In this time of stress and uncertainty, one thing I’ve been doing to help manage my anxiety is revisiting favorite books. This has already been a year where all I want to read is romance and cozy-ish mysteries because even if I get a little stressed in the middle of those books, I know how it will end. The couple will get their happily ever after. The mystery will be solved. All will be well.
But lately, I don’t even want that unknown middle part.
I want to know the plot points. I want to know the ending. I want to know exactly how long the tense parts will last (and let’s be honest, I want those tense parts to be pretty much nonexistent). And so while I’ve still been reading new books, I’ve definitely been gravitating towards the books that I know I can count on.
Here are some favorites that have been giving me life lately – maybe one of them will bring you a bit of bookish comfort, now or in the future:
Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
Gilbert Blythe is my absolute forever and always number one book boyfriend. He is the perfect man, and you will never convince me otherwise. All other book boyfriends are rated against Gilbert Blythe in my mind. If I wax on about my love for a character in a new book I’m reading, you can be sure that they have some serious Gilbert energy. Therefore, when I’m feeling especially in need of the comforting certainty of a good reread, this is my go-to. The third book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of the Island is serving up back-to-school university vibes, the cutest little house ever, wholesome roommate shenanigans, AND the culmination (FINALLY) of the world’s greatest slow burn romance.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
This is one of those books where every character makes me smile, and it was such a delightful and welcome reread. Nik and Carlos are adorable together, and I love, love the interactions with Carlos’s family and Nik’s friends (please give Courtney her own book!). Also, a hot doctor who likes to cook for you? YES PLEASE. The only problem with this book is the need to constantly have snacks on hand because of all the mouthwatering food descriptions.
The Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig
Do you like romance? Do you like adventure and intrigue? Do you like a period setting? Do you like all of that wrapped up in humor and wit, and topped with a bow of happily ever after?
Well, have I got a winner for you!
These books are fun and quick to read, while still packing a lot of heart and great characters into each volume. The romances will make you swoon, the writing will make you laugh, and the little mysteries tying the whole series together will keep you coming back for more. I’ve been rereading these via audio, and they are the perfect books to have in your ears as you go about your day.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Imagine if Stars Hollow hosted a giant Renaissance faire every summer. That’s essentially the vibes of this sweet romcom, and heading back to Willow Creek was the exact serving of small town magic my heart needed. Bonus points for a secondary bookstore setting. I may also have a huge crush on Simon, and I don’t care who knows it. Ren faire, take me away!
The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas
I live for a good historical mystery series (especially one that includes even a hint of romance) and will read just about any Sherlock Holmes retelling, so this series featuring an unflappable Charlotte Holmes is basically my catnip. This was actually a reread in anticipation of the fifth installment in the series, and I was so happy to dive back into this world of mystery and mayhem in Victorian London.
Sidenote: It’s also quite possible that should you read these, you will find yourself searching for Charlotte/Lord Ingram fanfic because YOU JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. Seriously, Sherry Thomas may actually be trying to kill me with the will-they-won’t-they energy of this series. And I am HERE for the suffering.
Your list of books may look very different from mine, but regardless, here’s my advice to anyone who needs to hear it – go ahead and reread your favorite romance again. Revisit your favorite series. Reread the mystery where you know exactly what will happen and when. It’s fine if you don’t knock another book off your TBR or hit all the new releases right away. They will still be there waiting for you when you’re ready, and in the meantime, go ahead and take comfort in the books that have always been there for you.