We all know what comfort foods are and we all have our favorites. Mine, of course, is chocolate. Followed closely by ice cream. No, I take that back. I think it’s the other way around! Anyway, there are those foods that just speak to our inner beings, they make us feel good! Tonight I had another one of my favorites, tacos. Then there is spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, corned beef and cabbage, potato soup, tomato soup, homemade turkey and rice soup, homemade bread… oh dear. I better stop or I’ll be hungry! Can you tell I’m on a diet… that’s where eating too much comfort food will get you.
Lately though, I’ve been thinking about “comfort books.” I have several. Those would be the books that I pick up when I’m having a tough day and I just want to take a break, relax, enjoy the story, and not think too hard. For me, mysteries do it. Mysteries like the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman, or The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun are two of my favorites. They are considered cozy mysteries (just the name sounds like a comfort food doesn’t it?) When I was a kid it was the Trixie Belden mysteries. I am definitely a character driven reader. I really couldn’t care less about the mystery at hand which is the main reason I can do the unthinkable and read the end before I get there. You see, once I have begun to care about the characters it’s all over because then I start to worry that the author will kill a main character off, or something bad is going to happen and I just HAVE to read the end. I love watching the character’s lives unfold over the course of several books. When I’m needing comfort I like to pick one up I’ve read before and it’s like an old friend.
There are also comfort books that we knew in the past but have lost contact with. The other day I heard the word “gargoyle” somewhere and I instantly had the title, “The Prettiest Gargoyle” pop into my head. This was a book I read somewhere back in the early 70’s but it obviously made an impression. I looked it up, found a used copy online and ordered it. Last week I spent an afternoon rereading it. What a treat. An afternoon with an old friend.
My hope for the Double Cousins series is to create a series that can be comfort books for another generation. The best part is that it won’t make them fat!