The Pleasant Auguries of Our Stars

Mostly friend, partly house-guest, Avery flung himself happily into an armchair with a tumbler of whiskey and made love with a thick red-bound volume whose import Raymond could not recall from amid the myriad of books lining the shelves.
Rachel asked what sort of books were our "cosy" favourites - the books you read when you aren't researching anything, or trying particularly to expand your horizons, but just to have a bit of literary dessert, as it were. I confess it was actually very hard to put together a list of "cosy" books for myself.  I don't seem to read many of those.  I almost put Watership Down on this list, if that is any indication...  One other caveat: the older I get, the fewer books I re-read.  Ain't nobody got time fo' that.

I don't know how many times I have read this book.  I do recall curling up in my family's Lazy-Boy and reading it aloud to my cat, because she wanted to sit on my lap and I wanted to read the book to someone.  It's still a delectable favourite, with a pungent taste of medieval atmosphere for which I am unfathomably grateful.  And, you know, it's C.S. Lewis.

Er, this is a cosy book?  I don't know.  But it's one I really enjoy and one that I read every once and again just for fun.

Again, I'm not sure why this is on a cosy list, but here it is.  A-a-and it's also C.S. Lewis.

"And to be surprised that the woman who brought me up should actually be lady-like!"  Here is to my favourite of the Aquila stories: an old friend, and very familiar.  

Chesterton!  Chesterton and poetry!  ("Sugar, dates, and pistachios!") This is a marvelous book and while I haven't actually read it through again, I do take it down sometimes to drink in the delicious lines.

This is one of the best children's books I have ever read, and it stands the test of time and age.  Danger! prophecy! swords and armour! common-sense! virtues! hilarity!  It has everything.  

I didn't like any of the covers, so you get a fan poster instead.  Howl's Moving Castle!  Melodrama, tongue-in-cheek hilarity, magic, high tempers - it is the back face of a coin whose other side is The Gammage Cup

And in a crescendo conclusion, The Grand Sophy - sparkling indeed with wit, more high tempers, good sense, wonderful characters, romping and rampaging and reigning on the page.  What more do you want, I ask!
What are your favourite cosy books?

12 ripostes:

  1. I am pleased to have started a trend. In fact, (horror of horrors) I did hope it might make some of you move to put forth your own lists. ^.^ But you knew that. I can't believe I forgot to put down The Silver Chair. I do read that one lots an' lots. And, now I really have to read The Gammage Cup.

  2. Yes, you must read The Gammage Cup. I have literally no idea how many times I have read it, and I still adore it.

  3. ...And now I really have to make a list of my own. I took a peek at The Silver Branch yesterday; The Eagle of the Ninth has fired my interest in Rosemary Sutcliff. It looks excellent, but I should finish Shadow Hand before I dive in for good. And that's a review copy that must be suitably reviewed in the near future. Oy vey. Deadlines and I do not mix well together.

    Wonderful list, Jenny!

  4. Not to repeat other comments, but I need to do my own list. :) And what a great cover for The Grand SophyI I hadn't seen that one before. And of course, anything by C.S. Lewis is amazing.

  5. The Silver Chair! Yayy, I love this book so much, one of the 'bestest' in the series - hey, but I can't say that. There is Horse and His Boy, and The Last Battle... *sigh*. But we know what we mean ;).

    And The Silver Branch - that is so far one of my favourite Sutcliff novels ever, besides The Shining Company (but that ain't no cosy read! It made me CRY for goodness sake.)

    I read The Screwtape Letters, and love it too. It is very 'Jenny' of you to have it on your 'cosy' list ;). I really want to read 'The Great Divorce' and 'The Ballad of the White Horse', (they are on my shelf after all) and 'The Gammage Cup' sounds delightful too. You and I are alike in that our 'cosy' books aren't exactly fluffy, just really warm, and enriching ^_^. I do not have much of a habit of having cosy books to read since I have little time to re-read books these days - though any nice books from my childhood offers me that delightful 'desert' feeling. Have you ever heard of Patrica St. John? She was a wonderful children's author, - her stories are so beautiful, and I loved her writing growing up! (she lived the same era as Sutcliff ;)). Treasures of the Snow, Star of Light, 'Rainbow Garden, Nothing Else Matters... such beautiful memories! I also have a huge store of favourite biographies to draw from the days I was growing up on as a child.

    Great list, Jenny! I would do this too, only I have just made a list of the books I plan on reading this season on my blog and I think it will bore my readers to read another 'list' so soon :). I still might find time to do it soon. Ahaha!

  6. Elizabeth Rose - Bah. Deadlines. Bah. When you do read The Silver Branch, you will have to tell me how you enjoy it. Unless you hate it, in which case I would be happier in ignorance. :P And yes, do make a "cosy" list of your own!

    Hayden - I don't remember seeing you here on The Penslayer before. Welcome! Tell you what, I know it isn't in his "usual" vein (theology and anthropology, that sort of thing) but I read C.S. Lewis' The Discarded Image dealing with the view of the universe through the Middle Ages, and it was spectacular. I recommend it, although I don't delude myself into thinking people are going to rush right out and buy it. I enjoyed it immensely, and I hope others do too.

    Joy - I have heard of Patrica St. John, but by the time I had heard of it, I had really outgrown that level of literature. I think Abigail may have read Treasures of the Snow. And you might as well make a list on your blog, you know. No one is bored by that! ;)

  7. Ooh, what a list! You probably don't want to know that The Silver Chair was my least favorite of the Narnia series - possibly because of how claustrophobic I felt while reading it - but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I enjoyed all those books. The Silver Branch on the other hand, I have not yet read. Not that The Eagle wasn't enough to make me want to read more of Sutcliff, but rather that time has pressed me to read other books and I simply haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Boo hoo.

    I understand Screwtape being on your cosy shelf. I love to pick it up and read a chapter or two now and then, because there is such wisdom in that book.

    The Ballad of The White Horse! The Great Divorce! The Gammage Cup! All books I haven't read but must. So many books, so little time, like they always say...

  8. Oooh! Jenny (of course you know this) we share books! I love the gammage cup so much! And the silver branch! Thank you for introducing me to such wonderful books! And of course Lewis! :) I happily have my own copy finally, of the great divorce.

  9. Lewis! Sutcliff! HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE! Marvelous cozy books. And the greatest cozy book of all THE GAMMAGE CUP! Aaah, you love it too? You are my friend forever! <3 (Seriously, anyone who's read/loved that book goes somewhere on my mental list of awesome people) I never get tired of reading that story either. :D

    Ah, I MUST read The Grand Sophy with you and Mirri speaking so highly of it... Library here I come! ;)

  10. Bree - It doesn't bother me if The Silver Chair is your least favourite of the Narnia books. Not everyone has the same favourite book, and it doesn't make me doubt my own decision. :P And eventually you'll get around to all those other books. After all, there's always summer!

    Lilly - You're welcome! What are friends for but to badger each other with books they need to read?

    Deborah - I LOVE THE GAMMAGE CUP. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU COULD TELL. It never grows old. Ever. And goodness gracious - The Grand Sophy! When I'm not making my way through Plato's Republic, I'm currently rereading my first and favourite Georgette Heyer. ^_^

  11. I haven't read most of those you mentioned--except the Lewis. I've ready TONS of Lewis!

    My favorite cozy books? The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I have rarely seen anyone match her quick wit...except Lloyd Alexander, who exceeds everyone but Lewis. I could read Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Series and Westmark Trilogy multiple times and never tire of the witty humor, deep-soul lessons, and common sense. If you haven't read him, I highly recommend that you acquaint yourself directly.

  12. (*squeals "THE GAMMAGE CUP!" one more time for good measure* Ahem.)

    I second that on Lloyd Alexander!!!! He's my favorite author besides Tolkien and Lewis! :D I just LOVE his wit and epicness and everything! Prydain and Westmark are just... there are no words amazing enough to describe them. <3