Thursday, 13 September 2007

Booking through Thursday - Comfort Food


Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

I think with quite such a concatenation of catastrophes I might not be up to reading anything at all! But no, I am good at nurturing myself through a crisis. A nice cup of tea and a large pile of books will see me through. In the pile? To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis - a recent addition to comfort reading, but a lovely warm one, even if she just occasionally gets English period or idiom wrong; I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith - a book that has got me through many a bad patch, full of innocence and optimism; the Mountjoy novels by Elizabeth Pewsey - much more knowing, full of naughtiness, they will make me laugh if anything can.

For a full-blown disaster, though, it will be Elizabeth Goudge, for her wisdom and moral strength, virtues that endure even in these cynical times. I'm not churlish, though, I turn to her in the good times as well, and always emerge feeling restored and refreshed.

6 comments:

sam said...

I've read none of these, but I did enjoy Connie Willis' Doomsday Book. Now, I've got to add To Say Nothing of the Dog to my reading list!

gautami tripathy said...

Man's Search for Meaning sustains me at the darkest of hours.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh GM, are you OK? Are these old or new ills you need to get through?

Personally, a nice old favourite - a Jill book or a Dick Francis can be the literary equivalent of mashed potatoes...

Becca said...

Elizabeth Goudge is an old standby for me too. I've never read the Mountjoy novels - I'll look for those.

BooksPlease said...

I'd forgotten about I Capture the Castle, a really good book and I used to love the Elizabeth Goudge books - I think I might re-read one or two.

GeraniumCat said...

Glad to find there are more Elizabeth Goudge readers out there - think we're becoming a rare breed. The Mountjoy novels are great fun but I'm afraid her clergymen don't behave nearly as well as Goudge's.

M&M, it was really past woes I was thinking of, but last week found me in Edinburgh looking after a poorly son with nothing to take my mind of my anxiety except vol. I of the Forsyte Saga and a very small second-hand shelf at the next-door charity shop. It brought home how much I rely on my comfort reading!