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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life—What Is Your “Comfort” Reading? (88 comments)

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  •  Mystery books, travel books (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, Larin, old wobbly

    For comfort, I tend toward the well-written formulaic.  I love the entire Cadfael series by Ellis Peters.  I know pretty much what's going to happen, but how it happens will differ.  Plus, the author does such a great job of bringing the Middle Ages to life.

    I also read and re-read one of my favorite books ever, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.  It's sci-fi, and also set in the Middle Ages via the 21st century.  Young Oxford student goes to the 1300s as part of her studies in history.

    Reading about other peoples' adventures while I sit on the couch with a comforter and a cat is very enjoyable.  I love crazy Gary Paulson, and his account of running the Itidarod in Winterdance is funny, amazing, beautiful, and sometimes jaw-dropping.  That guy has a tolerance for pain I cannot imagine.  I'd never be tough enough to run that race, but love reading about someone who was.

    Austen and Wodehouse's books are also great comfort reads.

    The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

    by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:27:18 AM PST

    •  Knockbally, love the mental image of you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knockbally, old wobbly

      sitting on the sofa with comforter and the cat.  You've piqued my curiosity by mentioning The Doomsday Book.  I also like to find out how people lived in those days.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:35:53 AM PST

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      •  I wish I were (3+ / 0-)

        on the sofa with the purring lap-warmer!  ;-)

        Connie Willis apparently became quite obsessed with the Middle ages when writing The Doomsday Book, and includes things like how the language would sound to our ears (the student has a kind of Babelfish thing in her ear that doesn't work at first) how people lived during that time, how they saw the world, and what the plague was like.

        It's terribly sad at times, and really moving as well.  Living in the Middle Ages isn't romanticized, but neither is it deplored.  The girl comes to care about the people in the little community where she ends up.  

        I think the book was written in the 1980s, so the 21st century is imagined, and there's an adventure going on in modern Oxford as well.  Less interesting, but still enjoyable.

        The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

        by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:46:17 AM PST

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        •  That sounds really good. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Knockbally

          Added to bookmarks. Thanks.

          "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

          by northsylvania on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:14:51 AM PST

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        •  there's a scene in the doomsday book (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Knockbally, Larin

          that just about crushed me---when rosemary drops the apple? You know the one?

          I had to put the book down because I started crying, and I almost never cry at anything.

          But it is a rewarding read (a bit anacrohnistic in the segments that take place in 2050, but that wasn't that bad.)

          pseudoscience can kill

          by terrypinder on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:22:35 AM PST

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          •  I know exactly the one, terry! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrypinder

            It is so moving, so surprising (I thought rosemary was okay!) and devastating.  I rarely cry reading books, and I welled up at that.  Actually, I well up every time I read it.

            And I love every scene with little Agnes.  She's so perfectly drawn.

            The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: 'What good is it?” - Aldo Leopold

            by Knockbally on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:32:34 AM PST

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