Comfort reads

If you’re in need of some comfort right now, here are my favourite comfort reads. Low stakes, high romance, familiar tropes and loveable characters abound. (Whereas my book The Quiet at the End of the World, about a global virus pandemic that makes humanity infertile, may be less comforting right now….)

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Links to Amazon UK

Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley -A retelling of Sleeping Beauty that I’ve read approximately 50 times since I was a kid. So feminist and witchy and unexpected.

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson (and her other historical romances like The Morning Gift) – wonderfully indulgent and romantic, with lots of longing and happy endings.

A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold – Best described as Jane Austen in space, this features genetically modified bugs, clones, political intrigue and more.

The Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens – mid-war boarding school girl detectives with modern values.

Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson – The Sound of Music meets Hamilton in early New York, with undercover governesses and magic.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory – Guillory’s writing is such a comforting place to spend time. Her characters are all so lovely and real, and her romances aren’t filled with the kind of angsty misunderstandings which are often used to create tension, and drive me nuts. Instead there’s just honest, genuine progression of relationships. (£3 on Kindle)

Think of England by K J Charles – the most excellent English country house heist/murder mystery. (£3 on Kindle)

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal – Magical regency romp around the world with magic and science and the boundary between the two. (99p on Kindle)

The Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane books by Dorothy L Sayers (start with Strong Poison) (99p on Kindle)

The Red Dwarf books by Grant Naylor -Silly space antics which are laugh out loud funny. You don’t need to have seen the show to read the books, and I think they’re better and funnier.

Jeeves & Wooster by P G Wodehouse -A foolish rich himbo telling anecdotes about the antics he gets rescued from by his clever and dignified butler. Iconic and hilarious. (75p on Kindle)

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She is the twice Carnegie-nominated British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World and The Next Together series, as well as the dyslexia-friendly novella The Starlight Watchmaker and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. Her upcoming release is The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker. She started writing during secondary school English classes, because she couldn’t stop thinking about a couple who kept falling in love throughout history. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her books have sold over fifty thousand copies in the UK alone, and been translated into five languages worldwide. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. The Last Beginning was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for young adults by the Independent. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was inspired by a Physics calculation she was assigned at university. The Quiet at the End of the World considers the legacy and evolution of the human race into the far future. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient.  She has written articles for numerous publications, including the GuardianBuzzfeed, Den of GeekThe Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2020. She teaches creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands, providing creative writing courses to children through the Spark Young Writers programme.

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