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Source: (consider it) Thread: Literary comfort food
snowgoose

Silly goose
# 4394

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Some of my favorite comfort reads are Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, John Christopher's Tripod books, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, and classic mysteries (I love Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer).

Our Mutual Friend is my favorite Dickens. It has a great deal of everything in it, including some of the funniest writing in English. (I dare you to read the description of the Podsnap Plate without laughing.)

I try to save Pride and Prejudice for times when the anxiety is getting dire. It's what I read after the election last week.

[typo]

[ 18. November 2016, 18:27: Message edited by: snowgoose ]

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by snowgoose:
Some of my favorite comfort reads are Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, John Christopher's Tripod books, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, and classic mysteries (I love Dorothy Sayers and Georgette Heyer).

Our Mutual Friend is my favorite Dickens.

I agree with you about Dorothy Sayers' and Georgette Heyer's mysteries. I wish Heyer had written more of them. I also like most Margery Allingham's.

I am currently in the process of re-reading Our Mutual Friend. It's my favorite Dickens novel also.

Moo

[ 18. November 2016, 20:58: Message edited by: Moo ]

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Stercus Tauri
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# 16668

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A remark about prayer lists in the Ideal C of E Clergyman thread reminded me of the redoubtable Miss Julia in Ann B. Ross's books. They take place in the modern American south, and the author has it nailed. I read some of them when they first appeared, and thought they began very well indeed, but got a bit ragged and less believable as the series developed. Still fun to read, though. The prayer list stuck in my mind because there was an occasion where the ladies needed more details about someone's ailment before they could really pray properly for them. It was not the only occasion I know of where the prayer list doubles as the social announcements page.

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Pangolin Guerre
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In undergrad, I had a nasty chest cold which confined me to bed for a week, and a friend came by my room with a Rumpole omnibus. If there was one problem, it's that I couldn't get Leo McKern out of my mind, but it was a great way to spend a week in bed.

I heartily agree with Palimpsest's recommendation of Mary Renault's novels. In a similar, but more recent vein, I'd suggest Madeleine Miller's The Song of Achilles, about the friendship between Achilles and Patroclos, from the perspective of the latter. I know some people don't like it, but I found it an engaging distraction at a difficult time.

Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy (I preferred the former, but both good) are like eating peanuts.

Someone suggested Graham Greene. The shorter ones, while not necessarily comforting, are enjoyable and can be consumed in an afternoon, e.g., Dr Fischer of Geneva.

As to Robertson Davies, I've lost count of the number of times that I've read the Deptford Trilogy, and three times the Cornish Trilogy. I've actually gone through Jungian analysis as a result of having to study Fifth Business in high school: testament to the strength of the novel and the teacher. Literature does matter.

I recently reread The Little Prince before giving it to my godson. The conversation between the Prince and the fox still is compelling.

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Pangolin Guerre
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Sorry for the double post, but as I was thinking about being bedridden.... Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time.

And, to add, Brideshead Revisited.

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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My favourite convalescent reading has to be detective novels from the Golden Age of crime writing. A few have been mentioned already: Josephine Tey, Dorothy L Sayers and Margery Allingham (Tiger in the Smoke!), but I also like Edmund Crispin (svelte campy Oxford dramas) and Ngaio Marsh. And of course old Agatha Christies, wooden dialogue and creaky plots but unputdownable.

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Latchkey Kid
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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Oh, in non-fiction, any of James Herriot's books.

And his son's book The Real James Herriot.

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Pangolin Guerre
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As I lay abed last night, another came to mind. In the Young Adult category, Geoffrey Trease's Word to Caesar, a ripping yarn about a boy's adventure in trying to get a message to Emperor Hadrian. I haven't read it since I was 12 (?), and it still sticks in mind. I might even try to track it down for myself, come to think of it.
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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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It does sound interesting. Alas, very difficult to find in the US.

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Welease Woderwick

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# 10424

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It's available in paperback on Amazon.com for a reasonable price but there appear to be only a few left.

See here.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
...Someone suggested Graham Greene. The shorter ones, while not necessarily comforting, are enjoyable and can be consumed in an afternoon, e.g., Dr Fischer of Geneva...

I agree. I find that the thing about Graham Greene is that he may not be comforting, but he makes you feel that it's OK to be gloomy or troubled- which is a pretty good alternative.

[ 15. December 2016, 20:00: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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Avey
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Has anyone read Gene Wolfe's "Books of the New Sun"? These are hard to categorise but are broadly between science fiction and fantasy but written by a deeply Christian yet very tricksy author.

Not quite allegory and certainly not derivative the books follow the adventures of the apprentice of the Torturers Guild Severian and are really unprecedented in sic-fi literature.

I re-read these annually. A fun game is spot the obscure saint in character names [Biased]

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Marama
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I loved Geoffrey Trease's historical fiction when I was a child - perhaps part of the reason I became a historian. I'm delighted to see some of them still in print; I may try to track down 'Cue for Treason' which was my favourite.
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Pangolin Guerre
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I just looked up Cue for Treason. Christmas gifts already addressed, but perhaps for birthday, or for no particular reason. It looks great.

Last year the younger godson (then turning 5) got a book for his birthday, and said to me, "What? Just a book? No toy?" I tried to explain that a book is much more than a toy. I didn't try to explain that he already had a gross of toys, many now ignored.

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Stercus Tauri
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This is the time to read or re-read "Father Christmas" by Raymond Briggs, another of my favourites. We have our own copy from when our children were small, and we've just sent off more of them to our grandchildren. A cultural necessity.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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Pangolin Guerre
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Since Robertson Davies has been mentioned more than once on this thread, and it is the Christmas season, I mention his short story collection High Spirits, an anthology of ghost stories he wrote for Gaudy Nights at Massey College when he was Master there. Some of them are quite good.
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