Lately I'm in love with the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers, particularly The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet. I like how it takes the "ragtag team of misfits" vibe of something like Firefly and just hones in on the slice-of-life character development aspect. It has such a cozy, relaxing vibe, and it's probably the closest to "comfort food" reading that I've found since L.M. Montgomery.
Does anybody have recommendations for books with a similar feel? I care more about the group dynamic than the sci-fi setting, and I'm open to all genres.
I don't know the answer to this but I want to know. I read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet a couple of months ago and thought it was wonderful, for exactly the reason you say. Following for recs!
The first book that came to my mind was The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. It's more zany than the Wayfarers books but the great misfit characters are there. Not sure I'd call it relaxing though! I haven't read it yet but I also thought of We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. Have you seen it? I've had my eye on it for a while as it sounds similar... a sci-fi that has a big heart, some humour and centres around human emotions and possible reality. Even the cover is almost identical to Becky Chambers' books so I think it must have a similar vibe.