I need new pick-me-up reads

Hello, Postcardians!  I know it’s way early to talk about this, but it’s almost that time of year again — harvest festivals, haunted houses, pumpkin spice mochas, and scary fairy tales.  I’m already planning my Halloween Month posts, and deciding on my costume for Fright Night (October Daye again?  Or Abby from NCIS?  Or maybe something mermaid-themed?).  And so, I’m definitely looking forward to Fall.

Unfortunately, this season also brings a less exciting tradition that puts a bit of a damper on the fun timez.  When the air gets colder and the sky gets gloomier, the Seasonal Affective Disorder sets in, adding to my already-depression-prone system.  I can already feel its cold, clawed, skeletal fingers settling around my heart, threatening me with sleepless nights and tearful days.


I do have some strategies to cope with the bad moods, including the right medication, added zumba sessions, and decreased exposure to the news, but one of my favorite pick-me-ups is a cozy book to suck me into a brighter, less Trumpy world.  A world of fairies and unicorns and sassy nuns and — most importantly — happy endings.

As I mentioned back in May, I’ve been reading and re-reading (and re-re-reading) the Castle Waiting comics this year — especially the Solicitine chapters in Vol. 1.  This is my ultimate comfort read, the world I return to most often, the characters I want to surround myself with again and again.  The castle and the abbey are my favorite sanctuaries from the toxic politics of the outside world.  Rakham and Dinah and Nessie and Skeeter and Sister Peace are always happy to welcome me back, ready to tell me circus love stories as we munch on Nog Log and Turkish Delight.


But I’m starting to feel as restless as Sister Peace, dreaming of new worlds to visit, new sanctuaries to add to my bedside table.

And that’s where you come in, Postcardians.  

I’m looking for new pick-me-up reads.  What are your favorite worlds to escape to when you’re feeling burned out by the Real World?  Where do you turn for quirky characters and happy endings?  What stories soothe you when you’re stressed out?  What books make you feel more hopeful and optimistic about life?  What books make you laugh the most?

And before you give me the most obvious answer, I’ve already added Hogwarts to my list of worlds to revisit this fall — at least the Hogwarts of Books 1-3, before everything gets really dark and dystopian.

Also, I’ve re-read the Hark! A Vagrant! collections almost as often as Castle Waiting, so there’s that.

So, anyway, let’s fill my comments section with rainbows and unicorns and glitter!




  1. Love the Abby idea for a costume! As for the idea of reading some pick-me-up stories, I can totally relate to that. I’m currently re-reading R.A. Salvatore’s Canticle series (5 books, I’d say medium sized). I’m not sure they are great at being uplifting, but I love them nonetheless. When needing a quick story though, I turn to Anne McAffrey’s Dragonsong and Dragonsinger. Those are my two favorite books to re-read 🙂

    • I remember Dragonsong 🙂 I went through an Anne McCaffrey phase in high school. I even did a book report on the second Acorna book. Good memories!

    • I’ve been considering checking out the Percy Jackson series for a while now. I do like twisted myths, so it seems like it could be a good fit.

      Confession time: I liked the movie version of Howl’s Moving Castle better than the book ^_^; What can I say? Miyazaki rules!

      • I’m sure you will love it. The characters will remind you of the trio in Harry Potter as well so that’s another bonus. ☺️

        Check out lecuriousmug.wordpress.com, she recently compared the book and the film adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle because I have no idea about the film. 🤣

        • Good review! I do see her point about Howl and Sophie being more relatable and realistic in the book, and I can see the appeal of a more subtle romance. But I’m a total shipper, and since I saw the movie first, I kept waiting for them to fall in love in the book, and they were just taking so long! 🤣 I guess sometimes I prefer a simpler, more straightforward love story.

          • “And they were taking so long.” 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Howling (pun intended). And yes, it is nice when love just makes sense and is straightforward isn’t it? It should be that way! I have to read and watch it one day and see. Really excited!

  2. I always feel better when I reread some Sherlock Holmes stories. You might also want to check out the “murderbot” novellas by Martha Wells. They are definitely good escapist fiction.

    • Oooh, good idea! The Sherlock stories are definitely going on my list, along with the Jeremy Brett adaptations. Very cozy, indeed! I’ll look into the “murderbot” stories, too. Thanks!

  3. I don’t know how uplifting some of the plot developments are, but Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy (beginning with A Discovery of Witches) is possibly my favorite series since Erika Johansen’s Tearling books — and significantly cheerier, as well as witty. Really good writing for the adult market that I could happily lose myself in. There are witches and vampires, among others, so this could satisfy your seasonal cravings, too. 🙂

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