Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Reading

Well, I didn’t get much reading done last week, for a variety of reasons. I’ve decided that I’m going to set aside one hour every weekday, from 6:30 to 7:30pm, as my designated reading time. I won’t be on the computer or watching TV or listening to music during that hour, for so much as I can help it.

Continued working my way through Bill Bryson’s excellent Short History of Nearly Everything, reading several passages, and indeed one entire chapter, aloud to kitanzi. She’s joked by the time she gets to read the book, which is of interest to you, I’ll have already read most of it to her. 🙂 I’ve got a little less than 150 pages left in it. Also continued with Dan Savage’s Savage Love, which is currently in the bathroom and being read two and three pages at a time.

Saturday, I was in need of comfort reads, and so idly picked up an old favourite, John Christopher’s The White Mountains. This is the first book in the series of novels that the BBC television programme The Tripods was based, though I first encountered it as a serialized comic in Boy’s Life magazine as a kid. I read the entire book in pretty much one sitting, and would probably have continued on to the second book in the series, except that I don’t actually have a copy. Must remember to go check out ABE Books after payday.

As I mentioned elsewhere, telynor gave me a spiffy hardcover copy of Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale, which reminds me that it’s been about a year since the last time I read it and I should add it to the queue.

When you’re feeling down, or distressed, or lonely, or out of sorts, what are your favourite comfort reads?

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13 Comments

  1. Bill Bryson, Glen Cook (mainly Garrett PI), and Steven Brust (the Vlad books), anything with some humor in it. Oh, also Big Trouble by Dave Barry (the book was at least 10 times better than the movie).

  2. Usually rereading old favorites, particularly novels by Robert B. Parker or Dick Francis. Sometimes Harry Potter books or Lackey’s Arrows trilogy, but usually Parker or Francis.

  3. Oooh, I remember the Tripod books. I read them so many years ago… I will have to seek them out again.

    I also need to reread “A Winter’s Tale”. It’s been a long time.

    When you’re feeling down, or distressed, or lonely, or out of sorts, what are your favourite comfort reads?

    While there are other authors and books that might fit the bill these are a few that I have reread many times when I needed them.

    “The Dark is Rising” sequence by Susan Cooper

    Anything written by Dorothy Gilman

    Pern books or Crystal Singer books by Anne MaCaffrey

    “The Missing Piece” and “The Missing Piece Meets the Big ‘O'” by Shel Silverstein

  4. Comfort books, as opposed to simple favorites. Let’s see…

    Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and parts of Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein

    The Callahan’s Bar and Lady Sally’s Place by Spider Robinson

    The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper

    All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. Getting back to basics solves many of life’s problems.

    Love by Leo Buscaglia. A reminder to myself about how to get mine out there when I really need to.

    Diana Wynne Jones. Almost anything, but especially Archer’s Goon, Deep Secret, and Howl’s Moving Castle

    Add a vote for the Garrett books by Glen Cook.

    Almost anything that will make me laugh

    And that usually takes me through a day or two of depression; GOT to expand this list, I see :-}


    • All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. Getting back to basics solves many of life’s problems.

      Oh good, I’m not the only one! *hug*

  5. Bellwether, by Connie Willis;
    The Dark Is Rising, series by Susan Cooper;
    Jitterbug Perfume, or Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins;
    Gossamer Axe, by Gael Baudino;
    Vectors, by Michael Kube-McDowell
    The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Fire and Hemlock, any of the Chrestomanci books, or any of Diana Wynne Jones’ other juvenile books;
    Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett;
    Mythago Wood, by Robert Holdstock;
    The Fionavar Tapestry, by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting; I’m big into comfort reading, but most of my books are in boxes at the moment, so you’re seeing only the ones I could come up with off the top of my head.

    • Wow. The only one of these I’ve read is the “Tough Guide”.
      I’ve lots of stuff on my shelves but the only ones I’ve reread lately are the Lois McMaster Bujold books especially those where that ‘hyperactive little shit’ Vorkosigan is NOT the hero 🙂

  6. Mercedes Lackey is one of my guilty pleasures, although I really only like the Arrows and Last Herald-Mage series.
    I have been known to read and re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
    Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia is a great little book; the sequel (or prequel) is okay, but not as good as the first.
    I really like The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, but if I’m feeling really wretched I’ll read Deerskin.
    Harry Potter! Miles Vorkosigan!
    Several of the Leaphorn and Chee novels by Tony Hillerman are on my read-over list, most notably Skinwalkers and A Thief of Time.
    A Wizard of Earthsea and sequels.
    A Wrinkle in Time and sequels.
    The Brother Cadfael novels.

    I’m sure there are more, but I’m sick and already made two trips to the bookshelf to get titles or authors that I’d forgotten the names of. Which means I’m really sick, if I can’t remember what that book was that Tolkien wrote. You know, the one about that guy, and he goes off and tromps around the country with those other guys, then they all go home at the end and have tea.

  7. And Terry Pratchett. Anything by Terry Pratchett that doesn’t involve that idiot Rincewind is cool.

  8. When I’m really blue, I like to read the food essays of M.F.K. Fisher and Calvin Trillin, interspersed with bits and pieces of the Dalai Lama. Something about the combination of calm, cheerful, non-saccharine spiritual philosophy and food porn cheers me up every time.

    I also love Winter’s Tale more than any other book I’ve read, and re-read it annually, usually right around New Year’s, for reasons that are probably obvious to you. (-:

  9. Aw, I cut out that pic you use as userpic from our newspapers two weeks or so ago -- supposed to be in Japan says the writing below. It’s too cute to be true, that cat looks so INTELLIGENT!

  10. Hmm… comfort reads… That would be anything by Pratchett, the Keltiad series by Patricia Kennealy Morrison, or Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series.

    The problem with having favored authors is that they don’t write nearly fast enough to suit my reading appetite 🙂

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