What Books Comfort You?

I woke up the morning after the election in a bed littered with wrappers from Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups and tissues with a still half full glass of red wine sitting on my bedside table next to a copy of the only book I could fathom trying to read through last night’s tears: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I don’t have many books in my apartment. I brought a few with me, and had Mister BS mail me a box with a few more, but there wasn’t a huge selection for me to dig through last night, and none of the books I’d checked out from the library held any appeal.

I didn’t have my worn paperback of A Little Princess, and had to download it on my Kindle.


It’s hokey as hell. Sara Crewe is grossly perfect, even if she is “not quite pretty.” But I read that book over and over as a child. I even remember my mom letting a seven-year-old me stay home to read it. My first mental health day.

I don’t get a mental health day today.

My moral compass was formed by that book. It taught me to value kindness.

The world could use more kindness today.

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that–warm things, kind things, sweet things–help and comfort and laughter–and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.”

I woke up this morning wanting the magic to be real.

“…the Magic has come and done it, Becky, while we were asleep—the Magic that won’t let those worst things ever quite happen.”

And it’s not. So I’m going out there to keep fighting, to let all my Black, Muslim, Latinx, and LGBTQIA friends and neighbors know that I love and support them. Because that’s all I can do.

I want to come home and read a good book that will give me hope. What are your favorite comfort reads? 

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PS— If you’re looking for some good picture books, check out my 2016 favorites in this guest post.


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  • I think Anne of Green Gables and To Kill A Mockingbird are my comfort reads. Something about reading them when I was younger and times were simpler I guess, and they are both very hopeful. sigh.

  • These are good words for today, especially when my shock and sadness might easily turn into anger. Going to take a few days for my grief, and then figure out how I can help love trump hate. And maybe I’ll indulge in a little Pride & Prejudice comfort reading in the meantime. Thanks for sharing.

  • Harry Potter, every time, but last night it was After You by Jojo Moyes, which was just the right mix of melancholy and light. I indulged in a massive latte, my version of wine.

    • I totally get how Harry Potter can be a comfort read (my sister always re-reads it) but it just hits too close to home on some of the good-versus-evil stuff.

  • I want to get lost in some sappy romance novels – where there is always a happy ending 🙂

    Tanya Patrice

  • Jane Eyre is a comfort read for me, and although i haven’t read it in a LONG time, so is The Poisonwood Bible. I never really thought about them like that before, but they are comforting. I also loved the book Winesburg, Ohio when I read it in high school, and something has made me want to read it again.
    Too often I turn to food for comfort, but I like the idea of a comfort book in these unsure, disappointing times.

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