I have a confession to make. Harry Potter is my absolutely-cannot-live-without comfort reading. If something blows up in my life, when I'm sad, when I'm stressed, I will soon find myself starting the Harry Potter series all over again. That's a Hell of a lot of pages to re-read when you already know how the story is going to end, but something about the characters just feels so cozy, so comfy, that I simply have to cocoon into the tale once again. According to a poll the Book Dragon conducted, I am not the only one who engages in this behavior, nor am I the only one who turns to Harry Potter in times of trial. However, our gracious host is challenging us to broaden our repertoire of comfort reads, and I'm in, because Harry does need a break every now and then.
The Getting Lost in a Comfortable Book challenge comes equipped with a master list, from which I must choose 5 books I have NOT read before (which rules out me just falling back on my teenaged comfort reading, L.M. Montgomery). All of my choices are by authors I've been meaning to read (or read more of), and at least one of these books will be forcibly planted in my Victory Garden when it is finished, as it has defeated me at least twice. I shall triumph!
1. Arabella, by Georgette Heyer
2. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
4. North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell
So, me and Debbie Macomber, the Backstory:
I went into my LYS (local yarn shop) for a completely unnecessary SEX (stash enhancement excercise), and there among all the SABLE (stash available beyond life expectancy) in the shop, sat a hardback copy of A Good Yarn, by Debbie Macomber. I was immediately intrigued; the cover looked so scrumptiously cozy that I just wanted to snuggle up to the book forever, but it also looked like it might be a romance novel.
Sorry to all those devoted romance readers out there, but I DON'T DO ROMANCE NOVELS. And before you ask, yes, I have tried them. They're just not for me. I adore a good love story; reading about other people's sex life beyond the sort of "fade to curtains blowing in the window" stage usually just leaves me feeling embarrassed for the characters. I refer to the whole genre as "Heaving and Writhing." Just not for me.
Anyway, I decided to chance it--or at least to pick up the book and investigate the cover--and quickly realized that A Good Yarn is the second book in a series. I dropped the book back into its place like a hot coal, because I can't BEAR to read series out of order. However, I took down the info from the front blurb--you know, "By the author of the best-selling blah, blah, blah," and bought myself a copy of The Shop on Blossom Street. I adored it. It WAS romantic; it did NOT read like a melodramatic version of The Joy of Sex. And the yarncraft made me very happy. I'm still making my way through the rest of the series.
One other venture into Debbie Macomber's works didn't go so well, but undaunted, I am excited to accept the Welcome to Cedar Cove challenge, in which the Book Dragon has dared us to take on an entire 12-book saga. This series is about Macomber's Pacific Northwestern hometown, and since I live in the Pacific Northwest these days, I'm anxious to see what she has created. And if they all turn out to be romance novels...well, maybe I'll learn to conquer this particular genre prejudice. Only time will tell.