In January, I was having a conversation on Twitter with Sheri W, who mentioned that she re-reads a few Jennifer Crusie books “on the regular to battle a bad day.”
Since we had that conversation, I've been thinking about my Bad Day Re-Reads, the books I know will give me a break from crap days or from feeling really crummy. They're all stories that make me happy, that are friendly and peaceful and more than a little funny, and that somehow have a reassuring quality. Know what I mean?
My Bad Day Re-Reads list includes Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey ( A | BN | K | ARe), probably my favorite novella ever. Even if it's the opposite of the holiday season (it's a Christmas novella though the holiday plays a relatively minor role in the story), I can read it and it'll make me happy.
I also have a few historicals that I will re-read any time I need to mellow out, or be lifted up a bit. The Summer of You by Kate Noble ( A | BN | K | ARe) is one I've read a few times, especially because the progress of the plot and the setting the characters inhabit is welcoming – and warm, because it's summer, after all. Plus there's a wry and witty humor in the heroine that I love.
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens ( A | BN | K | ARe) is also a pick me up read for a rather odd reason. The details about running a household and the ways in which Honoria manages her life, and the parts of Cynster life that encroach on her life are like flannel jammies for my brain. Everything is ordered and the details are explained and there are lists that are checked and cross checked, and all that organization coupled with the emotion, the not-quite-purple-but-definitely-lavendar prose, and the single minded pursuit that is Devil Cynster are so soothing. (Yes, I realize this is a bit strange).
The Bad Day Re-Reads for me are slightly different from comfort reads for me, though they're definitely related. The Bad Day Re-Reads have a quality to the writing and the story that doesn't disintigrate over time and multiple readings. For me, they're all mellow and warm, and they work to make me happy every time I read them, and re-read them, and re-read them. It's a mix of enduring quality, tone, and the way in which I connected with the book.
What about you? What are your Bad Day Re-Reads? What books do you find uplifting or guaranteed to make you feel better? Which do you recommend?