Just this past week the three of us have experienced a bit of a blog fatigue (admit it, you have been there too), so to cheer ourselves up we decided to dedicate this week's Three Heads Are Better Than One (or Two) post to our favorite happy and comforting reads.
As it turns out, there are many things that make us happy and comforted: smut, silliness, humor, virgin men, chick lit, kilts, snogging, boys next door, romances, Irish villages, and did we mention smut?
Diana Gabaldon writes the best sex. But I love these books for more than just a bit of smutty escape (although that part is quite nice…). I love the culture clash between a trained nurse (and later surgeon) from the 20th century and an intelligent but traditional man from the 19th century. I love Claire and her dry, blunt humor. I love that Diana Gabaldon wasn’t afraid to pair an older woman with a younger man. And of course I love this:
“I had one last try.
"Does it bother you that I'm not a virgin?" He hesitated a moment before answering.
"Well, no," he said slowly, "so long as it doesna bother you that I am." He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door.
"Reckon one of us should know what they're doing," he said. The door closed softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.”
I challenge you to come up with another romance novel that features that scenario and not the opposite. Why so many romance novels feature female virgins as heroines I’ll never get.
Yes, these novels have gotten long-winded and scattered as the story has progressed and I really miss Claire as the narrator, but I'll probably keep reading them. Each time a new one comes out I invariably inhale it in a few days (despite the insane number of pages that each one contains). And I enjoy them, but mainly the new ones just make me want to go back - to when Jamie and Claire first met. Back to when she was a bossy, confused nurse veteran and he was a wounded young man on the run. Those first few scenes will never get old for me, and just writing this post has put a huge grin on my face. That's why these books will probably always be my comfort reads.
Over the course of 10 books Georgia's biggest problems are limited to lamenting the size of her nungas (a.k.a breasts) and nose, and her vair, vair hard choice between three lads - Dave the Laugh, Robbie the Sex God and Massimo the Italian Stallion. But these books are so darn funny, that they never cease to cheer me up. I can just open any one of ten of them when I am feeling low (like, after reading The Hunger Games for the n-th time) and it does the job - life is good again. LOLs abound and I start talking in Georgia speak - lippies, painters, vati, nunga-nunga holsters, snogging scale, etc . One of my oldest Goodreads friends is a big Georgia fan too and we can have entire conversations using her slang. Tres fun.
Wednesday, December 2nd.
Dashing out of the house, Jas and I almost fell into Mark, waiting by the corner. Jas (big pal) said she had to run to her house first and she would see me at school. I went a bit red and walked on with him walking beside me. He said, "Have you got a boyfriend?"
I was speechless. What is the right answer to that question? I tell you what the right answer is... a lie, that's the right answer. So I said, "I've just come out of a heavy thing and I'm giving myself a bit of space."
He looked at me. He really did have the biggest gob [mouth] I have ever seen. "So is that no?"
And I just stood there and then this really weird thing happened... he touched my breast!!! I don't mean he ripped my blouse off, he just rested his hand on the front of my breast. Just for a second, before he turned and went off to school.
What does it mean when a boy rests his hand on your breast? Does it mean he has a megahorn? Or was his hand just tired?
Why am I even thinking about this? No sign of Mark (the breast molester) when I got home, thank goodness.
Still, you would think if a boy rests his hand on your breast he might bother to see you sometime.
* * *
Jools has been looking at Rollo for about a million centuries and moaning and droning on about him. He was hanging out with a bunch of lads round the bar. I was trying to concentrate on looking at the Sex God. He is soooo cool. He's by far the coolest in the band. Dom, Chris and Ben are all quite groovy-looking but they don't have that certain je ne sais quoi that the Sex God has. That extra snogosity. That puckery gorgeosity combined with fabulosity. That sexgoderosity.
Jools didn't seem to know I was in Snog Heaven because she was rambling on. "He is quite fit, isn't he?"
"Yeah, he's gorgeous and he's all mine, mine, miney."
"Gee, I mean Rollo, you banana."
I was less than interested but she went on and on. "Should I go across?"
"Or is it too pushy?"
"I think it's always best to play a bit hard to get, don't you? Yes, that's how I'll play it. He'll have to beg to get my attention."
Jools was sitting on Rollo's knee and snogging for England. Oh well. I said to Ellen, "She's obviously gone for the playing-hard-to-get-ticket."
Goodness, I already miss Georgia. Maybe it is time for another snog-filled reread...
P.S. I might also occasionally comfort myself with rereading select parts of Fever books (particularly in books 4 and five; if you have read them, you know darn well which parts I am talking about), but I have already exposed myself as a Fever junkie, so I will not elaborate on those happy experiences.
Besides humor, I love to read romance and women's fiction when I want a comforting book. If you see me plowing through several Nora Roberts books or having a Susan Elizabeth Phillips marathon, I'm probably on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Once, I had several papers and tests in one week of grad school and instead of doing work, I got Meg Cabot's The Boy Next Door and Boy Meets Girl electronically from the library and read them in succession on my computer. At this point, I think I can read both in about 3 hours. (And I do, at least once a year.) Maeve Binchy is another perennial favorite. In her case, the way she writes stories, I feel like I've been dropped down right into the middle of an Irish village. The town/neighborhood is its own character and all the people who live there have so much drama. It is easy to get lost in the story and that's exactly what I want to do when I need a break from regular life. Some of my favorite books of hers are Firefly Summer, Light A Penny Candle, Tara Road, and Circle of Friends. This reminds me that I need to reread Circle of Friends to compare it with the movie. No, I don't want to just watch the movie because Chris O'Donnell is adorable in it! /blatant lie.