The Sunday Salon – May 29, 2011 (the “time to break out the comfort reads” edition)

It’s been a topsy-turvy kind of week, full of some great highs:

~ We visited a new church last Sunday – and again today – and I am optimistic that we have found a new church home.

~ Jonathan and I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, and it was very entertaining.

~ We finished math and language arts, and so are mostly done with homeschooling for the summer.

~ A friend of ours who has been having some major health problems is doing much, much better.

And one big low:

~ On Monday, we found out that as of July 1st, Kevin will be unemployed.

We knew that the company Kevin works for would eventually be gone, as the owner is in his late 60s and companies that sell nutritional supplements don’t really do well during an economic downturn. We did think, though, that it would be at least another year before we were facing this. Kevin has worked for this company for 14 years, and has been their computer department – yes, pretty much the whole department – for the past four or five. He does their catalog and brochure layouts, designed and manages their web store – including programming a shopping cart designed specifically for them, and is their network administrator and go-to guy for all things technical.

So, Kevin is working on polishing up his resume – a resume he hasn’t needed in 14 years! – and looking for another job. Our rural area has the highest unemployment rate in Washington State, and we are much higher than the national average. We don’t want to move, so a new job here that provides enough for me to continue homeschooling the kids will have to be a God-thing. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Last summer, the week we finished homeschooling, Natalie was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and we embarked on what we affectionately call, “The Summer of the Hospital.” I was hoping for a relaxing, stress-free summer in comparison. Of course, I would rather deal with unemployment and financial difficulties than Natalie being sick again, so I am trying to be grateful for the blessings and trust God for the rest.

When things get stressful, I tend to gravitate toward the books I consider my comfort reads – books that either are gentle and uplifting in their tone, or that are so good I can get completely lost in the pages and forget the tensions of real life for a little while. Here are some of the series I have returned to for comfort in the past:

~ The Mitford series by Jan Karon
~ The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
~ The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
~ The Irish Country series by Patrick Taylor
~ The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

I just finished An Irish Country Christmas, which I was reading before we got the news, and I am ready to dive into the next one in the series, An Irish Country Courtship sometime next week, as soon as I finish my two current reads: Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Ashes of the Earth by Eliot Pattison.

I’m also in the middle of The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma, but it’s a chunkster, so I won’t be finishing it for another week or so.

Do you have specific books you go to when you’re in need of comfort?

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21 Responses to The Sunday Salon – May 29, 2011 (the “time to break out the comfort reads” edition)

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    Oh no, I’m sorry to hear your sad news. I hope your husband finds employment quickly.

  2. Sherry Early says:

    I will add you and husband to my prayer list.

    Oddly enough, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Rex Stour are comfort reads for me. Murder mystery comforting? I don’t understand how my brain works; I just know that it does, sort of.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sherry – thanks so much! And I totally get going to mysteries for comfort reads – there’s something about reading a story where justice wins out in the end that is very comforting.

  3. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly
    says:

    Oh no, Carrie! I am so sorry to hear about Kevin’s job! I’m praying for you guys. The Secret Garden is a book that I reach for when I need some comfort. How’s A Map of Time so far? It’s in my tbr pile.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Thanks, V. :) The Map of Time is really, really good – I’m loving it!

  4. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Twitter: laurelrainsnow
    says:

    Oh, I hope things begin to turn around for you soon! You are definitely facing some challenges…and comfort reads are a good emotional support system.

    Thanks for sharing, and know that our thoughts are with you.

    Here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST

  5. irene says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your tough week, and the prospects of a “Hospital Summer” I hope your daughter gets some help and that it makes life a little easier. Oddly enough I too reach for my Agatha Christie, or Maeve Binchy. You are most definitely in my prayers. Placing your trust in God is a good thing.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Thanks for the prayers, Irene. Actually last year was our hospital summer. This year is shaping up to be an “unemployment summer.”

  6. Sheila (Bookjourney)
    Twitter: bookjourney
    says:

    Praying for you and your family!

    I always refer to the Harry Potter books as my comfort reads…. I can get so lost in them.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Thanks for the prayers, Sheila. HP is one of the first series I read as an adult that gave me the kind of reading experience I remember as a child.

  7. stacybuckeye says:

    You have some great comfort reads to get you through. I’ll be sending some prayers your way.

  8. Heather @ Book Addiction
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    says:

    Carrie, I am so sorry to hear about your hubby’s job situation. I will pray for your family for sure.

  9. heidenkind says:

    How stressful! I hope y’all don’t have to move, either. :(

    I like to read Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters when I’m stressed out. Those were my teenage summer reads and they still work!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Tasha – it’s been a long time since I’ve read Elizabeth Peters! Thanks for the reminder. :)

  10. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads
    says:

    Oh no! Fingers crossed that the perfect job turns up for your hubby!

    Enjoy your comfort reads. Aren’t books amazing in that they can provide stimulation, humour, comfort and so many other feelings!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Marg – thanks. :) He’s working hard today on updating his resume.