Comfort books. Is this even a thing?

I was just talking with Victor about comfort books…those books that you read over and over because you find them comforting even if you don’t understand why.  He thinks I’m insane and possibly I am, but there are certain books I turn to when my head is in a weird place and I need to go somewhere I’ve been before and relax.  I’d tried to explain it to him and he almost understood until I started listing a few and then I realized that most of my comfort books are full of murder and angst and bizarreness and are not really what anyone in the world would consider to be a happy or relaxing read.  Books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Geek Love and From the Dust Returned and The Stranger.  Worn copies of Bloody Business and Stiff and The 3 Faces of Eve and Alice in Wonderland and pretty much any of the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Books that may not make it on my top ten list, but that I compulsively read again and again.

I wonder if I’m the only one like this?  Are these the books my head feels comfortable with because I first read them when I was in a good place and my mind unconsciously wants that again?  Or does the darkness of the books remind me that I’m not alone, or that it could be worse?  I have no idea.  So I thought I’d ask you.  What are your comfort books?  The ones you’ve read over and over…more times than you’ve read your very favorite books.  The ones you’d take on a desert island as a medicine, or would need to pull out on a turbulent plane ride?  Do those books even exist for you?


And now, the weekly wrap-up:

Inside the TARDIS you'll find Jenny wielding a sonic screwdriver, Neil Gaiman in a monkey hat, Beyonce the giant metal chicken, Hamlet von Schnitzel, Juanita Weasel in a Traveling Red Dress, Nathan Fillion holding twine, A TARDIS in the TARDIS for time traveling when you're traveling in time, Wil Wheaton collating paper, and a Wolf Blitzer at the door.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Jodi Aman’s book: You 1, Anxiety 0: Win your life back from fear and panic to keep calm in a crazy world.  Man has been a therapist for 20 years and suffered from debilitating anxiety herself.  About the book: “Anxiety doesn’t play fair. It antagonizes you. It lies to you. It steals away the best parts of you. Don’t let it keep cheating you out of happiness! You are too important. This book speaks to why you suffer from anxiety, exposes the tricks anxiety uses to get power, and shares the skills you need to empower yourself and retrain your brain.”   I haven’t read it yet but I’m putting it on my to-read list.  Check it out here.

819 replies. read them below or add one

  1. An audio book that helps me to sleep is “In Cold Blood.” Not narrated by Truman Capote because that would be weird, but Scott Brick. I find it soothing.

  2. I read The Hunger Games series over and over again. There’s nothing like children killing children….

  3. Swiss Family Robinson, A Girl of the Limberlost, The Egg and I, The Ordinary Princess, The 100 Dresses.

  4. For me it’s mainly mysteries — Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe. Also Good Omens, Pride and Prejudice.

  5. Parts of “Covered in Montana”, “Boys and Girls Like You and Me”, and anything David Sedaris.

    DayLee Fix recently posted Hubs Needs More Vodka for This News.

  6. A Wrinkle in Time, The Gargoyle, Jane Eyre, anything by Jane Austen.

  7. White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Can’t tell you how man times I’ve read it, but it’s the book I turn to when I need that unexplainable comfort that you can only get from a book.

  8. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird probably 10 times (and watched the movie countless times too). I make jewelry and have made TKAM jewelry just for me to wear. I bought one of those shirts with the book’s words written all over it. It’s my go-to book. Attiticus reminds me of my dad… Then I bought Go Set a Watchman and have not read it. TKAM is too too perfect.

    Half a 1000 Miles recently posted Don’t Waste Your Prayers on Turds.

  9. Not just you. I re-read “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamund Pilcher, the Harry Potter series annually, “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, the first three books in the Clan of the Cavebear series. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, or whose name YOU know. Also? Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series.

  10. Comfort books are TOTALLY a thing. Mine are both of yours, Lord of the Rings, the Dresden Files series, the Dark Tower series, and wrestler autobiographies.

  11. Of course there are comfort books. I wrote about them a while back.

    Janet Coburn recently posted The Obligatory Mothers Day Post.

  12. Not just you, although mine are all middle grade/YA novels from when I was a child. (Tamara Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet and Diana Wynne Jones’ A Tale of Time City)

  13. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened has become my go-to comfort book. I have a physical copy and the audio book and when I’m having a particularly rough week or driving to and from doctors appointments galore, I read or listen to it and feel more normal in my abnormality.

  14. Yes they definitely do. Both the Harry Potter series and the Dark Tower books are my go-to comfort books. Both print and audio.

  15. Seriously, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.” I’ve reread that so many times. 🙂 Also, “The Stranger”, “Gone With the Wind”, “Picture of Dorian Gray”, and “Illusions” by Richard Bach. And any Spenser books by Robert Parker.

  16. Comfort books are absolutely a thing. The entire Harry Potter series are comfort reads for me as well as Little Women just off the top of my head.

  17. It’s not just you 2. it’s not weird, people re-watch all kinds of TV shows (e.g. Buffy, with constant violent death) and movies to feel comfortable/nostalgic, like Jurassic Park, and nothing in the books in your list is as bad as getting bitten in half by a dinosaur when you’re on the shitter (at least, not in the ones on your list that I’ve read) 3. I think it’s all about the familiarity and the characters you love (or, with like Stiff, the narrator’s voice… love that Mary Roach). My nostalgic reading/watching/listening is all about revisiting the characters and the jokes, like hanging out with people from the comfort of my own bed without having to brush my hair. (Also the people never demand anything of me!) I like real people but they take work.

  18. I do this..Harry Potter and Bridget Jones Diary..have read them so many times. Its like visiting old friends between the pages

  19. This is Where I Leave you
    Me Talk Pretty One Day
    Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
    Prince of Tides

  20. Absolutely! Totally a thing. One of the things that drives me as a writer is trying to create this (both for myself and others).
    Mine are ‘Gaudy Night’ by Dorothy L. Sayers, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Mr R., ‘Lovely, Dark and Deep’ by Ali McNamara, ‘Skin Game’ by Jim Butcher, ‘Justice Hall’ by Laurie R. King and ‘Thief of Time’ by Terry Pratchett.
    Looking forward to seeing what other people choose and adding them to by TBR pile!
    V x

  21. White Oleander. My copy is highlighted.

  22. The Stand. I don’t know what it says about me, but reading it always feels like going home.

  23. 23
    Rosario Garza

    You are NOT alone! I have books I’ve been re-reading since I was a teenager. And my list of “comfort books” has grown as I’ve aged. So, tell Victor that we each find comfort in different things. Mine is books with aliens and monsters stomping their way across Earth.

  24. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, anything by Erma Bombeck or Lewis Grizzard…definite comfort books

  25. I retread the Harry Potter series occasionally. They are comfortable like an old pair of jeans.

  26. Ooh . . . I almost forgot. Every year at Christmas, I MUST re-read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read it before, I always have to re-read it each year.

  27. Of course it exists! Mine are Harry Potter and Feeling sorry for Celia!

  28. 28

    No, you are not insane. I do this too. That is the reason why, when I have moved 4 different countries, I take my 5000+ books with me. They have been around the world twice. I love different books for different reasons, but they are my friends.

  29. I tend to go to romances in my “meh” phases. The ones where I can’t be really bothered to get into a story that’s more in-depth than “couple meets, is attracted, has minor conflict, resolves (usually by admitting that they love each other), lives HEA.”

  30. Comfort books are totally a thing. Rilla of Ingleside (the last in the Anne of Green Gables series), E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View, Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. I read them because they’re familiar – because when everything else is spinning out of control, I know exactly what’s going to happen in them.

  31. There are ABSOLUTELY comfort books. My list would include Jane Eyre, Kindred (by Octavia Butler), the Harry Potters, and now probably either one of your books. Also Without Remorse and Executive Orders by Tom Clancy and any of a number of John Grisham books. And honestly, if I’m really feeling like I need something simple to crawl into, I will go back to the Twilight series. Yes, I confess it, I am a Twilighter.

    thornfield523 recently posted I Hate Being Right.

  32. Outlander, Harry Potter and the Anne of Green Gables series for me!!!! I’m glad I am not the only one.

  33. The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett or The Star by Clarke. Comfort books are totally a thing!

  34. Jane Eyre. I have read that book over and over and over.

  35. For me, it’s Little Women – which throws me into a Louisa May Alcott binge that takes weeks to recover from. Little Women is a copy I was given in 1966, when I was 6 years old. Even just looking at it makes me happy.

  36. Anything by Shirley Jackson! Oddly comforting.

  37. Little Big by John Crowley is my comfort book. I’ve read it about 20 times. I can’t recommend it enough. Pure relaxing abstract fantasy. And when I’m in the mood for different comfort, The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Sometimes I read it just for the footnotes.

  38. Pretty much anything Terry Pratchett, but most usually: Night Watch, Thud, Snuff, The Truth, or Going Postal.
    Dragon Tears and The Door to December by Dean Koontz.
    Any of the JD Robb books.
    Inferno by Dante.

    I should probably mention that I read compulsively when I’m stressed, and I’m always stressed – I basically have these on rotation.

  39. Like BookGeekGrrl, for me it’s mostly mysteries. Agatha Christie, Nero Wolfe, Philip Marlowe. And I have a few fanfic stories/series I go back to again and again during tough brain times.

  40. I have a whole bookcase of comfort books. Off the top of my head: The Little House books, especially “The Happy Golden Years,” the Beany Malone books. Paul Monette’s “Borrowed Time” and “Last Watch of the Night,” Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies,” Kathleen Norris “The Cloister Walk,” and M.M. Kaye’s “Shadow of the Moon.”

  41. Harry Potters 1 through 5. Little Women. And, when I simply have trouble processing words because of ministrokes, Jude Devereaux’s Black Lion series.

  42. 42

    No, you are not insane. I do this too. That is the reason why, when I have moved 4 different countries, I take my 5000+ books with me. They have been around the world twice. I love different books for different reasons, but they are my friends.

  43. I totally have comfort books – usually series, depending on my mood. But I have recently been re-listening to both of yours on audio, because I’ve been in a really stressful place and they comfort me. I like them best in reverse order for some reason.

  44. The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. Seeing Europe, the people and places,through his eyes is really relaxing to me.

  45. Also – Searching for Caleb and Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, the Harry Potter books, Edward Eager magic books, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and all the Calvin & Hobbes comics!

  46. Books about serial killers and other various crimes. I think it takes me back to a good time in life. A carefree 23 year old sitting on the beach in Florida reading about Charlie Manson etc.

  47. The first book I ever read more than once was The Mists of Avalon and that became my main comfort book for when I was feeling down and ultimately just needed a good cry. Now, when I need a reminder to not take the world so seriously, I turn to Terry Pratchett and Small Gods, among a few of his other books, and of course Good Omens with Neil Gaiman, for a bit of levity. And then all is right with the world again.

  48. 48

    The Sookie Stackhouse series is on my list as well along with Gone With the Wind, the Lord Valentines castle series and the Thorn Birds ( that one I’ve gone through several copies of) so no not weird at all , I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who does this as well!

  49. 49

    You are absolutely not the only person with comfort books! I even call them that, myself. Frank Baum’s Oz series are first on my (long) list; I’ve been rereading them for 30+ years. They’re safe – I know what’s coming and when life is seeming uncertain that familiarity is comforting.

  50. Blaze Wyndham by Bertrice Small. I have worn out several copies from reading it more times than I even know. Also the Harry Potter series. Reading these books feels like home. Like putting in fuzzy socks and curling up under a flannel covered down comforter.

    Cassie recently posted wordless wednesday.

  51. It’s absolutely a thing… Pat Conroy and Diane Ackerman are my ‘comfort authors’, to expand the metaphor. I revisit old books with more excitement than new ones, sometimes.

  52. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
    The Shining by Stephen King
    Any book by Terry Pratchett, but especially the Tiffany Aching series. You and your daughter would have fun reading those together, if you haven’t already.

  53. I have certain things I like to read over and over in the absence of new stuff, but that’s mostly it. When I’m stressed beyond belief, reading ANYTHING is enough to turn the day around for me. It doesn’t actually matter what is going on in the book, so long as it draws me into it. I feel that’s what you’re talking about here, broadly speaking.

  54. Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men, the first Tiffany Aching book. Usually the audiobook. It’s also my go to book when the world is on high suck.

  55. Dean Koontz, specially From The Corner of his Eye, Lightening, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and Watchers. Dark, but he creates the best characters, and there is so much hope and love in his books. The David Eddings Belgariad series, Nora Roberts. I normally hate romance, but hers are just brilliant. Some of my books from childhood, Little Witch and James and the Giant Peach. I’m visiting old friends.

  56. I also love Geek Love. My go to book would have to be World According to Garp

  57. The Twilight Series. I read it every year. When I’m feeling homesick for a place I’ve never been I pull them out and go “home”

  58. The Outlander series. Jaime & Claire are my safe place.

  59. I re-read Bridge of Birds at least once a year. It was a book my grandfather gave me and I find it comforting. And I read Agatha Christie over and over again. I guess she is my literary equivalent of comfort food.

  60. Stella Gibbons’ “Cold Comfort Farm” – my vote for best comfort book ever.

  61. Absolutely the Harry Potter series. Those books are my driftwood raft on a turbulent sea.

    Geoffrey recently posted The Dictator’s Handbook.

  62. My two best comfort books are both by Charles Dickens. David Copperfield and Great Expectations. I get lost in the characters and especially with Great Expectations, I relate so much to the main character. I also have humor comfort books like Naked by David Sedaris. I’ll read those books again and again when I am depressed. ((Hugs))

    Shari recently posted Wyatt and other Books.

  63. 63

    Almost anything by Robin McKinley. It’s the dreamlike writing that sounds like the voices in my head that really gets to me…even when the content is horrific (Deerskin).

  64. Not crazy. Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series, or Lucia St.Claire Robson. No Shame!

  65. Victor is just plain wrong. Of course there are comfort books, that are a safe haven for you to return to when life is bringing you down. Sometimes those books are light and fluffy, sometimes they can be super gruesome – it does, as you say, depend on your associations with them. I must admit that a lot of my comfort books are romances, by Loretta Chase, Tessa Dare, Julia Quinn and Courtney Milan. There are also some Agatha Christies I never tire of.

  66. 66
    Grace Lawson

    Yes, comfort books are a thing. Mine are the Anne of Green Gables series and the Chronicles of Narnia. I think they comfort me, because they bring me back to childhood. There is also something comforting about reading something that you know how it ends when your life or your mind is in chaos. It provides a touchstone of something solid that you know will always turn out the same way every time.

  67. I have comfort shows and movies. Shows and movies I find uplifting or relaxing no matter how often I’ve seen them. As for books, I only tend to reread books I’ve last read long ago.

  68. 68

    I have comfort books and comfort fanfics. They range from darkness and themes of perseverance to lighthearted adventure and romance. Same with movies, though the movies are almost always on the more lighthearted side. Oh! And video games!…

    Basically when my brain turns against me, I bury myself in media. Escapism at it’s finest, I guess, but hey, it works so I’m not likely to stop!

  69. My comfort book (series) is the Inkworld series. My inkheart book is in complete tatters. Along with my Harry Potter books (I think their comfort books to my whole generation). Their a comfort of my childhood and when things weren’t good but found a relief in it. Also, your books have become a HUGE comfort when my depression/anxiety are at their worst because they just scream at me I’m not alone and let’s go get starbucks and be weirdos together (I just sent a copy of Furiously Happy to my friend in hope it’ll help her too).

  70. Every avid reader would have a few comfort books that they could list. The books that will never leave their shelves. Maybe even never lend out to anyone. Knowing they have them and can go back to them for a moment of peaceful solitude. I have found the Woody Allen short story collections (in particular Without Feathers), to be among my favourites.

    Like comfort books, I have comfort articles. Things that have been bookmarked in my browser for well over a decade and will still reference. Stuff in the few magazines I have around with post-it notes hanging out of them like shredded bookmarks. When I think more about it, the tweets that I like on Twitter are a list of comfort tweets.

    Words can wisely be a tremendous source of comfort. Have a nice day and upcoming week.


    Dann Alexander recently posted Pictou County Pizza.

  71. Oh, I should also mention that anything by Stephen King is a comfort book. Especially The Stand. Yes, I find the idea of the human race being wiped out by a super virus comforting.

    Shari recently posted Wyatt and other Books.

  72. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
    The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (I love The Lord of the Rings trilogy, too, but The Hobbit gets reread more)
    Any and all of The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (especially when I’m feeling particularly down, it helps reading these. Reminds me I’m not alone. <3 )
    And all of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School, and Custard Protocol novels (I’ve read and reread them, and I’m on pins and needles for the next Custard Protocol book. They’re wonderful for a bit of steampunk escapism. <3 )

    This is my list! I read a ton, and have lots of favorites (it’s hard to pick just one), but these are the ones I seem to come back to when I really just need some comfort.

  73. No, I have a few myself. Reading gives me an escape into another world for a little while. My comfort books include the Harry Potter series, Violin by Anne Rice, Eat, Pray, Love, and Pride and Prejudice. An interesting assortment, and I think I’m missing a couple, but thats the gist of it.

  74. “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the Potter series. Totally a thing.

  75. It’s not just you. For me, it’s The Secret Garden, The Color of Water, Sarum. and On the Banks of Plum Creek. Do ancient magazines count? If so, there’s a few issues of the Readers Digest from the mid 1980s still at my folks’ cottage that I happily ready every year.

  76. 76

    Anything Jane Austen, A Little Princess, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking (Laurie Colwin), my favorite James Thurber story that always makes me laugh, “The Night the Bed Fell.”

  77. All of Jane Austen but especially Pride and Prejudice. The Harry Potter series. A Wrinkle in Time. A Tale of Two Cities.

  78. You bet there are: His Dark Materials; The Egg and I; Our Hearts Were Young and Gay; We have always lived in the Castle; Praisesong for the Widow; I Capture the Castle. And anything by Fannie Flagg.

  79. Not just you! My comfort reads vary in content because of who I am but I have Tolkein (just all of Tolkein), Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Any of the short story collections by Neil Gaiman, Both LPTNH and Furiously Happy, Hyperbole and a Half, and Oathblood and Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey.

    I think they’re my comfort reads because they brought me enjoyment when I was in a dark place so they often bring me comfort now. Also thinking about it all of those books also are a moment of connection and bonding between me and someone I love. They introduced me to the book or author or bought me my first copy of it. Or we simply discovered them at the same time and raves about them to each other. It’s funny how that works.

  80. 80

    I’ll echo people above and say anything by Jane Austen or the Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. In fact, the only books I read during the calendar year of my divorce were Nero Wolfe novels and collections. I didn’t stop until I had re-read the entire series in chronological order.

  81. 81
    Rhona Scoville

    I agree with you on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Also the entire Harry Potter series, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, The Great Gatsby, Gone With the Wind, most of David Sedaris’s books, books from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and I’ll think of more later.

  82. The whole Outlander Series and he Harry Potter series.

  83. 83

    It’s totally a thing. When I’m feeling crazy, I turn to authors who are as crazy as I am. Fun fact: I’ve read Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened about 20 times each. Other comfort books: Yes, Please!, Little Women, and basically any true crime novel because those people are totally crazier than I am, and when I’m in a bad place, it’s good to be convinced that I’ll at least never be THAT bad.

  84. Neverwhere
    The Time Traveler’s Wife
    White Oleander
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    Fall on Your Knees
    The Great Gatsby

    These are the books I find myself picking up without a thought, and reading a hundred pages of while sitting in the middle of my staircase. My husband or son will usually find me and ask what I’m doing. And I never realize how long I’ve been reading. They are perfect escapes.

  85. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera) is totally my confort book. I have been reading this book for years now!

  86. Comfort books are SO a thing. For me, it’s usually a book where I remember having a revelation, or one that was so compelling I read it in one day. Former: Saint Maybe, A Prayer for Owen Meany. Latter: Fermat’s Enigma, Bringing Down the House.

  87. 87
    ZaeZesty Mordant

    A Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson. Science calms me, bro.

  88. I can believe you have geek love on your list. I read it like a million years ago and thought I was the only one. Cra-zeeeeee

    Katy Keck recently posted Pizza Party – Getting Pot Luck-y Part III.

  89. 89
    Stephanie C

    I have had many over the years. But my most recent is the Harry Potter series. I LOVE listening tithe audio books. The narrator pulls you in to the story and characters and you can just get lost in them.

  90. 90

    Er – I can NOT believe…

  91. 91
    Christina @reconnectsreiki

    Maybe weirder than you, but it’s my own journals & diaries that are my comfort books. Re-reading stuff I wrote down weeks/months ago makes me realize damn, I HAVE done worthwhile, cool things on occasion.

  92. It’s totally a thing of course! Mine are the Outlander series, Harry Potter series and Stephen King.

  93. Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot detective novels. I only picked up my first — The ABC Murders — a couple of years ago, but I’ve been binging on them ever since. I don’t even care about trying to figure them out. I just like the way she lays things out, with no extraneous anything. Fun, easy reads.

  94. The Haunting of Hill House… A dark book, but the writing is so dreamy, you forget you’re reading horror. Also, the Thirteenth Tale.

  95. 95
    Paul Knipple

    Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It’s a great story, a history lesson, fuel for philosophical musings, and a damn good story.

  96. 96
    Ray Grant

    My comfort books are Bridget Jones ones. Just re-read them again – a few years’ break did wonders.

    Also, um, your books. 🙂

  97. 97
    Katy Keck

    Er – I can NOT believe…

  98. Pretty much anything by Terry Pratchett, really.

    ownedbyrats recently posted A new game.

  99. My comfort books range from Harry Potter to a fantasy/alternate history young adult with a flying whale airship, to Stephen King’s 11-22-63 to The Silence of the Lambs. comfort books exist.

  100. Melinda Haynes “Chalktown”. Also any short story collection by Annie Proulx. I just finished the last book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series and I would totally read the whole thing again.

    mydangblog recently posted My Week 83: Back to Routine, A Present for Not Dying.

  101. 101
    Rachael P.

    “Matilda” by Roald Dahl and “Stone Words” by Pam Conrad were my go-to comfort reads as a child. In my twenties, it was the Harry Potter series. In my thirties, it is almost all comedic romance novels by writers like Penny Reid and Jennifer Crusie, and short story collections by Neil Gaiman.

  102. 102

    Shogun. the Litte House boxed set by Laura ingalls wilder. The Stand by Stephen King. the Belariad and Malloreon series by David Eddings. any of the many “omg a real ghost/haunted place” books I have.. absolutely there are books that comfort us over and over again!

  103. 103

    There are certain series that are like emotional meatloaf. Like book brownies with hot fudge. The Anne of Green Gables series, all the way through to Anne of Ingleside. Also the David Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorian series. Little Woman and Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Once I start, I must, must go all the way through.

  104. I’m pretty sure I have comfort books but obviously right now I can’t remember any of them (it’s the same if you asked me for favorite something – I’m sure to run a blank)… But when I feel bad I tend to rewatch Mononoke animated series which is straight-up creepy horror…
    Actually I tend to go back every couple of years to Riddlemaster Trilogy. It’s got some upsetting turns of events and for some reason is very soothing for me – and is weird because some time after I finish it I tend to forget most of it so each time I read it it’s a very fresh experience.
    Also my comfort music tends to be weird, creepy things.

  105. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    Harry Potter
    Anita Blake books…
    The Little Prince
    ….and probably like 6 more but I can’t brain cause finals.

  106. PG Wodehouse. Agatha Christie. Dick Francis. Trixie Belden when I’m feeling particularly nostalgic.

  107. I think every avid reader has at least one comfort book. Mine is Beginner’s Luck by Laura Pedersen. How can you not get comfort from a book with a recovering alcoholic monkey in it?

  108. 108

    Maya Angelou

  109. Harry Potter, anything by Douglas Adams, PJ O’Rourke’s Holidays in Hell or Parliament of Whores, Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time books – essentially everything in all five of the bookcases in my bedroom. Comfort books are definitely a thing!

  110. 110

    For me it’s the Little House on the Prairie series, the Outlander series, and Anne of Green Gables. No matter where I am or what’s going on in my real life, I can open one of these books up and spend some time with wonderful old friends.

  111. umm, I can’t leave a list yet because I am still in shock that Victor doesn’t have comfort books. Can we send him some?

  112. 112

    It – Stephen King; Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore; The Silver Crown, Robert C. O’Brien. And others. You are definitely not alone in finding comfort books.

  113. Harry Potter, all of Tamora Pierce’s books but especially the Song of the Lioness series. The characters are like old friends and every time I read their stories it’s like getting to visit with them again for a while. Comfort reading is a very real and important thing for me ❤️

  114. 114
    Melissa B

    Not weird at all! Return to my favorites. Belgariad, Dragonriders of pern, Hitchhiker’s Guide, and some recent favs of Black dagger brotherhood.

  115. Actually, both of your books (I’ve had some terrible bouts with anxiety lately, and Furiously Happy has been so comforting.) Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter series and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

  116. The complete Harry Potter series and a wonderful old trilogy by Mary Stewart about Merlin.

  117. 117

    My comfort books are Frog and are Friends, A Wind in the Willows, & the Wrinkle in Time series. It’s totally a thing. I also turn to funny-poignant books like Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.

  118. 118

    Of course! Robin McKinley’s “Sunshine” is my go-to. Because post apocalyptic vampires and magic are so soothing.

  119. 119
    Corinne A.

    Comfort books are totally a thing. I have read The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth ridiculous amounts of times. Also, even though I have nearly zero interest in fashion, I find The Devil Wears Prada quite soothing.

  120. Mine seems to be any of the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey, and also the Dresden files series by Jim Butcher. Sometimes I’ll want to read some horrible paranormal smut books like the Anita Blake series. It really depends on the type of mood, and what set it off.

  121. It’s the Outlander series for me. Because time travel, strong female lead, kilts, and lots of really good sex. recently posted We’ve pulled our home home to work on our house.

  122. Lincoln’s Dreams and Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Also her short stories Spice Pogrom and Time Out. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Anything by Terry Pratchett, but especially Good Omens and Hogfather. The Hitchhiker’s Guide series.

  123. Anne of Green Gables
    Howl’s Moving Castle (or anything, really, by Diana Wynne Jones)
    Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, or Ngaio Marsh mysteries
    Lost Cat by Tad Hardy (sadly now out of print)

  124. comfort books are a thing… Now weird ones? Also a thing!! Haha

    Harry Potter gets pretty dark in the later books and I always turn to those. The Book Thief is quite sad but the writing comforts me.

    I think our minds just need to have a distraction, even if the distraction is a bit dark or twisted.

    Weirdos!! Weirdos all of us! And we are awesome.

  125. I do like reading but when it comes to comfort, I really like comfort food 😃

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  126. 126

    During a really bad depression when I lost all interest in reading (which had never happened to me before), it was Harry Potter that drug me out. It was the only thing I could read more than two sentences of without getting discouraged. A chapter a night, until I could finally focus on something else.

    Also, I read Psalms when I can’t sleep. Kinda surprised no one else mentioned anything biblical.

  127. I read an academic study a few months ago where the researchers found the reasons that re-reading books feels so comforting. I wish I could remember what it said/who published it.

    That study, and this post make me feel like I’m not so weird after all. At least for this… 😛

  128. Anything by SARK makes me feel better, less depressed, and hopeful about humanity. And The Princess Bride. And Harriet the Spy.

  129. When I was doing community theater I had to read a few chapters of Harry Potter after I got home before my stage energy would settle down enough for me to sleep. I’ve read those books about eleventy million times since I was about 11 so now they’re the perfect combination of interesting enough to keep me reading but familiar enough that I don’t stay up til the butt crack of dawn because IHAVETOFINISHANDFINDOUTWHATHAPPENSSSSS
    But other than that Pride and Prejudice, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, Johnny Tremain, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the American Girl books (Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, and Molly) all do it for me.
    Newest to my list of comfort books is The Royal We, which I’ve read 3 times now and just started for the 4th. SO GOOD!

  130. Little Women, Spangle and Aztec by Gary Jennings, LOTR trilogy. I have more, but I have read some of these books at least once a year for as long as I can remember..

  131. Totally not alone. I read a lot of books over and over, especially when I am out of sorts.

  132. I read Anne Bishops” Black Jewels trilogy over and over.

  133. Most of mine have death and murder in them too, though I’d never stopped to think about that before! Harry Potter, Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey books, the Laurie R. King Mary Russel mysteries. Furiously Happy is on my list too. 🙂 Someone mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer and watching that for the zillionth time is also major comfort for me too. Somehow they become old friends – soul food.

  134. 134

    All of Gene Stratton Porter’s books, especially “The Harvester”, they soothe me and give me hope. Neil Gaiman’s books always put my brain in a happy place. “Travels With Charlie” by Steinbeck. And when I’m having a strange mental spiral, a trashy romance is like chicken soup for manic episodes.

  135. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Yeah…don’t even want to think about what that says about me.

  136. Comfort books are absolutely a thing. I re-bought the entire Discworld series on iPad, so I’ll have them with me wherever I go. Have since added LPTNH and Furiously Happy.

  137. Oh, I have many “comfort” books – but when I look at them as a group, there’s definitely a (somewhat morbid, depressing) theme. I’ve read Jodi Piccoult’s “19 minutes” several times, as well as Lionel Shriver’s “We need to talk about Kevin”. And that’s just for starters…

  138. Totally a thing, and my comfort books aren’t ones that people would say are all that comforting either, mine are things like Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, anything by Patricia Briggs, Jeanienne Frost Night Prince series, Nalini Sihgn’s Guild Hunter series (I do love her psy/changeling series but that is for good times), the Riley Jensen series. The Others, The Hollows.

    Basically I like Urban Fantasy on the darker side. Maybe because it is because I like the winning even in darker times. The fact that though there are losses and sadness in the end good does get one foot forward. In my happier days I tend to lean more towards good Paranormal romance.

    And I know my oldest daughter has her comfort book as Furiously Happy. When she packed for a about a year long stay at a psychiatrist residential facility it was the only book she packed. She loves to read but was all “they have a library there, I’m only taking the book I want to read all the time.”

  139. 139

    All of Terry Pratchett’s, Neil Gaiman’s, and Douglas Adams’ books. The Time Quartet series (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, A Swiftly Tilting Planet) by Madeline L’Engle. All the Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy L. Sayers. Sookie Stackhouse. All the 44 Scotland Street books by Alexander McCall Smith. Anything by P.D. James. All the Agatha Christie books, even though I’ve read them a million times. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock. And I could go on and on . . .

  140. My favorite books are also my comfort books. Pride and Prejudice is like a warm hug. I read it all the time because it soothes me, and when I don’t have a lot of time, I watch the movie.

    My newest comfort book is The Royal We by the Fug Girls, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I’ve only read it twice because my life has been insane since it came out, but I love it and, importantly, I can get completely immersed in it and forget my troubles.

  141. 141

    I reread The Goblin Emperor , the Mercy Thompson books, the Alpha and Omega books, the Hane Yellowrock books, the witch books by Debora Geary, the Midnight Texas books, the Alera books and Witch World books. I reread lots of others but these are my comfort books. I find it amazing that I find time to read new books, but it’s not a problem really

  142. 142

    That’s totally a thing ❤️❤️❤️

  143. I have a library full of comfort books. I buy it hints I know I’ll re-read over and over again. My go-to is the Heralds of Baldemar series by Mercedes Lackey. Discovered it and her in middle school and have found its focus on inclusion and good something I turn to when I need to recalibrate.

  144. Comforting like homemade macaroni and cheese, like summer tomatoes, like warm evenings on the porch:

    Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
    A Short History of a Small Place (T.R. Pearson)
    Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
    The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself (Rosemary Daniell)
    95 Poems (e.e. cummings)

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  145. 145

    Anything at all by Anne Bishop. And the entire Wheel of Time Series. There are authors and books I might like better? But those 2 things always make me feel safe and comfortable. I’m happier to read about some of the Black Jewels characters lives than to hear about real people.

  146. My favorite childhood books by James Herriot.

  147. I’ve never met anyone else with comfort books. Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams, all the way.

    Jerimi recently posted To you, with love.

  148. 148

    Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, and Good Omens.

  149. Yes, comfort books are definitely a thing! A lot of the books mentioned in the comments are ones I also go to when I want something familiar and soothing. The Little House on the Prairie series, Little Women, Agatha Christie (any of hers!) and a lot, but not all of Stephen King.

  150. I have probably reread The Once and Future King by TH White more than any other, except possibly The Monster At The End of This Book by Jon Stone.

  151. I just reread all the Harry Potter books and every few years will read the Lord of the Rings series.

  152. 152

    Is it weird for you that your books are a comfort book for so many of us? My list also includes Sophie’s World and the HP series. And when I need to feel like a badass I go for the Black Widow graphics

  153. Both of your books are comfort books for me. Particularly if I’m going through an especially nasty period of depression. “The Mists of Avalon,” “Good Omens,” “Neverwhere,” the entire Harry Potter series, “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and “Bad Science” are on that list too. I don’t understand why people DON’T have comfort books! 😀

  154. 154

    This is something that I have always had, absolutely! I’ve read all of Terry Pratchett’s novels at least dozens of times, Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men On A Boat hundreds of times, Spike Milligan’s war autobiographies hundreds of times… I say hundreds, at ONE hundred each, year after year. I love food, but I am not a comfort eater. I’m a comfort reader, though. And a few glasses of Sauvignon blanch alongside said books is just wonderful. I re-read Small Gods (Pratchett) just a few days ago. It is some combination of regression to a safer, younger time, but also an opportunity to revisit the friends in those books – the characters become friends – and to often find new nuances that give a freshness to the reading. I’d wither and die if I didn’t do it!

  155. Mine are the Harry Potter series and the Hatchet books by Gary Paulsen. I’ve read them all so many times, I could probably recite them from memory.

  156. 156

    This is so a thing. Mine are “Weaveworld” by Clive Barker, “The World According to Garp” by John Irving, and an annual reading each of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and a compilation of Christmas mysteries that I love to read in the heat of summer.

  157. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. It lifts me up every time and reminds me to be happy being me. Makes me smile just thinking about it right now.

  158. I love reading books about writing. I will always pick up Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and Stephen King’s On Writing for comfort. Also Letters To A Young Poet. They remind me that my tribe is out there, even if they aren’t my family and friends.
    Otherwise, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.

  159. 159
    Gribble Girl

    Mine would be the Otherland series by Tad Williams (I read these at least once a year), Dune by Frank Herbert, and most of the books by Mary Stewart. There are other books I read lots, but these are my definite comfort ones

  160. OF COURSE comfort books are a thing!!! Here are a few of my non-comforting comfort books:
    A Widow for One Year by John Irving
    The Stand by Stephen King
    All the Harry Potter books (esp 5-7)
    Forever by Pete Hamill
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
    Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
    The Two Georges by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove
    The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

  161. My go to rereads are anything by Stephen King (Misery is my absolute favorite though) and every spring I reread Gone With The Wind and every winter I reread Little Women. No idea why but there it is.

  162. Early Stephen King, especially The Dead Zone, The Shining, and The Stand.

    Chuck Baudelaire recently posted I'm More Worried About Weird Bathroom Smell Than Cross-Dressing Predators, Thank You.

  163. Definitely a thing – my mum and I call them ‘chocolate books’ because they’re what you turn to when you want comfort and something easy to digest. For me, it’s the Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie series, anything by Jane Austen and I’ve just rediscovered the comfort of Enid Blyton (making my way through all my childhood favourites).

  164. White Oleander, Prince of Tides, Through the Glass Darkely, I know this much is True, To Dance with Kings, and In Cold Blood.

  165. 165

    The 1st 3 Dune books.

  166. Anything by Jennifer Crusie. Dick Francis. A British romantic comedy writer named Katie Fforde. Hell yes, it’s a thing.

  167. 167

    I only have one comfort book… In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan.

  168. 168

    I don’t think you’re insane-my main comfort book is It by Stephen King. 😊

  169. I love Of Mice and Men! Anything John Steinbeck actually- he makes reading classics easier.. I also had a hard time with Wuthering Heights but I really loved it. And anything by Mitch Albom! Love his books.. 🙂

  170. Laurie Colwin, Don’t Ask Me Why by Tania Kindersley, Shannon Olson, and the Agatha Raisin books by M.C. Beaton. As well as many, many YA books from my youth, especially the Anastasia series from Lois Lowry.

  171. 171

    Absolutely! Like many others, LOTR, Harry Potter books and Jane Austen. But perhaps my favorite comfort book is the audio version of Gaiman’s Anansi Boys read by Lenny Henry. Even when Spider is staked to the ground with no tongue, I find it so very, very comforting.

  172. I hope one day to feel whole enough, to love myself enough, to read for comfort.

  173. “Comfort Books” is a perfect moniker for them! Mine are To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter series, and the Flavia deLuce series.

  174. I have comfort books too. I have re-read them dozens of times in all kinds of places. They are places and people I know and I want to visit them when life is scary or lonely or dreary or impossible. These books are my friends.

    I think blood and mayhem of your books is beside the point. You’re just visiting friends. The plot isn’t that important anymore when you’ve read them so much – it’s the people and place.

  175. 175

    All of Anne Lamotts books are my comfort

  176. I re-read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened when I need to laugh/cry, again, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, because I’ve pictured every scene and character in my head, in blinding technicolour, The Ya-Ya Sisterhood trilogy because I simply love it, and The Book of Negroes because it’s sumptuous. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to start a new book so I turn to my old favourites. Is that strange, not having the energy to read a new book?

  177. Some of my favorite comfort books: Lamb by Christopher Moore, anything by Terry Pratchett (except Small Gods), Good Omens by PTerry & Neil G, all of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evonavich, especially Plum Lovin’ because it’s adorable, and Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Little Brother, and Pirate Cinema.

  178. Comfort books are 100% a thing. Personally: Charles Dickens, Charles Finch, and MFK Fisher.

  179. David Eddings’ Belgariad & Mallorean Series. Because he has the best characters ever(!) who entertain me without expecting a damned thing from me. And now that you’ve got me thinking about it you’ll have to excuse me…..there’s a sorcerer I need to see about a road trip.

    Mrs. Completely recently posted The Sound of My Fury.

  180. For me, the twilight books (Stephenie Meyer.. the host as well), and the tattoo fairies books (Melissa Marr)… these books aren’t, particularly, comforting, (especially ink exchange), but I find them engrossing enough to bury myself in. If the book does not involve enough danger/intrigue/beauty/magic/etc… it will not be interesting enough to distract my brain from the things that sometimes torment it, in the form of depression and anxiety. Comfort books don’t have to be “chicken soup for the soul,” types… What they have to be, is something that makes your focus change… Grabs your mind, and holds on tight, and keeps it from thinking about whatever is bothering you… And, often, to obtain a new comfort book, you don’t have to be in a bad place the first read.. You just have to remember it, when you do end up in that place again… Comfort books must be memorable.

  181. ooo, Geek Love. That’s a good one. Also, any J.D. Robb books are good, full of interesting futuristic stuff as just “normal” day-to-day, but also murder and mayhem and detecting, plus sex! and hot main characters.

  182. 182
    I believe in comfort albums as well.

    I’ve tried to explain to my family about comfort books and they don’t get it either, despite the fact that they re-watch the same shows and movies over and over again!
    Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are always good to me. For stand alone books I keep going back to Where the Red Fern Grows, but I don’t know why since it makes me bawl every time.

    Right now I’m re-reading Worm</a href> an online serial by Wildbow/J.McCrae. It’s crazy long and gets extremely dark and gruesome, so not my normal cup of tea, but the characters were so well done that I needed to know what happened to them.

  183. “The Mists of Avalon,” Marion Zimmer-Bradley, “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” Lee Harper and “Dandelion Wine,” Ray Bradbury

  184. 184

    Of course it’s a thing! When my daughter went off to college we made sure she had a supply of comfort books. Many of her classmates did as well.

  185. 185
    Jo Ann D.

    You are not alone! My favorites are the Harry Potter books, The Hobbit, and Silence of the Lambs.

  186. It changes, when I was a kid it was A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Wise Child, and a couple other books. Now it’s pretty much anything written by Jane Austin or Neil Gaiman.

  187. I totally know what you mean. I have this book this little paperback book that I’ve had to tape up to preserve because I’ve read it so many times. Its called “Phone Call From A Ghost” its a bunch of crepy ghost stories. There are other books I’ve re-read but not like this one.

  188. If comfort books weren’t a common thing, nobody would have beat-up books in their collections. As a reader, a life without my comfort books is inconceivable. It’s very similar to meeting up with old friends and talking about the past. Except without faulty memories.

  189. 189

    Agree, comfort books are a thing. Mine are anything by Christopher Moore, particularly The Stupidest Angel and A Dirty Job (zombies and Death, respectively). Also, any Carl Hiaasen featuring the character Skink.

  190. A Room with a View, Little Women and To Kill a Mockingbird. All well-worn in my library!

  191. “The Number of the Beast” by Robert Heinlein. It was supposed to be an example of how NOT to write a science fiction novel, but I love it. Time travel, other dimensions, characters from other books, etc. I’ve worn out 2 copies of the trade paperback.

  192. 192

    I have comfort books for sure, some (like World War Z) are odder than others, but they are mostly fluffy books, like the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland, and a couple of titles from the Redwall series (Redwall and Martin the Warrior specifically, tho I adore the whole series). I also love rereading Where the Red Fern Grows, The Illustrated Man and Slaughterhouse 5.

  193. My read over and over comfort books is the 50 Shades of Gray trilogy!! Nothing like good comforting trashy books.

  194. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened & Furiously Happy, The Loop & Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God by Joe Coomer, Emma, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Anne McCaffrey Dragon Rider of Pern series, Wicked & Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire, the Princess and the Goblin & the Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald, and Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund …and my Kindle because, let’s be honest, I can live without food and people but I can’t live without books.
    Life’s too Short for Boring Art

  195. 195
    John Burns

    I reread my collections of Agatha Christie, Horatio Hornblower, Harry Potter, Tom Clancy (except Sum of All Fears, too much personal anxiety), some of the Dune series, George Alec Effinger…

  196. A Prayer for Owen Meany

  197. 198

    For me I have days where I want to do stuff & be entertained but my brain can’t handle new.
    New concepts, thoughts,emotions.
    Brain is too much a jangly mess to do anything but retreat to the warm, safe comfort of my little nest of a bed. I don’t want to sleep the pain away, and maybe I just want to hold the book as an excuse to think my own thoughts, but still look like I’m doing something…dozing & restarting the same page optimal. Something about that time helps reset my brain.
    Add an open window & rain for optimal comfort book snuggles.

  198. I honestly read and recommend your books for uplifting.
    Renee Charytan

  199. The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. For a long time, anything by Terry Pratchett. Before that, anything by Robert Heinlein. All read to the point of memorization.

  200. 201

    From the Dust Returned is one of the best books Ray Bradbury ever wrote (and that’s saying something). I read it again and again myself. My others are Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Jane Austen.

  201. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck… I’ve read it 7 times. Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes. I read it every winter. It’s warming. I also love her “Bella Tuscany” and “A Year in the World.” And any book by Bill Bryson, but A Shirt History of Nearly Everything was my first of his… Totally hooked me.

  202. 203
    Leslie Mulcahy

    Absolutely not just you. Comfort books are like comfort anything else. They bring you peace and settle you when you need it. I’ve never really questioned the why of it;I just accept it and turn to it when I need it. Incidentally, “it” is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

  203. So many good books in these comments, but for me it’s “The Book Thief “. Something about death narrating a beautiful story….

  204. 205

    Totally a thing! The Anne of Green Gables books, Pride and Prejudice, and cookbooks with lots of pictures.

  205. OUTLANDER! It’s the only book I’ve read more than once & I’m re-reading it again. Take me away from everything.

  206. Jenny,
    I honestly read and recommend your books for uplifting.
    Renee Charytan

  207. I have comfort books too actually. I never really put that name to them but that’s definitely what they are. For me my number one book (or actually series) is Harry Potter. It came out when I was 11 and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since and every time I read it, it takes me back to that same place of loving the book and being at peace. Definitely a thing! haha

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  208. So much “YES!” in this picture! Anytime I’m in a bad mood or feeling low, I’ll watch Dr Who reruns, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or The Nightmare Before Christmas. I also like to reread Alice, and tend to lean more towards the macabre/weird/fucked-up kinds of books.

  209. 210

    My sister passed away back in October. There was a week when I couldnt’t read anything, but then I picked up Harry Potter and made my way through the whole series again. Definitely comfort books. Those and Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, along with The Green Mile.

  210. The Stand, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, and any of the original Nancy Drew books are my comfort books. They got me through my first month of college when I was incredibly, horribly homesick.

  211. When I am too sick to get up I lay and listen to mostly Neil Gaiman books. American Gods, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere. I’ll read Good Omens – need to go see if anyone with a wonderful voice has done that one. Sometimes my husband comes home and finds me sleeping with American Gods still playing. It is wonderfully soothing.

  212. Of course that’s a thing. Jane Austen — all of ’em.

  213. OH YES. Comfort books are totally a thing. For me, it’s a mix of Terry Pratchett Discworld books, Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Tin Tin comics, Asterix and Obelix, and The Sea Priestess.

  214. Comfort books are TOTALLY a thing–my choice depends on my mood. I have lots of comfort books because I’ve had a number of years to find and re-read them . The earliest are my Black Stallion books by Walter Farley, the Lad books by Albert Payson Terhune and two obscure ones: Algonquin: A Dog and Gervase by Ann Moray–this strange, sad and magical story about a girl and a stag. As an adult, Pride & Prejudice, the JD Robb Eve Dallas books, and Patricia Briggs Alpha & Omega books are my romance go-tos. And Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity books for a bit of romanticized England. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (though I’m even more likely to read it aloud to others who haven’t yet discovered the joy of Jenny’s humor–favorites are the roadkill puppet Stanley and the cow AI–it reminds me of my best friends whom I try and convince regularly to write up their own adventures–last trip home I decided to ride home from their farm with the hubby so we could catch up and he said you’ll have to sit in the back seat–there’s a deer head in the passenger seat. Don’t even let me get into the wife disposing of a dead rabid raccoon wearing trash bags over what she’d worn to the opera–I rather feel like Jenny’s family must be long lost cousins of theirs if not mine). Rita Mae Brown’s Jane Arnold fox hunting series (reminds me a bit of home and the descriptions of hunting are spot on–for those who don’t know foxhunters are WAY more protective of foxes than anything short of seeing would ever convince you). And poetry especially Brendan Kennelly (whose powerful books I searched out in Dublin after he and Bono reviewed each others work and strangely I met his daughter on that trip quite by happenstance–she was the friend of a friend) or Byron (my most treasured book of his was bought and first read at Newstead Abbey) and Homer (no connection there–even I’m not that old) and Viggo Mortensen whose poetry is incredible even if you don’t love him as Aragorn. Oh, and for sci-fi, Douglas Adams, Asimov’s Foundation, Piers Anthony’s Incarnations series and the novelizations of my favorite show ever–original series Battlestar Galactica–some of my paperbacks I’ve had since I was 10–the others came to me through the interwebs and I refuse to say what I paid for obscure used paperbacks. I think Neal Stephenson’s seveneves will make that list as the years go on as well despite it’s impressive length–that first sentence had me hooked from the moment I read it “The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.” Now you’ve made me want to drag them all out and read the lot again right now!

  215. My go to books are The Giver, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and The Night Circus.

  216. Victor is wrong. This is totally a thing. Mine are The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The English Patient and Pride and Prejudice. Also occasionally Love in the Time of Cholera. Oh and I was re-reading Harry Potter before my kids had read it even once. And finally, Mary Oliver’s poetry.
    Done now.

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  217. I like to sleep with my comfort books. But the only one I’ve read over and over is Delilah’s Mountain by Gloria Jahoda. I borrowed it from my junior high school library, which means I pretty much stole it. My comfort authors? Rosamunde Pilcher. Reading her books is akin to curling up in front of a crackling fire with a blankie and nice cup of tea. Also: Janet Evanovich for a good laugh.

    digbydigz recently posted True Confessions: I Was Held Hostage by a Hypochondriac Dentist.

  218. Persuasion by Jane Austen. It’s something about second chances at happiness that soothes me. Also, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and anything by Virginia Woolf. Fairytales by brothers Grimm or HC Andersen. The real ones that my mother read to me when I was a kid… not the sugary sweet endings of Disney. I thought everyone has comfort books/TV shows/movies! Maybe people like me that struggle with depression do turn to them more often.

  219. Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones. Read them, then start all over again… And I have a vast collection of children’s picture books and fiction which I cherish. Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aiken, and all her short stories… In the Suicide Mountains by John Gardner… Any picture book illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert… The Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg…. The White Deer by James Thurber and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle…. they are all magical and return me to a shinier state of being.

  220. 221
    ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist)

    I totally believe in comfort books! They’re the ones you read over and over again because you feel safe in them and trust the ending.

    Also, I read this a couple of weeks ago – some clinics in England suggest books as part of their Rx for patients in mental health. Very cool:

  221. 222

    Comfort books are absolutely a thing. Victor is crazy. Mine are everything by David Endings, Tamora Pierce, Susan Cooper, and basically all the fanfic ever.

  222. 223
    Ellen C.

    I have one that I stole from my friend many years ago, and I’ve read it so many times, it’s literally fallen apart. I bought another copy. It’s The Bride by Julie Garwood. I also go back to the Harry Potter books and Go Ask Alice.

    I just finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and it is definitely making my reread list!

  223. My ultimate comfort book is “…And Ladies of the Club,” by Helen Hooven Santmyer. It takes me to a different place, and I just find it soothing.

  224. Pride and Prejudice is one.
    Dear and Loathing in Las Vegas is another.

    Comfort books are real, just like comfort food.

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    Niki Williams

    I absolutely have comfort books. I have read The Stand by Stephen King at least a hundred times. I go to it when the seasons change (probably something to do with seasonal mood stuff)… Also IT.. at least a hundred times. It is like a blanket that I lay over my regular life when it is too much… these characters and these stories… they are as familiar to me as my own family.

  226. 227

    Absolutely. When things are bad, I re-read the Amelia Peabody stories by Elizabeth Peters, or the mysteries from the Golden Age of Mystery, like Sayers, Allingham, and Christie. When they are really bad, I reach for the horse and dog books of my youth, like the Dorothy Lyons stories, or Silver Chief: Dog of the North. Totally a thing. I can even gauge how bad things are by how recently I’ve reached for what. 🙂

  227. 228

    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I find myself reaching for it on bad days, and even though it’s one of the most gut wrenching things I’ve ever read, I love it.
    I also love reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire on my bad days, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, and both The Lacuna and Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

  228. +1 for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Plus Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, anything by Anne McCaffery, Calvin & Hobbes, and The Book of Job (if he could make it through, I can too.)

  229. Life with Mother Superior by Jane Trahey.

  230. I totally have comfort books, different ones for different times of year. They’ve survived every purge of my bookshelves no matter how tattered or how well I know the story.
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
    Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery
    Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Lorna Landvik
    Rachel’s Holiday, Marian Keyes

  231. 232

    Yep. Keep coming back to the Magic’s Pawn trilogy, Neverwhere and Alice in Wonderland

  232. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahiuk, Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, Fear and Loathing in LV by HST, and Catcher in the Rye

  233. Black Jewels series. Any time I’m feeling down, I pick up Daughter of the Blood and start from the beginning.

  234. Skimming these comments is such a reinforcement of the commonality in this community. All of my comfort books have already been named (Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time…Outlander, which I have not yet reread, but will definitely be revisiting over and over, I suspect). Living in a series (mostly from my childhood) for the time it takes to reread is a touchstone for me, especially in times of grief. I love the idea that while I’m rereading there will be all of you out there, reading with me!

  235. Too many books to name! I also have comfort audio-books – I like “The Cat Who” mystery series for road-trips – especially road-trips where I’m escaping something. They aren’t great literature by any stretch but going back to a familiar place is very comforting. I’ll be moving across country in another month – I hope I can get some on my iPad!

  236. Both of your books are on my go to list! Also, there’s nothing like escaping to the wizarding world and all the Harry Potter books! My last series of go to books are by Ransom Riggs…Miss Perigrine’s Peculiar Children series, three awesome books! There’s kind of a theme here…I like books where the weird & unusual people, such as myself, are underdogs who rise up & embrace their weirdness to win!😂

  237. 238

    I definitely have comfort books. I re-read your book, Furiously happy at least 4 times now because it pulls me out of my anxiety funks, Grrl Genious Guide to Life is another comfort book when I need to get out of a funk. But I also have comfort books when I feel like I need to cry and my own life issues are too intense to deal with, so I re-read Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or Mama Day or Harry Potter and cry uncontrolled sobs at the death scenes and come out of the book world feeling refreshed.

  238. Totally a thing. Mine are the Sandman Slim series, The Dresden Files, The Nightside series, Charlie Davidson books, along with Harry Potter, Hunger Games and guilty pleasure Twilight. I think that when I am in need of comfort, darker tales give me support where as “happy” stories make me feel worse because it highlights what is currently missing.

    Angie S recently posted Recovery is a Process.

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    Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, McKiernan’s MIthgar series, Christopher Moore’s Lamb and A Dirty Job. When I re-read any of these, I feel like I am meeting up with old familiar friends. Because I am naturally friends with vampires, witches, pixies, fairies, demons, death, elves, dwarves, warrows, shapeshifters, weres, and Jesus’ friend Biff.

  240. 241

    Mine include: The Lark and The Wren by Mercedes Lackey; The Blue Sword/Hero & the Crown by Robin McKinley; Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett; the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carrier; the Gale family series by Tanya Huff; and Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey. Your first book is also beginning to work its way into rotation. I think I’ve read it three times so far. Most of my list are books I found in middle school. They just feel homey and comfortable. They’re like old friends. Victor is clearly not a reader.

  241. To add to what I said earlier: I might only reread books I haven’t read in a long while but I tend to go back to Roald Dahl’s stories. I still need to purchase a copy of Furiously Happy but I have a feeling it’s a book I’ll be glad to revisit after having read it.

  242. To Kill a Mockingbird. The book is falling apart. In fact, my sister bought me a new copy one year but I prefer to read the worn copy I’ve read since I was a kid.

  243. 244

    I just read a few comments back after posting and remembered a half dozen other books that should also be on my list. You’re definitely my people.

  244. When I’m crazy stressed, I read my favourite books from when I was a kid, L.M. Montgomery. They really do make me feel better! Also The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which I only read as an actual adult. So yes, comfort books are a real thing!! Mind you, I don’t have a TARDIS full of my favourite things, so that’s why I need books. Wow, books are the original TARDISes – they’re always bigger on the inside. Plus, reading it is kind of like time traveling…Hmmm…from now on whenever I’m reading I’m going to make people refer to me as ‘the Doctor’. Quietly.

    JenniferShelby recently posted the cottage.

  245. 246
    Gina Bina

    For several years, I read the Harry Potter books over again before the newest one came out. Then, I would read them all, in order, each year. I also read the Emily series by L.M. Montgomery mutiple times, as well. I recently quit a book club because it didn’t leave enough time for me to do this.

  246. Reading your post, and ALL these comments, has made my afternoon. Growing up, I read the Little House books over and over and over and couldn’t wait to go west myself. As an adult, I reread Gloria Naylor’s “Mama Day” during tough times. Also love Sookie, and going back to Hogwarts is perhaps most comforting of all.

    Amy Berry recently posted Pinball Wizard.

  247. 248

    Fall From Grace and Saving Grace by Christine Zolendez. I’m not proud of liking them. They’re not Anne of Green Gables or Once Upon a Winter’s Night. But I read them every winter when my SAD takes over and I feel all angsty.

  248. This reminds me of a scene from a Seinfeld episode where Elsine wants one of her books back. He goes into a tirade: “What is this obsession people have with keeping books? Why fill your shelves with books you’ve already read? I say, you read it- get ride of it!”

    Jerry obviously doesn’t believe in comfort books.

  249. Practical Magic, Walk Two Moons, A Series of Unfortunate Events books, The Claidi Journals–and I’m realizing mostly they’re books for younger kids that I can easily consume in a few hours when I’m in desperate need of comfort. Probably because a lot of the YA or younger books are what I read to get me through a really difficult childhood. I return there as an adult to remember that it will be ok. Things will get better.

  250. Love is a Wild Assault is a beautiful telling of a true story of a woman who was an early settler in Texas. It won several awards when it was written in the late 40’s. Her name was Harriet Potter and I can’t tell much about the story without giving too much away. It is one of the few books I’ve read several times. I love this thread. Lots of great suggestions here.

  251. Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman. The first time I read it it left me feeling very unsettled but after the second reading I was peaceful and hopeful and I can’t explain the change. I return to it at least once a year.

  252. Omg, my spellcheck screwed me there. Obviously, I meant Elaine wanted her book back and I meant to type Get RID of it.

  253. Also, A Prayer for Owen Meanie and just about every other John Irving book.

  254. 255
    Erika Franzon

    The World According to Garp, Clan of the Cave Bear, Good Omens, anything by Anne Rice.

  255. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and the rest of the series, anything by Stephen King but The Stand and Salems Lot are two favorites, anything by Nevada Barr.

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    Food memoirs like Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking or Calvin Trillin’s Tummy Trilogy, or in a pinch, most any cookbook compiled by church ladies. Funny women…like you, Cynthia Heimel, Hyperbole and a Half. The J.D.Robb In Death series. British children’s books like The Penderwicks or my All Time Favorite Go To Comfort Books – The Bagthorpe Saga by Helen Cresswell.

  257. 258

    Almost any Stephen King book (Tommyknockers is dreadful and I refuse to read Pet Semetary), Fahrenheit 451, and The Grapes of Wrath. Says a lot about me!

  258. Everyone write to Jerry and straighten him out:

  259. There are books I read again and again: for comfort, for companionship and familiarity. I read Good Omens at least once a year, Tigana & The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy both by Guy Gavriel Kay at least once a year. The Deborah Harkness Discovery of Witches triliogy. Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson – nothing like super dangerous scuba diving to identify a German submarine off the US Coast.

  260. You’re not crazy — or not because of comfort books, anyway! I have lost many close relatives and miss them terribly. And so I reread the Harry Potter books, because he gets to see his lost loved ones in several of the books (OK, in book 1, 4 and 7). It comforts me. My husband thinks I’m nuts.

    Elyse recently posted Sassy.

  261. Little House on the Prairie series, over and over and over, and The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey, Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas, The Deverry Cycle from Katharine Kerr, and Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel. Also Memoirs of a Prarie Bitch from Alison Arngrim, This Time Together from Carol Burnett, Never Have your Dog Stuffed from Alan Alda. Oh, and the Book of Life trilogy from Deborah Harkness. And Harry Potter. And Here if you Need Me from Kate Braestrup,
    I read comfort reads more than I read new things some years.

  262. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Every time.

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    The Harry Potter series, always.

  264. For me, it will always be Harry Potter, the Outlander series, and anything byStephen King.

  265. A prayer for Owen Meany, Tales of the City, Outlander, The Hunger Games. I like a good series, by book two I forget my world exists and I’m annoyed when someone reminds me that it does. Does that make me a bad person? Probably.

  266. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books are like crack for me, can’t put them down, and if I’m feeling more whimsical, The Cat Who….series (murder, mayhem and cats-it’s all there).

    Kelly recently posted I May Temporarily Have Mongoloid Boobs.

  267. 268

    The Southern Sisters murder series by Anne George–humor, southern comfort, sisters, and murder. I keep the entire set by my bed….

  268. 269

    Rosamunde Pilcher’s “September” and “Winter Solstice.” For when I need the book equivalent of mac & cheese. Yes, Victor, Comfort Books are very very real.

  269. 270

    A few years ago I moved, again, and I had a moment. I simply could not fathom boxing, lifting, stacking, and just moving all my stuff AGAIN. So I purged, hard, and gave away easily half an apartment of things, including 7 egg (huge) boxes of my books collected since childhood. 2 months later when I settled in my new place I was heartbroken. I’d lost almost all my friends, and 2.5 years later I still reach for books that aren’t there anymore. Yes, there are comfort books.

  270. Also The Cat Who books are by Lilian Jackson Braun.

  271. Complete Jane Austin, Josephine Tey.

  272. My go-to books when I just can’t… are the David Eddings series. Generally I start with Sparhawk and then I read them all. J. D. Robb’s “in Death” series beginning after SPOILER Peabody makes detective, Ann McCaffrey’s “The Powers That Be”. The Anne Bishop “The Others” series.

    Hmm, I’m seeing a lot of fantasy in there. Maybe because I read mystery for a living, I have to escape out of the ordinary? Dunno. But there you have it. Comfort reads are as important as comfort foods, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

  273. Good Omens. My must-travel-with book is Richard E. Grant’s film diaries, With Nails. Hilarious and takes your mind off whatever conveyance you’re in. My must-rescue-from-a-burning-house book is Tam Lin by Pamela Dean. I keep wanting to list all the books mentioned in it, and read them too. Then I will have majored in English, or Classics.

  274. I’ve reread Elizabeth Peter’s Jacqueline Kirby series (murder solving lubrarian) once a year for the pasy 25 years. Tanya Huff’s Smoke trilogy is also a yearly read.

    Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Pulm series is for when I don’t want to think.

    Sherrilyn Kenyon (The League, Dark Hunters or Chronicles of Nick) is for when I’m feeling like I’m standing on a ledge looking down.

  275. The Night Circus!!!
    It makes me feel things and I read it over and over and over!!!

    tlcombs recently posted And Now UPS Won’t Come To My House Anymore.

  276. I re-read “A Tree Grows in Brooklynn”, “The Moonflower Vine”, “Marjorie Morningstar” and “Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York:.

  277. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Maytrees by Annie Dillard are my comfort books.
    Rachel Getting Married is my comfort movie.

    Libby recently posted April Book Club Select Review + May’s Pick!.

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    Lisbeth Wheelehan

    Fight Club… No idea why.

  279. I’m a crisis therapist, and in my biz we call it a coping strategy. I’m actually deep in a re-read binge right now.
    Stephen King was always my go-to comfort read, but I wasn’t a re-reader until 34 days ago, when my dog had a pericardial effusion second to a sarcoma on his heart. The vet recommended euthanasia, but I wasn’t ready, so she recommended staying up with him overnight since she did not expect him to make it until the morning. After playing his new favorite game, “Scruff Gets to Eat Whatever He Wants,” he fell asleep. Feeling lost, heartbroken, and scared, I searched the digital library for an audiobook to distract myself from waiting. I saw Nightmares & Dreamscapes. I had read it the first time in the 4th or 5th grade and have been hooked on SK since. I checked it out. I listened and watched Scruff breathe.
    Scruff rallied a little the next day, and a little more the next, and rallied so much the next day I called the vet to make sure they didn’t make a mistake. They didn’t–he’s still got heart cancer, he’s still dying, but since the effusion abated his quality of life is generally good, and will be until another effusion, or a cardiac arrest, with a prognosis of “any time now” to 6 weeks from the first effusion. Meanwhile, I’ve re-listened to or re-read The Shining, The Stand, Night Shift, Everything’s Eventual, and have just started The Regulators. I don’t think my partner, my family, or my coworkers get it, but they support it, and me. I guess we all figure, as binges go, it’s safer than most of the alternatives.

  280. And now I feel bad because I totally didn’t mention Morris West’s “The Clowns of God” which I re-read every year and always get something new out of it. But I re-read it last month so it’s out of my awareness for the moment. But there you go, I think it’s amazing and brilliant.

  281. I read The Stand when I’m sick. It comforts me.

    Michelle recently posted Standing Up At Erma Bombeck 2016.

  282. Neverwhere, anything by Douglas Adams, any of the Harry Potter books. Sometimes you just need something familiar to make you feel sane.

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    Yup, I totally have comfort books I return to. Mostly Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by J. D. Salinger. I have no idea why I find these books comforting, but I always return to them when I can’t get my head together enough to do anything else.

  284. 285

    Any of the Tamora Pierce books set in the Tortall universe. Also “Tam Lin” by Pamela Dean. I read that one about once a year. The Pierce books depend on the mood I am in.

    Also, I work in libraries and Victor is not alone. There are a lot of people who are surprised at the idea of someone repeat reading the same book. I think they get confused at the idea that with more books than anyone could read in a life time out there, why someone would spend the time re-reading something multiple times. They are missing the comforting friends aspect of books I guess?

  285. 286

    The Harry Potter series… I didn’t understand at first why I would read it over and over again… but then I realized it was that I identified with the characters on a visceral level over things like bullying and trying to figure out where I fit in the world.

  286. 287

    Glad I’m not the only one who has Agatha Christie as comfort books. Plus YA books from kidhood. And anything from Tanya Huff except the Blood books.

  287. I have a huge selection of comfort books. “The King’s Fool” by Margaret Campbell Barnes, “The Persian Boy” by Mary Renault, all of Spike Milligan’s war memoirs, “Watership Down”, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. All books that are more than books – they are friends.

    margysmusings recently posted In the Dark.

  288. Comfort books are amazing. The School of Essential Ingredients is mine.

  289. Yes! And I totally re-read the Sookie Stackhouse books as well as the Anne of Green Gables series in the background just as my “I’ve had a bad day, I’m going to go somewhere familiar now” bases.

  290. Mine’s ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I read it every year when it starts to feel like Fall and I know that 6,000 miles away my mom is doing the same…

  291. 292
    Doug in Oakland

    I read Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael books to sort of reset myself back to what’s really important, and, now that I have them both, your books.

  292. I read your books to pull me out of a hole. I read the Harry Potter books over and over to escape and the outlander series to escape as well.

  293. 294

    Enders game, Jacob have I loved, Matilda, the giver. I suspect ready player one and the selection series will be on there too, but I just barely found them.

  294. The Stand, by Stephen King.
    The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas
    And for audiobooks, it’s hands down “The Testament” by John Grisham.

  295. I have to re-buy a lot of my comfort books, soon. I wasn’t able to save all of them when our place flooded back in October. But some of my babies (yes, my books are as much my babies as my children are) were rescued, because my fiance is amazing and knew how much my heart would hurt without my books.

  296. 297

    So many comfort books. I thought I was the only one!

  297. The Blue Castle, LM Montgomery is mine. I now have three copies.

    My husband’s go to comfort books are the Heinlein juveniles.

  298. 299

    I’ve read Furiously Happy twice, and listen to it on audio in the car. I fast forward past the Mature parts of Let’s Pretend this Never Happened when my daughters are in the car! They always say, Mom she could be your friend.

  299. OMG, Yes! I didn’t realize other people re-read books like I do. My go-to’s are The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe, The Chrysalids, and The Harry Potter series. They definitely all remind me of happy times in my life and bring those positive feelings back.

  300. I don’t actually reread books, because I am friends with so many voracious readers with excellent taste that my ‘to read’ list is longer than my life expectancy already, but my comfort books are the Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown. They are all murder mysteries and the town they take place in is full of drama and heartbreak and skeletons, but the characters all know each other and care for one another and so the series just feel homey. I’m so lucky that there were more than a dozen of them by the time I discovered the series.

  301. 302

    My #1 go to is the Yotsuba&! line of manga books. They are playful and sincere stories of a young girl exploring and learning about the world. The expressions of the characters and the simple tales are meshed together in just the right way to help pull me away from whatever may be dragging me down, be it my mind or external influences.

  302. My go to books are The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, Jenny Lawson’s books, Heinlein, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher.

  303. 304

    Absolutely on comfort books! I even have a history book or two that I read over and over again…

  304. 305
    Jill Riley

    The Sam Vimes books and the Death books by Sir Terry Pratchett, and Sunshine by Robin McKinley… My husband just doesn’t get it. He figures that if you know what happens in the end, what’s the point of reading it? I have yet to get him to understand that sometimes it’s not the destination, it’s the journey along with friends that matters.

  305. 306

    Why are re-readers and re-watchers partnered with the one and done? Ursula K. LeGuin and Roger Zelazny never get old. “But you know how they end” says my wife. Maybe I take comfort in that. And maybe I hope to absorb some of the insight and imagination of the creators. Anyway, I know how chicken fried steak ends, but I still eat it any chance I get.

  306. This is absolutely a thing–for me, it’s always been mysteries (Rex Stout and Ngaio Marsh in particular–before I started listening to podcasts to wind down my brain at night, I read those series over and over again, a few chapters a night). It has little if anything to do with the content of the books, and everything to do with feeling comfortable and welcome in the worlds they describe. And it has to be a book I’ve read before–a new book is too engaging to be soothing in that particular way.

  307. Absolutely yes to comfort books! I will reread some favorite non-fiction historical books in addition to a whole bunch of non-fiction and fantasy, as well as some childhood favorites and picture books…

  308. Sure thing. Mine are either funny (yours, David Sedaris) or sweet stories where the girl gets the guy in the end. Which leads me to comfort movies/TV. I’ve considered Gilmore Girls to be my emotional pacifier when going through rough waters. And sometimes a girl just needs a little Mr. Darcy to brighten her day.

    wombatcentral recently posted Space Invaders.

  309. I re-read Hogfather and Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett over and over as comfort books. I also have the audio versions. I do re-read my favorite book over and over as comfort Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters, and Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger (sometimes I’ll just thumb through and read all my underlined quotes that I love or super relate to, and there are a ton in the Seymour: An Introduction half of the book). I also re-read Mrs. Dalloway and To the Light House by Virginia Woolf as comfort. Which are sort of super heavy, but if I have a day I need to just read those books are perfect because the way they are written there isn’t always a good place to just stop. And each time you walk away with something new despite the familiarity of the story. I think , both of your surmises are correct though about why certain books are comforting. It’s a familiar world, with familiar characters, and sometimes those characters are in worse situations than you are which helps give things added perspective.

  310. 311
    Faith Davis

    anything by Stephen King or Terry Pratchett

  311. I definitely get this. My two are Pride and Prejudice and The Neverending Story. I think it’s because these two completely transport me away from my worries. I know the characters soooo well and it eases my soul.

  312. 313
    Shannon DeBeer

    I’m reading my comfort book right now. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called Furiously Happy.

  313. Obviously, comfort books are real. I love how many of us share the same lists, and how many I read that I went, “Oh yes, that one too!”

    For me, anything by Jim Butcher (but especially Dead Beat), anything by Terry Pratchett, Good Omens by Terry and Neil Gaiman, the Prydain Chronicles (The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, et al.) by Lloyd Alexander, anything by Douglas Adams, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle, and all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rawling.

    Also, can someone more anal than me go through and put all of these titles in a list so I can take it to the bookstore?

  314. I think you, Ms. Bloggess, should create a list for everyone of all these great reads! 😀 Anyway, mine are:

    The Hopes of Snakes
    Crow Planet
    Green is the New Red
    The History of Love

    Just to name a few.

    amurderofcrows recently posted Our cages.

  315. It’s not insane. What’s insane is not having comfort books. Weirdos … 🙂

    joquajo recently posted Tea and advocaat.

  316. Neil Gaiman’s books. I feel like these people are all old friends, even though I only discovered them a few years ago.

  317. 318

    Diary of a Provincial Lady series ( a 1930s married version of Bridget Jones), L.M Montgomery short stories, plus The Blue Castle, Jane Austen, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s adult books. I don’t go to blood and gore for comfort books. My husband doesn’t know how I can re-read fiction but it’s what I do.

  318. I always go back to The Stand. Captain Tripps is oddly soothing, I guess, in terms of “well I guess it isn’t THAT bad.”

  319. 320

    Stephen King’s IT, Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schomperlen

  320. 321

    I don’t necessarily have comfort books, although, while my son with in the midst of his heroin addiction, I read 50 Shades of Grey over and over; all 3 of them!

  321. The “strangers in paradise” graphic novel series
    Mists of Avalon
    My entire Rita Mae brown collection
    The “dark tower” series by Stephen king
    My Anne rice collection
    “The dog who spoke with gods” by Diane jessup

    And I’m sure others I have missed. Victor is the weird one for not having comfort books. I have had most of my books through multiple relationships, and they have never let me down. I have comfort music as well!!

  322. I highly recommend “What on Earth Have I Done” by Robert Fulghum, or ANYTHING Terry Pratchett ever wrote.

  323. 324

    The Chronicles of Narnia, and yes I do hope to someday open a wardrobe and find myself there.

  324. It is definitely a thing. Mine are:I never promised you a rose garden, dry, running with scissors, pope of Greenwich village,lord of the rings, all agatha christies

  325. 326

    Oh…. Geek Love. I totally get it. Thank you. 🙂

  326. Dorthy Parker, her poems, short stories, essays. Robert Parker “Spenser” books and Stephanie Plum books. When I feel dead inside I read “the Death Bird” or “Paingod and other Delusions” by Harlan Ellison. I like to see so many other choices by the followers here that find comfort in the printed page.

  327. 328
    Major Bedhead

    Yep. Anything by Maeve Binchy, but especially Firefly Summer and Light A Penny Candle. Also anything by Rosemund Pilcher, particularly The Shell Seekers, Coming Home, and September. They are like wrapping myself in an eiderdown and having a lovely cup of tea.

    Also Harry Potter, From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweller, and A Wrinkle In Time.

  328. Comfort books are totally a thing. Mine aren’t comforting in the usual sense, but I love to retread American Gods and Neverwhere!

  329. Totally a thing. Mine have grown over the years. Harry Potter. Earth’s Children series by Jean M Auel. Stephen King, Dean Koontz. and weirdly, Johanna Lindsey, I have and read a few over and over, and just love the characters. Also VC Andrews. But mostly just the ones she actually wrote.

  330. 331

    Victor is wrong, you knew that!

    I am surprised so many others said “The Stand” by King. I just bought the extended version in hard cover because when I went looking for it I realized I had borrowed it from the library, the original version is not good enough. I love Dune by Frank Herbert, unfortunately I’ve read it so many times even I can’t suspend my memory long enough to read it again right now. Maybe next year.

    Movies can be like this too. Since Cloud Atlas came out I’ve probably turned that on at least 40 times so I can fall asleep. Makes no sense because I normally hate the TV on at bedtime AND I have been unable to finish reading the actual book. There is something about it that relaxes my anxiety. “Truth is singular. Its versions are mistruths.”

  331. No worries–they’re definitely a thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.’

  332. Comfort books are absolutely a thing! Mine include Anna Karenina and Lisey’s Story (Stephen King). Also the MaddAdam trilogy by Margaret Atwood. Are all comfort books weird, random choices?! I’m thinking so.

  333. Through the Looking Glass, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, Like Water for Chocolate, Daughter of Fortune (i.e. Fantasy, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction) – I like to be transported elsewhere and occupy my imagination.

    hj recently posted Three Seasons in Mudeungsan.

  334. “The Shell Seekers”, Rosamunde Pilcher, my all time fav..and Hemingway..

    The Hellion recently posted When You Came To A Fork In The Road….

  335. Naw, you’re definitely not the only one. 🙂 My comfort books are amongst my favorite books, actually. I am not sure what this says about me, but I like the Glass family kids in Salinger’s books, so, I’ve re-read Franny & Zooey, Raise High the Roofbeams and Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction, Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories. I also like to re-read Confederacy of Dunces. My favorite comfort movie is Harold and Maude.

  336. Sometimes I think Victor says these things just to see what kind of a reaction he gets. Comfort books are so totally a thing. My list, not exhaustive but rather off the top of my head: A Ring of Endless Light, Holly Black’s Modern Faeries trilogy, pretty much anything by Nora Roberts.

  337. Comfort books are a necessity: Pride & Prejudice, Neverwhere, Sunshine (Robin McKinley), and Soulless are long time comfort books. More recent additions are Cruel Beauty, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and the manga series Happy Marriage.

  338. When I’m really struggling with depression I read horror. One summer I read nothing but Stephen King because his books made me scared of something outside myself. It was the only thing that let me escape.

  339. 340

    Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read Geek Love too, but once was enough for me 😉

  340. Definitely not just you! I reread The Hobbit, Master and Commander, Neverwhere, and The Name of the Wind whenever I get a bit down.

  341. 342

    This may sound cheesy, but your books are my comfort books. I have them on my nightstand all the time for emergency reading. your musings and Alli Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half’s artistry have calmed my anxiety more times that I can count.
    Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for helping me realize I am not alone in this. Thank you for being you. Thank you.

  342. 343

    Absolutely not the only one. Mine are A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and any of the Harry Potter series.

  343. Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series. They’re just so…pleasant.

  344. Yes! There is even a name for it- bibliotherapy. It’s a real thing.

  345. Alice, definitely Alice.

  346. 347

    My go to books are the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. The take me to a place where everything is possible.

  347. I have approximately 1 bazillion comfort books. They include John Steinbeck, Anne Tyler, Cheryl Strayed, Frank McCourt, Alice Hoffman, and Beverly Cleary. Yes, I am a 55-year-old grandmother, and I sometimes reread the Ramona books my daughters and I loved and love.

  348. Any of the Flavia deLuce series by Alan Bradley. And I’m not a big re-reader of books, but these work for me every time.
    Also, you turned me onto From the Dust Returned, and I LOVED that book. I read it with a flashlight under the covers next to my sleeping 9 month old.

  349. 350

    Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy collection, The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. Treasure Island. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Hmmm, all my “comfort books” are about adventure and escaping the average life.

  350. 351

    “Cats eye ” by Margaret Atwood. This book and many more by Margaret Atwood brought me through a terrible year.

  351. I not only have comfort reads, I have comfort listens. (For those times when I really need a comfort read but IRL requires me to be up and about Doing Stuff And Acting Responsible.) And the point of the comfort listen is not to sit back and enjoy the narration, but to get words into my brain so they’ll replace the sadness or anxiety or stress—whatever it is that’s causing me to need comfort—with stories. So I pick out my comfort listen (Nora Roberts usually works for me, I especially like THE SEARCH—all that dog training is wonderfully soothing), crank my Audible app to 3x the normal speed, and after a while the words will soothe me and I will pay attention to the story for itself, not just as a distraction.

    Series are good for this, just listening to one after the other in a predetermined order that doesn’t require me to make decisions. And they have to be familiar books/listens. It’s a total waste of a new-to-me great book to read/listen in a daze.

  352. I get it, baby.
    My “hot fudge sundae” author is Elizabeth Berg.
    I ‘ve read her books over and over again & they just make
    me feel REAL GOOD.
    …like chocolate does.
    I’ve read PULL OF THE MOON 5 times already. I’m like, THAT’S MEEEEEEEEEEE- or at least, that’s what I’d like to do sometimes.
    xx from MN

  353. OF COURSE comfort books are a thing.
    If I’m under the weather physically but emotionally still OK I reread Carl Hiaasen. When I’m emotionally fragile or the world seems too full of cruelty I read my Georgette Heyer Regency romance novels. I own 21 of them and I’ve read them at least 10 times each

  354. Yes, my comfort reads are very dark. However, most of them are also children’s books, so maybe, for me, it’s the combination of the characters going through horrible un-sugar-coated crap and no assurance of anything getting better along with everything eventually turning out alright in the end. I think those are often the best stories because, no matter how fantastic and out of this world they may be, they’re (mostly) true to life and give a sense of hope.

    Rachelle J. recently posted #FitReaders Check-In.

  355. my copy of The Exorcist is more tape than book at this point, but it solidly the most comfortable book I own.

  356. 357
    Dina Rugani

    Like Water for Chocolate!

  357. Depending on the situation, C.J. Cherryh’s Cyteen (clone-slavery dystopia with rape of a viewpoint character!), Diane Duane’s Spock’s World (would you like some civil war with that bad breakup?), Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series (how to ethically battle evil in your spare time).

  358. 359

    Comfort books are absolutely a thing! My biggest comfort book is one I read for the first time close to 20 years ago called Sabriel by Garth Nix. I’m definitely no longer the target audience, but it still makes me feel safe every time I read it.

  359. I have comfort movies like Smokey and the Bandit and The Blues Brothers or anything by Mel Brooks. The first two I guess point to my love of crashing cars.

  360. The Lioness Rampant Trilogy by Tamora Pierce
    The Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglass
    The Elenium and Tamuli trilogies by David & Leigh Eddings
    Guards! Guards! & Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett

  361. Comfort books absolutely are a thing. Mine are all the YA books of my youth: William Sleator’s House of Stairs, L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light and A Wrinkle in Time, Norma Fox Mazer’s Saturday the Twelfth of October, Julia Cunningham’s Dear Rat. Sometime in my 30s I finally stopped compulsively re-reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, but that one was on the list up to then, as were my old Nancy Drews. Ooo, The Hobbit. Definitely a comfort book that I’ve read again and again.

    Kathy S. recently posted Low brow but I rock a little know how.

  362. 363

    The Stand by Stephen King. I just open it and read the parts I like. But thanks for reminding me about Sookie… I need something to read before bed to clear my mind and Sookie is the perfect answer.

  363. I’ve re-read Watership Down so many times now that I could probably recite it in my head if I needed to…. and I’ll still curl up with the book where bunnies fight to their bloody end and tell stories about their angel of death, over and over again. (There are more on the list, but I’ve found that I can become instant friends with other people who share my love of that particular book; we’ve got some common wiring, I suspect)

  364. 365

    Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Walking on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock.

  365. 366

    Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Walking on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock.

  366. My comfort book is The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot. hangs head in shame It’s as fluffy as a baby sheep eating cotton candy. I am a literature teacher, so I feel like I should have a more intelligent book for this category… but dang it – SOMETIMES I NEED LIFE TO FEEL FLUFFY.

    hazelhillboro recently posted My Profane and Wise Friend Once Said….

  367. Lamb, Harry Potter(s), The lord of the Rings, Happiness at home, A wrinkle in time, Any book I’ve read that’s not overly demanding, interesting, easy to get lost in. There are probably a few more but I’m thinking about them now and I want to go get lost in one. When I’m having a hard time, it’s hard to start a new book. I think it’s the pattern I’m addicted to – the rhythm of the thing that connect me to an inner rhythm that stops all of the external noise. I love that stuff.

  368. 369

    I always love the Winnie the Pooh and the Poems of AA Milne. I know that sounds probably sooo sweet. But My mom always read them to me when I was sick and even now they take me away. Like the poem about Bad King John and all he wanted was a red, india rubber ball. The pictures in my book are special too. Also, when life is kinda crappy for whatever reason, I do love reading mysteries- no one in particular but I think I enjoy that they are ususally kind of easy reading but they keep you focussed on “Who did it?” It’s nice to read a book with a solution when it seems like life doesn’t always offer one…..

  369. My comfort books are all books I loved when I was a kid. I have no idea why.

  370. Hey Jenny,
    I’m currently reading Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland and he talks about something called Biofeedback Loops and how when you read a book the plot triangle is like a controlled version of the stress loop so when you reach the end your body shoots out endorphins and you really do feel better.
    I found it enlightening, especially considering my comfort books
    Valley of the Horses for when I feel lonely (shes alone for 3 years and preserves like a badass)
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when I’m sad (Dumbledore, NO!)
    and so on.
    Hope it makes sense to you, but it could be just me.

  371. Franny and Zooey. I watch comfort movies: 13 Going on 30, Miss Congeniality.

    Kathleen recently posted Lagoons Sessions.

  372. 373

    Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” is my comfort book. Classics, culture, and college kids committing murder.

  373. laugh out loud comfort: Christopher Moore’s “Lamb,” “A Dirty Job,” and the trilogy “Bloodsucking Fiends, Bite Me & You Suck!” – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens!” – “The Phantom Tollbooth” Norton Juster – Dr. Seuss for amazing rhymes – and “The Princess Bride” William Goldman (duh, giants, 6-fingered man, fire swamps, sword fights, true love, ‘mostly’ dead!!!!’) …”No more rhymes now, I mean it.”……”Anybody want a peanut?”

  374. 375
    Beth Damiano

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Secret Garden, Hogfather, A Little Princess, The Collins’ Book of Best-Loved Verse. These are my comfort books.

  375. 376
    Sherri Weitnauer

    I have read many of Stephen King’s books more than once. My all time favorite over all other books is his “The Stand.” You talk about being weird, Jenny. I happen to find books about the end of the world comforting! I like zombie books and most dystopian novels. You are not alone in your strangeness!!

  376. aside from your books which I read over and over when Im feeling down I definitely always need a copy of Tuesdays With Morrie.

  377. The entire Harry Potter series. It’s my happy place. I’ve read them so many times and sometimes they’re the only thing I can focus on when everything else seems to be going to shit. Right now, I’m also turning to anything about zombies.

  378. Most of mine have already been named (Lions of Al Rassan, the Outlander series, the Vorkosigan series). I just want to add Nick Harkaway (‘The Gone Away World’ and ‘Tiger Man’ especially) and Jennifer Crusie, because all her heroines have equally interesting girl buddies and a true love. I think the common denominator in the most recent edition of my comfort list is (aside from being fantasy/sci-fi escapism) that all these books have characters who find joy after grief/trauma/working out their shit. When I need comfort these days, that’s the kind of reassurance I want.

  379. i don’t think i’ve ever read a book twice. netflix comforts me.

  380. 381

    As a child, I read Heidi, Black Beauty, and a Cricket in Times Square over and over and over and over and over. Adult books, not so much.

  381. I have loads of comfort books, some of them even holdovers from teen reading days. I have buckets of old books that were YA (before YA was ruined by sparkling vampires) and even though I crossed the 40 mark a while back, I still pull them out from time to time and read them in the bath.

  382. The Stand is my comfort book. I read it religiously every summer and I’m on my 4th copy. The copies can’t be purchased new, they have to come from a used book store (so they smell right)

  383. I know exactly what you mean. When I’m off kilter, I don’t want to risk my feelings on a new book. What if it ends badly?? So I reread my favorite urban fantasy books. Harry Dresden, Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books (starting with Rosemary and Rue) sometimes Harry Potter.
    I think the comforting part is that even if the books you reread have heartache or death, it’s that it’s like driving a road you’ve driven many times before. You know where the bumps and curves are, you can see them coming, and you know when you’re almost to the end.

  384. Not trying to suck up, but I have read your books several times. They make me laugh and feel not alone when I am in he dark. Love rereading Harry Potter. And loved seeing others comfort books. Some I will re re-read, others will wadded to my to read list.

  385. 386

    I always read ‘Alanna: The First Adventure’ by Tamora Pierce. I must have read this books thousand times but the main character is always so strong in the face of everything. It always helps me escape whatever is currently happening in my life x

  386. “She’s come Undone” by Wally Lamb and “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee. 🙂

  387. I have to reread Jane Austin’s books. the other author I reread most years is Ian Banks. Sadly of course the number of books from both will never grow. My cousin the physiologist has a book out about working on Anxiety. He is a lovely man and maybe his book my be of help to someone here. My sister who is living with nasty anxiety thinks it is worth a read.

  388. The Anita Blake series, especially Obsidian Butterfly. Also Preston and Child’s Agent Pendergast series.

  389. 390

    Any Amy Tan, most Barbara Kingsolver, A Tree Grows in Broklynn, lots of StephennKing, The Secret Garden, and lots more. It is a thing. -Kathy M.

  390. Love in the Time of Cholera.

    therealjenweighsin recently posted Three (or more) Times A Charm.

  391. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is one of my comfort books, too!
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr, The Stand and IT by Stephen King, Harry Potter, Julie of the Wolves, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Lamb by Christopher Moore would round out my list.

  392. 393

    I totally have comfort books. Mine are “Live Your Truth” by Kamal Ravikant and “Two Winters in a Tipi” by Mark Warren. I reread them at least once a year if not more. There are others but these are my standbys.

  393. Furiously Happy, Jane Erye, Alice in Wonderland, School of Fear, any by Lori Foster or Jane Austen

  394. Geek Love is one of my comfort books! I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it. You are the first person I know (sort of) who has read it! I’m so excited you reread it, too!

  395. 396

    You are not alone!

  396. Lord of the Rings series, Of Mice and Men, and a picture book I pick up frequently The Shrt and Incredibly HAppy Life of Reilly

  397. 398

    Fried Green Tomatoes and Walking Across Egypt and Anne of Green Gables. Stephen King used to comfort me but he just does not anymore. Anything by Anne Lamott is wonderful…that woman must read my mail.

  398. 399
    Stephanie S

    Betty and Veronica comics. And, now, Afterlife With Archie.

  399. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, most of the Discworld books, Cherie Priest’s work… Yeah, I like dark and disturbing and weird.

  400. Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil is one of mine as well. The other ones so read over and over are A Density of Souls by Christipher Rice, Desperation by Stephen King, and Jurassic Park.

  401. I have books that I read over and over: Harry Potter series, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Secret Garden,

    Teresa recently posted Owning the Ring.

  402. 403
    Nichola burton

    Comfort books do exist! Me talk pretty one day is my comfort read, it never fails to bring me up.

  403. Furiously Happy. And I’m not trying to kiss your ass. Reading about your struggles makes me feel that I will be ok, that I can handle what it is I’m going through. Because I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle it, that it’ll become too much and finally break me.

  404. Little Women. I’ve loved it since I was 10. It’s comforting like a quilt and a cup of tea. I know Beth dies and I cry every time. It’s a long time friend.

  405. 406

    For me it’s Guards! Guards! and Nightwatch from the Discworld series, and Stiff. Sam Vimes and cadavers tend to fix all funks.

  406. My comfort reading is the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop and recently I’ve added anything by Grace Draven.

  407. 408

    Anon. here again, Kathy M., and I remembered more … any Anne Tyler, Beverly Cleary and I am pretty sure all stories about Junie B. Jones. I used to re-read the Little House books but no longer can necause they stress me out. Pa doesn’t make the best choices.

  408. My ex-husband told me that while I was in labor with our son (older than you BTW) I “talked crazy”. I asked him for an example and he said I told the nurse the book Advise and Consent was “my best friend.” I might have said some crazy things, but that was not one of them. Now it’s any of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich because they make me laugh out loud even on my worst days.

  409. YES – this is so real… Watership Down, Dragonworld.. Wheel of Time series (that’s one I will randomly listen or read anywhere in the books/ any book in the series – the couple who read the audiobooks should get medals and vacations for how many anxiety attacks they’ve helped me with over the years)… Xanth series…Discworld (Terry Pratchett), Agatha Christie… Georgette Heyer and Josephine Tey might make the list too… just discovered those last two this year. And that’s just the mostly adult novels… children / YA… there’s the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, The Wrinkle in Time series, The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix….. My Side of the Mountain, Hatchet, Hank the Cowdog… anything by Marguerite Henry (I actually made it to Chiconteague once!).

    I’m equally puzzled, aghast, and pitying to those who don’t enjoy reading…and don’t find comfort in stories like well worn, perfect fitting jeans.

  410. 411

    Grey is the Color of Hope by Ratushinskaya whenever I get depressed about humanity. If those women could remain true to themselves in THAT environment, all is not lost

  411. 412

    I just went back and read all the comments! Ok, what is up with all us weirdos (The Stand lovers) finding comfort with the end of the world??? I thought I was alone. I feel better that there are others like me and that I found them on this site. I love you Jenny Lawson!

  412. God, yes! Christopher Moore’s Lamb and A Dirty Job, for me, too. (Also, the audiobook of the new sequel to A Dirty Job, called Secondhand Souls, is my newest comfort audiobook.)
    Can’t tell you how many times I have escaped into both the print and audio of Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy. Your sweet voice really comforts me, Jenny. Especially for anxiety.
    Also, Hyperbole and a Half. And Harry Potter, of course.
    Earlier in life it was comfort movies. They got me through the tough years before I escaped home for college.
    And now, oddly, for the last 10 years, every time someone I am close to dies, I re-watch the entire Friends series. Totally random. My life partner cat of 18 years is dying of lymphoma and I’ve just noticed the deep compulsion to watch Friends bubbling up over the last few days. Can’t imagine grieving without it.
    Thanks for keeping me company when I get scared.

  413. The Dresden files books and anything by terry Pratchett (I would recommend both the Dresden files books and anything disc world to anyone) I both read these and listen to them on audio book (James Marsters is so soothing). And Any Harry Potter books. All soothing when I’m upset or anxious or stressed.

  414. Dune and Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life are two that I’ve gone back to over and over again.

  415. 416

    Almost any Dresden Files book (except Changes, it makes me ugly cry), Good Omens, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Harry Potter, and the Mistborn books (especially the Wax and Wayne cycle, MeLaan makes me happy).

    I have a kindle so I can take all my comfort books everywhere I go. You never know when you’ll need an old friend in your purse.

  416. The Dresden Files: Dead Beat

    Wolf of Words recently posted Zoolander 2.

  417. This is not, in anyway, meant as a sycophantish, over-done, compliment; but the honest truth is, That I Love, sincerely, I take great Comfort in, and Repeated enjoyment in, reading, AND listening, and re-listening, and re-re-listening, ad nauseum, to both, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”, and “Furiously Happy”, whenever I can! In book form, and on Audible versions, on my older droid phone, and now, on my iPhone, and iPad.

    Also, I have hardcover of both books; and, if they were available as more than a “sample”, I would also have the convenience, and instant accessibility, of having them in Kindle form, on all of my devices.

    I also enjoy re-reading all of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy; and a favorite from my childhood, “A Journey For A Princess”, by Margaret Leighton; another of my favorite reads is, “Timeline”, by Michael Crichton.

    So, I’m with those that find that there are times and differing moods and needs, that draw me back to the utter immersion in books, different ones, ones that I that I already know, even almost by heart; there is still so much deep enjoyment in immersing myself in them again. And again.

    I have always always been a devouring reader (as a 4th grader, I was pulled out of class, for special “-testing”, because “they” couldn’t believe I could read through anything as fast as I did – and retain it as much, as well, reading fast as I did – but I do, still ! (Of course “they” never tell this to the kids they’re testing … So, for years, I really thought there was something wrong with me, something unknown and unspeakable … Talk about burdening kids, through silence!) – – –

    Many decades later, I read for the same multiple needs reasons that everyone else does, especially comfort. I also, needing different comforts, re- read “Neverwhere”, and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, both by Neil Gaiman, and “Enchantment”, by Orson Scott Card.

    It is now Many decades later, since the scary “unknowable testing”, of childhood; I now have something called fibromyalgia, and I don’t have it as badly as a lot of people do, and for that I am grateful to God. Almost every day now there are hours that I hurt, so much that I can either concentrate nor “do”. On some days, I hurt it so badly, everywhere on my body except my head, that all I can do is curl up in bed, stay warm, and try not to moan, too much. And, on intensely bad days, all I can do, is just wait, and wait, watching minutes pass, old so slowly, waiting for the pain medication to become effective – waiting, sometimes, on worse days, writhing just a little bit, trying not to watch the clock too much – waiting and waiting and waiting: For that reward to come, for the pain medication Will Work, and I!, me the normal Me, I can go back to moving, thinking, acting and accomplishing, just like a normal person.

    During the bad days, to stop myself from just clock-watching, what I like best of all, is to listen – listening to books. In these times, my hands and wrists and arms hurt too much to hold any book, so what I like to do is to listen. Listen to my Jenny Lawson books on Audible; hearing Jenny, herself, reading me into her life, so I can enjoy and laugh and cry with her – – – and not be concentrating only on my own physical pain.

    Driving is another time – I love to drive, and times I’m a passenger, I can read a book, real or electronic. But I’m not always, a passenger. I used to drive 1000 miles a week from my work and now I drive long trips for pleasure: What makes the miles go the fastest, is listening to Audible books. Again, yes there are many many favorites, including another read and re-readable, or listen and re-listenable, “the Teachings of Abraham – The Law of Attraction”, by
    Jerry and Ester Hicks; and, Jenny Lawson, you, your books, your narration, are a gift beyond descriptions!

    Yes, Comfort Reading, And “Comfort Listening”, are real and wonderful, to all of us!

    Thanks Jenny! For even more then your simple question seem to present, I thank you, for bringing to mind all, ALL the wonderful, good things, and “good vibrations” (according to “TheTeachings Abraham”), all of them, about the act of comfort reading, a great question, that you have had us All, bring to our consciousnesses, today!

    bearzbe recently posted Hello world!.

  418. I don’t have as many books that I turn to as others may; if I’m feeling particularly depressed, I will probably return to both of your volumes, Jenny. But I WANT this week’s weekly wrap-up meme as a Comfort Wallpaper! All the perfect things!

    emelle28 recently posted What if "I" weren't here?.

  419. 420
    elizabeth hay

    Jane Eyre is my favorite book. I could probably recite it. Jodi Picoult, the Harry Potter series, romance novels by Jude Deveraux I continually read and then purge and ultimately buy again at a second-hand bookstore (I would like to thank my Kindle for saving me from doing this ever again), the Neil Gaiman Sandman graphic novels and his other works, fairy tale compilations, horror story compilations, and when I’m really down, when I can’t get out of my own crap and nothing makes me smile, I read your books, Jenny, and I laugh my ass off. It’s magical, it really is, and I’m not just kissing your butt. You have the ability to make me giggle like a little kid, when I’ve forgotten what laughter even sounds like, to remember that it’s not so bad because there are people who think it’s hilarious to put a six foot tall chicken at the front door just to fuck with their husbands…. I’m not going to recite your books back to you, I’m already being a dweeby fangirl. But you, Jenny. My comfort reading is you. 🙂

  420. 421

    OMG! I am right there with you! “Geek Love” has a prominent place on my primary bookcase. .Other books I retreat into are “The Best of the West” an anthology edited by Tony Hillerman/ I love anything by Lewis Carroll – I have a collection of his books and academic papers because I chose him as the subject of my writing project for Sophomore year of English Composition. Yes, I still have anxiety attacks when I find something I “missed” years ago, but that doesn’t stop me from reading… Well, sometimes it does…but then again it doesn’t. I know you understand. <3

  421. I absolutely have comfort books. They are the ones where I know the story and the people in it. And that helps me cope when the world is to overwhelming with stress and change and everything else.

    Phantom by Susan Kay, Phantom of the Opera by Leroux, Dracula, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and a few others. But they are what I need sometimes to restabilize.

  422. YES YES! My go-to is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flag. It’s one of my favorite books and I never lend it out because WHAT IF I NEED IT?!

    rhodereader recently posted The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman*.

  423. I feel bad for Victor because he doesn’t have comfort books. I go to my saddest books like Wuthering Heights and Ethan Frome because then I’m not the only one who’s sad and I feel less alone.

  424. Yes, there are such things as comfort books and yes, sometimes they are a little twisted. A few of mine are Something Wicked This Way Comes, Little Women, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and an anthology of Victorian fairy tales called Beyond the Looking Glass: Extraordinary Works of Fairy Tale & Fantasy.

  425. Harry Potter books and yes I am 46.

  426. Yep, even though I’ve been a full grown adult for 20 plus years, I re-read the Little House on the Prairie series frequently. And many, many, others.

  427. I reread all the Harry Potters, and Narnia books all the time. Mostly because I read to settle in to bedtime, and if I’m reading something new, I really want to find out what’s going to happen next. Then I end up staying up all night reading when I have to be productive at work the next day.

  428. My guess would be that it provides comfort to visit with old friends without having to make conversation with them or worry about what might come next. You already know. I have become an audiobook addict and have my favorite comfort books ready to go, among them The Count of Monte Cristo, Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, Eon by Greg Bear, Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King, anything by Anne Rivers Siddons when I’m spiraling down and just want to get it over with. If I could do magic, I would get Gregor Demarkian or Lord Peter Wimsey, or Archie Goodwin to come sweep me off my feet and love me forever.

  429. 430
    Laura W.

    I read the Jean Auel Earth’s Children series for the first time when I was about 10. My mother suggested it even though there was long periods of sadness, sex, consensual and otherwise, and multitudes of facts about vegetation, medication in the prehistoric period, etc. She was right. I ADORED them. I will still re-read them on occasion. I do not actually know how many times I’ve read them. The heroine was the kind of woman I always wished I could be: strong, smart, gifted, beautiful. I won’t ever live up to her, but what an awesome place for aim for.

  430. Two comfort books (both about dogs — of course!): 101 Dalmatians and Champion Dog Prince Tom.
    Little Women used to be one, but the older I get, the more I cry.

  431. 432

    Dragonriders of Pern series, Harry Potter books

  432. Pamela Clare’s I-Team series (romantic suspense). I’ve read them a million times.

  433. Harry Potter. Madeleine L’Engle time series.

    Jill S recently posted Our Home school Week April 25-29, 2016.

  434. Victor so loses this one, obviously. I’ve referenced “comfort reading” for years and for me it’s mostly my most-loved fantasy books. The gold standard would be anything in the already-mentioned Valdemar novels by Mercedes Lackey.

    Unlike some of my friends who only read a book once (?!), it seems I eventually re-read almost everything despite having a home library with hundreds of volumes. There is no such thing as “too many books” – there’s simply a chronic lack of bookshelves. I’ve had to laugh in the past when going to a used bookstore and being reminded they’d happily buy my old books. Nope. Not happening. Once I buy them, they’re MINE.

  435. 436
    Karina the tired sixth grade teacher

    David Eddings series; the Belgariad and the Malloreon. Anything by Jude Deveraux because her heroines are funny and feisty and stand up for themselves and the men are lovely and supportive and value women and isn’t that a nice thing to escape to? And of course Harry Potter and The Secret Garden.

    Try the Belgariad and the Malloreon. Trust me. They’re better than Tolkien because they’re funny and honestly, who wouldn’t want to be friends with Polgara and Ce’Nedra?!

  436. 437

    James Herriot’s books (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.) Those are seriously my book version of chicken soup. And Out of Africa. I would seriously never go too far away for too long without them.

  437. 438
    Heather Renae'

    My husband thinks I am totally weird for rereading books and it drives him crazy because I have a house full of unread books and comics, but will religiously reread the same books over and over. Also when a new book comes out in a series, I HAVE to reread all the previous ones.🤓 So yea, reading is basically all I do for fun and comfort. Aside from rediculous drawing, coloring, and painting.

  438. Oh – so many books. Little Women, Time Travelers Wife, Harry Potter series, JD Robb series. I could go on. . .

  439. 440

    Harry Potter over and over so I can always remember to believe there’s magic around us that we not be aware of.

  440. 441

    Hunger Games
    Outlander (first book)
    And a fairly random one, the Betsy / Tacy / Tib series but only the high school / after high school ones.

  441. Catcher in the Rye, The Lovely Bones, and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. I can’t answer about the first two as they should not be comforting but are incredibly well written. The third makes me laugh so hard I nearly pee my pants and I really like to laugh! So thank you Jenny Lawson!

  442. I forgot about everything written by Jackie Collins!

  443. Haha mind aren’t all these creepy ones, those just make me super anxious but hey whatever works for you guys thats awesome. I read silly fluffy comedic books when I’m anxious and just need a distraction, like anything by Ellen DeGeneres, Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, etc. Or I’ll read Nicholas Sparks, or Cheryl Strayed if I’m in a depressed mood.

  444. My comfort reads have changed over time. My copies of Stranger in a Strange Land and Methuselah’s Children (Robert Heinlein) are falling apart. Then I moved on to The Lord of the Rings. Then it became Harry Potter – Goblet of Fire is still my favorite. Recently, I read A Discovery of Witches, which may become my next go-to. Too many books, too little time.

  445. 446

    The Narnia Chronicles- C.S. Lewis. Good flu books. Nine Stories, JD Salinger..Never fails.

  446. 447

    Howl’s Moving Castle is my go-to, though I also love re-reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, both of Jenny’s books, and The Giver as well.

  447. Yes! This is a thing! When I was dealing with depression the first time I went to college it was Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen for those who are unfamiliar). I still read it at least once a year, and often I just pull it down and flip to any page and read a little bit and feel instantly better. Another one is Noel Streetfield’s Ballet Shoes. I read that book so much growing up the cover fell off, but it was still always there when I had a shit day. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is one that I also frequently turn to, and like Pride and Prejudice, no matter what page I turn to, it doesn’t let me down.

  448. 449
    Karyn Doherty

    Anything Jane Austen, or by Karen Marie Mining or To Kill A Mockingbird Bird, or Emily of New Moon, just to get me started. Comfort books is obviously a real thing. Victor is sadly missing out here. I also read vintage cookbooks a lot.

  449. Just re-read The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood because the English class next door is reading it and their teacher introduced it as “the best book ever ” ( some possible pandering) but there’s nothing like a good dystopia to make me happy. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King and any of his short story collections. I grab a book from my Christopher Moore when I need light and happy. Oh, books, how I love you.

    kstewand4cats recently posted Just So You Know I’m Alive.

  450. Little Women and books from The Bobsey Twins series. Laugh if you must, I stand by my choices.

  451. Anne of Green Gables gets reread a minimum of once a year. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is probably my number one comfort book though.

  452. My comfort books are the young adult science fiction novels Robert A. Heinlein wrote in the 1950s.

  453. I realized that all my book choices were really dark so i thought I’d go to a book that made me really happy. So i started to reread Ocean at the End of the Lane. Oh, wait…

  454. I am a dyed-in-the-wool re-reader. To those who can’t understand it, let me ask – would you not listen to “Rhapsody in Blue” more than once? Or Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? Or “Dark Side of the Moon” if that’s where your tastes lie? For me, a book is as evocative as music.

    “Little House on the Prairie”
    “Lord of the Rings” (My first true comfort books, purchased for me when I was 10, not many months after my father died.)
    Anne MacCaffrey’s first 6 dragon books.
    “Someplace to be Flying”, Charles de Lint (We all need some crow girls in our lives.)
    “Hellspark”, and “Mirabile”, both by Janet Kagan (Mirabile is the one I knew best when I was getting to meet her, but Hellspark was the only one I could find at the bookstore – MY copy having walked away from an unfortunate loan.)
    “FireWatch” and “To Say Nothing of the Dog”, both by Connie WIllis (Our reward for surviving The Doomsday Book, the second installment in that series)
    “Sheepfarmer’s Daughter”, by Elizabeth Moon
    “Catherine, Called Birdie” by Karen Cushman
    “The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg (What suburban NY kid didn’t want to vacation inside the Metropolitan Museum!?)

    And any good book that was made into a bad movie that I regretted seeing — sort of like mint candy to get rid of the bad aftertaste of a spicy dinner. (The Postman by David Brin.)

  455. 456

    Furiously Happy is a comfort book for me. When my head is full of darkness at least I can feel happier laughing while reading it, whilst forgetting about all the bad stuff at the same time.

  456. 457

    I have many comfort books. Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, most of the Terry Pratchett discworld books, Gail Carriger’s Soulless. I can crawl back into their imperfect but controlled worlds.

  457. 458

    When I need escape, I go to the best of the 1980s: Judith Krantz’s Scruples, Danielle Steel’s Crossings or Family Album, and Judith McNaught’s Perfect. I love the big, sweeping sagas!

  458. Oh God, yes! Thank you for posting this. One of my secrets (no more!) is that I have been reading the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian over and over again for about a year. It’s 20 novels long, so there’s lots to read, but I find it so COMFORTING. I love the characters, and I’d just rather hang out with them than with anyone currently on TV and many of the people I encounter at the grocery store.

    What a relief. I’m not the only one.

  459. Let’s do a whole separate day on poetry. I need to add to my favorites.

    “Lancelot mused a little space. He said ‘She has a pretty face, God in his mercy lend her grace, The Lady of Shallot'”.

    “Penguin dust! Bring me penguin dust!”

  460. I don’t reread very many books, but Stephen King, David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, and last but not least, you, are my favourite exceptions.

  461. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird at least once a year since I was 14 (so well over 30 times at this point). I always find something new, and always wish I was discovering it for the first time. I taught it to high school ninth graders and even some of those little buggers couldn’t ruin it for me! In fact, I saw a teenager reading it at my son’s baseball game two weekends in a row and she was still in the same-ish spot and I really wanted to get up and smack her for doing such a piss poor job of reading! I just listened to Sissy Spacek reading the audio version and it was/is perfection. I read Go Set a Watchman when it came out and want to punch people who call it a sequel. It might be the sequel in Bizzaro World, but it is clearly another (less satisfying) version of these characters.

  462. I read The Host by Stephenie Myers over ad over and I listen to your furiously happy book over and over when I’m in a funk

  463. 464
    Lauri Bernard

    The Amulet of Samarkand, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Plain Kate by Erin Bow and Furiously Happy. These are close by my bedside so at night I can read my way to comfort and rest. Sometimes with a bought of giggles, sometimes with a good scare or sometimes with the cathartic release of tears. So many books with dark, light and a wide range of emotions. In the end these books are comfort as they offer me hope for a better tomorrow.

  464. The Historian and the Harry Potter series

    Hannah recently posted Everything You've Come to Expect - The Last Shadow Puppets.

  465. 466
    Diane Kayter

    Any of the Miss Julia series even though I’m not old and all the Mitford series… Even though: not old
    And Harry Potter. Cause I’m YOUNG DANG IT!!!

  466. I think any book can be a comfort book if you love the story and the characters. Books take you out of your own had and o another place for a while, and hat is why I love to read. Currently reading game of thrones series. Total make believe escape from reality.

  467. 468

    The Stand. It’s been my go to for over a decade.

  468. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker is one I’ve read many times… also Catcher in the Rye…. m mother pokes fun at me that neither are particularly uplifting books but they make me feel better. I’m having a rough night, so I took your suggestion a bought “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”… seems like my kind of book!

  469. 470

    Jane Eyre

  470. For me the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and the Belgariad and the Mallorian by David Eddings are definite comfort books. I have read and re-read them over and over. Part of the draw is that they take me out of my everyday life in a way that most books don’t. But another draw is pradictability; when my life feels out of control simply knowing what’s going to happen in my book gives me a little stability. Plus I don’t have to think as much or try to remember characters. I already know who everyone is and can just enjoy the narrative!!

  471. 472
    BRIDGET Asbury

    Christopher Moore “A Dirty Job”. And since I have now read your books, I want to share with you a website about some other amazing ” friends ” like you’re furiously happy raccoon. Check out!emotional/c1t44

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing your mental health Journey; I have sent a copy of your books to my daughter who suffers from severe anxiety, in the hopes that she will hope and inspiration in your kindred spirit.

  472. OMG – so awesome to hear that it is just not me. Everyone else in my life thinks it is weird that I read the same books over and over again. Seriously. I know NO ONE else that does that! I tell them it is like going to visit very special friends and they look at me like I came from another planet.

    Anyway, mine are by the same author, Rosamunde Pilcher: The Shell Seekers and Winter Solstice

  473. My comfort books live on my nightstand.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I still have the tattered copy that my Daddy got when he was in college. This book is decades old, so I read the new copy with the fourth part that my brother got for me, so the old copy is a keepsake.
    Night Of The Living Trekkies, I read this one when I can’t sleep, it’s awesome.
    Castle Hangnail, it just makes me happy, and calms me down.
    Quicksand House, totally dystopian and freaky and weird, and totally a part of my soul.
    The Blue Sword, and pretty much any book by Robin McKinley.
    Every Heart A Doorway, new to the list, but felt like coming home the first time I read it, it feels like the Seanan McGuire wrote it just to make me feel better.
    The Changeover, got it out of the sale box at the library when I was a teenager, and I haven’t stopped rereading it since.
    Rose Daughter, again, by Robin McKinley, the prose of this book makes it magic to me.
    The Secret Garden, and when I can handle it, A Little Princess. The Secret Garden makes me feel that the world can be a better place, and A Little Princess is a fairytale in the truest sense, I just sometimes have trouble reading about fathers dying most of the time.
    Plauge Town, Plauge Nation, Plauge World, I reread this series endlessly, and adore it.
    Nekropolis, Dead Streets, Dark War, this series is awesome, and I can’t stop reading it.
    Silver May Tarnish, and The Duke’s Ballad, both my Andre Norton, I adore these two books to no end.
    From The Dust Returned, I love anything Ray Bradbury, but this book is perfection.
    Joyland, by Stephan King, The Stand and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and The Green Mile are on my favorites list. But Joyland is just wonderful in the way that became part of my soul.

  474. 475

    Definitely a thing. World War Z, and all the Terry Pratchett/Discworld books on audio, because they’re fantasy and read in a British accent which is mega-soothing to me.

  475. I read somewhere that when you’re trying to relax before bedtime, watching a TV rerun will relax you much more than watching a new show, because you’re already seen it and your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to understand something new. So I imagine the same thing would be true of books, ANY book you’ve read before – your brain won’t have to work very hard, so it’s soothing (even if it’s gory!).

  476. I do this all the time. Non-Fiction: Three Dog Night (Abigail Thomas), Ex Libris (Anne Fadiman), Learning to Walk in the Dark (Barbara Brown Taylor), An Altar in the World (Barbara Brown Taylor). Fiction: The Dark is Rising Series (Susan Cooper) Riddle-Master: The Complete Trilogy (Patricia A. McKillip), The Mitford Novels (Jan Karon).

  477. My husband who knows I’m crazy and when I read your blog sees himself as an also beleaguered husband at times and usually is team Victor when I read him your blog and Victor is involved, but this time he is team Jenny, so yay you!

    We both are book lovers and believe in the theory of comfort books. Books that I’ve read so many times they’ve been replaced by less worn copies. I’m looking at my shelf at my second or third copies of The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft (yes I know he was racist and this isn’t the only collection of stories by him I’ve reread and own and yes enjoy) , The Stupidest Angel and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal both by Christopher Moore, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, The Girls by Lori Lansens plus a lot more. I have a list of books on my Goodreads account that consists of books I’ve read multiple time and consider my favorites. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is among the list of 72 books (btw thanks for writing the awesome book that I’ve read 5 times now). I have a separate list of books from my childhood that have also been read multiple times and loved and yes even read as an adult. To my book loving self who also reads a lot of books just once (I work at a library I have to maintain a certain veneer of literacy and I do this by reading A LOT of books) the thought of not reading my favorites again and again seems like some form of torture.

  478. 479

    You’re not alone! The closest thing I’ve got to horror on my comfort reading list is Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle), but you’ll find at least a dollop of death, suicide, physical and/or mental torment here and there in most of the others (The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, Pavane by Keith Roberts, Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findlay, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, Little, Big by John Crowley, Possession by A.S. Byatt). The only truly bucolic book in the lot is Jane Austen’s Emma 😛

  479. Range of Motion, by Elizabeth Berg, or any of hers. Got me through my husbands passing of cancer and they still just calm me. Ordinary people feeling like us during extraordinarily stressful times….

  480. Comfort books are totally a thing, I too go straight to the Sookie Stackhouse books (any one of them- doesn’t matter), Harry Potter in the fall, but my go to whenever I crave comfort is Pride and Prejudice. I love me some Lizzy Bennet.

  481. Always A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY by Haven Kimmel. Plus the audiobook read by the author. Also the sequel SHE GOT UP OFF THE COUCH. Then every single color of the fairy books.

  482. 483
    Andi Waddington

    Harry Potter, anything by Madeline L’engle,Like Water for Chocolate, Drowning Ruth, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (actually, anything by Douglas Adams), anything by Stephen King and/or Dean Koontz, any and all Dave Sedaris books, Wicked…~ doggone it, there are actually too many to name. Reading is my go to when I am happy, sad, contemplative, scared, or just breathing.

  483. Harry Potter and anything Anne Lamott

  484. Mine are the Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey and some of the Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. Also the In Death series by J.D.Robb (aka Nora Roberts). I save those for when I am feeling particularly unloved and violent.

  485. 486

    The Bear Went Over the Mountain, by William Kotzwinkle. This lovable little Debra Winger-voiced, Drew Barrymore-bestied, roly-poly alien was Kotzwinkle’s baby well before Spielberg got his bespectacled eyes on it. It’s helped me in my darker days of depression, to get out of my head and release the breath I’d been holding for apparently way longer than I thought. The humour and absurdity of this well written tale helped me every time I read it. It’s like a hug for your psychosis.

    First runner-up is a childhood favourite, “Dear Mr. Henshaw”, by Beverly Cleary. I loved this story because it really made me want to be pen pals with every author of every book I ever read. I kinda miss the days of letter-writing. I probably would continue writing letters if I didn’t have to worry about it not getting to it’s intended destination until 65 years later. I’m onto you, USPS – those stamps promise nothing!)

  486. 487

    I always enjoy these lists, so many great ideas! I love comfort books, although they are usually accompanied by comfort food! Like a previous commenter it depends on my mood, but lately I’ve been craving the secret garden, but I’ve lost my copy:( I love young readers books (age 9-12) there is some really well written stuff.

  487. 488

    My comfort books are those that I open up somewhere in the middle, and start reading just a few chapters, and then put down again, though sometimes I will reread them from the beginning.

    Harry Potter, especially the Deathly Hallows, the Lord of the Rings, Startide Rising and the Uplift War, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land, the Pern books, especially the first six and All the Werys, and books of Stephen Jay Gould’s essays. Books that I can revisit with little effort since they are old friends.

  488. 489

    Harry Potter, Furiously Happy, and Rising Strong, which makes me wonder if you and Brent listen to one another’s voice mail over and over again to feel better…

    Nikki Elizabeth

  489. 490

    At a point in my life when I felt completely out of control, I made a project out of reading every Agatha Christie in chronological order of publication. Now those are my go-to books when I need serious escapism, especially Miss Marple.

  490. 491
    Jeannie Parkinson

    The Anne of Green Gables series, all of Jane Austen, and a great whack of Somerset Maugham. The Tattooed Map.

  491. Victor needs to start going to libraries. He perhaps shouldn’t say there is no such thing as a comfort book too loud in a bookstore or library. Someone will take it as a challenge, and well librarians rise to challenges very well. That’s what we do. Like Tyrion Lannister, We drink and we know things.
    While we don’t always call them comfort books they do exist. We design displays around them. We bring in the authors. We introduce them to our children(well one of my comfort books-series really- are The Boxcar Children) I’m a part of 2 library Facebook groups that regularly post comfort books. Although we called it in the last go round ‘Books that made you nearly pee your pants’ which came about because there was the ‘Books that Made you Cry Ugly’ thread before that.
    Then there was the Historical Fiction that isn’t romance with a strong woman protagonist thread.

    My comfort books are Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow ‘bird’ mysteries, the Percy Jackson series, Ellen Byerrum’s Lacey Smithsonian’s Crimes of Fashion mysteries, Agatha Christie, The Boxcar Children, and The 3 Fates by Nora Roberts.
    These are only a few off the top of my head, you understand. I also read scholarly articles in The American Archivist for comfort.

  492. 493

    Shibumi by Trevanian. I read it annually. It’s about inner peace and a whole of shit that I don’t understand.

  493. 494
    Bo Thilkjer Eriksen

    The audio book of Bear Grylls: A Survival Guide To Life. Always strangely motivating and keeps me in a good place. Brenee Brown: most of her audiobooks but keep returning to Gift of Imperfect Parenting and Dearing Greatly. Audiobooks writen and read by Elizabeth Gilbert…. So… Reading this post I realize I might have misinterpreted the assignment. Not much blood, gore or darkness here. But anyway… Those are my go to medicine books….

  494. 495

    Comfort books are absolutely a thing – as are Desert Island books and there may be some crossover for many people.

    Mine are in no particular order:

    Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay but particularly Tigana and Song for Arbonne and Lions of Al-Rassan and the Fionavar Tapestry
    Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
    Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
    Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Phoenix Legacy by M K Wren
    A Wind in Cairo by Judith Tarr

    I also have comfort movies:

    The Holiday
    Man from Snowy River

  495. 496

    Really, autocorrect? Brené not Brent

    Nikki Elizabeth

  496. Of course it’s a thing. What else is an old friend for, but to revisit, talk over old times, understand there’s someone that GETS you – even if it is a work of fiction, or perhaps nonfiction. Until relatively recently, that’s all people could do with books – they only had a few and those few were cherished and re-read until they fell apart, and even after.

    LOTR, the Taran High King series, Heinlein’s Star Beast, and Starship Troopers, any and all Andre Norton, but especially the Star Patrol, Madeleine L’Engle’s books, especially involving the Austins, all were major comfort in my youth, and still are. I tend to read mind candy for comfort these days: Lee Child, Bernard Cromwell, Bourne chronicles, urban fantasy, stuff where the good guys win despite the odds just because they are so freakin’ awesome.

    Stay with your friends. Books are more than windows for the mind and words to the heart, they are comfort to the soul and a refuge for the spirit.

    Poor Victor.

  497. Oh, hell yes. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, The Brothers K by David James Duncan, Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff. I save The Brothers K and only let myself read it every few years now, so that I forget some of the detail between readings. Opening it up again feels like settling my ass into the comfiest chair in the world.

  498. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is my comfort reading. Mainly due to the memories of a great English teacher (when I was in sixth grade) who cared enough about me and my success in school that she put in extra time to tutor me; it’s also a great book. This was the first adult novel I read. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I read this book. And although I own a hardcover edition, a paperback edition, I just purchased an ebook version so it’s always with me.

  499. Like a lot of people, mysteries are comforting. Ones I have been reading since I was a teenager. Sometimes I even forget who the murderer is! Copies of my mom’s Agatha Christie mysteries, Nero Wolfe, Sherlock Holmes. She also loved Don Camillo, and I reread The Little World of Don Camillo when I need a pick me up.

  500. Comfort books are absolutely a thing and Victor is the wrongest person in the history of forever. Personal comfort books of mine are Jane Eyre (Mr Rochester looks like Trent Reznor from the Perfect Drug video in my head), Blood and Sable by Carol Jane (I Have a thing for the Russian revolution and Imperial Russia and Rasputin), The Condensed Henry Rollins, and basically anything from the discworld series.

    Those books have gotten me through breakups, extended periods of unemployment, and bad-brain days.

  501. The Shack by William P. Young. Harry Potter (1-7). The Hunger Games Trilogy. They help get me through every move.

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  502. I definitely have a list! “Rose Daughter” by Robin McKinley, “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice” by Laurie R. King, “The Emperor’s Edge” by Lindsay Buroker, and “The Davinci Code” by Dan Brown.

  503. 504

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Poetry (Pablo Neruda, Seamus Heaney, Edna St. Vincent Millay). A Wrinkle in Time.

  504. 505
    Emily Ruth

    For me they are comforting because I already know I love them. In a stressful season it’s a relief to read something that I already know I’m going to enjoy. Such a good feeling.

  505. 506
    Diann Kuchera

    I have read many of the books people have mentioned and own many of them, I have to loan them out because I am out of bookshelves and I do love trying to match make my favorite books to someone who can appreciate them. Unfortunately I lost all my Nielsen Gaiman books that way, but I have a quote from American Gods on my bed post (every hour wounds. the last one kills. )I find this oddly comforting, maybe it means the pain will stop sometime. No one mentioned Charles DE Lindt who writes urban fantasy. I always feel that I might turn a corner and run into a red cap or an elf. I am partial to his native American stories like Somewhere To Be Flying. The crow girls, raven and the trickster coyote are wonderful. My new favorite is Brom, Krampus and The Child Thief are dark fantasy. He illustrates his own books, the pictures are compelling.

  506. 507

    How funny Diann! I was coming down here to mention my comfort books, chief among them being all the Newford stories by Charles de Lint! Also Good Omens and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. I have many other books that I reread for enjoyment, but only these few are as powerful as any medicine when the need is right.

  507. Oh yes! Nevil Shute–everything he writes is amazing; The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer; Jon Hassler’s Staggerford books; Elizabeth Berg, Michael Perry (I want to be his neighbor); Littlejohn by Howard Owen; Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo; Islandia by A.T. Wright

  508. 509

    Brideshead Revisited; I read it every year and every year I discover new meaning in it.

  509. This is so definitely a thing! For me it’s The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen, pretty much anything by Karen Rose, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli… the list goes on.

    scar recently posted The Challenges of Investigating Live Streamed Child Sexual Abuse.

  510. Jane Eyre. Harry Potter. Agree with Sookie Stackhouse (porch!!). But Stephen King is my favorite: Bag of Bones, Rose Madder, and many others. He’s a master storyteller – I get lost in his worlds so easily.

  511. Yeah, that’s definately a thing. Victor is wrong (as usual). My sister reads the Harry Potter books over and over again, especially when she’s sick. She does it with other books too. I don’t tend to actually reread books, but I revisit them and their themes in my head. “The Stranger” is kind of one that’s always there, along with anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a certain passage about pennies in “In the Castle of my Skin”. Comforting doesn’t mean soft music and fluffy things, it means a feeling that you’re not alone. I find watching AHS comforting, and am not frightened by it all…and I’m not a violent person either.

  512. Pride and Prejudice, Good Omens, My Family and Other Animals (read so often my first copy fell apart), The Tao of Pooh, David Eddings’ Belgariad or Ellenium series, AW Exley’s steampunk novels or Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews. It depends on which part of my soul needs comforting…

  513. The thing for me is, I already know the destination, so I’m allowed to enjoy and take my time on the journey – it’s one of the reasons I’m quite partial to fairy tale re-tellings too.

  514. Comfort books are most definitely a real thing. I have a number of go-to books (or series). Stephen King’s The Stand,David Edding’s Belgariad and Mallorean, Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince series, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books. All pure escapism and just what I need when things get bad. The more you read them the easier it is to slip into these worlds and relax.

  515. 516

    Comfort Books are totally a thing. Mine are less “scary/weird” but totally not 100% cheerful: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I Capture the Castle, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Hunger Games Series and the Harry Potter Series are a few to name. I would often rather pick up an old friend instead of trying to find my new favorite.

  516. 517

    Harry Potter and anything by Terry Pratchett. Especially when it’s dark and/or rainy

  517. I have comfort series. Usually I start at the beginning and read the whole series again. It’s like visiting old friends except you don’t have to leave the house.

  518. “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. I’m on my third or fourth copy because I wear it out 🙂

  519. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. I listen to them on audio when I need something comforting and familiar. I grew up reading them, they’re a part of me in a way. They aren’t particularly gory, but I get that, too. When I lived alone while getting my doctorate I used to fall asleep to Law and Order SVU. Because it was comforting that even though terrible things happen, that night it wasn’t my turn. Or something.

  520. One of my go to books when I’m really struggling is The Bell Jar. If I need something more light-hearted, I go for Xanth novels. I also have go to shows. They go from cartoons all the way to Criminal Minds, lol. Depends on what started the mood/episode.

  521. Welcome to My Country Welcome to My CountryJul 14, 1997
    by Lauren Slater (this should be required reading for high school students), Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Most any Sherlock Holmes mystery or almost anything by Poe.

  522. Anything by Madeleine L’Engle, who I discovered in the period when I most intensely did not like who I was and did not want to be here. She wrote adolescent girls who seemed real, who struggled with becoming who they were, in worlds that had real problems. For pure escape and fighting battles that can be won, any of the Harry Potter books work. If I want everything to work out in the end, I’ve a stack of Freya North books.

    Comfort books are absolutely a real thing. For some of us.

  523. Comfort books are definitely a thing! I usually turn to cozy mysteries (Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, etc.), vintage Mary Stewart (first read as a teenager, and made a big impression on me), or something funny–Bill Bryson, Dave Barry. Other books I return to again and again: 84 Charing Cross Road, 50 Acres and a Poodle, and the Anne of Green Gables series. Comfort is in the eye of the beholder!

  524. Nope, you are as normal as I am…although, that’s not saying much! I have several “comfort booms” that I reread when I want to visit those characters again or to feel what I was feeling when I read it for the first time. Men just don’t get it!

  525. White Oleander by Janet Fitch. You know, a book about a woman who kills her boyfriend by poisoning him with white oleander, and the journey of her daughter, Astrid, as she moves through the foster care system. 🙂

  526. 527

    Mine would be To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, Watership Down and Dandelion Wine. I can also pick up any of the Little House on the Prairie books and be instantly appeased!

  527. American Gods, anything by Terry Pratchett and The Great Gatsby for some reason. I don’t even really like The Great Gatsby that much but the story and characters are so familiar I go back there when I’m in need of something that I can read without it making me think because I already know where it’s going.

  528. Oh of course—books ARE comfort, almost the definition of it sometimes. Jane Austen! Patrick O’Brien! I have also written about this phenomenon here:
    And here:
    Because I feel like the type of stress or sadness (or … discomfort?) sometimes calls for different types of books. This is not crazy, right? I feel like you and your followers could come up with the most awesome book pharmacopeia ever, and you have my blessing and urging to create on if you have a mind to.

    The Diamond in the Window recently posted We Recommend: 6 1/2-year-old girl seeks awesomeness.

  529. Very much a thing! To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, and The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson are very much comfort books for me. As well as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series. I never get tired of these books. I never want to tire of these books.

  530. Merchanter’s Luck by C. J. Cherryh, Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson, American Gods by Neil Gaiman. When I need to be in a different world.

  531. 532

    I definitely have comfort books – and I don’t think any of them are only marshmallows and butterflies and happy feelings. My favorite comfort books at the moment: A book where a guys wife goes deep into postpartum depression and he has to learn how to become a dad and a caretaker for a mentally ill wife overnight. Or a detective story full of murder. Book about animal rights violations, twisted family relations and what it means to be a human.

    Books that help me or ground me are something else, Brené Brown for example. But comfort books to me are those that I want to snuggle in the corner of the couch with, preferably with some tea and chocolate on the side. Books that are just there to take me away from my own life and comfort, reassure, entertain.

  532. Oh definitely. The Shell Seekers or The Blue Bedroom short story collection — anything by Rosamunde Pilcher makes me feel more plucky, openhearted and civilized. Dick Francis mysteries. Most of Maeve Binchy. Firestarter and The Stand are two favorite Stephen Kings. Both the Outlander and Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon. Yes also to Jane Austen and Little Women. All the Little House books. …And Ladies of the Club, A Woman of Independent Means. Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. The whole Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. One of my favorite go-to movies is Double Jeopardy (that’s in spite of the holes in the plot line you could drive a convoy through).

    And I’m going to start printing a copy of the recommendations I find here. I always get to the library and wonder what I was going to be looking for. Who knew Anne of Green Gables had so many in the series? I had stopped after Anne of Avonlea!

  533. This is totally a thing!! I have a list of comfort books, movies, and shows, for sure. Harry Potter books are definite. Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott. And, sure enough, your books are on that list. I think I’ve read LPTNH at least five times now.

    Awkwardly Alive recently posted Thanks a lot, weird genetics..

  534. 535

    Totally a thing. Stiff is one of mine too, along with Good Omens, any Discworld book, and Night Circus.

  535. 536

    Sorry, Mercury Retrograde event. Anyone following PaulCHoffman, my computer just lied and said previous comment was from him, It wasn’t.

  536. I carried a copy of “Little Women” with me wherever I went for years. I had a series of copies, because my paperbacks would eventually dogear and rip in my overfilled purse. A copy accompanied me on my first trip to Europe (solo at 16, no less). It was less entertainment for an eight hour flight than a worry stone I kept in my lap and held onto for dear life. I still keep a copy of it with me wherever I go–just on the Kindle app on my phone.

  537. 538

    Hitchhikers of course. Also, oddly enough, Clancy’s Without Remorse

  538. Always Hitchhiker’s Guide… I can’t avoid laughing….

  539. It seems like everyone loves a series, probably because we grow up with the characters and feel like we know them well, so re-reading is like visiting with old friends. For me it’s the Earth’s Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear, etc.), I just broke down and bought the set for my Kindle so I don’t have to tote around the hardback books for every re-reading.

  540. Alice in Wonderland is my favorite. I am obsessed. I even have like…10 other book series based off Wonderland. I read them all the time. And, Sookie Stackhouse – yes please!

  541. Books that define me? Gone Girl (or anything by Gillian Flynn) because her main characters are so damaged; Valley of the Dolls, because the things those women thought were annoying I can’t even aspire to; Gone With the Wind, because WHO DOESN’T HAVE A LITTLE SCARLET IN THEM!

  542. 543
    Darlene Elsesser Kovacs

    I re-read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune books. I like the characters, so when I go back to those books it’s comfortable, familiar and enjoyable. I have also loved “Witch of Blackbird Pond” ever since I was young and have probably read it 15 times over the years.​

  543. Comfort books include: Laurie Notaro’s essay collections, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Raven Cycle. There are more. There are always more. But those are the ones I pick up first.

  544. I constantly re-read Pride and Prejudice, but more often Stephen King books… most notably The Stand or The Dark Tower series. I think reading these makes me feel a little less “messed up” – the characters help me realize that there are bigger problems than the ones in my head.

  545. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Godfather, Roots, and last but not least To Kill a Mockingbird

  546. Such good company in this comment section.

    My comfort books:
    Cold Comfort Farm (definitely #1, the rest are all tied for second place)
    Good Omens
    Hitchhiker’s Guide
    Hyperbole and a Half
    Our Lady of the Forest
    Anything by David Sedaris
    Anything by Haven Kimmel

    Comfort movies/TV:
    Cold Comfort Farm (again, def #1)
    The Princess Bride
    Quigley Down Under
    The Good Life

  547. I wish we could all donate our comfort books and open a comfort library. I want to read all the books mentioned here.

  548. You are absolutely not alone in comfort books! Mine tend to be fantasy or urban fantasy – The Black Company series by Glen Cook, The Empire Trilogy by Raymond Feist & Janny Wurts, any of Patricia Briggs werewolf series. Just something good that will help me escape for awhile. Sure, horrible things happen in the, but they’re just a story. I have comfort movies too, if that makes you feel better. 🙂

  549. 550

    I don’t typically re-read books, but I have comfort tv shows and movies, and they’re usually pretty grim. I’ve often wondered why it is that scary and depressing tv does makes me feel better. My other comfort is murder shows on the ID channel. There’s got to be a name for this.

  550. 551

    The entire Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Those books always help me escape and I have read them to many times to count.

  551. I read Thinner, Duma Key, The Stranger, The Plague, Woman in the Dunes (highly recommend that one, its by Kobo Abe), and any book of horror short stories.

  552. 554

    You’re definitely not the only one; this sounds very very familiar to me. There are certain books I reread at least once a year, cover to cover, because I miss or need to visit those places (latest is Anne Bishop’s Others series, but there are many other books that fit this category). Then there are those books that are happy places, odd as that might sound. Christopher Fry’s The Lady’s Not For Burning. Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin. Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. JD Robb’s Naked in Death. The list goes on and on… These are often the books on the bookshelf closest to the bed. That way, when i want to escape or curl up in bed, they’re the ones within reach.

  553. The Night Circus. Anything by Jennifer Crusie for a romance fix. Anything by Mary Roach for a non-fiction fix. David Eddings’ The Belgariad and The Mallorean serieses. For starters 🙂

  554. Yes! I have several Comfort books! Most of the Stephen King books are my comfort books, also several by Nora Roberts and the stieg larsson books about Lisbeth Salander

  555. 557
    Tracey C

    Watership down. Mercedes Lackey (Talia’s bits). McCaffrey’s Pern. Sharon Shinn’s thousand kingdoms series. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Regency romances. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, My side of the mountain – basically, survive on your own stories (wish-fulfillment!)

    My themes for comfort tend to be: misfit finds his/her ‘family’ (with or without telepathic/empathic companion); and survival against the odds.

  556. Karen Moning books. Sookie Stackhouse. Outlander. And I do the same with television series, too. I just thought it meant I was getting old!

    Lahdeeda recently posted Everyone was cuter ten years ago.

  557. My top comfort book is Anne of Green Gables. But pretty much any book I read as a child, young teenager will work in a pinch. They’re light and easy to read and make me feel better 🙂

  558. Pride and Prejudice for sure, The Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotsen, and more recently Let’s Discuss Diabetes with Owls…

  559. The Deeds of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. This tops my re-read list.
    Any Anne McCartney books too.

  560. Comfort books, I know what you mean. I used to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy every spring before the movies came out; if I had them on DVD I would watch them every month. Jane Eyre and most any Jane Austen book make me happy. (I have read Jane Eyre 8 times – that makes me an Octo-Jane-Eyre-ian. Ha ha!) I don’t like the anxiety some time of not knowing how a book ends. Favorite comfort movie? Fargo

    Fuzzarelly recently posted Cleaner than clean.

  561. 563

    anything by Miss Read, most Terry Pratchetts. Books I know so well I can open them anywhere & read on… Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers…

  562. When I’m worried about money and budgets I like to re-read The Grapes of Wrath. Kind of puts my trivial little shit in perspective, which comforts me. For general anxiety, anything of the Regency Romances by Georgette Heyer takes me away for awhile. I remember my Mama reading Friday’s Child to me when I was little and it’s always been my favorite.

  563. 565

    I read my Agatha Christie books, my mom reads the Gabaldon Outlander series….

  564. Comfort books are totally a thing. I will forever re-read Jennifer Weiner novels, Emily Giffin novels, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (perfect for a good creepy time), 1984 by George Orwell, and this one teen series I have had on my shelves for over a decade. Jeffrey Eugenides is also amazing, and James Frey.

  565. Of course comfort books are a thing. same with movies, tv and ice cream. Books from childhood/young adult are the constants: Charlette’s Web, the Harry Potters (okay, i was in my early 40s but so what?!), The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton), Hotel for Dogs (Lois Duncan), Nancy Drew up to #53 (Carolyn Keene).

    I can actually recite Charlette’s Web and I want to make a t-shirt saying “Where’s Papa going with that ax?”

  566. It’s Stephen King for me. ‘Salem’s Lot, IT, The Stand, or one of his story collections.

  567. 569

    I go back to The Dogs of Babel constantly.

  568. I’m a huge fan of Stephen King and I’ve re-read so many of his books. The familiar story and characters are comforting.

  569. OMG, so many. I’ve read The Secret Garden and A Wrinkle in Time about a million times. And Patricia C Wrede’s Dragon Princess books. I’ve also read the Harry Potter books at least 10 times. It’s weird that my “comfort” books are all YA, when that’s normally not what I read at all, but there you are.

  570. Devilish by Maureen Johnson, Duma Key by Stephen King, Folk of the Air by Peter Beagle, Juniper Gentian and Rosemary by Pamela Dean, everything Jean Kerr ever wrote, April’s Witches by Beverly Crook, Figgs & Phantoms and The Tattooed Potato by Ellen Raskin, Alice in Wonderland, James Thurber in general, and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. All comfort all the time. I think rereading text read when happy triggers the same pathways in the brain when reread and returns us to that place. But that’s a wild guess.

  571. Another person for Harry Potter. I love the audio books, too. Jim Dale’s voices are fantastic. I could listen to him all day.

    I also reread/relisten to the Monster Hunter International series (Correia) and the zombie fallout series (Tufo), so I must be twisted, too. They are both funny horror series (if that makes sense), and there is something about laughing through the horror that just appeals when I’m down.

  572. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and The Hunger Games series. I have comfort movies too.

  573. 575

    There are dozens of books I have read dozens of times, for the sheer beauty of the writing, for the memories they re-ignite, and for the moods they create. Victor is wrong and you are right.

  574. Sookie! Always my favourite go to!!

  575. My go to comfort books are the Little House series, anything by Jane Austen, and Lord of the Rings.

  576. 578
    Heather Little

    I have been a voracious reader my whole life. Books bring me happiness and make my soul sing. The one that never failed to bring me comfort was “The House at the End of Hope Street”. Look it up because my description could never do it justice. Then 13 days ago, my smart, kind, HILARIOUS 14 year old son committed suicide. And I haven’t been able to open a book since. Through snot and great hiccuping tears I asked the customer service lady at my local bookstore to help me find a book, ANY BOOK to help me and the exhausting grief I am in right now. I need a meaty fiction SOMETHING to lose my brain in for one hour. Long enough to get away from the constant sound of my heart breaking. She couldn’t help. So I bought 3 Metal Earth designs that all meant something to Devin and in the waking hours where the nightmares now are, I work and bend and tweeze. There are a lot of comments to go through, but thank you for recognizing that words on paper have true power. I hope one day I will read again.

  577. Comfort books – yes!! When hurting I re-read the Unbearable Lightness of Being or The Hours for some reason… I think I was in happy places in life when I initially read them…

    recoveringmama recently posted Casual Feminism: A Father’s Lessons taught through Living.

  578. 580

    Lamb, The Night Circus, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Talisman, Firestarter

  579. 581

    Comfort books are totally a thing! Mine include Pride and Prejudice, Emma, the Harry Potter series, and the Little House series. I brought Pride and Prejudice on a flight to Europe (I’m not a good flyer) and just held it in my lap most of the trip while I tried not to vomit on everyone.

  580. Matilda by Roald Dahl. Transports me back to being 10 years old again and reading it for the first time.
    The Book of Idle Pleasure – Dan Kiernan and Tom Hodgkinson, as it’s short page-long suggestions are ideal when you can’t focus on much.
    Lastly, How I lived a year on just a pound a day by Cath Kelly because it’s filled with mundane stuff that’s soothing.

    Rachel recently posted Why I'm tempted to NEVER lend a book again.

  581. That should have been How I lived a year on just a pound a day – doh!

  582. Comfort books is definitely a thing. I have books I’ve read so many times that the physical copy was ragged and I replaced it with the Kindle version. Mine are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and the Sookie Stackhouse set. Going back further, the Dragonrider series by Anne McCaffrey, and others of hers like the Tower and the Hive series, Pegasus in Space series, and the Crystal Singer duo. My hubby thinks I’m nuts too, but he and Victor can suck it. 🙂

  583. 585
    Lori Scott

    Jenny- I feel like I know you….I have 2 recommendations:
    Lamb (the gospel according to Biff) by Christopher Moore
    The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist

  584. The entire Discworld series, regularly. I always find something in them new, and to think about or laugh about. Robert Parker, all the way through. The Lucia series. There is something eternally comforting and entertaining about Lucia the snob, and her triumphs and disasters. Lee Child. Anne River Siddons. She writes so well, and so carefully.
    Calvin Trillin. One of the few writers I have read that I would feel comfortable with in person.

  585. 587

    Anything by Jonathan Tropper

  586. Biggest comfort book: “The Robe” by Lloyd C. Douglas. Also “The Far Pavilions” by M.M. Kaye, of course “Gone With the Wind,” and “Mara, Daughter of the Nile” by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.

  587. 589

    Comfort books do exist. Mine are any of the Harry Potter books, JD Robb series or Persuasion by Austen.

  588. It’s completely not just you. I re-read Debora Geary’s Witch series, it’s lovely for soothing my less reasonable moods.

  589. Austen is my main comfort book source, but I have probably read Sphere by Micheal Crichton upwards of 15 times. I used to read it when I was sick, and I loved it because I could finish it in one day.

  590. 592
    Melissa Bee

    To Kill a Mockingbird. The Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothea Sayers. The Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs. Yeah, actually, a fair amount of rape, murder, and Things that go Bump in the Night there now that I think about it!

  591. 593

    The Stand by Stephen King is my comfort book of all comfort books. I read it every time I feel sick, either physically or mentally. I’m oddly pleased to see so many other commenters also find peace in this dark place.

  592. I love the Clan of the Cavebear series. They are comfort to me, as are the Vampire Chronicles. The Grapes of Wrath, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, you’re definitely on to something….

  593. 595
    William J. Keith

    Yep! Interestingly, I have a pair from childhood that I often turn to when I feel physically sick in a particular way: feverish, headachy, maybe a bit dizzy. Robin McKinley’s Damar duology, “The Hero and the Crown” and “The Blue Sword.” It may be because both heroines feel like that at important points during the books, or maybe because Damar is (or ends up as) a desert country. Not sure.

    I do know that Harimad-sol was absolutely one of my major storybook crushes. ^_^

  594. 596

    ANYTHING written by Pat Conroy…….I could read his grocery list and be happy.

  595. 597
    William J. Keith

    …wow, I just skimmed back up through the replies. Robin McKinley is on a lot of these lists! “Sushine” seems to be more popular than the Damar books, but they’re definitely in there. Pratchett’s much more popular of course, but that’s a good showing for McKinley.

  596. 598

    A Wrinkle in Time. I re-read it whenever I’m in a weird head place and it helps set me right. I’ve bought more copies of this book than I think anyone else has ever, because I give away my copy to friends who need it, and I don’t ask for it back.

  597. The Harry Potter Series, and the Fever Series. Love both of those. Hunger Games sometimes. I read books again and again and again.

  598. 600

    I binge and rebinge on the Little House on The Prairie set. The plaid bookjackets are quiltcozy, and the giant print is like a massage for my eyeballs. The pencil sketches are so simple and perfect. Comfort at its most blanketest, its the pot pie of books. ~ Christina

  599. Oooh, so many books and authors I’ve actually read and reread a thousand times and I didn’t even think to list them, but so many of you have! Neil Gaiman, Roger Zelazny (I’m really missing me some Chronicles of Amber, right now) Harry Potter, Chronicles of Prydain…why do I have to be too broke to go to the bookstore RIGHT NOW?!

  600. I don’t think you’re wrong at all. Maybe Victor just hasn’t found his comfort book? I used to reread my books all the time, so I think my bookshelves are full of comfort books. Sometimes, you just need to visit an old friend when the world gets too tough.

  601. 603
    Elisabeth J

    Another vote for totally a thing. There are books that feel like sitting down with old friends and sometimes those friends are pretty fucked up. Mine are Harry Potter (obvs), the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, anything Poe, The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov, and amazing), anything Hell Boy/BPRD (Mike Minolta is beautifully twisted). My boyfriend is the same way, but more about hifallutin books about dysfunctional families.

  602. Comfort books are most definitely a thing. I have many, but the most predominant are ones by Angela Thirkell. She wrote a book a year for about 30 years, and they take place with the same characters in the same town. Most soothing. I read them before I go to sleep, starting with the first book and going all the way through and then back to the beginning.

  603. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, and John Irving’s the word according to Garp and Cider House Rules

  604. “Lamb” by Christopher Moore is a book that I can read over and over. But I don’t really do comfort books. I do comfort movies and comfort TV shows.

    When I’m really sad or down I can watch “Purple Rain,” “Seven,” or “Fight Club” and get all cheered up. All fairly dark movies. But they make me feel so much better!

    And when I just cannot process new entertainment but need some sort of entertainment, I’ll binge watch “How I Met Your Mother.” It seems to calm me down. I have no idea why.

  605. Oh, what a wonderful question! I love reading about others’ comfort books–gives me ideas. I go for the wise old souls when I re-read: Marianne Williamson’s A Woman’s Worth, Zen and the Art of Making a Living, The Prophet. They speak to my soul:).

    candidkay recently posted We do life in this house.

  606. Harry Potter books all the Harry Potter books. I think it’s a combination of being in a good place when I first read them, my dad recommended them and was alive when I read them along with my grandparents, and that the characters are like my friends so it’s like visiting old friends 🙂 I totally get comfort books. it’s a thing. they’re real and they’re wonderful.

  607. David Sedaris ANYTHING, and I was going to suggest Stiff by Mary Roach but you SAID IT!! Have you read Beyond the Body Farm or any of the Body Farm books? Holy corpsy-awesome.

  608. Not specific books, but definitely a genre. When I’m feeling particularly depressed/stressed/over it, I always turn to silly romantic comedies. Short ones where you know exactly how things will turn out by page five, and don’t care because there will be some good steamy bits and everything will be alright in the end. They’re so brainless and quick. Makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something when I can’t get anything else done.

  609. Also, don’t be jealous but I am a nurse going for a forensics certification. I find I enjoy dead patients more than live ones, mostly.

  610. 612

    Utopia, Jane Erye and the Death of Ivan Ilyich

  611. 613
    Cris Zuba

    The Notebook. I cry every time

  612. 614
    Nancy Holcomb

    Two books for me 1.) On Beyond Zebra, esp. the letter Flunn, altho I have to admit, I have never learned to play the o’Grunth. 2.) Lord of the Rings, which I first read in the 5th grade and, nearly 60 years later, still read my favorite passages, and occasionally, the entire series.

  613. 615

    The Once A Hero/Esmay Suiza and Herris Serrano books by Elizabeth Moon. I come back to them again and again.

  614. Reading generally allows me to flee reality, and I get uncomfortable when I don’t have a few books lined up to read next.

    But when I am really exhausted I do turn to my comfort books – and there are quite a few of them – which I can open at any spot and fall asleep with because I am not caught up in figuring out what happens in just one more chapter.

    Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series – almost all of them work.
    Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
    Pratchett’s Discworld novels (Reaper Man. Hogfather).
    Pratchett & Gaiman: Good omens.
    Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophie.

  615. Sometimes I inadvertently read John Grisham books over again because I forget which ones I have read. Does that count? Intentional comfort books would be include children’s books such as The Little Prince, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Polar Express and Bagels from Benny. I also find comfort being surrounded by familiar books, even if I don’t open them.

    Mary recently posted Tea and Empathy: A Eulogy for Helga.

  616. 618

    All the Harry Potter’s. The Outsiders. That Was Then, This is Now. Rumble Fish. Stephen King (especially Lisey’s Story, which is very un-Stephen King to me and then SO Stephen King to me, all at the same time!). And yes, comfort books are TOTALLY a thing. Maybe Victor doesn’t understand because of his man parts? I asked my husband when he last read for FUN and his answer was “Never”. GAH!

  617. 619

    Of course it’s a thing! I have so many that I read again and again and again – and my fiance still doesn’t understand it even though he’s asked me “haven’t you read that already?” like a million times and my answer is always the same: “sure have. I’ll probably read it again in a couple of years.”

    White Oleander, Gone with the Wind, Memoirs of a Geisha, the Kushiel’s Dart series, the Stormlight Archives series, The Giver, The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth, Misery, Little House on the Prairie series, the Anne of Green Gables series, The Poisonwood Bible, The Handmaid’s Tale. David Sedaris anything.

    Books are like comfort blankets and the best ones are the ones you keep reaching for.

  618. I definitely have comfort books, my favorite being Watership Down. It’s like visiting with old friends and going to a nostalgic place. And Bigwig is a fucking badass.

  619. 621

    These are on my bedside and I reach for them when I’m lonely, bored, distressed or simply between books:
    1 – Little Women, Alcott
    2 – The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
    3 – Good In Bed, Jennifer Weiner
    4 – Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
    5 – The Razor’s Edge, Somerset Maugham.

  620. The most important thing about comfort books is their ability to help you change the pattern of your thoughts completely when your head needs a good dusting out. Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. For me, comfort books are also particularly seasonal – for instance, Susan Cooper’s the Dark is Rising is a depths-of-winter comfort read, and Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is a summer/fall comfort read. William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog.

  621. If there was really anything like ‘comfort books’, I guess I am the weird one because I’ve got none. Not books but movies and there is usually one of it per time. Currently it is Vacation (2015). I hear it made to one of the worst movies in 2015 but who really cares?

  622. 624

    Shel Silverstein – anything by him, Bunnicula books for some reason even though I am almost 40, Sookie Stackhouse, Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, some John Irving, some Neil Gaimen, oh and The Princess Bride. there are more I am sure, but those are the top few – not annually or anything, just once in awhile. oh and Different Seasons and The Eyes of the Dragon. and actually the Shel Silverstein poetry is all the time, my daughter and I read him so much at night before bed I am sure she has most of his poetry memorized!

  623. Shel Silverstein – anything by him, Bunnicula books for some reason even though I am almost 40, Sookie Stackhouse, Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, some John Irving, some Neil Gaimen, oh and The Princess Bride. there are more I am sure, but those are the top few – not annually or anything, just once in awhile. oh and Different Seasons and The Eyes of the Dragon. and actually the Shel Silverstein poetry is all the time, my daughter and I read him so much at night before bed I am sure she has most of his poetry memorized! This may post twice, not sure, think I did something wrong sorry if it does

  624. 626

    The Stand. The Talisman. Shadowland. Kind of odd for “comfort” I guess but I’ve read them each over 15 times, 25 for The Stand.

  625. 627

    Any of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels are my go-to when I’m feeling down. When I’m feeling particularly sorry for myself I’ll read The Naked Island by Russell Braddon (look it up) or Battle Cry by Leon Uris. Oh and John Connolly or Craig Johnson are old friends.

  626. I reread a mystery called The Thin Woman for about 15 years and then misplaced it somehow. Another one too, about an old lady catching voodoo practitioners smuggling drugs in fake popsicles. I think. Sounds like I made it up. Neither my favorite book, but I’ve read them more than my favorite. Now it’s podcasts. I listen to a Radiolab short about bird conservation because it’s good for relaxing when I am wired at night (too much blue light and/or chocolate!) but I don’t love it.

  627. 629

    Another vote for Harry Potter — I listen to the audiobooks with Jim Dale at night to fall asleep, and so do both my daughters. Falling into that world always calms me down and makes me feel safe.

  628. I think I have read Geek Love at least 10 times! I have to keep buying a new copy as I loan it out and forget who has it. That’s in my top 5 all time favorites!

  629. 631

    My daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and I find myself drawn to British fantasy, like Harry Potter or Discworld. Definitely comfort reading.

  630. A Prayer for Owen Meaney and The Time Travelers Wife. Movies work too. There is a perfect movie for every life crisis. The Money Pit actually works for several.

  631. Mine is Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsella. It was the basis for the film Field of Dreams, where the famous author kidnapped was JD Salinger instead of a made-up but great character played by James Earl Jones. The book reads like poetry and I love to read it during the winter when I’m longing to watch baseball. 🙂

  632. As I type this there are 634 comments. I haven’t even begun to read through them yet but I’m going to assume that’s at least 317 books I’ll be adding to my “things I really should read” list.

  633. My book is Anna Karenina, it’s such a sad and yet beautiful story!

    Sin recently posted 15 years.

  634. I have a few comfort books/series of books: Harry Potter series; Belgariad/Mallorean series by David Eddings; the Sparhawk books by David Eddings. For nostalgia reasons only, a book from when I was a little kid called “The Girl with the Silver Eyes”. Ten years ago on vacation I swapped a book at the hotel we were at and got a book called “Playing James” by Sarah Mason. I have read that book hundreds of time. I laugh so hard I cry at multiple points in that book – EVERY time I read it. I love it so much.

  635. 637

    The entire “Outlander” series, Jane Eyre, James Harriot’s “All Creatures” series, Deborah Harness’ All Souls Trilogy.

    I read the Sookie Stackhouse series on maternity leave with my first son, then A Song of Fire and Ice series with my second son. Hopefully none of the graphic content in those books gets transmitted through breast milk, otherwise I’ve totally screwed up my kids. Oopsie!

  636. 638

    I always fall back on The Eyre Affair, Harry Potter, Alice In Wonderland, or super cheesy YA books

  637. 639

    Most definitely a thing! Depending upon my mood, comfort books for me include “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, “A Girl Named Zippy”by Haven Kimmel, Anything by Anne Rice, Douglas Adams, and of course The “Harry Potter” Series.

  638. ‘Sum’ by David Eagleman – a collection of short scenarios for the afterlife, great for over thinkers and those with limited attention spans alike 👍😂

  639. 641
    Cheryl in Wisconsin

    The original “Boxcar Children”. Since grade school.

  640. Nope, you’re totally not the only one. My comfort go to is the Dark Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop.

  641. 643

    it’s not a book but i like listening to Hamilton when i’m in a weird place in my mind