What is your comfort reading? For me it is generally novels or at least authors I have read before, and feel I can be assured of good quality writing. New books can be so risky, and sometimes I crave a nice safe predictably satisfying read. This week my comfort reading involves ignoring the tottering stacks of library books that furnish my little home, and instead plucking one of my collection of Lois McMaster Bujold novels from the shelf.
Anyone who knows me very well has likely been subjected to an enthusiastic review of her work since I discovered it about 6 years ago. LMB's work is first and foremost written with exquisite skill, charactered with humour and depth, plotted for maximum thrills and satisfying loose end tying and suffused with integrity and inspiration. She happens to write in the genres of sci fi (specifically 'space opera' for us geeks in the know) and fantasy. Do not, I repeat, do not let any prejudices you may hold about these genres prevent you from enjoying an aquaintance with Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith, his family or associates. Few writers seem to be able to write from the point of view of an recognised genius without exposing their own lack of it. I suspect LMB may be a genius from the way she describes Miles' idiosyncratic runaway trains of logical thought and his intuitive leaps across hyperspace. But most of all, like many characters in the books about him, I am made loyal by his absolute sense of honour
Other sources of comfort reading for me in recent times include Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, KM Peyton (who has been comforting me since I was about 12 years old) and early Barbara Kingsolver novels such as Animal Dreams.