Ongoing Giveaways!

Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore - Win $50 Amazon/Paypal cash, ends August 8
Tempted by His Touch historical anthology - Win an iPad Mini with surprise bonus books, ends in October
Mastering the Marquess by Lavinia Kent - A $25 egiftcard to Your ebook retailer of choice and a Loveswept mug.
I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe - Win 3 digital copies of I Married the Duke, ends August 26
Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen - Win a paperback copy of the book, ends August 12

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Discussion: Comfort Reads

The past few weeks have seen a lot of things going on: family member went from sick to really sick to a day in the emergency room to a few days in the hospital to recovering at home and now back to business as usual. Which means lots of stuff to do, disrupted routines, lots of waiting, lots of nerves and not as much sleep as anybody would like. Though the crisis is now past, there's still dust to settle, but thankfully reading is always good medicine, and in the tough times, we still find time to read. It's not selfish, it's not frivolous, and I would argue it's downright necessary for rest and respite.

For a few minutes, hours, even days, we can step through a magic portal into a different world, live other lives, and come back feeling refreshed, restored and ready to tackle the next battle that life has thrown in our general direction. I don't use the term "escape" for such reading, because we do have to return to the issues at  hand when our reading breaks are over, but it is respite, a way to plug into hope and assurance and let our brains relax as the story takes us into another time and place.

Comfort reading is different from regular reading for some, if not most readers. When our minds and bodies are worn out from dealing with the increased stress, finding a new book to read may not always be the most pressing thing on our schedule. Rereads of favorite books or authors often fit the bill. Two of my surefire comfort reads are pictured below: Skye O'Malley, by Bertrice Small and Lovesong, by Valerie Sherwood.

Historicals are my go-to comfort read, books I read and loved many years ago. Not a lot of surprises, but there's a certain reassurance in knowing I'm travelling a road I've travelled many times before and will be sure to revisit again. Big, thick, sweeping romantic adventures in times past are exactly what I need when life gets to be too much.

For others, humor is what counts most, or a trip to an idyllic small town tucked far away from life's troubles. Still others want to visit a universe where the supernatural is the most natural thing in the world, or jump into the ongoing saga of long-running characters who are always going to be okay, despite insurmountable odds. I've even found comfort reading in the dystopian world of The Walking Dead graphic novels, because whatever is going wrong in my life can't possibly be as bad as a world where the undead walk the earth and consider me lunch.

So, dear readers, our question today is, what is a comfort read for you? Is it genre, author, a particular book?  Maybe it's a type of book, whether it's new to you or not. Can a book you've never read before be a comfort read, if it's of the right author, genre or setting? Settle into our virtual couch and sip your beverage of choice and share your favorite comfort reads, because we can all use a break.


  1. Oh, I'd forgotten Valerie Sherwood! I think I was reading her before I started paying a lot of attention to author names. Look at all that HAIR! I'm also a fan of the old-skool big thick sweeping sagas.

    ps, love your blog header-- so pretty!

  2. I agree with you - reading is always important enough to make time for. It calms my mind from whirling all around ... I guess by giving it one thing (the story) to focus on. Comfort reads for me - a good romance

  3. I think having a comfort read is a chance to recharge when you have a lot going on. Knowing what will happen allows you to relax and ride with the story, all the while preparing yourself for the next round of real-life activities. And sometimes that's a fantastic tool to have!

  4. My comfort read is Marrying the Marine (Carla Kelly or just about anything she writes) or Devil's Bride (Stephanie Laurens) or Slightly Dangerous (Mary Balogh).

  5. Agree... my comfort zone when RL became difficult is re-read some regent and medieval stories which have HEA but are also humoruos and witty, make me laugh (Eloisa, Ashley, Garwood, Laurens, Dodd... huh... and many moore), and make me feeling refresh. Thank you for your beautiful blog. Snjezana, Zagreb

  6. I have quite a few comfort reads. I like books that are really, really romantic & leave me happy. Sophia Kinsella's I've Got Your Number, Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap, Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis, The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins, Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn, Darn Good Cowboy Christmas by Carolyn Brown, Rescue Me by Rachel Gibson. These are sure things, but I am sure anything by any of those authors would be great, even if it is new!

  7. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Sharlene, romantic and happy sounds like great comfort read material to me.

  8. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Snejezana, medievals are wonderful comfort reads for me, too. A dose of humor can lighten the darkest of times. Thank you for your lovely comment. I think everyone on Buried Under Romance does a wonderful job, and am proud to be a part of it.

  9. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Anne, Carla Kelly and Mary Balogh do it every time, don't they? I have yet to discover Devil's Bride, but I have fond memories of Laurens' Captain Jack's Woman.

  10. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Emmel, I could not have said it better myself. I completely agree.

  11. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Cassie, reading is definitely always important enough for even a smidge of our time. Focusing on the story can let our brians take a break from the constant whirl of stress.

  12. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 9, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    Nicola, I've never read a Sherwood (or her other names, Jeanne Hines and Rosamond Royal) that I haven't loved. Love the old school big thick sagas, long may they sweep!

    That blog header is lovely, isn't it? Mary Chen, who can we thank for that lovely piece of art?

  13. I love these type of historical's too, and I am like you, historical romance is my go to for comfort reads. When I am in need of them I will read Johanna Lindsey or Julie Garwood.

  14. I live these type of historical's. I'm in love with Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Suzane Enoch, Julia Quinn, Gaelen Foley, Julie Garwood, Eloisa James, Stephanie Laurens, Tracy Ann Warren, Victoria Alexander, Elizabeth Hoyt, Jacquie D'Allesandro, Judith McNaught, Julia London, Lisa Kleypas, Tessa Dare,... The list goes on and on!

  15. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 10, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Irma, that sounds like a good list to me. I have very fond memories of one stressful time in college, when I decided to bypass my TBR pile in favor of rereading Woodiwiss' A Rose in Winter because I wanted to go on that ride again.

  16. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 10, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Lover of Romance, Lindsey makes for an excellent comfort read.

  17. Anna, A Rose in Winter is still my No 1 favourite. I haven't yet found a book to beat that :)

  18. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 10, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Irma, that's one of the true classics of the genre, by the author who started it all.

  19. Anna, I couldn't agree more :)

  20. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Irma, I like the way you think. I'm still hoarding Everlasting, because it's the last Woodiwiss. :sniffle:

  21. Anna, I have them all on my book shelf :)

  22. Anna Carrasco BowlingAugust 11, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    That sounds like a great shelf to me. My Woodiwiss are in storage due to a recent move, but they are safe and sound, waiting for us to figure out where the bookcases go.

  23. I would keep them safe and sound too :) Congratulations on moving :)



Imagination Designs
Blog design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Turning Leaf Apothecary kit by Lorie Davison