Comfort Reading: Laura Jane Williams, author of Lovestruck

The fabulous author Laura Jane Williams shares her comfort reads: the books she most loves to curl up with to escape from it all…

Nothing beats curling up in a cosy, lamplit spot with a real page-turner, so we thought it would be fun to invite some of the best current authors to share their comfort reads: the books they love to indulge in when they want to get away from life’s cares. 

laura jane williams

Laura Jane Williams – author of six novels and a novella – is known as the ‘Queen of the Meet-Cute’ and her books are packed full of fun and romance . The rights to international bestseller Our Stop were recently sold for television, and her latest novel, Lovestruck, has been described as “an impossibly fun romance with an all-too relatable message…the perfect escapist treat from one of the best romance writers out there”.

Laura’s favourite place to read? “I once went on holiday to Lisbon with a guy I was dating, and my best afternoon there was the one where I ditched him and sat in a courtyard, cheese board and wine on the table in front of me, book in hand (Nora's Heartburn, as it goes!) That's my forever happy place: abroad, shaded from the sun, slightly buzzed on local wine, reading. 

“As a single working parent, that's trickier these days, so I'll settle for my parents' garden, which is lush with mature green plants and pots upon pots of colourful flowers. I'm trying to get my garden to be as fabulous! I actually have a woman reading in the garden on my "Garden Design'' mood board. She's sitting surrounded by fairy lights and has a glass of red wine in her garden, early evening, slightly reclined in a comfy sun lounger. In my imagination she's just done the bedtime routine and now it's her time, in the quiet, no demands on her from anybody. That's my goal, a garden escape like that…”

Here are Laura's Comfort Reading choices…

1) Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

It might seem unusual to pick a thriller as a comfort read, but for me picking up a Lisa Jewell is always a comfort because she's the safest pair of authorial hands out there. With a Lisa Jewell you know it's going to be a wild ride of twists and turns, but that isn't at the expense of her characters. In fact, how she manages to create such fully-developed characters who are so believable and real, as well as a staggeringly pace-y plot, I don't know! She's an alchemist! 

Invisible Girl came hot on the heels of her worldwide mega-success The Family Upstairs, so I feel like it didn't get the rapturous applause it deserves... because the last page of this BLEW. MY. MIND! It's the Lisa Jewell I always recommend. Truly remarkable storytelling.


2) Heartburn by Norah Ephron


Is there any millennial author who doesn't cite Ephron as her everything? I think it might be in the writing contract, actually, because we're all gaga for her. Heartburn is my absolute favourite, read-it-once-a-year book, because it's just so much fun - even though it's a fictionalised account of Nora's husband leaving her when she was pregnant. But, as is her way, Ephron takes such tragedy and mines it for comedy until you're laughing so much your sides ache. 

Heartburn is a short tale, but every line, every word, has huge bang for its buck (bang for its book?). There's not a single wasted sentence, not a beat missed. God, I might dig it out and read it again now actually. She was a force of nature, and reading this is like hanging out with your most clever and hilarious friend.


3) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho


My dad got me a copy of this when I was about 14, and inside he wrote that I must always follow my heart and heed the omens. I tend to buy it for people I love or respect and tell them the same thing. I just love the story of the simple shepherd boy in search of his own greatness.

I spent many years afraid of the greatness inside of me, so anything that reassures us that it's okay to fulfil our destiny gets a double thumbs up. It's another short read, but so impactful.

Lovestruck by Laura Jane Williams is published by Penguin Random House and is available in various formats here.


Love reading? So do we! That’s why we’ve created a range of highly stylish reading lights to illuminate your favourite book nook – have a gander at them here.


See also: Comfort reading ...with Jenny Jackson, author of Pineapple Street

  Comfort reading ...with Emma Hughes, author of It’s complicated