Friday, October 28, 2011

Books As An Escape

Kay and I love to watch reruns of the sitcom, "Frasier." I was recently reminded of the episode in which Frasier and Niles are discussing the question of what they'd choose if stranded on a desert island: one meal, one bottle of wine, one aria. Incidentally, I'd probably ask for the Mexican plate lunch from El Fenix, iced tea, and something from Josh Grobin. Nevertheless, the question was recently brought into focus in my own life.

If you attended the recent conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers, you probably noticed me walking haltingly with a grimace on my face. As it turns out, I had a ruptured disc in my back. There was no response to aggressive medical treatment, so on October 21, I underwent surgery. It appears that the surgery was successful, and I'm healing nicely, but during the recuperation period I'm spending a lot of time lying down. So what have I been doing? Reading, of course.

During my first wife's time in the ICU after her fatal stroke, I read through all of Robert B. Parker's books. I love his writing style, and for a few minutes I was able to leave behind the problems surrounding me. This time I've found that many of the novels from authors whose work I enjoyed the first time around still hold my attention on second and third readings.

This brings me to the point of this blog. If you were to be given unlimited time to read while recuperating from surgery, recovering from an illness, whatever--what books would you choose? And let's assume that The Bible would be one. Go beyond that and tell me the books you'd choose for comfort, relaxation, and to pass the time.

I look forward to reading your responses.


Anne Mateer said...

First let me say I'm so glad you are recovering well and that you will have some relief from your pain!

Lately I've been reading way to much--mostly because I'm terrified to start writing my next book! (Don't worry. I'm scheduled to do a November writing challenge, so Nov. 1 it's back to it!) Anyway, I've been reading great stuff by authors I call friends, but if I had unlimited time I'd go back and reread some of my favorite classics--and read some classics I haven't read before.

Erica Vetsch said...

I'm so glad the surgery has helped you. And that you're putting your recovery time to good use by reading. :D

I believe I'd take the works of Dick Francis. I love his writing, the way his mind works, and there are 50+ books so I would have quite a variety. :)

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Anne and Erica, for your good wishes, as well as your comments. Yes, healing is progressing. Slowly, but surely.

I collected books for many years. When we moved three years ago, I kept only the books I thought I'd re-read...and that turned out to be three book cases full. Enjoying working my way through them. I dream that someday my novels will be interesting enough to be re-read, as well.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I would envy you the extended reading opportunity, but not the surgery. So glad to hear you're recovering well.

Given the time I'd like to go back and re-read many of the children's classics that I skimmed through when I was young. I'd like to examine what gave them their enduring qualities. Jack London's Call of the Wild and White Fang were favourites of mine, and all of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne books, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Kate Douglas Wiggin's Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Astrid Lindren's Pippi Longstocking. Time! There's never enough time!

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm glad the surgery went well. That's a tough way to get extra reading time, though, but at least you can enjoy some old favorites.

Super Mom the Illusion said...

I would take my Kindle and read your books, Candace Calvert, Shawn Grady and Davis Bunn. All four of you have captured my attention with your character development, scene descriptions and reality through words! I can only imagine writing as well as you talented people in my own novel!

Anonymous said...

Whenever I got sick in high school, I used to re-read all the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, and the "Shoes" series by British children's author Noel Stretfield.

Now I don't really have favorite authors. Here's what happens. I find a wonderful book and love it. I read a second book by the author and like it. I read a third book by the same author and am un-wow-ed by it. This has happened so often that I'm often hesitant to read more than one novel by an author. (Sad.)

But if I were sick, I would try reading some more books by Jennifer Egan, Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson and Anita Shreve. Then again, I might just crack out the Ramona books again.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments, and special thanks to Lyn for saying my books would be among her "if I only had lots of time" reading.

As my convalescence draws to a close (I hope), and I have to get back to the real world of writing in addition to reading, I'm hoping that I've picked up a trick or two for my next novel.

Jackie S. said...

So glad you are on the road to recovery!!! I love to read Christian fiction..especially plan to get yours soon. I guess I would have to far as books I will always keep and re-read: 1. Bible 2. Catherine Marshall 3. Max Lucado
I pass on my Christian fiction books to the church library.