Now if you’re anything like me, you like having the option to read an Enid Blyton book occasionally (or all the time) for nostalgia or because it was the first book of hers you read. I reckon we all have a book or two that we reach to for comfort, like that big hug of a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa; its that book we enjoy when we’re feeling down and can make us feel a little better when we’re ill and I wanted to share my comfort reads with you!
1. Five Run Away Together
I love the imagery in this book, the description of the cave and all its amenities is very atmospheric. Also getting to stay on the island is also a lovely idea. I love the waking up at the seaside, and that would be ideal for me!
The idea of the adventure on the island is such an exciting thing, and when I was younger it was a such a thrilling idea. The descriptions of the food as well was quite appealing.
2. In the Fifth at Malory Towers
I used to listen to this on tape when I went to sleep at night and more specifically when I was ill. The use of the pantomime story line used to really fire my young imagination and I think that helped fire my belief that I could do anything I set my mind to. I loved that the audio adaption actually acted out some of the pantomime which just added to the magic of the book as a whole. I really really connected with that book, and even now, when I’ve tired, upset and down, it is one of the books I reach for because it just feels like a big hug. It’s like a welcome home.
3. Five Get Into a Fix
Again, a Blyton I had on a cassette as a young girl, and the story of the strange mountain that shimmered and made noises was an interesting concept to a girl with no knowledge of chemistry and things, so it was a proper thrilling adventure. I loved the idea of camping in a little hut in the winter, where everything was done by the light of a lovely warm fire. The kitchen at the farm always seemed attractive to me, big, full of food and warm. It’s literally an adventure to sit down and curl up with, a proper real read.
So tell me, what are your comforting reads of Blyton? I’m sure you’ve all got different ones, and I’d like to hear what they are!
Nice topic, Stef. 🙂 My EB comfort reads are “The Valley of Adventure”, “The Castle of Adventure”, “The Sea of Adventure”, “The Secret Island”, the first 3 Famous Five books, “Five go back to Kirrin Island” and “Five on a Secret Trail”.
I also enjoy three of the FFO & Dog sequels: “Mystery of the Secret Room/Hidden House/Tally-Ho Cottage”. and “Ring O’Bells Mystery”.
They always cheer me up when I’m ill or sad.
The Secret Island, any of the Five FindOuters, The Island of Adventure, Magic Faraway Tree, most of the Famous Fives. Love them 🙂
The faraway Trees (the Connie one especially), Second Form at St Clare’s (have read that one so many times as a child), Holly Lane, Tenth Bedtime book, Eighth Bedtime book, Missing Man, Five Runaway Together, Sunshine Book
I always grab a Blyton book when I really feel I need one. Any Famous Five will do, or a Find Outers. Or any Barney Mystery. They are my go-to quickly cheer up books which take me back to more carefree times.
Great article. Moreover marvelous website… Its so great to share these blyton feelings with people who actually value her words…. I have read the children of cherry tree farm over 30 times… And I plan on collecting as many old dean and son edition blyton books as I can.
Great topic. Cherry Tree Farm and Hollow Tree House were the first books (not short stories) read to me. Some of my greatest go to comfort reads are the Barney series.
When I was a child growing up, the Enid Blyton books had all been published long ago. The practical upshot of this was that you tended to encounter the books in a random order, because they were all available in inexpensive paperback editions, both new and secondhand.
I still have very battered second-hand paperback editions of ‘Mystery of the Disappearing Cat’ and ‘Mystery Invisible Thief’, which I have no memory of buying. Someone, perhaps my parents, must have given them to me. They are not even Armada editions, but are from a paperback series published before Armada became the usual publisher of Enid Blyton’s stories.
They are so battered, and were published so early, that they must have been the first of her books that I ever read. The fact that I still have them implies that I must have liked them, because they really are seriously tatty. Books I had bought new, even as a kid, never got into that state, so someone else must have passed them on to me.
These are the two I go back to and re-read, in preference to the other Find Outer mysteries, if I need “cheering-up”; and I’ve always thought there was more to those two stories. ‘Pantomime Cat’ and ‘Holly Lane’, for instance, just don’t seem to have as much going on. Sometimes, Enid wrote a book and the story just worked out unusually well. Some of the Famous Five books lack any kind of genuine mystery, and are not much better than travelogues. But the Find Outer stories usually inspire her to write a genuine mystery, an the invisible cat and the invisible thief seem to be Blyton at her very best — and not just because they have a somewhat similar theme, i.e. invisibility.
I’m not sure I ever believed a thief could really be invisible, yet in both books she manages to make it seem as though the thefts are being done in impossible ways. The quality of the stories has much to do with it — I just don’t seem to get as much out of re-reading ‘Holly Lane’ or the ‘Pantomime Cat’. Give me an invisible cat, and an invisible thief, any time!
Ooh, I do agree. See the ‘perfect setting’ image at the end of my article on this site about why I re-read EB: https://worldofblyton.com/2015/02/18/why-i-love-re-reading-blyton-by-chris/
I am old, old old. 55 soon and still reach for my old Blyton books. The Folk of the faraway treeis number 1. Mum read it to me as a very small child. I used to play at famous five with my friend and my sister, but we used to fight over who would-be George. St Claires I loved especially Claudine and Margery, I liked Alison and think it was horrible how the big girls bullied her when was faghing for them. I find the in the fish at Mallory towers brings me ptsd of being bullied ( the humiliation of Maureen and nastiness to Catherine) I also love reading Noddy to my great nephew. Stories of midnight feasts are the best, used to have those on church youth camps. Jolly fun as Blyton kids would say.
Please excuse my appalling typing