My Top 5 Restful Books

What does it mean to be a restful book? Welcome to yet another list of books from one of us. To practice my rest, I read all the time. But there are certain books that are really restful for me. To me, restful books are comforting books. Books with strong stories, that pull you in and force you to stop ‘doing’ for the sake of doing and just live in the story. Here’s my Top 5 restful books:

  1. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Yes, for those Elder Millennials and young Gen X reading this, this is the movie with Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell from the mid-1990s. My mom was a devoted reader of Binchy’s books and though Circle of Friends is not the first of hers she gave me, it’s the one that stuck with me the longest. I saw myself in Benny – in her awkward flirting and curly hair. Binchy’s best books are immersive, and this is one of her best.

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein 

Paradoxically, my father raised me to love sci-fi and fantasy and is the biggest Tolkien fan I know. I still remember the first time I read The Hobbit, after having grown up on the animated 1970s film adaptations. The world was rich, the characters were familiar, and I was transported. I probably read this book every 5 years or so, when I need a good sit. 

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen

As Kristen likes to tell me, I was into romance before I knew it was a separate genre. Persuasion is one of the less popular Austen’s but the painful angst between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth has always tugged my old heart strings. It’s also one of her shorter novels, which makes it more accessible when I need a quick reset. 

  1. Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Speaking of romance, since it is the genre I read the most, it had to make the list. As a genre, romance is the most restful for me because, like Hallmark movies, they are predictable. There is always an HEA (Happy Ever After) and the similar patterns and tropes make it engaging but not challenging reading. 

For this list I knew I wanted to pick 1 historical romance and 1 contemporary. Choosing which one would represent was the hard part. Kleypas was my first intro to historical romance but Hello Stranger is my absolute favorite of hers. It might be because the heroine is a woman doctor named Merritt who continues to push all gender boundaries and stereotypes of Regency England, but it’s a lovely and heartwarming story of two misfits finding each other. 

  1. In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader

For my contemporary romance selection, I knew it had to be a hockey romance. It took me a while to decide this one too, folks. I chose In Skates Trouble because Kate Meader is good at writing hockey (most hockey romance writers aren’t) and her Chicago Rebels and Chicago Rookies stories continue to be my favorite team to follow. 

Are you an avid reader? What does a restful book look like to you?

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