Books about home, or places that feel like or remind me of home in one way or the other comfort me, simply because of the settings, the familiar locales, and so on. As such, books set in the Bay Area or in India (more so, in Bangalore or other loved and familiar places in India) comfort me with the warmth of home. Here are a few such comfort reads that I want to highlight today.. there are way too many books (including books by Khaled Hosseini, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and more) that I am not including here but….
Note that the comfort factor in these books is the reminder of home and other beloved familiar places, and not necessarily the theme or tone of the books themselves. This list is for this week’s theme over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl for Top Ten Tuesday
Great Reads That Comfort
(and Give Confidence Too)
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Books I am Yet to Read
- The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly: I have watched the movie this book is based on, and enjoyed it. While I am not sure if the Netflix show is also based on this series of books, I do want to read it now that I have discovered it.
- The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth or by Alistair MacLean (on my tbr since… and finally reading the Seth one now.)
- Any of the books by Steinbeck that I am yet to read (Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday among others)
Books I Read and Loved
- Drawn That Way by Elisa Sussman with illustrations by Arielle Jovellanos (12 years and up). I enjoyed this book set right here in the Bay Area when I read it last year as part of the Cybils awards readathon.
- Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran (Women’s Literary Fiction). A book I am yet to review in full but this was a book I had to keep reading when I started it.
- Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo (12 – 15 years, and up). Another book I haven’t really reviewed properly but I loved this quirky read that takes readers from San Francisco to Antartica!
- Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Books I Read and Liked (….)
- The Meeting Point by Olivia Lara (Women’s Fiction/Romance). Set mainly in the quaint beach town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, this book definitely reminded me of my many walks in this charming place (it is just a little more than an hour’s drive there for us)… Cute but drawn-out with characters that contradict themselves too often for me
- The Emma Project by Sonali Dev (Women’s Fiction/Multicultural Romance). I think I have a love-hate relationship with this book. This book is most likely the last in the series but it got me reading the whole series (and I think that Recipe for Persuasion is my favorite of the lot). I enjoyed Esha and Siddhartha’s side story – it was sweet and touching – but it could have been a novella maybe? All the characters in this book (and the series) are real and “almost” likeable (despite their flaws). A Bollywood movie or a TV series in the making?
- By the Book by Jasmine Guillory. A contemporary Beauty and the Beast retelling, this one takes us to sunny beautiful Santa Barbara. While I did read it through to the end, there was something missing in the telling of this tale. I loved the characters individually but found their friendship more charming than the romance aspect. But overall, made me interested enough to look for more by the author, and well, it did take me on an armchair tour of Santa Barbara (and we love visiting there when we can)!!
(Thanks to NetGalley for the digital arcs of the above three books)
Books I Read and Loved
- The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan (Memoirs/Travel). I enjoyed this memoir for many reasons; some being that it transported me back to Bangalore and to India and to the time when the milkman used to bring us fresh milk everyday when I was growing up.
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Epistolary Fiction). This was a book both my 18-yo and I enjoyed, and endearing because of its setting (Bangalore). Another Adiga favorite is Last Man in Tower – reviewed here.
- The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama (Cultural Fiction). Another book I never got around to reviewing. Like I mentioned earlier here, an endearing and light-hearted read.
- A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (Indian Literature). This one finds many mentions on my blog, but no review.
- The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan (Historical Fiction). My review summary for this one states: A fascinating read that perfectly blends wonderfully researched historical fact with splendidly written fiction.
- Multiple City: Writings On Bangalore compiled by Aditi De (Essays). A book I “borrowed” from my brother’s library! Now it is mine 🙂 and I enjoy dipping into it every so often so I can take a trip back to Bangalore whenever I wish.
- The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan (Indian Fiction/Satire). Simply delightful
Books I am Yet to Read
- The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi (Historical Indian Fiction). I have been meaning to read this since I first saw this book both because the author is from California and the book is set in India across beautiful locales!
- The Riddle Of The Seventh Stone by Monideepa Sahu
- A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian (Literary Fiction). This description and the title both draw me to this book, and I know I am getting this one for myself soon.
- Vivek Shanbag’s Ghachar Ghochar has been on my TBR for a while now. I even got it from the library once (which is where I first laid eyes upon it actually) but somehow never did read it. Soon…
- The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay (Historical Fiction). From beloved beautiful Bangalore to beautiful Kashmir, this book takes us on a gorgeous tour of India while promising to be “evocative and sweeping.” I need to read this one soon.
- Murder at the Mushaira by Raza Mir (Historical Fiction). Oh my, this one sounds like something I will truly enjoy reading. A historical set during the 1857 revolution (India’s First War of Independence), and portraying Mirza Ghalib, poet laureate, as an amateur detective.
- Bombay Balchao by Jane Borges (Historical Fiction). Definitely one that will transport me to back to older TV shows and movies set in the chawls of Bombay that I loved to watch, this book sounds
Books to Boost You
Maya and the Stage Fright
Maya loves to sing, especially with her choir. But when the time comes for her first concert, a strange feeling overwhelms Maya. Her hands start to sweat and when she opens her mouth, no sounds comes out.
Will she be able to conquer her fear so she can perform?
Whether your child loves to sing, dance, or act, sometimes the thought of sharing that talent in front of a crowd can be terrifying. But that fear doesn’t have to stop them from doing what they love.
A sweet and helpful book with adorable, beautiful, emotive, and inclusive illustrations that provide readers a variety of strategies to help deal with stage fright.
When Maya suddenly gets stage fright before a performance, her teacher so very wonderfully talks to her and the other students about what stage fright is, and how to deal with it. The beautiful artwork compliments the narrative and we can see all the stages of stage fright (sorry!) from excited to nervous to scared to confident!
Overall, a great read to boost anyone’s confidence and deal with those jitters before a performance (not just the little ones this book is intended for).
Get it here
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of the books listed/featured today? Your thoughts on them? What would be on your list of comfort reads?