The last couple of months here in London have been cold and wet and grey. My determination to find new authors disappeared with the sun, and it’s been a couple of months of comfort reads for me.
I’ve posted the books in the order I read them – not in any sort of preference…. although the first book is probably my favourite. It is also the one new author in this list… and what an author she is!
Winter Garden – Kristin Hannah (paperback – new author)
Well, when I say new author…. I really mean almost new author. I did read a short story by Kristin Hannah a long time ago and was enchanted by it. I don’t know why it took so long for me to come back to her. But now that I have found her again, I will be back.
This is a book about grief, and lies and families. It’s beautifully written. The language and imagery transported me from page one. The characters are sympathetic and well-drawn – which is a rather cold way of saying they were very real to me.
I picked this book up at a conference – it is signed by the author, which is always nice. Reading it has kept me in touch with my resolution to expand my reading this year… and encouraged me to do so. But when I need comfort reads, the old favourites are still there.
House Rules – Jodi Picoult (e-book and a favourite author)
I’ve been a fan of Jodi Picoult since I read Plain Truth – quite a few years now. House Rules is typical of her work – there’s a mother faced with a dilemma when her son is charged with murder. But the extra layer she brings to this is that the son, who is eighteen, has Asperger’s Syndrome. I have some familiarity with the illness, but this book me much deeper.
Once again, I found this a very emotional read. I challenged me to think about how I would feel in a similar situation. And it made me think how one person’s illness changes the lives of everyone around them.
An excellent read, as her books always are.
Is this Love – Sue Moorcroft (paperback – favourite author)
Full disclosure here – Sue is a friend of mine. She is also a very fine author. I’ve been reading Sue’s books since her very first. She just keeps getting better. I realised I had slipped this one into my shelf of signed books, but hadn’t actually read it; something I quickly rectified.
The book deals with a difficult and sad issue – a young girl injured in a road accident who will require constant care for the rest of her life. It’s not so much her story, as it is the story of her family, in particular her sister, who have to deal with the results of her injury. It’s a story about how one person’s tragedy can change the lives of everyone who is close to them.
It’s also a story that has, in true Sue Moorcroft style, a hero you just have to fall in love with.
Go and get it. Read it. Read anything Sue Moorcroft writes. You won’t regret it.
The Racketeer – John Grisham (e-book and a favourite author)
I wonder if a writer of legal thrillers would be pleased to be labelled as a comfort read, but he is an author I know I can go to and have a fast, enjoyable read. It’s not hard work reading a Grisham. It is entertaining.
My previous from him was Sycamore Row – and it was not my favourite. With the Racketeer, he’s back on the sort of form I enjoy. This book is full of plot twists and turns which I didn’t see coming. Once again, Grisham has given us bad guys to hate – in the case in the establishment.
This book was a huge seller – and it is good. I still think his earlier work was better – but I’ll be there for the next.
One Wish – Robyn Carr (e-book and a favourite author)
This is the seventh book in Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point Series.
Robyn Carr got me started on US small town series romances about six or seven years ago … an addiction that I still feed voraciously.
There’s nothing I can say about this book that I haven’t said about all the other Robyn Carr books I’ve read – its good, heart-warming and at times tear-inducing small town romance. Opening a Robyn Carr book feels like coming home.
She is quite a prolific writer – which makes me a very happy reader.
The Art of Christmas – Jane Lovering (e-book and a favourite author)
Jane Lovering and I share a publisher. She writes funny, heart-warming stories, one of which won Romantic Novel of the Year a few years back.
I started reading this because I needed a short read – and a light-hearted one. A sort of literary sorbet between heavier courses.
It was just the ticket. Although short, the story is great – possibly tear inducing at one or two points. The characters are well drawn and likeable. I powered through it very quickly and was a bit disappointed when it ended. Not WITH the ending, you understand, but because it was over.
Jane also writes funny/heart-warming vampire/zombie books. I know – that sounds strange, but its not. Read one and see what I mean. I’ll be heading that way again shortly.