Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Salon - Comfort Reads

I had a lousy afternoon yesterday. I was fortunate that I was in our development, but my battery died in my truck yesterday. In hot climates, such as Arizona and Florida, there's no warning. You get in your car one day, and it's just dead. I walked all the groceries home, then called AAA. An hour and a half later, the AAA Battery Truck arrived. The young man changed my battery, but because there's an alarm system on the car, we still couldn't start the car, and the alarm continued to go off. LOUDLY! There's a whole long story, but eventually Jim got the alarm shut off, thanks to a close friend in Michigan who owns a garage, and I could bring my car home. For a while, though, it looked like I'd have to call AAA on Monday, and have them tow the truck, and have the dealer disconnect the alarm. Not my idea of how to spend a Monday morning.

Which leads me to the question, what do you use as comfort reads? What do you turn to when you've had a draining day, and need something to help you escape? I'm finishing up Steve F. Havill's forthcoming book, The Fourth Time Is Murder, and it was perfect for today. It's a Posadas County Mystery, set in the New Mexico border county. Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman is featured in this complex police procedural that involves a couple cases at the same time, with an interesting group of characters. It's a perfect comfort read, a book that takes me into another place.

Dennis Lehane's mystery series featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, private investigators in Dorchester, Massachusetts, worked well for comfort. I know that sounds odd, but the second book, Darkness, Take My Hand was so complicated that I forgot I was sitting in a hospital waiting room while I read it.













And, I recently mentioned Lee Harris' mysteries, beginning with The Good Friday Murder. The series features Christine Bennett, a nun who left the convent, and, while building a life for herself, ends up investigating a cold case, in order to help someone.

My comfort reads are interesting mysteries with well-rounded characters, whether they're amateur detectives, private detectives, or police. I choose to be dropped into a complex crime novel, and I'm happy to spend two or three hours watching someone unravel a mystery.

What do you turn to when you need a comfort read?

18 comments:

gautami.tripathy said...

I can read anything, anytime. Still short stories are kind of comforting.


My SS post is about short stories!

wisteria said...

For comfort I curl up in my favorite reading spot with a cup of tea. So sorry to hear about your ordeal, especially the fact that you had to carry groceries. AGH!! My heart goes out to you.

I have not read Lehane's mystery series, but I did read The Given Day a while ago for Harper Collins First Look. I loved it!!

Marie said...

Oy. What an ordeal. :-)
For comfort reads, I like poetry or a little manga- something soothing or something funny. Either works well. But sometimes it's good enough just to grab whatever I have going. I can lose myself in anything :-)

debnance said...

During our recent bout with Hurricane Ike, I found I had trouble reading anything.

I finally settled down and read some children's books (including Wind in the Willows) and some light fiction (Garden Spells, The Book Stops Here).

Lesa said...

Thanks, Gautami. I liked short stories, but they're not absorbing enough for me to be able to escape.

Lesa said...

Wisteria,

Thank you! And, I haven't had a chance to get too far into The Given Day. I'm going to see Dennis Lehane Friday night, so I'd like to be farther in the book by then. Nice to hear it's so good.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Marie! It's interesting to see that everyone has slightly different comfort reads. Poetry and manga. I never would have thought of that. Thanks!

Lesa said...

Oh, Debnance, I understand. I hope everything came out OK for you. While I was on pins and needles, hoping to get the Director job at my home library, all I could read was Nancy Drew mysteries. But, again, those were mysteries. I guess a good mystery just does it for me.

Yvonne said...

I'm so sorry for what you went through!

For my comfort reads, it could be anything. Usually a Harlequin or Silhouette something with a guaranteed happily-ever-after ending.

Lesa said...

Yvonne, Nice idea! That's why true romances are so nice. I like the happy ending, too.

Thanks!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I'm always looking for comfort and rarely find it. I don't love chick lit but that comes closest nowadays.

Lesa said...

That's sad, Patti. Maybe I should have said this is escape reading, what I use to escape. Do you have anything that helps you escape?

L.J. Sellers said...

I'm with you, Lesa. Complex mysteries set in unfamiliar places are a great escape.

Lesa said...

Thanks, L.J.! Have you read Steven F. Havill? I'm going to start at the beginning of that series. I loved The Fourth Time Is Murder. It was exactly the kind of book we described.

Corey Wilde said...

I get the occasional sneer and some folks think I'm making it up, but I read Georgette Heyer when I need comfort. 'Struth! And sometimes I read her books when I don't need comfort but just want rich characters who will make me laugh.

Lesa said...

Corey,

I totally believe you, and I don't think that's funny at all. Georgette Heyer is the best in her genre. Why not read the best when you want a good book? "Never apologize for your reading taste!"

Anglers Rest said...

Comfort reads for me are any by Jennifer Chiaverini and Debbie Macomber. Also A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute.

Lesa said...

I understand! I haven't read Chiaverini, but I have a staff member who loves her. Totally understand Macomber. And, I never read Shute. Isn't it great when we discover the books that work for us as comfort reads?