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Comfort books

Idea from shadowkat67 by way of fara_shimbo. Comfort books; books you reread to relax.

A few of mine.

There're the Manning Coles books, especially the Tommy Hambledon ones. A series of delightful adventures (think Intelligence as it should be, not as it really is) where the good guys win and very silly and audacious things happen. I do hope someday someone reprints these again; my copies are falling apart. Better yet, someone releases an ebook version so I can carry the lot around in my pocket whenever I feel like it. (Fair warning - the very first in the series "A Drink to Yesterday" is a good, fairly realistic WWI spy novel. The fun starts with "A Toast To Tomorrow". )

Next is Georgette Heyer's Regency-era romances (don't like her later era mysteries for some reason). When I'm feeling out of sorts I wander into the back room and make a random withdrawal from the Four Foot Shelf of Heyer, and invariably cheer up.

Lord of the Rings of course. Not so much even for the story which I know backwards and forwards in several versions (I've got copies of the entire set of notes that Christopher Tolkien published, and have read the four volumes connected with the writing of LOTR several times), but because I like to visit Tom Bombadil's house, Rivendell, the Ents, Lorien, and Hobbiton. The Inn at Bree. Etc. I was impressed by the movies, because of how much so many of the places looked about the way I'd imagined them. Strangely enough, I didn't have any mental images of most of the characters, but I do now.

The Witches of Karres, by James Schmitz. One of the most delightfully wild space operas I've ever encountered. I want to move to Karres. :)

There are more, but it's late. Maybe I'll add some later.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Anne McCaffrey: The early Pern books. The Crystal Singer trilogy.
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: The Liaden series, esp Pilot's Choice.
Lois McMaster Bujold: Varying Vorkosigan books, esp Shards of Honor and Barrayar. I've also added The Sharing Knife: Beguilement to that list recently.

Probably more, these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Aug. 6th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
LOTR. My all time favorite.

Most of the Vorkosigan books. Particularly _Memory_ and the novellete _Borders of Infinity_.

Most of the Flashman books by George McDonald Frasier, particularly Flashman & the Redskins, Flashman & the Mountain of Light, and Flashman & the Dragon.
Aug. 7th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
I like the later Manning Coles works more
I have a pretty good collection of MC, but would not put A DRINK TO YESTERDAY, A TOAST TO TOMORROW or ALIAS UNCLE HUGO (published together in a 3-in-1 hardback volume) at the top of my list. Instead, I prefer THE BASLE EXPRESS and WITH INTENT TO DECEIVE, with THE MAN IN THE GREEN HAT, DEATH OF AN AMBASSADOR and DANGEROUS BY NATURE on the next tier. A DRINK... and A TOAST... would come next for me.

Gotta agree on THE WITCHES OF KARRES and LOTR as good "comfort" books.

I never head any Heyer, so I can't comment much - but romance novels are not generally to my liking.
Aug. 7th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Re: I like the later Manning Coles works more
When I saw the title I thought you meant Brief Candles and the other tales featuring the late (but not gone) Latimers. Which are also much fun.

Ah yes, now that I think of it With Intent to Deceive may be my favorite of the lot, especially our introduction to Forgan and Campbell. I can sympathize with Tommy; I too have been in screamingly hilarious situations where I didn't dare laugh.

Aug. 10th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
Heyers Regency romances were much better than her other works. I didn't like the mysteries either!

As for other comfort books........

There is quite a list accumulated over the years!

Early Pern books, Deryni the first three, Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey. Randall Garrett's Darcy
Aug. 10th, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Most of LMB, but esp. Memory, Komarr, and ACC.

Most of Elizabeth Peters, but esp. Seeing a Large Cat, He Shall Thunder in the Sky, and Lord of the Silent.

Julia Quinn when I don't need to think as much.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Among many, many others.

I *do* like romance. But not, for some strange reason, Heyer. And I've tried. It's not the regency thing -- see Quinn and Chase, above, not to mention ACC [g].

And maybe one had to come to Witches of Karres as a kid? Because it didn't do much for me when I tried it a month or two ago. Got about halfway and went enh.
Aug. 10th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
I first came across Karres as a short story in Astounding Science Fiction. Didn't find the novel until I was in college. I suspect it's a matter of how much tolerance one has for space opera - given that I grew up on Doc Smith and the like the fact that the science or whatever is hokum doesn't bother me unduly. Internal consistancy is the main thing, and that it's got. De gustibus and all that.
Aug. 11th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
I have to really like the people (like Miles and co.) to tolerate much space opera. Which is why the later Vorkosiverse books are my favorites (even if one of my favorite bits is in The Vor Game during the battle -- "It's too big to be that fast! It's too fast to be that big!").

Aug. 12th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
If you don't like any of the characters, it's hard to tolerate any kind of fiction. Figuring out the puzzle is one reason I like mysteries, but if partway through I realize I don't even care whodunnit, nor would I mind if they took out the rest of the cast I generally return book to shelf. A plethora of unpleasant people doing unpleasant things to each other in an unpleasant environment nearly drove me out of the SF genre during the "New Age".
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