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“Comfort authors”: Do you have those authors to whom you keep returning?

So as of today, I’ve now read 25 books for the year. I probably could have had 26 by today, but yesterday afternoon when I went to work at the library, I accidentally returned the latest book I was reading. I got home, planning possibly to finish the book because even though I wasn’t that far along in it, it was a light read, only to discover I accidentally had returned the book. I confirmed that I had done just that at our library’s website.

The book? The Road To Ruin by Donald E. Westlake, the 11th in the series about Dortmunder, the hapless burglar…which in a roundabout way brings me to the subject of today’s post. Westlake is one of those authors to which I keep returning again and again, as is Agatha Christie. I guess I consider them “comfort authors.” When all else fails in my reading, I can rely on them to provide me a comfortable place in my reading– and I don’t mean staid or complacent necessarily. What I mean is that I enjoy their works so much that I almost can’t wait to return to them — although another part of me doesn’t want to “gobble up” all of their works either. I want to savor them — like a fine wine…or at least like a fine brew.

So to keep this short today, do you have “comfort authors” to whom you return again and again? If so, who are they? And why? For me, with Westlake, I enjoy not only his sense of humor, but also his settings, which are mostly around the state of New York. As for Christie, I just need those little mind diversions that her mysteries provide me, especially her Poirot mysteries.

12 Responses to “Comfort authors”: Do you have those authors to whom you keep returning?

  1. I keep coming back to Charles de Lint’s Newford Series. He does urban fantasy that blends modern American life with Celtic and Native American mythologies. He can write really well, and each of his books make me want to read more.

  2. I used to read a lot but would not consider myself a “well read” person. I love Asimov, Clarke and – how would I say – the more “cerebral” authors in the sci-fi genre, mostly because it made me take a step back to appreciate how differently humanity can or does think.

  3. I keep waiting to do that with one of my library books-so far I’ve been lucky. I do have comfort reads-this shouldn’t surprise you, but they are all romance authors. :) My comfort reads are Gini Koch, Lynn Kurland, and a few more that I am drawing a blank on right now…

  4. Agatha Christie, Carol Goodman, Alice Hoffman, Lisa Lutz. These are all authors, plus more, that i will reread when I need to settle my brain

  5. I have a tendency to do this with specific books rather than specific authors. I re-read ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ once in a while, just to clear the decks. Since many of Irving’s other books involve bears, incest, and the untimely death of children, he isn’t per se a ‘comfort author’.

  6. Oh, yes, definitely. Jan Karon’s Mitford series. Anne of Green Gables. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Anne Tyler, Maeve Binchy, Jane Austen. Hmmmm, all my comfort authors are women…..

  7. I used to read Dick Francis a lot. I found his character always slightly boring and charming and comfortable. I also got a real kick out of Elmore Leonard, particularly with his early writing. I like Lawrence Sanders too, but find him a little depressing at times.

  8. I like Elmore Leonard, too, Linda. And I’ll read anything by Stephen King, John Lescroart, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Ken Follett, Ian Rankin and, for a kick, Kinky Friedman.

  9. Although I think Stephen King is a master storyteller, I don’t like his stories. They leave a bad taste in my mouth. I love and read all the other writers you mention and read just about everything they write. Another favorite of mine is Robert Crais. Oh I also love Walter Mosley, James Lee Burke, and Lee Child. I said I liked Lawrence Sanders but I don’t really. I meant Lawrence Block but I confused the names.

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  12. stacybuckeye

    Any of the series that I keep up with are comfort reads, John Sandford, Jeffrey Deaver, Lee Child…