What to Read When Grieving

It’s Personal

Anne Marble


What to read when grieving is personal. You’ll find lots of advice, both online and in bookstores. But you have to think of what is right for you.

Do you want to read a book about another person’s loss? Or read poems about death and dying? Or right now, would you feel better diving into a comforting novel?

A woman wearing lacy nightwear is lying face-down on a fuzzy blanket with open books all around her. There is a glowing lit candle at the top right and a flower in a small vase at the top left.
(Source: Photo by Gaman Alice on Unsplash.)

What you choose to read when grieving is personal. Some people will head for books on grieving. Others will opt for something soft and comforting but unrelated to grief — just as I did. Don’t feel guilty if you want to slip into something comforting.

When my mother died, I made a decision for my own self-care. I was going to read mainly cozy mysteries and “cozy fantasy.” I even posted about it on Facebook. Only a few people knew why I had posted about this at that time — but others guessed something had happened.

I Turned to Cozy Mysteries

One reason I picked cozy mysteries is because I’ve been trying to get back into them. Maybe because I knew I’d need something comforting very soon.

The cozy mysteries “Murder in Three Volumes,” “Little Bookshop of Murder,” and Elementary, She Read” spread out on a fuzzy dark blue blanket.
Three Cozy Mysteries on a Blanket. (Source: Photo by the author.)

More importantly, I “fell” into cozies because of a wonderful interaction with cozy mystery author Victoria Hamilton. I first encountered her through the traditional Regency romances she publishes as Donna Lea Simpson. Her debut Regency, Lord St. Claire’s Angel, is still one of my favorites. So I was happy to follow her when she started writing cozy mysteries as well. (Note: Her cozy mysteries are also available as audiobooks from Tantor Media!)

The cover to Sieve and Let Die (Vintage Kitchen Mystery #11) by Victoria Hamilton. The cover shows a small pharmacy store that looks like a boutique — with wooden steps and a front porch leading up to the wood-framed door. There is a cat playing with something on the front of the porch and a mysterious spilled item on the steps.
Sieve and Let Die by Victoria Hamilton. (Source: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries.)

While visiting my mother in the hospital, I won a contest on Victoria Hamilton’s Facebook page. It was one bright spot out of a difficult day. I shared that with Victoria — and she reached out to me soon after. It was a wonderful personal touch.

Losing my mother weeks later made me decide this was the time to disappear into cozy mysteries with their whimsical small towns with boutiques and…



Anne Marble

I’m a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles. Click Lists to find my most popular articles. And hidden gems.