As we approach fall and the temperatures are more reasonable, many people begin to think about cracking open a good book. Colder weather and reading seem to go hand in hand with many people. This will be the first time in over 20 years that my life is not absolute chaos in the fall. Anyone who has worked retail for any length of time will agree with me on this statement, probably while hoisting an adult beverage.
The other thing rapidly approaching is cold and flu season. This year’s season is especially fraught as every sneeze makes you run to the doctor for a Q Tip up the nose. I spent all last week battling the Mothra of colds… not as bad as Godzilla, but bad enough. It made me reach for my tried and true comfort reads that I read repeatedly when life gets kind of sucky. My go to creeping crud read is The Stand by Stephen King. For those of you who have read the book, I can see your side-eye from across town. For those who haven’t here’s the skinny. A government facility working on bioweapons has an accident. One single soldier and his family flee and spread the virus, Captain Tripps, across the country. Air travel carries it all over the world. The remaining survivors are drawn to one of 2 places. People who are for all intents and purposes good go to Boulder, Colorado. The others go to Vegas. King did not really say what happened to the people who aren’t joiners, my best guess is probably somewhere in Eastern Montana. We know enough to get by on our own, thank you very much. A showdown between good and evil occurs and the survivors kind of just get on with things. Reading this book when you are coughing out your lungs is great, because you realize it can always get worse.
Sometimes apocalyptic horror just does not cut it and you need to laugh. In that case I recommend David Sedaris. He writes humorous essays, mostly about what a moron he can be, but sometimes about his crazy family. You may have seen him read his essay The Santaland Diaries on David Letterman years ago. You may also know his sister Amy who was in the movie Elf. His books are just delightful, quirky, and sneak attack sweet – you are not expecting the feels, but they sneak up on you.
For many of us childhood favorites are a welcome relief from adult stress, and an adventure that carried us away as children has even more power to do that as an adult when combined with added nostalgia. Books like Harry Potter, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Chronicles of Narnia, and of course The Hobbit, take us to more than just physical locations. The take us mentally to a time when life was a whole lot less complicated and a cold could be fixed with chicken noodle soup and 7-Up.
As we segue into winter, what are your comfort reads? Is there any tried and true book that is the book equivalent of slipping into a warm bath followed by hot cocoa with those little tiny marshmallows? Hit us up in the comments to share the books that rereading only enhances.
Here’s wishing you good reading, the comfort book of your choice, and hot cocoa with teeny tiny marshmallows.