Thursday, August 22, 2013
Express Yourself--Comfort Books and Movies
This week's Express Yourself Weekly Meme is asking about comfort, specifically the books and films that we retreat to when we need a good cry or a good laugh.
We all know the feeling. Its been a hard day, or maybe a traumatic week. Either we have cried our eyes out and we need to escape or we have been having to hold it all in and we seek catharsis. Either way most of us know certain movies or books that we instinctively turn to.
The movies I turn to on such occasions fall into 3 basic groups. My most reliable movies for a good laugh include Ghostbusters, Men in Black, Airplane and anything Monty Python. These movies are different, but all provide reliable laughs.
When I want escapism and belief in higher good and triumph over evil and all, I watch The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings, Casablanca or Excalibur.
When I've been keeping it all in and need a good cry my preferred movies include Ghost, Field of Dreams, How Green was my Valley, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Most of the books I turn to for comfort date to my college years or earlier, but I often lose myself in Harry Potter. My favorite books are the first one and the last. I frequently cry reading the last chapters of Deathly Hallows, though the movie doesn't affect me the same way.
Another comfort book that I didn't find till after college was The Power of Myth. I own multiple copies because I find I loan them out and don't get them back. More than any other writer, Joseph Campbell helps me find my place in the universe.
When I need the reading equivalent of popcorn, i like murder mysteries. Classic mysteries like Ellery Queen, Roderick Alleyn. Hercule Poirot. Father Brown, and especially Nero Wolfe. I usually have read them before and know ""whodunit". It doesn't matter, the books are like an old pair of shoes you go back to again and again because they are so comfortable and easy to slip on. Last week I reread Murder on the Orient Express. I've known who killed Mr. Ratchett aka Cassetti for 40 years. Doesn't matter.
Other books i read for comfort include The Lord of the Rings (yes again), I Claudius, The Jungle Books and The Wizard of Oz. (The movie too) But my absolute fallback, chicken soup when I sick favorites are the Little Women books, and the Eight Cousins series, both by Louisa May Alcott. I have them all on my Nook so I can read them anytime. (When i need a good book cry its hard to beat a certain death scene in Little Women) The Marches and the Campbells are the dearest of all old friends. And isn't that we need when times are rough?
This post is part of Express Yourself weekly meme. To see what movies and books others turn to for comfort, click here.