November comfort

Well, hello November. Around here half of the leaves are still hanging on bravely by their little stems but the temperatures have dropped and I feel compelled to have soup simmering. And a cozy book--a comfort read.

Like Gretchen Rubin, I find myself turning to comforting + familiar books when I feel a little stressed. Or, in this case, when the weather turns Novembery.  It's the literary equivalent of comfort food (which, incidentally, you may have noticed that I also turn to in cases of stress or November).

To Kill a Mockingbird, for instance. I just finished reading this out loud to the kids last week. My voice quivered as I read the Halloween eve passage: the ham costume and the suspense and the "hey, Boo" and the final words: 

"Atticus, he was real nice...."

His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me.

"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.

My voice quivered because I always get teary there. But also. It was one of those golden-tinged moments and I felt it as it happened: remember this. I am sitting here with my three children and sharing the string of words that Harper Lee threaded together. I am transferring something I love into their open hearts. Or something like that.

Other comfort reads for me: Anything by Rosamunde Pilcher: September, The Shell Seekers, Coming Home. They are long + lovely British family sagas. They make me want to have an Aga stove and a scrubbed pine table with lots of people around it. They are not intellectual or high brow and I love them. Right now I'm reading Coming Home. Again. Same thing with Maeve Binchy's Irish saga books. 

Speaking of November comfort, here are a few Novembery images that have warmed me up a bit, via my gather tumblr (which I use as a clipping file, basically):


What about you? What's giving you comfort this early November day?

p.s. I'm working on some technical glitches right now. If you're reading this, you probably came via some other route than

Thank you so much for the several heads-up notices about the wonkiness. I'm keeping calm and carrying on, hoping to restore everything soon. xo

[edited to say: everything's fine now! Thanks for being patient!]