Comfort Reading

Well, it’s late February. Tempers are fraying; my arms hurt from chipping ice off the sidewalk; and I’m ready to move to Southern California. To keep from committing homicide, I’ve turned to books. Schlock books, to be specific.

I am a big fan of urban fantasy (a genre that DP calls vampire lesbians in the mist, see category tag), which is defined as being set in current times, but with an undercurrent of the supernatural. I read two urban fantasies back to back, both of which are better than the genre often is. (See genre objections here.) But I like the combining of worlds and the idea that there is more to our current world than meets the eye. You know, going through the back of wardrobes and such… It reminds me that there are worlds out there where it isn’t still February.

But it’s not just escapism, it’s also comfortable or the familiar. I read books that take place in the same world, so I know what to expect. I also read YA books when I need comfort because they are a little more distilled than adult fiction. I have to think less.

Sarah W. and I were talking about books we read when we don’t even know we need comfort and she said:

I love [Robert Parker] because he wrote the same five books over and over (and over).  No thinking necessary, just a big, comforting, literate detective and his awesome friends and his sincerely annoying honeybunch, who should have her psychology license revoked and be forced into therapy for disordered eating.  Because dislike is also a comfort, sometimes.

Now certain people I’m related to (cough, cough, Cougar, cough, cough) love Robert Parker. I don’t, because it is the same five books over and over. And the disordered eating stuff would send me right over the edge. But it hadn’t occurred to me that the things you hate about a book could be comforting in their limitations.

What do you love to hate?


9 responses to “Comfort Reading

  1. Any chance you’d share your latest two UF/”Vampire Lesbians in the Mist” reads? That’s been my comfort reading too. And I totally hear you on wanting to move to Southern California. This winter is killing me, and I grew up in Colorado.

    • Chimes at Midnight, the most recent October Daye and the Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin. I had weaned myself off of the October books because I disliked some of the middle ones, but Chimes at Midnight is stronger, I think. And the Grendel Affair? Surprisingly fun and I didn’t wince once over the language.

  2. Love to hate? Or hate to admit loving? 🙂

    I love to hate the Twilight books and Dan Brown’s stuff. But my guilty pleasure (I’m not guilty about Mr. Parker at all) is fanfiction. The angsty the better. 😀

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