Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Comfort Reads, Part 2

We last talked about comfort reads here a couple of years ago…and hoo boy, if ever a topic should be discussed again, it’s that one. And right now.

I keep track of the books I’ve read on LibraryThing, a wonderful book cataloguing site that I’ve been a member of for nearly ten years now.* It had been a good reading year up till late March—I’d read several new books at a fairly brisk clip. And then—well, you know what happened. So what did I do?

I read Georgette Heyer, of course. I pounded back Sylvester and Frederica and The Unknown Ajax and Devil’s Cub and The Quiet Gentleman one after another, with scarce a pause in between. And it helped—it truly did. So I ventured into some new-to-me books again, prompted by a generous deal from Tor Books, and jumped into a series that’s received a lot of love in the book world but is perhaps one that NineteenTeen readers aren’t quite expecting to hear about here…but if you at all like science fiction (and yes, I do—very much!) you HAVE to read the Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells, beginning with All Systems Red..

Yes, you read that correctly. The Murderbot Diaries.

While that sounds dreadfully…icky and not at all comforting, this series of novellas qualifies as just that. Yes, it has all the usual trappings of science fiction—interstellar space travel, asteroid mining, robots and AIs and cyborgs, shady planetary surveyors. But it also has Murderbot, a cyborg security unit who is deeply, unabashedly, addicted to the future’s equivalent of Netflix. And a cyborg addicted to story somehow comes across as much more human than machine. If you’re at all a science fiction reader, you should give these books a try.

So that’s my comfort reading for the month. What are you reading that’s helping you through these troubling times?**

*And if you’re interested in checking LibraryThing out, accounts are now free for members to catalogue unlimited books. I tell you, this site has more than once kept me from buying second copies of books I’d forgotten I already owned. Of course, being a member has also meant I’ve bought a lot of books based on the recommendations of friends, so it’s probably a wash. 😊
**And by the way—hugs, my friends.

1 comment:

QNPoohBear said...

Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are my comfort reads. I have a small keeper shelf of Heyeresque or sweet Regency/Victorian romance novels too. Typically I reach for Pride and Prejudice, Georgette Heyer's Venetia, Frederia, and Black Sheep just jumped up to the top of the list too. Speaking of comfort reading Jane Austen, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner is finally available at the end of this month. It's all about people reading and rereading Jane Austen after the second world war and how they come together to try to preserve her legacy. (Not for young young bluestockings, only for bluestockings old enough to understand the #MeToo movement).