Two nice easy reads that allow you to escape into a nice world of seaside and friendship when the world outside is looking a little grim. And yes, sometimes I do allow myself to read a book I’ve just brought home or pluck one from the middle of the front shelf! Shocking!

BTW, about to photograph my TBR shelves for Sunday’s post, I note they are still absolutely full, but with slightly different books. So that’s OK (right?)

Debbie Macomber – “Cottage by the Sea”

(20 August 2019)

One of the books I picked up on my way home from a dental check-up, this had to be grabbed and read immediately. Annie has lost all of her family in a mudslide tragedy (that really happened, in 2014, assuring us that this is not one of DM’s recycled novels but a proper new one), and we follow her grieving and renewal process as she moves to a small community where her family used to spend the summer. She meets Keaton, a painter and man of few words, and tries to win the friendship of her unfriendly landlady, all the while worrying about a family abuse issue in the town. So it’s not short of issues, plus Keaton and his friend Preston do animal rescue, which worried me – there is in fact only one animal loss and that’s not dwelt on and is not an animal we meet more than slightly and once. A good restorative and positive read.

Clara Christiensen – “Hygge and Kisses”

(07 August 2018)

Bought almost exactly a year ago, of course the hygge trend of latter years had to come up in a novel at some point, and here it is. Bo (not actually Danish) discovers the concept of hygge through a trip to her half-Danish friend’s summer house. The usual job loss / manky boyfriend takes a while to get going, the Danish middle section is nicely paced and subtly done, then the ending seems a bit rushed (and amusingly overlaps with another 2018 easy-read trend which I won’t spoil). But a nice escapist read with some good positive moments.


I’ve bought some more comfort reads and one intellectual one, which you’ll hear about on Sunday, and I’m about to start “Humankind”, my last Shiny review book (for now) which is fascinatingly all about inventions that help society and are inspired by actual need.

How are you doing?