Comfort Food ~ Comfort Books

hot-soupThe weather is getting colder, the seasons are changing, and I don’t know about you, but I am turning to comfort foods like soups, oatmeal, hot cider, and roasts. I’m also turning to comfort reads – I’m not a re-reader but at this time of year, I do tend to grab familiar, comforting genres – 1950s science fiction, historical romances – stories where I know there’s a happy ending. These things bring me comfort when I’m cold, tired, and maybe even at my wits’ end with holiday preparations. I asked Hub bloggers what their comfort food and comfort reads are. Their responses invoke the warmth of the familiar and cozy.

What’s your comfort read? What about your comfort food? Let us know in the comments. Recipes are welcome!

~Geri Diorio, currently reading The Infinite Sea

secret garden2My comfort food has been and always will be mashed potatoes. I could eat them every single day and never grow tired of them. My husband makes the best ever, with lots of butter and cream
mashed-potatoes(fortunately he only makes them once or twice a year, or I’d be in trouble!). If I’m sick, if I’ve had a bad day, if I’m stressed out- mashed potatoes fix me up every time. I have been known to order food in a restaurant based solely on whether or not the side dish is mashed potatoes. My comfort read…well, that’s a little harder to figure out. I have comfort “sections” of books- probably something I got from Mary Anne Spier in The Babysitters Club, since she always turned to certain parts of Little Women to comfort herself. If I’m picking a single book that I turn to more often than any other, though, it’s going to be The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The hope that fills that book is inspiring- hope that even a sour little girl used to being unloved can learn and grow and become loving herself, that a boy who has spent his whole life believing he’s going to die young can heal from the inside out, that even in a place that seems designed to suck the joy out of a child happiness and love can bloom. When I need a pick me up, the end of The Secret Garden is a good place to start!
~ Carla Land

over-the-moon-coverI have a couple “comfort books” that I’ve re-read in the past (though recently, I’ve struggled to find time to do so!). Over the Moon, by Elissa Haden Guest — I don’t know what it is about this one, but I’ve loved it ever since I got it from what I believe was a Scholastic book order (!) in school. The writing is simple and vivid, and I still recall images and lines from it every few days, even now.  Anne of the Island, by L.M. Montgomery — anne-of-the-islandThis has always been my favorite of the Anne series, because it’s the book where Anne goes off to college and is truly on her own, figuring out romance and school and what she really wants out of life. My favorite comfort food is, without a doubt, pot pies of any sort. :)
~ Becky O’Neil


I have a few go-to comfort foods: mac’n’cheese, ramen noodles, and grilled cheese and tomato soup! My go-to comfort reads are: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and poetry by Pablo Neruda.
Alegria Barclaygrilled-cheese-n-soup



In the late fall/early winter, I like to continue a tradition that my mom’s had since I was little: re-reading The Dark Is Rising, which opens on Midwinter’s Day. Add a mug of hot cider and a cozy dark-is-rising-coverblanket and I’m ready for whatever cold, dark wintry weather might blow in.
~ Emily Calkins Charyk


Mashed potatoes is definitely my top comfort food dish, although I also love navy beans in the winter (but don’t usually make them until after Christmas, because they need a ham bone). I am a big rereader, so I have a ton of Beauty Robin McKinley covercomfort reads. If I had to choose one, it would be Beauty by Robin McKinley.
~ Libby Gorman

With the holidays approaching, I always return to the classics. I like to reread or listen to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The family gatherings with their warm and cheerful feelings of togetherness portrayed in the book as they feast on goose makes me long to eat goose or turkey with all the trimmings. I also love Jane Austen (who doesn’t?) and love to read christmas-carol-coverabout all the dinner parties and tea drinking on her books. The characters in Austen’s books, particularly in Emma, are always eating apple pies and tarts. I love reading it at this time of year because I love all the different varieties of apples available. I’m a huge chocoholic and at this time of year I love rereading two of my favorite books full of mouth-watering descriptions of chocolate: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and Chocolat by Joanne Harris (and watching the movies of these isn’t bad either!).
~ Sharon Rawlins

bittersweet-coverMy all-time favorite comfort food for the autumn/winter is definitely Chickpea Piccata over mashed potatoes! And, a “dessert” of my favorite tea – Constant Comment! That tea always reminds me of cold weather & my mom! My favorite books to read around this time of year are definitely realistic fiction – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler & anything by A.S. King!!
~ Traci Glass

I’d have to say soup plus any of the Harry Potters= comfort for me.HARRY-POTTER-AND-THE-SORCERERS-STONE_NEW
~ Tara Kehoe

When the weather turns cold, I definitely turn to warm drinks and soups in a big way. The warmth from the mug or bowl when I wrap my hands around it is as rewarding as the food itself. As for my go-to comfort read, I absolutely adore Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and re-read it ever winter (and sometimes when I need a little boost in July).
Dash-and-Lilys-Book-of-Dares-cover~ Jessica Lind


Comfort food: lentil soup, for a protein-rich, one-pot meal that just needs a fresh loaf of bread to go with, and won’t leave me with a big mess in my kitchen when all I really want is more time to curl up with a good book and my cat (to act as a little heater/companion while I read!). My favorite is this red lentil soup recipe from one of my long-time favorite food blogs , if you’re collecting recipes.
Comfort read: My absolute favorite genre – historical fiction and fantasy, together in one book. This could mean Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (highly recommended for anyone who loves British historical fiction OR tales of faerie OR wizard apprenticeships), The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (a magical, world-traveling circus only open at night, where two magicians hide their magic in ever-more-enchanting concoctions and displays; for anyone who appreciates a setting so lovingly developed it’s pretty much a character in its own right), or Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, which I return to again and again for its achingly real characters and blustery island setting.
~ Carly Pansulla

Comfort Reads to me are Christmas romances – I love a happy ending and reading about picturesque moments. I confess to watching several holiday movies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the snow, the hot-chocolateoutdoors, and the happy feeling in the air. It’s even better if I’m sipping hot chocolate or smelling a chocolate scented candle in the background while reading and/or watching.
~ Jennifer Rummel