Book reviews

Comfort books

So, when I’m not feeling well I tend to throw out whatever new release ‘to be read’ pile I have accumulated and there is a handful of books that I always fall back on.  They either invoke a feeling of comfort, or they remind me of a good time from my past (which is basically the same thing as invoking comfort…).

I wouldn’t call it a long or a short list – kind of medium sized and just right to ensure there is always a book that the mood calls for.  For the most part these books are not considered literary classics, but I love them just the same.  You can tell that they’ve been read a few times by the poor condition of the spines…

List of books (with a brief synopsis):

Enchantment – Orson Scott Card

A modern retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty with some beautiful Russian folklore mixed in for good measure.  Ivan and Katerina find a bridge between the past and the current timelines and try to forge a relationship.

Back After the Break – Anita Notaro

The heart-wrenching story of Lindsay, who gets stomped on and betrayed, picks herself back up with the help of her two best friends, rearranges her life, only to kind of be kicked over again.  I usually cry no less than four times when reading this.

Magician – Raymond E Feist

An epic fantasy novel that is the first novel of the Riftwar series.  Honestly, I’ve not read any of the others – this book can be read as a standalone.  This is the story of Pug, a child who was apprenticed to a magician, Kulgan, and his epic quest.

Adored – Tilly Bagshawe

The story of Siena, a girl born into fame and fortune in Hollywood, and her struggle to come to terms with infamy and scandal.  She is betrayed and rejected by her family, her peers and only through sheer determination (and some brattiness) does she follow through with her dreams.

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

The purest story of young love, that also deals with conflict and peer pressure.  This story isn’t as reassuring as the others, but I love it regardless.  I reviewed this a while ago, and you can read my review here.

Shall we dance? – Maggie Alderson

Surprisingly my first Aussie author on my list (but not my last).  Loulou faces struggles with her daughter, Theo.  A story of self-discovery and reinvention from a 49-year old’s perspective.

Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta

A classic coming-of-age story about a girl who faces racism, identity struggles and suicide all while undertaking her final high school exams in Australia.  This book is studied in the final two years of most Aussie schools, but I first read it when I was 12, and has an Aussie author.

Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

Do I really need to say anything here?  It’s Harry Potter, and I am a total Potter-head.  In fact, today I’m wearing my Hogwarts t-shirt and my Quidditch Team Captain lounge pants (I got mine from Think Geek, but they don’t appear to have them anymore?).

The Rook – Daniel O’Malley

This is a fantasy/science-fiction novel, by an Aussie author, about a secret government organisation (set in England) that is run by mutants.  There is a heroine who overcomes stuff – because even I can see a theme emerging here, and you can see my review here.

The Nanny – Melissa Nathan

A light-hearted love story set in London with a backdrop of chaos and fun.  This is definitely the most light-hearted book on my list, but it’s good, I promise – in fact all five of Melissa Nathan’s stories are.  This is just the first one I read, so it’s my favourite.

The Witches of Eileanan series – Kate Forsyth

A fantasy series (six books) about a young orphan girl who discovers her past and the trials she encounters in fulfilling her destiny.  Another Aussies author for those who wish to know.

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