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Comforting reads

(46 Posts)
VittysCardigan Fri 06-Oct-17 21:42:03

I used to be an avid reader and able to escape into books but really struggle lately. I am looking for suggestions of something to lose myself in. The last book that I really, really loved was Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, the first book I've loved for a long time. I got fed up of crime novels that seemed to contain graphic violence just for the sake of it and although I enjoy Jill Mansell & Jenny Colgan I would like something more.

I used to enjoy sagas/series of books. Authors I have enjoyed are: Stephen King, Ken Follett, Marian Keyes, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Pratchett

Can anyone please suggest something with a good story with no gratuitous violence to keep me interested

flimflaminurjams Fri 06-Oct-17 22:09:53

The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared. Had me hooked.

the Number 1 ladies detective agency - set in Africa and is more about people than crime. There are follow ups too.

VittysCardigan Fri 06-Oct-17 22:12:12

Thank you, I think I have 100 year old man somewhere

LEMtheoriginal Fri 06-Oct-17 22:14:32

Yy To the 100 y old man - wonderful and quite surprising. Not at all twee as the title suggests.

I find myself I a similar place though so a bit of place marking x

I quite like Ann cleevrs . Despite being crime they examine human relationships and I find it comforting.

VittysCardigan Fri 06-Oct-17 22:21:44

I highly recommend Eleanor Oliphant, best thing I've read for years

TheBitterBoy Fri 06-Oct-17 22:23:33

The Keeper of Lost Things is lovely.

elkiedee Fri 06-Oct-17 22:29:57

I'm another one who finds some crime fiction comfort reading, but going back to older novels:

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm and Nightingale Wood

Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet novels are a family saga written by a literary novelist. I think they're not cosy or anything but they are are really good reads with substance.

VittysCardigan Fri 06-Oct-17 22:48:38

I have read the first Cazalet book & think I've got the second knocking around somewhere

RMC123 Sun 08-Oct-17 09:27:44

Was just coming on to say The Cazalet Chronicles!
Also all the James Herriot

PersisFord Sun 08-Oct-17 09:31:35

I agree with everything elkie says!

Also Georgette Heyer

missnevermind Sun 08-Oct-17 12:15:17

I’ve read nearly every book mentioned here. Must try the 109 year old man one.
Total change of pace for me while recovering but I loved tha Agatha Raisin novels. Silly crimes lovely village life. Lots of fresh air.

LEMtheoriginal Sun 08-Oct-17 22:15:11

I liked the agatha raisin novels too although she started to irritate me.

I have lost my reading mojo

Clawdy Mon 09-Oct-17 22:51:36

The Shell Seekers. A bit old-fashioned now, but a lovely warm read.

PersisFord Tue 10-Oct-17 09:29:55

Oh yes!

Elizabeth peters for gentle crime too

Sallystyle Tue 10-Oct-17 22:38:39

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep

Elanor and Park

Itsanicehotel Wed 25-Oct-17 18:30:51

The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith. I read all 10 back to back and found them so calming and ridiculous as well as funny, touching and sweet. A real feel good series. I didn’t enjoy The First Ladies Detective Club by the same writer but I loved this.

Snailo Wed 25-Oct-17 18:41:36

Itsanicehotel I was just coming on here to say Scotland Street! It's fab isn't it? It's so warm and well-written and easy to read - and although it's a light read I think AMS addresses - in an under the radar way - a lot of the annoyances/problems we have in modern society. I love those books (especially Bertie!).

Mishappening Wed 25-Oct-17 18:45:25

Confession here - not fashionable I know. I have had surgery on several occasions and the Miss Read books were balm to my spirit - old fashioned, pleasant, with a bit of a bite - not bland. But wholesome and very clued in to the human spirit.

doctorcuntybollocks Wed 25-Oct-17 19:06:30

A beautifully illustrated edition of The Wind in the Willows.

PesoisaTool Wed 25-Oct-17 19:12:38

Need inspiration too....

PersisFord Wed 25-Oct-17 20:08:10

I’ve just churned through 20 Agatha Raisins.....

tshirtsuntan Wed 25-Oct-17 20:13:02

The secret diary of Hendrik Groen is lovely, about an old Dutch man. I love the Ben Aaronavitch books, rivers of London series.

Jeffers3 Wed 25-Oct-17 20:20:03

A Man Called Ove - lovely story, very heart warming, subtle, made me smile and I couldn't put it down.

Wonder - it's teen fiction really but it's bloody brilliant, I laughed, I cried and I can't wait to see it in the cinema.

Interesting that there are recomendations for The Hundred Year Old Man, I so wanted to love it and there were bits I loved but I found it hard work, really in your face and a bit much.

PersisFord Wed 25-Oct-17 20:31:17

Yes I’ve just started the 100 year old’s ok....

ChinkChink Wed 25-Oct-17 20:45:23

I love 'golden era' cosy detective novels - Agatha Christie of course but Georgette Heyer also wrote quite a few of these, also the Patricia Wentworth Miss Silver mysteries and her other non detective fiction.

Some of these are available to borrow free from

Open Library also has plenty of Enid Blytons to borrow if you feel like really going back to cosy reading times!

You can download a reader - I use BlueFire.

Snailo Wed 25-Oct-17 21:05:42

Yes Agatha Christie is always good! I love Enid Blyton too. Also what about other children's books like 101 Dalmatians, Carrie's War, Mary Poppins etc. Also Jeeves and Wooster books are so funny as well.

Itsanicehotel Fri 27-Oct-17 18:34:02

Snailo. I LOVE Bertie. What that poor kid has to put up with. And baby Ulysses . Love how he throws up every time his DM picks him up smile. I agree that AMS covers 21st century trends/problems etc under a seemingly lighthearted exterior. And yes, warm is just how I’d describe the series. I really cared about the characters. Can’t recommend them enough.

Humpsfor20yards Fri 27-Oct-17 18:35:32

I loved Elinor oliphant.

If you loved that, then you might love 'where d'you go bernadette' I thought it was wonderful.

Snailo Fri 27-Oct-17 20:39:52

Itsanicehotel yes I agree!! I'm always willing him to get one over on his godawful mother!!

Itsanicehotel Fri 27-Oct-17 20:54:10

Snailo. Have you read the whole series?

Snailo Fri 27-Oct-17 21:31:32

Yes I think so - I've listened to the last couple on audiobook - but I think I'm up to date. The last one I listened to was The Bertie Project - unless there's been another one since? (Sorry for hijacking your thread with this OP - but they are definitely comfort reading!)

Itsanicehotel Fri 27-Oct-17 22:35:22

Sorry for hijacking thread to but Snailo I just googled to check The Bertie Project was the last one and see that there is a new one called Tales Of Love And Tartan that was published this year smile.

Itsanicehotel Fri 27-Oct-17 22:37:49

Sorry it’s A Time of Love and Tartan.

Nearlyadoctor Sat 28-Oct-17 14:19:36

Jeffrey Archer The Clifton Chronicles, never expected to enjoy it but loved all 7 books.
As recommended earlier - The keeper of lost things is a lovely read.
Adele Parks- The image of you, unexpected twist thoroughly enjoyed and is only 99p on the Kindle at the moment.

Snailo Sat 28-Oct-17 17:04:40

@itsancehotel ooh thanks! [Departs for Waterstones...] smile

Idratherhaveacupoftea Sat 28-Oct-17 17:35:16

Any Maeve Binchy books or Rosalind Pilcher books, both lovely authors.

rugbychick1 Sat 28-Oct-17 17:48:50

The LShaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks. Read it yearly

rugbychick1 Sat 28-Oct-17 17:52:18

There are 2 other books in the series too. The Backward Shadow and Two Is Lonely to follow on from The L Shaped Room

1sttimemama1986 Sat 28-Oct-17 18:45:31

I’ve just finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Not what I expected from her but I absolutely loved it. Very though provoking, interesting and at times dark and emotional. Really rate it.

I also like Dorothy Koomson- Ice Cream Girls particularly good one but a fair few good ones in her collection.

PerfumeIsAMessage Sat 28-Oct-17 18:52:50

Ruby- so do I! I absolutely love them. (though she should bloody have gone back to bloody rubbish Toby but then of course I wouldn't love the angst as much, because there wouldn't be any!)

I am trying to spend less time MNing and more time reading, so am reading something more demanding then rewarding myself with either an Agatha Christie, an Inspector Morse, or a comfort food book like L-Shaped Room, early Marian Keyes, the first couple of Bridget Jones (not anything after the first 2, HF needs to stop now) Bill Bryson or Stuart Maconie (both non-fic but fabulous)

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 28-Oct-17 19:15:51

If you're not put off by the idea of Victorian novels, I can really recommend the Barsetshire series by Anthony Trollope. The first in the series is The Warden. To me it's a comfort read - quite funny in places and he does fairly gently take the mickey out of society and the C of E at the time. The rest of the series is equally good. As a bonus you can get them for free on Kindle!

I also love Trollope's Pallisers series, and The Way We Live Now, which is more hard hitting about society at the time. Also free on Kindle.

For sheer comfort reads with laughs thrown in, I second someone else's mention of Cold Comfort Farm, plus two of my personal favourites, Three Men In a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome) and Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis).
All very vintage, but none the worse for that.
Oh, and anything by Barbara Pym - my favourite is Crampton Hodnet. Set in pre WW2 Oxford, so almost as much a period piece now as anything of Trollope, it's another one gently poking fun at local/academic society at the time, and IMO very funny in places.

Pithivier Sun 29-Oct-17 07:56:13

The hote. On the corner of Bitter and Sweet, which was a MN re ommedatiom.
Also Hello from the Gillespie, Magpie murders and The girl friend

Nearlyadoctor Sun 29-Oct-17 08:56:26

Another vote for Small Great Things !

TheTurnOfTheScrew Sun 29-Oct-17 08:57:37

The James Heriot Books.

Frouby Sun 29-Oct-17 15:18:48

I loved Elanor Oliphant and read the Keeper of Lost Things this week and enjoyed that too.

When I want comfort I like Lisa Jewels early stuff and Freya North too.

saturdaykitchen Mon 30-Oct-17 10:58:06

The Rosie Project

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