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Anything, and I mean, anything by Katie Fforde. Witty, light, beautifully written and with believable heroines, I turn to them often and often. Also Georgette Heyer who is another author I turn to in times of stress and unhappiness. I would also like to recommend Trollope but some of his books are mighty tomes and owuld be difficult to concentrate on, but Barchester Towers with the wonderful Obadiah Slope and Mrs Proudie would be marvellous.

And of course, there is always JANE!


Any of the Miss Read books - effortless reading and such a pleasurable world in which to escape and become engrossed.

Agree with the choices of P G Wodehouse and Alexander McCall Smith, both charming and easy company.

If you like cosy mysteries Simon Brett's Feathering series could be the ticket.

Audio books are terrific if you don't feel well. Marcia Willett who writes family saga style books set in Cornwall and Devon is a wonderful story teller and most libraries carry her audio books.


I agree with the last two comments all of them I would choose to read. Debbie Macomber is a gentle read. I find some cosy crime quite nice as well although maybe not everyones choice.

I would recommend personally Lucinda Riley and Veronica Henry.

Mr Cornflower

Any of the Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson - though with caution, you might not be in a condition to laugh too hard.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

Like Elaine, I turn to Katie Fforde and Georgette Heyer when I'm in need of comforting. I also think Eva Ibbotson's books are perfect for the sickroom, with just the right mix of romantic fantasy and humour. P.G. Wodehouse is wonderful too, as long as you're able to laugh without pain (I tried reading him while in hospital with appendicitis - bad idea).


Not fiction but I'd highly recommend Tony Hawks 'Round Ireland with a Fridge' for light relief. Along with a Bill Bryson or two.


It's funny, but when I had a long at-home recovery from major surgery, I didn't turn to light & frothy or humor - though, some may have been added in and around the more major project. I finally had the opportunity to take on a longer book than usual and just read and read, had nothing else to do anyway.

It was fiction but read almost like non-fiction: The Source, by James Michener - and though it takes place in Israel and I'm not Jewish, I found it fascinating. Involved modern-day archaeologic digs in alternating chapters taking place in the time of whatever level had just been uncovered.

Ooooh I was going to suggest these books. If stitches are involved be careful they might pop.


Addendum: I agree with Mr. Cornflower, if you've not read E.F. Benson's Mapp & Lucia series, that would be very good. There are six (slim) books in the set - or, one fat, heavy volume (hard to read lying down) - or, in two volumes, Lucia Rising & Lucia Victrix. I like the two-volume set very much though I do have all the others, single volumes to mark in, & the one-volume.
(scroll down for short descriptions)


Bill Bryson is very entertaining.


The two Miss Buncle books by D E Stevenson which have been reprinted by Persephone.


The Fortnight in September by R C Sherriff and One Fine Day by Mollie Panter Downes - not much happens in either but they are both so beautiful.
I would agree with those who recommend both Bill Bryson and Miss Read and add my own particular comfort reads: Susan Hill's The Magic Apple Tree, The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge and The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston (they work every time for me)

Linda Gillard

Thank you everyone for these wonderful suggestions. There's lots there I haven't read and you've reminded me of some old favourites. I'm off to comb the bookshops & Inverness library this afternoon before going into hospital tomorrow.


My suggestion would be the My Friends books by Jane Duncan - My Friends the Miss Boyds and My Friend Monica have been republished by Millrace Books.

Linda Gillard

As it happens, Deb, one of my current reads is MY FRIENDS THE MISS BOYDS because I now live on the Black Isle - Jane Duncan territory. :-)


So many lovely suggestions above.
I really enjoyed My Friends the Miss Boyds and was particularly tickled by it as my mother's family comes from Ross-shire (Jane Duncan bought the house of a distant cousin of mine) so the speech of the area is very familiar.
One Fine Day is a top favourite novel, Miss Buncle's Book is fun, & Mapp & Lucia just marvellous.

Suzanne Beanland

Any of the Miss Read books and if you can get the audio version with Gwen Watford reading , perfect. Jane Austen, Barbara Pym. Also Lilian Beckwith, James Herriot, early Katie Fforde and Erica James.
Get Well Soon


So many good suggestions here that I will just add that Alexander McCall's books are available as audio books and are beautifully read. Oh, and maybe early Angela Thirkell's although I may be in a class of one in preferring them to Barbara Pym--more of a sharp edge in the quiet humor.

All my very best wishes to you, Linda, I have just caught up with the news that you have been/will be in hospital.


Sorry for my late post but we are just returned from a trip in the trusty caravan to Blair Atholl, where we acted out my 1st advice 'Retail Therapy' (yes, at Bruar again). I was sad like all of your readers to read about your news Linda and I hope that optimism is returning rapidly. Your books have given me a lot of pleasure and will be healing reading themselves for many.

I dont know about you, but my reading age slips back when I am convalescing and my own choice included 'Goodnight Mister Tom' by Michelle Magorian and 'A Very Long from Anywhere Elae' by Ursula Le Guin (actually I use any excuse to re-read this).
I liked the suggestions above too, especially the My Friends series & James Herriot.

Good luck and best wishes from Sandy.

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