Haven’t done this in a while, but today I’m feeling inspired so let’s take a look at some of my favourite comfort reads!
(Note: Certain selections below may not *seem* very comforting, but nonetheless I always enjoy them…)
The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
Look, let’s face it: any list of my favourite fictional anything is probably going to include this series, or a book that’s part of it. This is just a fact of life at this point. I’m a sucker for urban fantasy, especially when it’s of a particularly faerie-centric variety, and Seanan excels at it. I love this cast of characters, I love the deeply tangled web of intrigue that’s being spun (SO MANY QUESTIONS! SO MANY UNEXPECTED TWISTS!), and I love the relationships that Toby is learning to feel her way through. I just love it.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I adore every book (so far?) in the Wayfarers series, but the first is still my favourite of the three. Yes, there’s some action and drama, but at heart this is a book about friendships and found family, and the comforts that can come with finding them (see what I did there?). This is a book I can always come back to when I need a pick-me-up.
The Beyond Series by Kit Rocha
I said that not all of my choices might seem like ideal comfort reads, and at first glance this nine-book tale of post-apocalyptic erotica probably doesn’t fit the bill. And yet. Somehow, Kit Rocha (AKA the writing duo of Donna Herren and Bree Bridges) make it work. Beneath the sexytimes outer layer (and even that’s not just for show), this story is about a community, and the tight-knit gang/family at its heart, making a harsh life under an oppressive regime work (by coming together to tear it down, naturally). I’ve reread the entire series recently, and it holds up well enough that there will probably be future reads as well.
The Honey Month by Amal El-Mohtar
This little volume of poetry and short fiction was a delight when I first discovered it, and whenever I’m in a mood to let my mind wander full of beautiful/awe-inspiring imagery, it’s my go-to; it’s probably even the closest thing to a literal comfort read that I have on this list. Cup of tea, cosy hoodie, honey on toast, and this.
Another choice that will probably not surprise those who are familiar with my ramblings here (and in my previous blogger incarnation!). This serial has now reached its end after four seasons, and I’ve loved every one of them. It opened the door to discovering quite a few other highly enjoyable serials, too, but this one remains my most cherished.
The Tethered Mage/The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
You might have noticed me flailing excitedly about these books, either here or online very recently. This is the youngest of this bunch in terms of my discovery of them, but already they’ve become firm favourites, and I love everything about them so dearly that I can’t help feeling better after reading them (yes, even with all the high drama and shocking political intrigue and creepy murdering villains). And isn’t that what a comfort read is supposed to do for you?
I know this isn’t technically a Top Ten, but let’s be fair – it takes something special to make it onto this particular list. There are plenty of other candidates who may make it there in the near future, though, including but certainly not limited to V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and S.A. Chakraborty’s almost-complete Daevabad Trilogy (City of Brass/Kingdom of Copper).
So that’s my list. What about you? Feel free to share your favourite comfort reads in the comments, and who knows, you might manage to expand my TBR a little (not that it needs any help, in fact it probably needs HELP)!