What a fancy seeing me here! I’ve kept quiet for almost the entirety of July, I am well aware. Blogging sat in the back of mind for a couple of weeks, and then it invaded my conscience and found a voice. It said things like, “Post!” and “Review!” and I said, “No.” After leaving one of the more stressful school years behind this spring, I felt I deserved a break. I was done. Kaput. Out of energy. I wanted a vacation from cramped schedules and due dates and ARC reading. Well, I cannot do anything about the books I’ve received for review, but I did–clearly–go away for a short while. It wasn’t all fun: I first came down with a two-week bug followed by a bout of laziness, or you might say my two-week bug was laziness followed by more laziness.
During this great period of Doing Nothing, I read a bit of this book and that book, watched a show here and there… Which made me think: I love comfort books. But not only that. I also love TV shows and movies for comfort, especially ones I can watch on repeat a hundred times. In every sense of the word, I am a book nerd, though I’d be lying if I said I don’t love sitting in front of the screen for hours just a bit more than reading.
If I feel flu-ish or like a couch potato, I become drawn to certain books that meet certain criteria. When sick, there is no chance I’ll seek a book weighted in politics, intricate plots, and complex storylines. All of these qualities, when brought to life by good writing, can make an excellent piece of literature, but who wants that with a fogged brain? I demand light and simple yet interesting. I don’t want a book whose plot flies ten feet above my ability to grasp it, but I don’t want a book that puts me to sleep either. To name some personal favorites, I compiled a few lists…
1. I love a book that can wow me. A book that’s unique, emotionally compelling, and intelligent. My reading, however, should never be restricted to “smart” or “impressive” novels–reading should be fun, and that entails rehashed plots or predictability equally as much as it entails originality. So long as the reader enjoys the book, who cares? Straight-forward books that offer non-complex world-building often become some of my favorite comfort material, and here are only a select number of preferred light reading:
- Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins*
- The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
- Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
- Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard
*Anna & The French Kiss and I didn’t get off on good footing the first time around, but now–well, yes. I understand the book’s appeal. I understood it the first time I read it, but that understanding is now on par with zealous fans. I’m not a zealous fan–just to be clear–but I like this novel for how simple and light it proves to be. It’s predictable with the perfect about of fluff and drama, and once you accept Anna & the French Kiss for it is, you just might like it, too
2. One word: manga!
I stand before you at the cusp of entering a manga obsession. I’ve never been a manga person, as I can count on one hand the number of manga I’ve read before this week (two). Having finished EVERYTHING that is currently available of Shingeki no Kyojin (SNK/Attack on Titan), I died. Then, upon realizing that SNK is not the only manga out there, I undied and began my search. I’m brand new at this–a beginner. I can’t provide a decent recommendation list, but I will say that–just like any novel–manga storylines are either complex or simple. Not all are mind-blowing or likable, but the added bonus of a good manga artist and writer (not to forget: a good translator) make even the sophisticated plots fairly comprehensible. I appreciate this.
- Currently reading: Eureka 7*
- Attacking next: Eureka 7 AO, Fullmetal Alchemist, & Death Note
- Recommended to me: xxxHolic
*The Eureka 7 manga is an adaption of the original anime show of the same name. Between the two, I highly recommend the anime.
3. Those books I will re-read and re-read and… re-read…
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
- Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
- How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
When it comes to reading, my biggest problem is allowing myself to get swept up in one book only to be distracted by three more. I don’t accomplish too many re-reads for this reason, but the aforementioned titles are books I will re-read in an instant. They remain as some of my personal favorites, and I give high praise to each. Whenever I’m down with a cold, this is a handful of what I reach for on my shelf.
Fact: Something Strange & Deadly is my favorite comfort book to re-read. At four read-throughs, it’s my second-most read book (only topped by A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness).
Maybe it’s because I’m a nostalgic person–or perhaps it’s because I loved my mother’s pampering when I was little–but when I’m sick or avoiding chores, I seek things which define my childhood: Spice Girls, Harry Potter, Disney, and well…
1. “Family-fun movies”
- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
- Labyrinth (1986)
- The Dark Crystal (1982)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Clue (1985)
- Spirited Away (2001)
- Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
- Waking Ned Devine (1998)*
*Although Waking Ned Devine can be enjoyed by people of many ages, I recommend it for ages 14 and up.
2. Shows that know a good time…
- I Dream of Jeannie (1965 – 1970)
- Mister Ed (1958 – 1966)
- Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005 – 2008)*
- The Legend of Korra (2012 – present)*
- Last Exile (2003)
Unless you’re my grandmother who solely lives for Lifetime movies, there is a high chance you will enjoy these shows. I will watch every single episode back-to-back–recycle and repeat; no rinse.
*Now, bumping into people who refuse to watch ATLA is almost as frustrating as discovering people who deny watching it. If you think you’re too old for ATLA and LOK, if you think you’re too old for anything animated, then get out of my face or prepare to be agni kai’d off this planet. I will burn you into ashes of shame and humiliation from which you will never rise. Insulting these shows is outrageous. It’s blasphemous. You don’t stomp over a sacred creation without consequence. Thank and bless Michael Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, amen.
Speaking of, Korra’s second season is coming this September! Who else feels excited?
3. Re-visiting a few more childhood favorites…
- Sailor Moon (1995 – 200o)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
- Pokémon (1997 – let’s pretend that everything after the point right before Ash, Misty, & Brock split up doesn’t exist)
I am sorry? You don’t like Pokémon or Sailor Moon? We cannot be friends.
Yes, I am now on Twitter. Maybe? I am here! But, uh, not tweeting. I am intelligent enough to create a Twitter account, but I am not intelligent enough to tweet. Standby as I finish Twitter for Dummies. In the meantime, drop me a comment, because feed is superbly boring when there’s no one to spam it.
Tell me: What are your favorite shows and books to revisit?