Laura (laura0218) wrote,

The Sunday Salon: December is "Comfort Read" Month

Yesterday we had our first snowfall -- fat, wet flakes that covered the grass but fortunately left the roads quite passable. It was a perfect day to spend indoors with a fire, which I was happy to do once I'd stocked up on groceries for the week ahead. The weather has also made it a nice weekend for reading, especially since I'm currently immersed in a "comfort read." I desperately needed this after a string of mediocre books. Last week I was well into David Storey's Saville, which, as a coming-of-age story set in a Yorkshire mining village, had potential. But I was continually reminded me of the Monty Python "Vocational Guidance Counselor" sketch. Saville was much like chartered accountancy:

Exciting? No it's not. It's dull. Dull. Dull. My God it's dull, it's so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL.

I'm not even sure how I finished it. I kept waiting for a surprising twist, or some tension, but it just wasn't to be. I reached the end of my tether after 400 pages and realized the book was making me grumpy, so I decided to very lightly skim the remaining 100 pages. For more about Saville, read my review.

Fortunately, it looks like the entire month of December will be filled with fun comfort reads. Let's look at what lies ahead:

In the Bleak Midwinter, by Julia Spencer-Fleming: this is the first in a series of mysteries, which has been highly recommended by some dear friends. This is a genre I don't read often, but I have to say I'm enjoying this book a great deal. The protagonists are a police chief and a female Episcopal priest, who make for one of those odd-couple pairings that I've enjoyed in television mystery dramatizations like The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. These books take place in the New York mountains, and this particular novel is set in December, so it sort of feels like I'm there. Just the thing for a snowy weekend. I've even requested the next one from Paperbackswap.

I'm also planning to read two Virago Modern Classics: The Judge, by Rebecca West and Crossriggs, by Jane & Mary Findlater. I started The Judge earlier this year and set it aside, because it didn't suit my mood at the time. I thought I might return to it later and since it's well suited to the Women Unbound Challenge, now seems like the right time. I'm also reading Crossriggs for that challenge.

The Hunger Games
, by Suzanne Collins: this is a very popular YA novel. I gave it to my younger daughter for Christmas last year; she loved it and is clamoring for the sequel, Catching Fire. She's convinced me I really need to read this book.

The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom: Calling holocaust literature a "comfort read" is a real stretch. I'm not sure if this will make my list in December; however, it's been on my shelves forever and I've heard such good things about this true story of faith. Maybe the Christmas season is a good time to read it. If you've read this book I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.

Finally, time permitting, I might read a bit of E.M. Forster as part of a LibraryThing monthly author read. I have a copy of A Room with a View lying around here somewhere and, as much as I loved the film with Helen Bonham-Carter, I'm sure I'd love this book.

So that's what December holds in store. Having finished all of my 2009 timed challenges and pegged a lot of my other reading goals, I'm looking forward to a relaxing month of reading.

What reading do you have in store for December?

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Tags: sunday salon
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