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Sick reading

I have been shuffling and snozzling around the house this week with the cold my sister-in-law’s family had at Christmas, and I’m also at a point of increasing vertigo, with which the head congestion is not helping in the least. So naturally it seemed like the perfect time to talk about what I want to read when I’m different kinds of sick.

With a cold like this, when my head feels thick and stupid, I do not want a big chewy piece of nonfiction–in fact, I set aside the one I was reading when I came down with it and will go back to it later, because if there is ever a time for not trying to keep track of the Soviet takeover of various Polish community groups, it’s when you’re blowing your nose every five seconds. In contrast, when the vertigo is moderately bad, there is nothing for it like trying to keep track of things like that. Thick chewy nonfiction (that will last and not make me get up to get more) is just the thing for that kind of sick.

Moderately high fever sick calls for very vivid books. I read Sean Stewart’s Galveston with a moderately high fever, and honestly I recommend this course of action. It was quite good that way. (I checked later. It’s also good healthy.)

When the vertigo is catastrophically bad–when my work-arounds are not enough to work and I can’t do anythingreally–the right kind of books are rereads, because Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan and Mervyn Bunter hold still when the world will not.

But this kind of miserable dragging-on cold, with some vertigo, the best thing for this kind of sick is books by authors whose other works I have enjoyed, and not highly complicated ones, either. Much though I was enchanted by Aurorarama, I am leaving Luminous Chaos for when I feel better and will apprehend it properly. One of you lovely people sent me some Dodie Smith novels, and they have been just perfect. Mystery series would do beautifully, which reminds me of an email I should send, but things for which I have to go to the library are not really useful at the moment. So: rereads and known authors, not too horribly complicated but enough to be engaging. That’s where I am now.

What do you want to read when you’re sick?

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