A month ago, who would’ve thought we’d now all be having one collective anxiety attack about the C-word? Things have changed very quickly and they’re bound to change even more in the coming weeks and months, which means there’s a lot of uncertainty going on. I know if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s uncertainty, and I’m guessing many of you might be dealing with the same stress about The Situation as I am. I’ve been trying to deal with it by seeking as much comfort and relaxation as I can.
Reading brings me a lot of comfort, as it does for a lot of people. However, for some reason, I’m not really in the mood for dark dystopian novels or gritty, depressing stories. I’m in the mood for things that are heartwarming or hopeful and I figured I’d share with you some of my favourite comfort reads!
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganuchea
When I thought of making this list, this was the first book that came to mind. Bloom made me so very happy when I read it, and just thinking about it makes me smile and feel warm inside. If you’re here because you love both books and baking, this is the perfect story for you. Bloom is a graphic novel that’s all about growing up and falling in love and it’s absolutely wonderful. Large parts of it are set in a bakery: the main character Ari’s family owns a bakery and his love interest Hector comes to work there. Full of beautiful, mouthwatering baking montages, this soft, quiet story can’t fail to make you feel happy. At least, I don’t see how it could. I mean, just look at the cover!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Perhaps a science fiction novel isn’t the first book you’d think of when you think comforting and warm, but for me, this one certainly fits the bill. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the first book in the Wayfarers trilogy and tells the story of the crew of an old space ship called, that’s right, the Wayfarer. Even though the crew has a difficult task to complete and things do get quite exciting a few times, the focus of this book lies on its characters and their development, which is what I loved about it. You get to see friendships blossom between incredibly well-developed and complex characters. I started to really care for them along the way and I loved learning about their different backgrounds. Also, if you don’t want to think about our world, why not read a story that’s set in a place very far away?
Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
I love Jenny Colgan’s books, but I think this one is my favourite. Our main character Polly moves to a small village on a tidal island after a messy breakup. To recover from her heartbreak, she throws herself into her favourite thing to do: baking. Her hobby turns into something bigger than that and she opens up a bakery in the little village. Polly builds a new life for herself in a way and a place she’d never thought she’d end up. There’s trials and tribulations along the way, but mostly, this is just a wonderful story about a small-town community and one determined baker. Hmm, there might be a theme here…
How To Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
Let’s throw some non-fiction into the mix! I picked up How To Be a Heroine when I was on holiday in Dublin. I’d never heard of it, but I liked the cover and the title and, on closer inspection, the concept of the book. In this book, Samantha Ellis discusses the heroines in books she loved when she was young (Anne from Anne of Green Gables, Cathy from Wuthering Heights and many more) with the knowledge and life experience she has now. You get a feminist yet loving look at these heroines and Ellis also talks about growing up as an Iraqi Jewish girl in London. Ellis critically dissects the stories and characters, but it’s clear she loves them very much. I loved diving deep into these stories and I think any female bookworm would love How To Be a Heroine because it’s a wonderful book. Plus, there’s a recipe at the back of the book, so when you’re done, you’ve got something to bake!
Bonus: any childhood favourite!
What better way to feel comforted and safe than reading a book you used to love as a child? There’s no better feeling than that! For me, Matilda by Roald Dahl always works perfectly for this, but The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is always a great one, too. Oh, and Harry Potter, of course, but that hardly needs mentioning anymore, I’d say.
What are some books you like to read when you’re in need of comforting? If you’re looking for comfort, I hope these books will help you out, and I hope everyone’s safe and well! Tell me something positive that happened to you lately in the comments. We could all use some positivity!