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December 13, 2012


Mario R.

When I need comfort, I do not want to take over another person's problems, even if that other person is fictional. I do not necessarily need something funny, but it must be something on the other end of the scale from The Sorrows of Young Werther, if you know what I mean. While I was in the final, pressure-filled stages of dissertating, I found the only for-pleasure reading I could stand was fantasy kidlit, Louis L'Amour westerns, and the adventures of Mrs Pollifax. The familiar, yes, but also those books (or, nowadays, those films) where the villains are clear, where I know the universe is set right in the end, and where the only problem is how to get there -- not how to solve the problems *of* the universe, or of life.

Thanks for reminding me of some of my old favourites.--Mario R.


I wonder if anyone eats sashimi and watches The Wire when it all gets too much? For me, it's a continuum that starts with Joy Fielding and goes through James Herriot and Dodie Smith all the way to Jean Estoril's Ballet for Drina, accompanied by bacon and cheese.


Thanks for bringing up Georgette Heyer. She's perhaps the only author whose works I've read (many) multiple times. I even own duplicates of most of the historical series in case I get too many "eye tracks" on the pages!

Lil Gluckstern

I like your prescription. Revisiting Georgette Heyer is like visiting an old comfortable friend-with pizzazz.

Dean James

Given the events of this day, I think comfort is most definitely called for. I am heartsick over what happened in Connecticut.

Deb Romano

When I need to relax, I turn to humor. I have many of Dave Barry's books and Calvin Trillin's, too, which help to calm me down at the end of a bad day. I also reread humorous novels or even books of jokes, just a few pages per day at bedtime if I'm going through a period of sleeplessness. Today has been a tough day - I'm in Connecticut - and I will definitely need to read something light after having spent all day following the news from the first email alert this morning about a "possible" shooting.

At some point this weekend I hope to have time to pull out my video of White Christmas, which makes me both laugh and cry every time I watch it.

Jan Burke

Excellent recommendation -- I reread Heyer stressed or not.

Skipper Hammond

Old Cheers TV episodes relax all the stress wrinkles for me. The characters easily become my fictional friends and their humor puts a good perspective on troubles.

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