Nan’s Recommended Comfort Reads

Books are a wonderful resource as we are all sheltering in place, but the pandemic can also make it hard to tackle serious or challenging books. Here are some of my favorite gentle, easy “comfort books.”

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (eBook and eAudio Book on CLAMS/Overdrive): McCall Smith does for Edinburgh what Armistead Maupin did for San Francisco in this mildly satirical, multi-volume soap opera about the denizens of one apartment building.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (eBook and eAudio Book on CLAMS/Overdrive): Some loved this; some hated this; I loved it. If you haven’t tried it, know that it is SO much better than the movie, and surprisingly serious. Like a deep but funny conversation with your best friend.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (eBook on CLAMS/Overdrive): Go to a British island between France and England during WWII, where delightful characters dealt with Nazi occupation by forming the titular organization.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (eBook on CLAMS/Overdrive): An aspiring writer, 17-year-old Cassandra keeps a journal of life with her broke and eccentric family in a run-down castle. One of the most charming narrators ever!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (eBook and eAudio Book on CLAMS/Overdrive): I’m not big on reading children’s books as an adult, but if you’ve never read this classic, you must! Mary Lennox, a spoiled and sickly orphan, goes to live with her uncle in Yorkshire, which she hates until she discovers a secret, walled garden.

Upstream by Mary Oliver (eBook on CLAMS/Overdrive): Prose not poems from Mary Oliver, but just as closely observed and inspirational. Worth it for the essay on Provincetown alone!