It’s valentines day! I’ve seen some good lists of romance novels float around the bloggosphere, and thought I would supplement them with a list of books that are cosy but not romantic. Sometimes, you’re just not in the mood for romance. It may not be your cup of tea, you may want to focus on pampering yourself instead this weekend, or you may be going though a horrible break-up and want to read ANYTHING BUT.
Agatha Christie / Josephine Tey
Murder mysteries might not immediately strike you as ‘cosy’, but for me they are the ultimate cup-of-tea-and-blanket read. They aren’t very scary, but still keep you hooked.
Six years ago I went through a tough break-up and I wanted to lose myself in comforting books but any trace of romance would make me cry. I’d never realised how many books have people falling in love as one of their main plot points! As a result, I worked my way through all of my parent’s Agatha Christie’s. Ever since then I always have a little stack of unread murder mysteries at hand for emergencies.
I also want to recommend Josephine Tey to any Christie fan looking to branch out. Her novels have a similar style and set-up, and occasionally feature a more unusual detective. Read my review of her book Miss Pym Disposes here.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The premise of this book appears to be your typical “it’s senior year and X is figuring out what to do with his life”, but the story of Sal, his adoptive gay father, his Mexican family and his best friend Samantha is so beautiful that it really stands out from the crowd. The year this book came out I read it twice because I loved it so much, and thinking about it now I already want to dive in again. Would recommend!
The Moonlight Dreamers by Siobhan Curham
Another one great book about the power of friendship is The Moonlit Dreamers (and its sequel), where four girls who are sick of being told how to look or what to do form a secret society to help each other realise their dreams. What follows is a wonderful tale about the power of friendship and supporting each other. There are some romantic sub-plots in this book, but it’s not the focus of the story. One of the girls even experiences unrequited love that remains unrequited and instead teaches her more about herself.
The Shoe-Books by Noel Streatfeild
You may already have heard of Ballet Shoes— it is a heartwarming story about three little adopted girls who grow up in a big, museum-like house and train to be musical actresses when their family falls on hard times. But did you know that Streatfield wrote a whole series of Shoe-books? They are all super cute and extremely cosy :).
To my fellow fans of You’ve Got Mail: I am happy to report that Skating Shoes is no longer out of print!
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
This book starts off quite sad. Ove’s wife has just died and he doesn’t see any point in going on living himself anymore. But then a warm, chaotic young family moves in next door and slowly draws this grumpy old man out of his shell, and the book becomes absolutely heartwarming. It’s a story about flattened mailboxes, unusual friendships and looking past people’s exteriors that will make you happy and sad at the same time.
Do you know any books that are cosy but not romantic? What are you planning to read this valentine’s weekend?