Scene PH’s Comfort Books

Scene PH’s Comfort Books

By Scene PH

The team shares our reads for Home Sweet Home April – books that remind us of cozier times; books that take us to places we can only dream about, for the moment; books that transport us to different times and fantasy locations.

We decided to do this month’s TBR a little differently. Instead of @nmb_reads creating a list of books for the community to take a look at, we decided to go a little closer to home, with a Home Sweet Home list of books that take us to the places that make us feel a little bit warmer inside. In this time of quarantine, lockdowns, and isolation, every opportunity to feel less anxious is a welcome one. 

From the comforts of our homes, journey with the team to the places closest to our hearts – from South Korea to London, intimate cafes to train cars, and even Ancient Egypt, if that’s what you’re into.

ANSIS: “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

South Korea is one of my favorite countries to go to. I stayed there for one semester when I was a junior in college and I visited again with my family after a few years. The Hallyu Wave is making me miss it more; but if you’re like me and can’t decide on what Kdrama to watch next, I suggest picking up Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko” instead. It’s a four-generation epic that follows a Korean family from their homeland to Japan (another favorite!) and to New York (a dream destination!) It’s a moving immigrant story about sacrifice, ambition, and love.

BIANCA: “No Matter The Wreckage” by Sarah Kay

 Back in 2015, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Sarah Kay’s “No Matter the Wreckage”, a compilation of poems that Kay has written. Sarah Kay is known for her spoken word poetry, so watching the performances and reading the poems “B” and “Postcards” transport me to cafes and bars–places that I miss going to, not only for the intimate atmosphere, but as well as the memories of watching different spoken word artists perform beautifully written pieces. I also love imagining how Kay might perform specific poems live, like “Poppy” and “The Call”. As someone who’s a huge theater nerd, having a book to read and old performances to watch is comforting, despite being stuck at home.


The United Kingdom has always been on my travel bucket list, so it comes as no surprise that many of my favorite books are set here, from Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” to Deborah Harkness’ “All Souls” trilogies. In particular, I’ve always been hooked by the history of London, the seeming mysteries tucked away in stories, all within one of the most progressive cities in the world. But in many ways, I feel this juxtaposition best in an old favorite, the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling — magic amidst our reality. Rowling built such a complex world where anything is possible — and with everything going on today, there’s nothing quite as comforting as the thought that Hogwarts might be a magical door away.

LARA: “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” BY Haruki Murakami

I read Haruki Murakami’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” when it first came out in 2014, a year before my first trip to Japan. At the time, I didn’t know I’d be going to Japan. I picked it up because his work vibes with my ~sad girl~ tastes. The funny thing is when I think about this book I can’t even remember what it’s about. But I do remember putting it down and feeling a very distinct pang of longing. This book made me feel homesick for a place that I had never been to, and it was a feeling I couldn’t place for a long time. Until finally, one year later, I visited Japan for the first time. I have a very vivid memory of our third day on this trip. My family and I took a day trip to Kyoto from Osaka; we were standing at a train station, in the November cold, waiting. At that exact moment, as I watched a train slow into a stop, I remembered this book, that feeling of longing, and I finally understood why Murakami loved trains so much, he wrote an entire novel about them.

NIKKI: “Nefertiti” by Michelle Moran,
and “The Kane Chronicles” by Rick Riordan

I’ve been fascinated with Ancient Egypt since grade school, thanks in part to Joseph The Dreamer and Prince of Egypt, two of my all-time favorite movies. I know, realistically, that I can’t possibly travel to the age of Pharaohs, but I’m thankful that the pyramids are still standing and that I can look forward to one day visiting them. For now, I content myself with reading and rereading “Nefertiti” by Michelle Moran and “The Kane Chronicles” by Rick Riordan.