hugh Laurie (yes, the actor)
    “The Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy
    “The Shipping News” by Annie Proulx – I’ll re-read this entire book just to get to the last line.
    (Of course, the entire book is wonderful but the last line always undoes me.)
    “Shogun” by James Clavell
    “Elena of the Stars” by C.P. Rosenthal
    “Animal Dreams” by Barbara Kingsolver
    “What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day” by Pearl Cleave
    “Those Who Watch” by Robert Silverberg (it’s science fiction! – not porn)

  229. Lamb, absolutely. Pratchett. In the Pleasure Groove, Duran Duran’s John Taylor’s autobiography. Both of your books

  230. Last week the reaction to the Paris attacks became soul-sucking, I had to retreat to a happy place and for me it was listening to the first Tiffany Aching book; Wee Free Men. Funny, yet serious. Tiffany has such strong moral fiber, it was the antidote for a sucky week.

  231. Phillip Pullman’s dark materials is one of the lighter ones I generally head for. The others (in no particular order): anything Pratchett (Sam Vimes books in particular), anything Gaiman (american gods in particular), good omens (by both previously mentioned), heart of darkness (conrad), catch-22 (heller), brave new world (Huxley). For a guilty pleasure type fix, the gin blanco series is pretty good as is the bannon and clare series. And for those with nosy birds and neurotic squirrels around, squirrel terror is absolutely hilarious.

  232. “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Alan Bradley,
    “Etiquette and Espionage” by Gail Carriger,
    “Bird of Paradise” by Katie MacAlister,
    “Me,Myself and Why” by MaryJanice Davidson
    “Good Girls Don’t Date Dead Men” Molly Harper
    “Kitty and the Midnight Hour” by Carrie Vaughn

  233. Les Miserables. An abridged version in English, obviously. Read it while recovering from a hysterectomy and it melted me.

  234. I reread A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius every year or so. It hits on every emotion and reminds me of how much I love to read.

  235. I’m totally not pandering (and I totally had to look up that word just now), but your first book is my go-to when I’m in a dark place and can’t get out of bed. Allie Brosh “Hyperbole & a Half” book is another one. I also pull out my box set of Little House on the Prairie books to do a complete reboot sometimes (and yes, I do know those books are meant for 9-year-olds from the ’70’s). And I love Dave Sedaris, or anything about “secrets from cast members of Disney” since I used to be one. And Jenna McCarthy is also good too – when I’m in that place where basic daily functions are impossible, it is always a book that helps bring me through to the other side, and usually books I’ve already read dozens of times.

  236. The only one on your list I have ever read is “Me Talk Pretty One Day” need o look into some of the others…. Jenny, have you read “I Love Dick”, Chris Kraus.. LOL, just kidding, but now I so want to read it….and love Amy Tan, “The Joy Luck Club”. Just finished “The Paris Wife”, Paula McLain, very good fictionalized account of Hemingways first wife.

  237. I million and one Geek Love. My copy was my mom’s and it’s old and tattered with soft pages and it feels like home whenever I read it.

    Also Harry Potter. For reasons.

  238. Big fan of Christopher Moore – Fool / Serpent of Venice and also, well pretty much all of them

  239. I’ve been more depressed these last few days than I have been in ages, so everyone’s suggestions for books are really helpful. It gives me a real sense of community to see so many of my favorite books listed by others. Lamb makes me laugh just to think about it. Douglas Adams and David Sedaris are always excellent choices. The Confederacy of Dunces is a good “take me away” book. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is sad and wonderful at the same time. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall is also sad and wonderful. Nicholson Baker has an incredible eye for detail (The Mezzanine, VOX) which can pull me out of my head into someone else’s (frequently a good thing). I really enjoy Mary Roach’s books but I especially liked Packing for Mars. And for comic illustrations, I go to Linda Barry (Big Ideas, The Fun House). She might be what I need right now . . .

  240. Anything by Robin McKinley, but “Beauty” is a particular favorite, or “Sunshine” if feeling darker.
    “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith. Charming and quirky. Dodie Smith also wrote the original “101 Dalmatians” story.
    “Captain Blood” by Sabatini. Yes, the movie is based on this book.

  241. My two favorite comfort reads are “The Bean Trees” and “Pigs in Heaven”, both by Barbara Kingsolver. They have the added benefit of Pigs being a sequel to Bean, so that you get extra time with the wonderful characters. I hope you feel better soon. As a fellow sufferer, I know that depression sucks.

  242. My go-to comfort reads (besides your books) are:
    Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman – always good for what ails one. I have an ARC & a finished copy in my house + an audio version in the car in case I need Emergency Gaiman Therapy (which ought to be recognized by the APA as an approved treatment for depression & anxiety)
    In Pursuit of the Green Lion by Judith Merkle Riley
    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood
    The Harry Potter series
    Anything written by Jane Austen
    The Extraordinary Ernie & Marvelous Maud series by Frances Watts
    Shining Through by Susan Isaacs

  243. My top four are The Count of Monte Cristo, The Poisonwood Bible, The Night Circus, and A Town Like Alice. All about people in twisted, totally messed-up, yet vivid and compelling situations.

    I also love dystopian YA, like the Hunger Games. In that genre, I thought Killer of Enemies was a very entertaining read.

  244. The Fifth Elephant and Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (still the best spy story I’ve ever read). I still love Harry Potter the series. I haven’t read Lamb, and judging by the comments here I probably should…

  245. Watership Down by Richard Adams
    Tryst by Elswyth Thane
    Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    And One for the Money by Janet Evonavich, just because it makes me laugh.

    When all else fails, I ask my eleven year old daughter to make up a story using her Story Cubes. (If your daughter hasn’t played with those, get her some. They are a hoot.)

  246. “Neverwhere”, Neil Gaiman, I think it’s the best book he’s done.
    and the entire Discworld series (which I reread every 18 months or so) especially the loony witches and DEATH trying to understand humans. Achingly funny, and sad, and wise, all of them.
    Madeline l”Engle
    Daphne DuMaurier, anything.
    “These Lovers Fled Away”, by Howard Spring. A lovely british family type novel that never quite leaves me.

  247. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury takes my breath away every time I read it. I also LOVE The Talisman, by Stephan King and Peter Straub.

  248. Loved Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. An all time Fav is The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

  249. Oh so many!!!! In the words of Stephen King…I’m a constant reader. Here we go….Watership Down, never can remember the author. Anything Stephen King The Dark Tower series on the top. Wind in the Willows. 2000 Leagues Under the Sea. Wool series. Anything Diana Gabeldon. Anything C.S. Lewis. Pretty much anything post apocalypse. Of course your books Jenny!! I could go on and on but that would be hoggish of me. Glad to see y’all have some new books for me to read!! ;)Oh! And all the Fox Fire books!

  250. Where The Sidewalk Ends will always be my comfort book.

    Carry on, you book-loving bastards.

  251. I love all Wally Lamb and Jeanette Walls.
    Recent reads: Where’d You Go Bernadette, Her: A Memoir, All The Light We Cannot See.

    And to #100 Lisa W. Have you tried audiobooks? After 2 kiddos I can only listen to books, cannot sit and focus (and justify the time to sit and focus). I really like listening, especially when the author reads her book. My daughter and I do school carpool re-listening to Jenny’s books. Plus audiobooks make household chores like laundry, dishes, etc so much more fun!


  252. Our lists are similar enough that I have to look up Bloody Business. Other comfort reads for me: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I’ll Take It by Paul Rudnick, Replay by Ken Grimwood.

  253. Douglas Adams and his trilogy of 4 (6?) books, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The big Dont Panic on the front is always comforting, and I just read and reread it again till I start laughing at it again, and then I know Im better.

  254. At the risk of being all fan-girly (or fan-middle-aged-lady-y), Those are some of my favorites! For serious comfort, though, I got to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books. I swear I didn’t care about Napoleanic era British navy before… And any Pratchett, esp. Tiffany Aching.

  255. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci volumes 1 and 3. Charmed Life is second only to The Pinhoe Egg. They’re amazing. They’re by Diana Wynne Jones.

  256. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell. I have memory issues, so every reading is the joy of finding a new book again & again.

  257. My current favs: The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovich. Magic, Sexy wizard cop. But I suggest listening to it rather than reading because Kobna Holdbrook-Smith has the bestest voice. I could lose myself in his voice. I always feel better after listening to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

    I also like the St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. A misfit who finds her place in the world. And time travel. You can’t go wrong with time travel. I can totally forget my life while reading her books.

  258. One of my favorite comfort reads is ElfQuest, particularly the Original Quest portion. While I usually prefer massive tomes of prose, these graphic novels/comics are some of the greatest stories I’ve ever read, and the art is fantastic in every sense of the word. They are beautiful stories that captivate and give me hope for the future of humanity, and they’ve helped shape the person I am today. They’ve helped get me through some of the hardest, darkest parts of my life. I’ve returned to them again and again, like old friends, and every time I read them I find something new. They’re also very accessible – I enjoyed them as much at age 10 as I do now, though I experience them rather differently today.

    And the best part is that a few years ago, before they started the current story arc, they took all 35 years worth of issues, thousands of pages of beautiful stories long since out of print, and put them on their website for everyone to read… for FREE. Anyone with a screen and an internet connection can read it all for free, no strings attached. As a person who is disabled by an autoimmune arthritis, this has been like a gift from the gods. Not only do I not have to find a way to buy them at $100+ per book (not happening when I can’t have a job), but I can read them even when my hands hurt too much to hold a book! I can lie down in bed with my tablet propped up beside my head and read to my heart’s content without extra pain getting in the way.

    I seriously cannot recommend ElfQuest enough, especially the first four graphic novels (the “Original Quest”). I think both you and your daughter would really enjoy it. You can find it at , just click the “READ” button in the upper right corner.

    My other favorite comfort read is The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey. (the rest of the trilogy, The White Gryphon and The Silver Gryphon, are very good, too) A wonderful piece of high fantasy with a heart full of wonderful characters dealing with real, relatable problems alongside all of the mages and fantasy creatures and great battles between good and evil and such, plus some lovely sarcasm and snark (particularly from said gryphons). It’s part of a much larger series, but works just fine as a stand alone.

    You know, I think I need to go reread some ElfQuest again… 😉

  259. the ones I go back to- john irving and stephen king, david sedaris, bukowski, the bone people, I am currently reading Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me. Everyone everywhere should read it, it’s my most recommended book.

  260. So many, too numerous to count. I’m doing some return-to-comfort reads now: Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Miles Vorkosigan” series; “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”; Craig Ferguson’s “Between the Bridge and the River”; Tolkien; the Narnia series; the “Little House” series (which for SOME reason is not available on Kindle, so I haven’t read it in ages – my old copies are falling to pieces); the Harry Potter series; “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving; “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire; almost anything by Dickens, and I know there’s others.

  261. “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas is my absolute favorite. It’s not short and it’s complicated and no one has an easy name and everyone changes their name in the middle of the story (new names not any easier). So get a copy that has a list of characters in the front so you can keep track of who is really who. It sounds frustrating, but when you realize the crazy things these people do–so crazy they have to change their names!–you feel a lot better about your life. It’s also an amazing story that no movie can ever do justice. And justice/karma prevails in the end, which is always nice to believe.
    I am also a fan of quirky British murder mysteries–Agatha Raisin and Lord Peter Wimesy are my favorites because they’re people you’d like to know. They really feel like personal friends,unlike that snobby Poirot or jackass Sherlock. (I actually like Holmes and the recent BBC version, but he’s not a very likable guy. I never MISS him like Agatha or Peter.)

  262. the bean trees – barbara kingsolver– i have loved this book since 8th grade and i’m 30 now.
    anything by sarah addison allen
    the harry potter series (of course)
    and anything by neil gaiman

  263. I KNEW I loved you! I also love Shirley Jackson – such delicious writing. We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Haunting of Hill House are marvelous.She is my favorite author along with Anne Tyler and Edith Wharton – how’s THAT for a warped combination? (And now you, too.) Right now I am reading book 3 in the Miss Peregrine books by Ransom Riggs…what an imagination! The first one, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is about to be made into a movie by Tim Burton and I’m so afraid he will ruin it…the book is just terrific. Also The fifth Wave by Rick Yancey – also a movie version coming out soon. The book is just a fun end-of-the-world dystopian marvel. How could you not love that? David Seders, of course, and the cartoons of Roz Chast. Somehow I think you would like her!

  264. I have read Georgette Heyer’s novels 10-15 times each.

    I read them as comfort, I read them to keep me company in strange cities, I read them for comfort in hospital rooms.

    I read them because they are friends, I’m not surprised by them but I’m never bored when I’m with them. And they have never let me down.

  265. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carrey
    Strong female characters, drama, romance, political intrigue, and a country whose religion is based on sex. What else could you want? I want to be Phedre and Melisande all at the same time!

    American Gods (Neil Gaiman of course!!)

    Lucifer (vertigo comics) – dark and beautiful and cathartic

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – brilliant and sad story about growing up under others’ expectations for you (like aavjng the human race).

    wicked (The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West) by Gregory McGuire – because when I was a little girl I wanted to be the wicked witch…I’m that girl…

  266. Lisa W. at #100:

    Try this one—My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen. Each essay (fascinating, uplifting little stories) is super short, just one or two pages. Like salted peanuts, I find myself saying, “Oh, just one more…” This is one of my comfort books (the one about the woman who admired the beautiful building but her husband denigrated her for it, and the one about the woman who had her surgical scar tattooed with beautiful flowers, especially). If you were my friend, I would happily hand you my beloved copy right now. I think it may be just the thing.

    All the best!

  267. My comfort books are the Dark Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop (and the Cassie books), the Jacqueline Carey Kushiel books, a stack of Jennifer Crusie and Lynn Kurland books, and Maggie Stiefvater’s Ballad, Lament, Sinner, and Scorpio Races (not all of which are connected, and I adore all of her books, but these four I read over and over). I know I could replace them, but I’ve always thought that if I ever had to evacuate my house in a hurry, these are some of these first things I would grab.

  268. I’ve always said if I could only have one book to take on a deserted island,it would be “The Good Earth” No idea why but I reread it over and over.

  269. Tanya Huff, especially Summon the Keeper, Enchantment Emporium, and the Confederation series.

    Agatha Christie.

    Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October.

  270. OMG! You also love “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”! I adore that book. I wish someone would make it into an atmospheric old-style black-and-white film.

  271. I know hugs from an interwebz stranger or creepy, but hugs anyway. I’ve been battling a stubborn bout of depression/anxiety for the last few months and, being the geekgirl that I am, have been re-reading Dune and reading a few of the newer (pre)sequels. I’m also watching a lot more horror again – because no matter how bad my life is at this moment, I’m not being eviscerated by an axe-wielding madman. Perspective, I has it.

  272. So many of these are my comfort books but the only ones I love and haven’t seen mentioned are anything by Nina Kiriki Hoffman and the Ivory books by Doris Egan (she writes for TV now but I wish she’d write another book)

  273. The Whistling Toilets by Randy Powell.
    Hunger by Knut Hamsun.
    Notes to Myself by Hugh Prather.
    Suddenly, A Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret.
    The School by Donald Barthelme.
    Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.

  274. Ellen foster and other by Kay gibbons, and a girl named zippy and the follow up by haven kimmell.

  275. Books that found me at the right time in my life: The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb and A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I also deeply love The Birth House by Ami McKay. My go-to comfort books are everything by Jasper Fforde.

  276. Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle made me piss myself laughing at 4am with my family going “WTF??”

    Dark and Ominous: The Shining.

    Mary Roach: I loved Spook, got halfway through Bonk and got bored somewhere around fondling pig breasts, and just started Stiff.

    Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin is just fascinating. And if you want funny autism? John Elder Robison’s Look Me in the Eye.

  277. Range of Motion, by Elizabeth Berg i think. Saved my mind when my husband was dying. Love all of her stuff actually. I really hope you will try it…

  278. Oh, and… I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, by Amy Sedaris. It makes me FAR less cranky, and I am one cranky bitch today.

  279. Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is my go-to comfort book. If I need a quick fix the BBC mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle does the trick 🙂

  280. I’m amazed that so many people here like Christopher Moore. “Lamb” is one of my favorite books ever, but I only know one person who’s read it. I don’t really re-read books much because I have so many new ones to read, I’ll never finish all the ones I’ve already purchased. I could not buy another book, and still have new material for a long time.

    When I was young, I did re-read “Little Women” several times, and I loved reading it to my daughter. The guilty pleasure book I’ve re-read through my 20’s is “Atlas Shrugged.” While I don’t subscribe to any of her theories about how to organize society, the book attracted me because it was the first thing I read that showed that it was okay to be smart and that women can do everything. (At least in the beginning; later the chauvinism kicks in).

    AT this time of year, I love reading Regency Christmas romances. They are touching and often funny, and relatively short. Check out Barbara Metzger, her books are a hoot. And Regency = no explicit sex (if that’s what you prefer).

    All that being said, there are books which I would pick up again having nothing new available. I really like Tom Bodett’s “End of the Road” series (listening to them on tape is hilarious also). Besides “Lamb,” I’d enjoy “Breakfast of Champions” by Vonnegut, “The World According to Garp,” Irving, “Anne of Green Gables,” Montgomery and “The Shell Seekers,” Pincher. Of course, I’m building a wish list as I read through the comments and will bookmark this post so I can finish looking.

    Jenny, give yourself a lot of credit for hanging on over weeks and weeks of the book tour. We hope your current depression passes quickly and you can once again be the funny bloggess we love so much. (We love you at other times too, but a happy bloggess makes us happy too).

  281. I am too tired to read 300-something posts so it’s possible these have been mentioned already, but:

    “Greenwillow” by B.J. Chute (out of print)
    “How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back” by Ruth Stout (out of print); also her “If You Would Be Happy”
    Pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett, and “Good Omens” by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    Zenna Henderson’s novels of The People
    “A Dram of Poison” by Charlotte Armstrong (this would make a great short movie)
    The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold (the Chalion series and the Miles Vorkosigan books are also excellent, but Sharing Knife is the one I read when I want comfort).

    For nonfiction, Oliver Sacks and Stephen Jay Gould are so deeply humane and such elegant writers that they always make me feel better. John McPhee is also good.

  282. I should add that anyone who likes Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey & Maturin series should check out Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books: Napoleonic war, but with dragons. Lots of dragons. Dragons out the wazoo. American dragons, Peruvian dragons, Chinese dragons…

  283. Any of Rita Mae Brown’s books from her fox hunting series about Sister Jane Arnold–Outfoxed, Full Cry, Hotspur…

  284. Your picks are such great ones! When I need serious comfort, I usually reach for A Confederacy of Dunces – makes me laugh every single time. Other books for laughs are Jenny Lawson books 🙂 and also anything by either Sedaris. When it’s a comfort I need other than a laugh, there’s Bradbury, Georgette Heyer, and recently I read Kate Atkinson Life After Life and A God in Ruins, twice each. Total delicious comfort – each was a big chicken pot pie of a book. Last, there’s Proust – when I need to read a 4 page description about a ride in an elevator, it just really feels like a meditative escape from the shit of this century.

  285. Jaqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. Lyrical prose, gorgeous characters, intrigue, adventure, a bit of magic too. Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow are wonderful too, but the Kushiel series are the ones I go to when I want to be reminded there is beauty and good in the world (even if it’s fictional).

  286. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I NEVER read fiction before this series and never re-read a book until Outlander. That book literally (well figuratively literally) takes me away to a different time and place. With the smells of the Scottish Highlands, filthy Scotsman in kilts, and the stench of pre-plumbing…and I never want to leave.

    Dammit. Excuse me. I need to go get my travel copy.

  287. I’ve been reading The Hobbit for over 50 years. Love that book. Also, Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.

  288. All of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. You won’t be able to be sad or stay depressed. And read all of Christopher Moore. He’s another one whose s k y humor will sneak up and smack you between the eyes.

  289. Can’t believe someone else mentioned “The Forgotten Beasts of Eld”! 😊 Whoo-hoo! Also love many of the books by Anne McCaffrey but especially “The Ship Who Sang”, “The Crystal Singer” & “Killashandra”. And classic mysteries – Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, M.M. Kaye, Sherlock Holmes stories, and the “Nero Wolfe” series by Rex Stout. And – of course – Mary Roach, Terry Pratchett, Bill Bryson, Douglas Adams and J.R.R. Tolkien (as so many others have already stated.) Some authors I haven’t seen mentioned yet – A.J. Jacobs (humorous non-fiction), Patrick McManus (collections of short stories about his crazy childhood, camping, fishing & growing older) & some YA books – “The Westing Game”, “The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues”, and “The Last of the Really Great Whangdoddles”. But my absolute go-to when I’m spiraling are childrens’ picture books – “I Want My Hat Back”, “Many Moons”, the “Darth Vader & Son” series by Jeffrey Brown, “Elsa & the Night” by Jons Mellgren (really a story about loss & healing grief), “Little Bird” by Germano Zullo & the classic “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very Bad Day”.

  290. Huh. I was gonna say Geek Love but you already got it. Great minds. Since you and Hailey are going art on the couch, I highly recommend you pick up Amy Sederis’s craft books. Though some sections are a bit “sexy.”

  291. I keep going back to the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (on Audible because the narrator is amazing). A sweet, strong misfit female lead character and lots of vampire/supernatural sexual tension. Sookie spent the majority of her life living a small isolated life because of her telepathy. People think she is crazy. Her awakening is so relatable.

  292. Books I have read over and over:

    Me Talk Pretty One Day and Holidays on Ice (and others – David Sedaris)
    The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)
    Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll)
    Tomorrow’s Children (18 science fiction stories written eons ago and edited by Isaac Asimov)
    Dancers at the End of Time (a science fiction trilogy by Michael Moorcock)
    Girl, Interrupted (Susanna Kaysen)
    I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Joanne Greenberg)
    Shadow Castle (Marian Cockrell – best children’s book to read at any age)
    Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
    Your books will be added to this list as soon as I get a chance to read them again. 🙂

  293. P.S. Your Cat is Dead [for when i need to laugh; trust me, it’s hurt-yourself laughing funny!], the original Dragonlance trilogy [for when i need to be in another world], To Kill a Mockingbird [when i need my faith restored], and EB White’s “The Once and Future King” just because i’m [putatively] human. Finally, my most beloved “coming of age” story: Red Sky at Morning, by R. Bradford.

  294. Oh my lord, I’m sure you won’t get down here in the list, but if you do…
    My go-to book is One True Thing by Anna Quindlen (NOT the movie, which ruined the story). All about family, relationships, discovering ourselves and each other. Quite the journey. Also by Anna Q., A Short Guide to a Happy Life.
    These have been tough weeks…

  295. Like so many I fall back on the books of my childhood when I get a little blue. The Witch Of Blackbird Pond, A Little Princess and Anne of Green Gables, to name my favourites. Then, there is always anything by James Herriott, The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay, and The Tokaido Road by Lucia St.Clair Robson. I also run to Calvin and Hobbes (who can’t relate to Calvin?), and the Footrot Flats series (poor Dog) when I need that certain pick up only a comic can give.

  296. I keep going back to A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler. Ms. Tyler is at her wise, wryly funny, compassionate best in this one. I’m also very addicted to anything by Graham Joyce (except for Dreamside and Indigo). His books walk the line between everyday life in Britain and supernatural realms, and he does it differently and with more variety than Neil Gaiman.

  297. I just read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson is amazing. My favorite comfort reads are probably children’s books, I love the Oz series because it evokes childhood for me, and also the Mary Poppins books. And Harry Potter even though I read those as an adult so it’s not quite the same. I like historical mysteries for comfort reads too, like Anne Perry, Kate Ross, Deanna Raybourn. Outlander is probably my favorite re-read, I can pick it up at any point in the story and just really lose myself.

  298. Last Night I Sang to the Monster. It is a book that totally saved me from depression. Such an amazing book. It is about a teenager who wakes up in an institution and is not sure how he got there…

  299. Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. I first read it in 6th grade. It’s about a young girl who ends up married to a Canadian Mounty in the early 20th century. Their children die, their house burns down, their friends die. But the last lines, “It hurts a little.” “What hurts? A pin?” “No, happiness.” Those lines helped a depressed 6th grader so much, and they still help today. Also, The Idiot by Dostoevsky.

  300. Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job, LOTR, Harry Potter, The Vampire Lestat books, The Shadow of the Wind, the Graveyard Book

  301. I recently read “who was changed and who was dead” by Barbara Comyns Carr and while it isn’t a comforting book as such, I adored it. It was similar in style and feel (and length) to we have always lived in the castle, which I agree is excellent!
    Otherwise my comfort books would be “I capture the castle” by Dodie Smith, a beautiful story set in England. Also “The night circus” by erin morgenstern, because it is magic and lovely and I literally read it while walking round London as I couldn’t put it down…

  302. So many of these books mentioned are favorites of mine! I feel like I have found a kindred spirit in the person who mentioned “Behind the Attic Wall” by Sylvia Cassidy. I honestly thought I was the only person in the world who had ever even heard of the book. “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell was only suggested twice but it is such an amazing book that I must ask you all to add it to your lists.

  303. Anything by Georgette Heyer. L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. And so many more… I wish I could think of them right now!!

  304. I know books can save you. As a constant reader and now working at the library in the children’s department I know how much I love books and reading my favorites again usually helps. I’ve reread Lamb and The Stupidest Angel so many times I can quote my favorite lines. I love Mary Roach and Stiff is her best but Spook is great too in my opinion. Good Omens is the epitome of greatness written by two of my favorite authors. I reread a lot of my favorites. It is like visiting an old friend. My ultimate go to though will always be Calvin and Hobbes. I’ll reread all of the comics and start to slip toward my normal.

  305. Excuse Me While I Kill this Guy and the entire series of The Bombay Family Killers….it is a funny, sexy, story of a family of serial killers. Author is Leslie Langtry

  306. Terry Pratchett Discworld books – any one of them become my security blanket when I’m feeling out of sorts. My favorite ones of his are the Commander Vimes ones but in a pinch almost any of the discworld books will do. I have them everywhere – in my car, my office, every room of my house, my tablet. Just in case I need something familiar to ease my mind.

  307. I love Gulp soooooo hardcore. And also Stiff, which I kept posting bits of online (my version of reading out loud, as my cats are illiterate assholes).

    I have a feeling Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series (Ancillary Justice and its 2 sequels) is going to be a massive comfort read for me in the future. I’ve read the first 2 books (including listens on audiobook) 3 times, the latest one twice. Found families is a trope that will always, always be a favorite of mine, and this series presents one that rocks so hard. I fangirl this series so hard that I wrote fanfic about one of my favorite characters reading it. Not fanfic set in the books’ world, but about the books as books.

    Another longtime favorite is David Carkeet’s The Greatest Slump of All Time, a comic novel about depression. And baseball. It made me a nicer fan.

  308. Not to be a cliché but I love Nora Roberts books, some escapism books are just what the doctor ordered some days. some of my favs are The Search, Chasing Fire, Three Fates and Carolina Moon.

  309. When I want to get out of my head, anything by Georgette Heyer. Little Women (+ sequels) and anything by Jane Austen when I want familiar, comforting characters. I re-read these compulsively over and over again.

  310. Harry Potter, Hyperbole and a Half, and (of course) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

  311. I am clearly going to have to go through the comments properly and pull a must read list together. My comfort favourites are anything by Fred Vargas (that has been translated in English), Terry Pratchett, The House By the Churchyard by Sheridan le Fanu (sounds much fancier than it is when I write it out).

  312. The thing is, I don’t read you because you are outrageously funny. I read you because you are real. You make me feel good even when you feel bad. You bring tears to my eyes that I can’t seem to form when I really should; like when someone dies. You help me exhibit my emotions. Yes, you also make me laugh. Very little amuses me in a laugh-out-loud way, but you do. I am thankful for you and our nonexistent friendship. Also, I am mildly annoyed that, after seeing all those needy people at your Washington book reading, you are needed by more than just me. Me. Me. Me. Me. MEEEEE. I need you too.

  313. “Second Glance” by Jodi Picoult is my all-time favorite book. As soon as I finish, I can start reading it again. It’s not a rainbows and sunshine and unicorns darting glitter book, but I love it nonetheless. I can be happy or I could have just found out that my husband was cheating on me and decided to leave me, our 6 year old and our 4 month old when I read; it’s like the most comfortable blanket that I can settle down with and relax, a comfort thing. Maybe it’s because I read it so many times before life fell apart, I don’t know…
    Jodi Picoult is a phenomenal author and I’ve re-read several of her books, but something about “Second Glance” just has me hooked. Maybe it’s foreshadowing that I will meet the true love of my life one day, the person that I’m destined to be with…
    And it’s not some dumb romance book that’s
    right next to the National Enquirer at the checkout line in the grocery store and there’s a Fabio-esque guy on the cover… It’s a straight up fantastic book that does have a little bit of hope for those people that haven’t always had the best luck in life, whether it’s with relationships or just trying to get by in this crazy world.
    What’s fascinating/horrifying is that a lot of what she (Picoult) writes about regarding eugenics was true! I’m pretty sure we didn’t cover that in social studies in school, so I had no idea… I thought that was just a “Hitler thing”!

  314. Oh man, all the Jeeves books by P.G. Wodehouse. That’s #1 for when I’m too upset to even deal with Harry Potter (and that’s when you know it’s bad). Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour. Mostly Wodehouse, though. Always Wodehouse.

  315. Madeline L’engle’s Wrinkle in Time and Austin family series. Especially the Austin family ones if I’m depressed.

  316. I read over and over Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Virgin Suicides and The Shipping News. New favorites include The Good Lord Bird, The Goldfinch and The Shock of the Fall. All are wonderful.

  317. Thank you Jenny, for being there. Every holiday without my daughter Victoria threatens to be a knife in the heart, but this one was okay: low expectations led to a simple happy lunch.

    Comfort Books:
    1. “Last Chance to See” by Douglas Adams –for some reason he was hired to report on endangered species, way out of his league, and yet he does a beautiful, hilarious, unforgettable job of it. You will love the world and have hope for humanity after reading this.

    “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke –advice on how to live life as a creative, timeless inspiration and perspective.
    “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo –zen and useful approach to getting a grip on our surroundings–hey, it works for me, oddly, and I have been cynical about this kind of stuff. Artists and writers need their spaces to be good, peaceful, productive spaces. This how-to is more about life than simply stuff, it’s about how to think about your environment and behavior, how to be conscious of what is going on around you and in your world.
    And how to take some control back.
    “There Will Be Time” by Poul Anderson. Written like forever ago, the 1970’s. This is an amazing story in time travel, which anyone with grief or regret or failed dreams or perfection wishes will get–it’s the best written time travel book I’ve ever read, and after Victoria died, I became a Master Level TIME BELT Champion of time travel books and movies: how to go back and FIX this horrible loss? Need a serious way out of your situation? Read this book for ideas.
    Killing Hitler is NOTHING compared to retrieving a loved one lost to suicide.

    This Thanksgiving I give thanks for you and your books and blog, Jenny Lawson. And for your wonderfully emotionally generous and funny supporters and posters. You’ve created a safety net with them, one that will give people who are lost a place to be.
    If Victoria had found you before….Time Travel see? I go back and take your books to her.

    Happy Holidays and Keep Going.
    with admiration and gratitude,
    Tamara Benson

  318. I’m sure it’s already been said, but “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin is my favorite book ever. (there was a movie supposedly “based” on it but it was terrible, don’t see it!) Winter’s Tale is about life, language, love, architecture, engineering, magic, writing, sacrifice, friendship, and fate. It’s amazing. I read my first copy so many times it fell apart and I had to hold it together with a rubber band. Here’s a quote: “And he knew that these things were nothing in themselves but the means by which to remember those he had loved, and to remind him that the power of the love he had known was repeated a million times a million times over, from one soul to another – all worthy, all holy, none lost. He glided through the illusions that flashed bravely on the smoke, and he was touched very deeply by the will of things to live in the light.”

  319. I’m sitting here with The Bloggess open in one tab and Amazon in the other, adding things to my wish list like crazy!

  320. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
    The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
    The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver-the first few pages of the walk through the brush: beauteous
    Anything by James Lee Burke, because his use of the Engish language is hypnotizing
    The Secret Life of Bees, because the lead character finds her own quirky tribe 🙂
    …I sometimes read my grandsons books and enjoyed the first ‘peculiar children’ book and the old photos within it

    I will remember a bushel full after I ‘send’

  321. Riddle Master series by Patricia McKillip is a fabulous series. I reread it every 4-5 years. Nevewhere by Neil Gaiman is my favorite of his, love his other books too. In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan with A Confederate General at Big Sur being a close follow up. So many books to read and reread a few more: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke; CS Lewis Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength; Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings; Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins; Time Trip by Rob Swigart…and so on and so on. Other authors: John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, Ursula Laguinn, etc, etc, etc.

  322. Ooh,I remember reading Stiff years ago. Wonderfully fantastic read. I hope one day to introduce it to the kids. They’ll love it, me thinks.

  323. I re-read all of Tamora Pierce’s books every summer. Because summer is hard, and her books give me a whole world to escape inside. And for those hours I spend in her world I forget about mine and how hard it is sometimes.

  324. Rereading P.G. Wodehouse got me through some very bleak periods in grad school, while also dealing with major illness – Right Ho Jeeves is my favorite. The short story “Romance at Droitgate Spa” is also a must read when I am ill – there is a hilarious BBC production of that story that was part of the “Wodehouse Playhouse” series back in the 70’s ( )

    Also a lifeline during that time was Cynthia Heimel, whom I don’t think has been mentioned at all yet, but she became my instant favorite with “Sex Tips For Girls.” She is laugh out loud funny and her prose sparkles like Wodehouses’s (not surprisingly, she is also a huge fan of his.) Other books of hers include “Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I’m Kissing You Goodbye,” “If You can’t live without me why aren’t you dead yet,” and “If You Leave Me can I come too?” These are essays, too, so you can take them in small bites if you’re not up to reading novels.

    A couple of children’s books that are also instant comfort – The Cat Who Went to Heaven, by Elizabeth Coatesworth, and The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame. And The Secret Garden, of course.

    In recent years, though, I turn for comfort to William Gibson’s trilogy “Pattern Recognition,” “Spook Country,” and “Zero History.” Any of the three will do, Gibson’s prose reads like poetry for me – hard to describe, but you can read an excerpt from Pattern Recognition at . No one else in my book club liked Pattern Recognition – someone described it as “cold,” so maybe I’m a little odd for responding to it in this way. But it’s about an intensely lonely woman who finds her tribe online, kind of like we all have here with Jenny. So you might want to give it a try.

  325. So many old friends mentioned in this thread. I’ll revisit Discworld (Terry Pratchett), Lord Peter Whimsy (Dorothy L. Sayers), Belgariad/Malloreon (David Eddings) or Harry Potter when down or stressed, any Neil Gaiman or Douglas Adams book when dark or depressed and Georgette Heyer when I miss my mom, those were her security blanket books.
    #100 @Lisa W.
    If I can’t focus but need something to take me out of my thoughts I’ll lately read Jenny Lawson or usually Stephen Fry, I’ll start with the short stories (Paperweight, Hippopotamus) then are lured into his autobiographies and later can manage his longer fiction.

  326. I’m looking forward to scouring this for new favorites, but I don’t have the time at this exact moment so I’m just gonna throw my two cents in the barrel.

    When I need cheering (or I’m out of books and can’t get the library right away) I always turn back to these:

    Terry Pratchett
    Neil Gaiman (Although I think anyone reading this blog knows about Mr. Gaiman by now, but still. It would be wrong to leave him off the list.)
    Jim Butcher
    The Keepers series by Tanya Huff (They’re funny and they feature talking cats. It’s so great.)
    Elsewhere and Nevernever by Will Shetterly
    Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville (It’s a kids book, but that just means I can devour it again in a few hours.)
    Terry Pratchett (Yes, he’s on the list twice, but he deserves it.)

    Honorable mention: the first Wraeththu trilogy by Storm Constantine. It’s not one of my “comfort” books, but it is one of my favorites. I reread it quite often, especially when I’m in the mood for something darker.

  327. Oh, oh, I love lists of favorite books.

    ‘Indian Creek Chronicles’ by Pete Fromm because even cool guys can be dorks and not know stuff they should know.

    ‘On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet’ by Jamie Ford because history is out there, even in fiction and it is amazing how resilient people can be.

    ‘A Dirty Job’ by Christopher Moore because that shit is funny.

    ‘Endurance’ by Alfred Lansing because Ernest Shackelton and his crew survived absolute hell and there isn’t much in the way of nonfiction that reads this much like a novel.

    ‘The Elegance of a Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery because you’ll never walk past a red leaf lying on on moss without pausing to think of how beauty can rescue your soul.

    Or you could read my blog – because I’m a out there, feeling like an idiot most of the time anyway and you might as well laugh with/at me.

  328. ‘Ella Enchanted’ by Gail Carson Levine is a book I can literally finish reading and then start reading all over again. Never get tired of it. Was horribly disappointed by the movie, though, which isn’t even close to the same story.

    Also, the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray (the first is called ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’). When I created a “self care” bag of stuff in therapy, that went in it.

    I don’t know what I would do without books. They are my sanctuary.

  329. Me Talk Pretty One Day is one of the best books ever written. Every time I read it, I marvel at his talent. You guys share a similar sense of humor and love of the macab, I think. If your show is made by the folks who made The Walking Dead, there’s probably a good chance that nobody’s going to make it. 😉

  330. ZOMG! LAMB!!!! Yes! One of the best books I have ever read. It would be on my re-read list… but the nice leather bound copy that I had was loaned to a very very dear friend, who has since moved twice, gotten married, had a kid, and seemed to have forgotten that I ever loaned it to her. ;_; I love her enough that I don’t hound her about it, but after 2 years I pretty much gave it up for lost. I haven’t been able to convince myself to buy another copy because I have this fear that I’ll spend the money (that I really don’t have to blow) on another much-less-awesome copy and then will miraculously get my original back. Then I’ll be stuck with TWO copies and won’t have the heart to re-home the second.
    Yes, I have a book addiction. Yes, it is an issue (not for me – I’d have floor to ceiling books if it were my choice). The fiance has fears of being smothered by tumbling walls of books, so has issued an ultimatum – if I want more books, then I either need to A) win the lottery and buy a bigger home B) Sell/donate/otherwise GET RID of books or, C) Restrict myself to kindle books. I’m about as likely to start doing A as I am to grow tentacles and pimp myself out at carnivals. B is just blasphemous. So, C it is. For the most part. I sneak in hardcover books of my favs (or spiffy new books like yours) and cross my fingers that he doesn’t notice! Which…. come to think of it… I loaned your book out to a co-worker as soon as I finished reading it (gotta spread the awesome!) and I have a suspicion that I’m never going to see it again. sigh

    I devour books (not literally) and I’m a pretty eclectic reader, but I’ll throw out a couple of authors that have rarely let me down: Michelle Sagara/West and Robin McKinley are fantastic writers – specifically the ‘Cast in” series and “The Hero and The Crown” and “Sunshine”.

  331. Wow – so many good books mentioned and so many more to say… Argh. I would be here for weeks if I listed all my favorite re-reads (chronic trade and re-reader)… So here are just some of my favorites that I don’t think I saw listed above:
    Absolutely anything by: Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Seanan McGuire, Mira Grant, Michelle Sagara, Kathy Reichs, Dorothy Gilman, Robert Crais, Alison Croggon (YA), Kristin Cashore (YA), Simon R. Green, Wen Spencer, and Anne Bishop. I could go on and on and totally agree with so many of the suggestions listed above…

  332. Wow what a great idea – echoing some of what others have written, and what they’ve said – I love reading and books, and have piles around as well as a bunch on my kindle and still check them out of the library. I go through periods – like now- when I’m drawn to celebrity biographies. Yep. Some are better than others and just finished Tori Spelling’s Spelling it like it is. Not well written but I couldn’t put it down. I don’t tend to re-read books (since I have the piles I haven’t read) but favorites include The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Rosamunde Pilcher’s Coming Home (though haven’t liked others by her as much), Outlander, I know this much is true by Wally Lamb (have like all of his so far), and for humor, David Sedaris, Laurie Notaro and Jen Lancaster (though it bothers me that she is a republican). I just ordered your book and look forward to reading it. I was thrilled to see someone else mention the Dark is Rising series which I read when I was younger as well as the CS Lewis books. I also find that for consistency, Michael Connelly and Jodi Picoult are good go-tos. I’ve been reading other non-fiction about mindfulness and recently finished 10% happier by Dan Harris. He is very funny and a good writer. You’ve gotta love someone who writes about meditation and his experiences like a real person. My favorite line was when he said “my inner voice is an asshole.” thanks everyone for sharing, looking forward to new faves from this list!

  333. My favorite books to re-read currently are the Mapp and Lucia series by E. F. Benson, written in the 1920’s/30’s. Funny and BITCHY.
    meow meow meow

  334. So many…The Housekeeper and the Professor, a quiet gentle story about memory, math and meaningful relationships; Lucky Jim, one of the few books (besides yours) that makes me laugh out loud about so badly not fitting in; pretty much anything by P.G. Wodehouse; The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared; The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. Just for starters.

  335. I posted books earlier but there are two that I felt should have been on the top of the list: Katka on the Shore by Haruki Marukami. He is an incredibly visual writer. All his books leave imprints for weeks on my brain. Another book I really love is The Holy by Daniel Quinn. Daniel Quinn has written some phenomenal books including Ishmael, My Ishmael and the Story of B. He really impacted my view on the world. Really recommend both writers.

  336. I adore Mary Roach and Stiff and Gulp are my favorites of hers. I have not re-read them a lot however and may need to try that. I am currently re-reading the entire Harry Potter series and it is doing a love job instilling the warm fuzzies and chasing away the glooms. Enjoyed your list and all the comments – Thanks for posting!

  337. I hadn’t been able to read for a long time! So frustrating (and I’m a librarian, so embarrassing), but comics brought me back. Sandman, Saga, lots of stuff from Image Comics. Lynda Barry. Graphic memoirs. When I’m battling inertia, reading at least feels more productive than watching time pass on tv or internet. Comfort reads for me: Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume and just about everything else), Geek Love, Warrior Woman (Maxine Hong Kingston), Kristin Hersh’s memoir Rat Girl. And I loved Stiff! Need to read more Mary Roach. Also have very fond memories of all of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books and Sea Fairies. And The Secret Garden. Total escape when I was young.

  338. Good Night, Mr. Tom
    Beauty by Robin McKinley (best retelling of my favorite fairytale ever!)
    Don’t Walk Home Alone (a ridiculous “dime store novel” that for some reason I reread every fall)
    I’m forgetting one I literally just thought of…

  339. OMG. OMG. OMG. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil is one of my most favorite books ever and also my favorite movie. 🙂 An Hour Before Daylight by Jimmy Carter is my comfort book.

  340. I love Mary Roach’s books. She succeeds in making me feel not quite so stupid… I can actually understand what she is talking about even if the subject is something deeply scientific.

  341. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy-Douglas Adams
    If I Pay Thee Not in Gold-Piers Anthony
    Fluke, or I know why the Winged Whale Sings-Christopher Moore
    Love Sonnets-Garrison Keillor

    I could keep going…I have so many.

  342. Read anything by Matt Ruff and for the love of all things good, please read Tom Robbins. I never post comments EVER, but i love Tom Robbins so much I am currently re-reading all of his books in chronological order.

  343. Geek Love is my favorite book. I try to get people to read it, and usually fail. Most of the people who try to read it, can’t get past the first few chapters and look at me suspiciously afterwards. When I find someone who appreciates it, I feel vindicated, and a little less twisted.

  344. I totally would have suggested Geek Love. Power of One is pretty fantastic. And one of my all time favorites is Madness of a Seduced Woman by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer.

  345. Anything by Sir Terry Pratchett (though I tend to gravitate to Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes) or Tanya Huff. Thought provoking, funny, and the root of my childhood. Maybe that’s why they’re comforting. I’m almost always listening to and/or reading one of their books.

  346. one book is “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” there may have been more than one occasion when my husband looked at me and said “Take a fucking Lorazepam and read a chapter” My other feel good book is “This Heart of Mine” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It has enough romance to be sweet, but also steamy, and I find it also very funny.

  347. I always turn back to Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art. “Accident. Couldn’t be helped.” Just too funny!! What else is super funny is the fact that four of your favorites are on my own list! Hey! Get outta my head!!

  348. Jesus, you get a lot of blog comments. I only get, like, 3. But I love those three people to death!! I love Douglas Coupland. Generation X, especially. I had borrowed it from a guy I was seeing, and then we broke up while I had it, and the right ending to the story should be that I kept it and it was the best part of the relationship but I think I returned it sheepishly (but I bought my own copy and it was still the best part of the relationship).

  349. “The Eagle and the Raven” by Pauline Gedge
    I found this one in a church basement book sale. It is a long book but I have read it so many times I had to buy another copy as the first one literally disintegrated.
    I also enjoyed “Earthseed” by Pamela Sargent on multiple occasions when I was 10. have since read again as an adult and still enjoyed it.

  350. This post is for Lisa W (but I’m not sure how to make you see it, and it’s been so long it probably doesn’t even matter but I’m still going to try) I had then same problem as you and didn’t read for a long time. Recently, I read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh and I absolutely feel in love with it. It will make you laugh so hard the entire book( just like Jenny’s books) and it’s a very fast read. I finished it in about 3 hours.
    My favorite book is Perks of Being A Wallflower (because it’s the last one I read) I read it about 13years ago and it is the book that made me fall in love with reading. Every time I start reading it I can never put it down.

  351. So many of my favorites are here. But when the demons take over my brain and I can’t concentrate or there’s no time to really sit down and read, I pull out any of the story people books by Brian Andreas. They are quotes with these amazing whimsical drawings that are just brilliant. Your drawings make me think of his. They are similar, but totally different. My favorite person in the universe introduced them to me and I found prints in a thrift store.

  352. Slipstream Con by Michelle Moore and S. Reesa Herberth, an MMF Space opera is a great little escape. Willow Brook Farm by Catherine Christ was a book my mom read with my brother and me at bedtime when we were kids; reading it now makes me feel safe.

  353. Anything by Neil Gaiman (I have you to thank for my obsession!)
    Also, I first read Francesca Lia Block’s Echo when I was about 15 or so, and I’ll re-read it every couple of years.
    Evidence of My Existence by Jim Lo Scalzo is another favorite. He came to speak at one of my journalism classes and I picked up his book right away.

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