This week’s Sunday Salon post is prompted by something I read at the blog of Shauna, another Sunday Salon-er, at Reading and Ruminations last week. She mentions that, for her, historical fiction is what relaxes her and allows her to escape into another world and goes on to ask what others read for comfort or other moods.
In one way all the reading I do for personal choice is comfort reading because reading itself is my comfort and relaxation. However, not all books are equal in that way. There are times, like now when work is very busy and I’m drained at the end of a day, when I don’t particularly want to have to think too hard (e.g. remember lots of foreign names or keep track of particularly complex plots) and I look for a particular kind of ‘entertain me without making me think too hard’ read.
In particular I look for stuff that makes me laugh and it’s very, very hard to find. Perhaps I have an odd sense of humour but much of what passes for comedy in fiction leaves me cold. I do enjoy Ben Elton and last year’s Blind Faith seemed a return to his best work. Although it’s not fiction I adore Bill Bryson’s wry sense of humour and often look to his books for my tired and drained mood. Of course, there’s always my favourite writer ever, Douglas Adams, but as he’s passed away I can (and do) only re-read his words which still make me laugh even though I can recite much of it by heart. I’ve tried lots of other stuff recommended as equally funny but, alas, I’ve not found a lot else to laugh at (remind me to tell you one day about being the only human on the planet who hasn’t laughed at a word David Sedaris ever wrote).
Lately I’ve also been turning to audio books for this mood. I’ve always listened to audio books and podcasts at the times when I can’t read print (while driving for example) but lately I’ve been listening during ‘normal’ reading time too. There is something very soothing about being read to, especially by trained professionals as many of the audio book narrators are. As you’ll see from yesterday’s post I loved The White Tiger which I listened to over the past week or so and, this week, I’ll be on the lookout for more entertaining, hopefully funny, audio books
You’re right about comic fiction. Have you tried P.G. Wodehouse?
No I haven’t but I should catblyth because others have recommended it. Next time I’m at the library I will do.
When I’m sick, I turn to mysteries as my comfort read. 🙂 Nothing hard-boiled; usually either Christie or Sayers or a historical mystery series like the Mary Russell or Julian Kestrel series.
i agree with catblyth- wodehouse is great. also some evelyn waugh might be good. i just finished “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day,” which was terrific fun as well.
I like the humor of Jim Butcher in his series The Dresden Files as well as the Codex Alera. They are fantasy books and not sure if those are your cuppa tea.
I know about about comfort reads for when times are tough or stressful that can just instantly relax you.
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