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Thread: What is your literary comfort food?

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    fear my quack! ColonelHardisson's Avatar
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    What is your literary comfort food?

    What books do you go to when you need to feel better in some way? Specific books, genres, types of books, whatever. These aren't the books you rattle off when you're trying to impress someone with your literary acumen, but rather the ones you curl up with when you need to, well, be comforted.

    If you're one of those adamantine-souled, tough-as-nails, quantum-computer-brained types who like to spout that you never need comforting, literary or otherwise, I dunno what the fuck you're doing in this thread beyond wanting to impress others with your toughness (c'mon, you know someone will post they don't read books for comfort)...

    Seriously, though, I'll mention a few of mine:

    *Atlases of fictional places - Collections of maps of places that don't exist, natural histories of places that never were, encyclopedias of places mentioned in literature. They help me relax and let my mind get away from the troubles of the day. Real atlases also fascinate me, but I don't find them comforting (or troubling, really).

    *Art books - art history books, books of a specific artist's work, books of spaceship paintings (shout out to all the Terran Trade Authority fans!). Divested of prose with which to contextualize them, I just look at the art and think about what it means to me and what the artist might have felt as they created it, or notice brush strokes or the texture of the canvas.

    *Fine Scale Modeler Magazine - I haven't built a model in decades, but I love leafing through this magazine. The galleries of models by readers and from model shows are the big draw; the level of expertise is often amazing. There is something soothing about it all I can't quite put into words.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell

    Here's my blog, in case you're interested.

 

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    I tend to fall back on beloved books from my childhood: The Chronicles of Prydain, A Wrinkle in Time et al., OR books about dogs/dog training, OR some Gene Wolfe.

    Or trashy magazines... US, OK, People, etc.
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    delicious! Elf Witch's Avatar
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    I tend to pull out my Nancy Drews or an old gothic by Phyllis Whitney , Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart or Marilyn Ross.



    I also have huge zine collection dating back to the 70s that I will sometimes find an old favorite and read that.

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    Lynndie! Nellisir's Avatar
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    Back issues of some comic series - Authority (mostly Warren Ellis), Lucifer, sometimes Fables, X-Men...stuff like that. Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies. I tend to go for shorter stuff when I read for "comfort". Back issues of Dragon or RPG books in general, though not so much anymore. Sometimes I'll pull out a book I like and skim through it in 30 minutes or so.

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    Circvs Maximvs and comics.

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    toss my salad iykwimaityd COMMUNITY SUPPORTER diaglo's Avatar
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    Erotica.

    from Lady Chatterly's Lover to Letters from Penthouse.

    edit: but that is not in any way, shape, or form harlequin romances. that stuff is total crap and couldn't get a hormonal teenager hard, wet, or excited
    Last edited by diaglo; May 20th, 2010 at 11:14 AM.
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    Swift Zombie! COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Alenda's Avatar
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    The short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle especially his non-Sherlockian light horror stuff.

    Poetry, particularly from one of the many notebooks I fave filled over the years with my favorite verses.

    I also indulge in clothing catalogs, but that's less about reading and more about looking.
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  • #8
    Dune, Island of the Blue Dolphins (which I read many times as a kid), but mostly Asimov or Clarke books I've read in the past. Specifically Asimov's robot books or Clarke's Space Odyssey books.

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    a new pair Wo-ass's Avatar
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    I start with The Pheonix on the Sword. Then maybe move to The Tower of the Elephant and then maybe a little Queen of the Black Coast.

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    H. Beam Piper. Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, Little Fuzzy, Space Viking et al. I find his writing has a comforting tone and the stories resonate with me profoundly.
    “There is no intimacy; it’s not live,” he said of online games. “It’s being translated through a computer, and your imagination is not there the same way it is when you’re actually together with a group of people. It reminds me of one time where I saw some children talking about whether they liked radio or television, and I asked one little boy why he preferred radio, and he said, ‘Because the pictures are so much better.’ ” - E.G.Gygax 1938-2008

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    ... I know. madwabbit's Avatar
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    World War II histories and biographies. Anything Shakespearean/Tudor-Stuart era (histories, biographies, actual plays, etc.).
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    Discworld or Master & Commander. More rarely Robert Rankins books or Carl Bark's Donald Duck stories.

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    fear my quack! ColonelHardisson's Avatar
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    Another large source of literary comfort food for me is starship combat books. David Weber's books are obvious choices. Weber wrote the "Starfire" series with Steve White - Crusade, Insurrection, In Death Ground, The Shiva Option - and those books are almost nothing but an unending string of exploding starship scenes. Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet" series is a lot of fun. Rebecca Meluch's "Tour of the Merrimack" series is fantastic, and I hope she continues writing them.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell

    Here's my blog, in case you're interested.

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    Jack Chalker's Four Lords of the Diamond

    The first three books of the Black Company by Glen Cook

    I have read those books each about 8-9 times.

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    brine-coated COMMUNITY SUPPORTER CarlZog's Avatar
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    Alexandre Dumas

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

    Joe Kubert's Tarzan comics

    Pulp fiction magazines (Analog, Asimov's, Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock)

    1e Dragon magazines.



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