Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Value of a Cozy Book

I love contemporary literature.  I have also been known to read the occasional mystery/suspense story or non-fiction title.  But my favorite is always the well-written chunkster. I love a well-crafted sentence and an author that has a vocabulary that gets me running to the dictionary. I have recently realized, however, that sometimes I like books not because they are literary marvels but because of the way they make me feel. Most of my "must-read" authors fall into this category:

I love Fannie Flagg because her stories connect me to my childhood home in the South and focus on the value of human relationships.

I love Lilian Jackson Braun not as a mystery writer but because I love the town that she has created and the life that her character, Jim Qwilleran, gets to live.

I love MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin series because Agatha makes me laugh in all of her middle-aged glory.

I love Sarah Addison Allen because she seems to have found the perfect blend of charming small-town story and magical realism.

These writers are unlikely to earn any lofty prizes in literature anytime soon but I dearly love these books. They provide the perfect cozy escape for me. Sometimes, that is all you need in a book.

What are your favorite cozy reads or authors?

1 comment:

Gary said...

I agree - books that resonate with you emotionally and spiritually are priceless. I really liked how you described the authors you have on your list. I can easily see how they connect with you as a person.

As you already know, I like John Updike for the reasons you cited. He makes me laugh and I identify with a certain lead character of his. I'm not sure Updike's novels are "cozy" for me, because I do indeed find them troubling, but they make me laugh heartily. Something that makes me laugh out loud is a huge catch for me.