Cozy Reading

100_8353Brenda over at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me is asking her blog readers to submit their favorite books and movies that are in the Cozy category. She defines them as ones that make her feel all warm and cozy in the winter weather. Partly because we live in the south, my definition would be a little different – books and movies that me feel contented. There’s more to it than that, but when I start trying to nail it down, it gets elusive.

For instance, Agatha Christie mysteries are considered cozies, but they almost always involve murder. No gory details or horrible unpleasantness – but murder, none the less. I struggle with my affection for her books. Surely a Christian shouldn’t be so fascinated with sin. If I’m wanting to rationalize, I could say that it’s actually the intricacies of logic and justice that intrigue me.

Cozy books of all types make up a good deal of my reading. I also read a lot of challenging non-fiction: political, Alzheimer’s tales, biographies, but I find that after a few of these books, I need to read something that calms me down a bit. Because, even though I believe those topics to be necessary and important to my life, they can be a bit stressful.

Anyway, here’s some of my list. It isn’t complete because I’m sure that I’ll remember an omitted favorite this afternoon.

I’ve used Brenda’s format, to help me compare my list to hers.

M.C. Beaton -mostly mysteries: Edwardian, Scotland, Cotswolds
Elizabeth Caddell – light mid-20th century novels of England
Agatha Christie – mysteries
Emily Kimbrough – reminiscences of very early and mid-20th century
L.M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables series
Miss Read – very light and pleasant novels of an English village school
D.E. Stevenson – light English romances
Gladys Taber – journal-like books about living in New England
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House books

+Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
*Absolutely any of the Miss Read books
*Mrs. Miniver, Jan Struther (disclaimer: there is a chapter on fortune telling which I skipped. I don’t think witchcraft/occult is harmless fun.)
*The Gown of Glory, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (one of the reader reviews on Amazon compared it to Our Town.)
*The Nightingale, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (same town as The Gown of Glory, different people)
*Half Crown House, Helen Ashton (post WWII England)
*Owl’s Castle Farm, Primrose Cumming (mid-WWII English farm life)
*Now That April’s There, Daisy Neumann (English children returning home from America 1945)
*Fairacre series by Miss Read
*Thrush Green series by Miss Read
*Some of the Mitford books by Jan Karon
*Reminisce Magazine books – collections of short personal stories from very early to mid-20th century

*A Thousand Ways to Please Your Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes, Louise Bennett Weaver & Helen Cowles LeCron (either 1917 or 1932 edition)
*The Little House Cookbook, Barbara M. Walker
*If Teacups Could Talk, Emilie Barnes
*The Charms of Tea, by Victoria Magazine
*Beautiful Home on a Budget, Emilie Barnes & Yoli Brogger
*Timeless Treasures, Emilie Barnes
*Sew Pretty Homestyle, Tone Finnanger
*Crafting Vintage Style, Christina Strutt
*Creating Vintage Style, Lucinda Ganderton

*Farewell, Horton Foote
*In My Father’s House: the Years Before the Hiding Place, Corie ten Boom
*Agatha Christie: an Autobiography, Agatha Christie
*A Fortunate Grandchild, Miss Read
*Time Remembered, Miss Read


*20th Century Fashion, John Peacock
*Fashion Accessories, John Peacock
*The Costume Collector’s Companion 1890-1990, Rosemary Hawthorne Air


Filed under Books, Cooking, Cozy, Faith, Fiction, History, Tea

6 responses to “Cozy Reading

  1. Marilynn

    I came across your blog when I googled the book “Now That April’s There.” Back in the 40’s and 50’s, my mother belonged to Peoples Book Club and even though I was only about 11 years old, I read and loved that book, and it is nice to see it on someone elses book list! It recently came to mind after reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the reference of the children being evacuated during WWII. Although my “to read” list is long, that was such a sweet book and I would like to read it again!

    • It is so pleasing to find someone that loves a book as much as I do! I don’t even know anyone else that’s read this book – I borrowed it from a friend who was going through her mother’s collection (and my friend hadn’t read it). Even though “Now That April’s There” is what I would call a “cozy” book (because it makes me feel good), it’s not what I think the British would call “treacly” (it’s not sickingly sweet like molasses). My favorite part is the description of the music evenings when everyone – including non-musical guests – was included in the playing of instruments.

      I’m so glad you visited my blog and left the nice comment.

  2. Rae

    I have a copy of this book which was given to my aunt in 1945. It’s a little ironic because my mother is Welsh and met my father during the war, married him a year later and moved here. When I read it as a kid it gave me some insight into how difficult it had been for my mother to make the transition to a strange country. I found your blog because I was looking to see if Neumann had written anything else but there is no info on her.

    • So glad you visited and left a comment.

      Don’t remember if I related in the blog post about how I came to read the book. I borrowed it from a friend, and loved it so much that I bought my own copy. That period of time is one of the most fascinating to me and I’m always on the lookout for either fiction or non-fiction about it.

      It is difficult making a transition when moving to another country. Several years ago my husband had a job assignment in England and we were there for a little over 6 months. England was not at all what I expected and I was homesick a lot.

      Has your mother written her story? If she hasn’t, I’d like to encourage you to do it. This is a part of history and I would be fascinated to read it.

    • Marilyn

      I found this on Wikipedia:
      Daisy Newman’s novels include: Now That April’s There (1945), Diligence in Love (1951), The Autumn’s Brightness (1955), I Take Thee, Serenity (1975), Indian Summer of the Heart (1982), and A Golden String (1986). She wrote a history of American Quakers entitled A Procession of Friends. Published in 1972, it is about the active position of Friends in opposing slavery, in relations with the native peoples of North America, in opposing war and capital punishment, and in supporting the humane treatment of the mentally ill and prisoners. (I was not aware of the other books that she has written but since I was so taken with “Now That April’s There”, I think I will try to get copies of her other work.)

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