Feb 8, 2010

Not quite back yet, but....

...please allow me to pick your brains, my bookish friends. What's the happiest, most charming or most delightful book you know?

The reason for my absence this past week was a pet-related emergency. I was cautiously hopeful when I wrote that post on Wednesday, but shortly afterwards I got the worst news. I lost one of my beloved dogs, and to make things worse, I spent the rest of the week thinking I might lose one of my cats too. My cat, Calvin, is safe and sound, fortunately, but... well, I'll spare you the details about my dog, both because they're tragic enough that I don't want to make anyone else sad, and because I can't talk about it yet without drowning the keyboard. I'll just say that this was one of the most sudden and devastating animal losses I suffered in almost twenty years as a pet owner.

...which is why I'm in need of comforting books. I've barely read a page all week, but I'm getting to that stage where I need to be distracted from what happened, and nothing does the job better than books. A friend suggested I re-read old favourites, which is a great idea, but I also figured that being in extreme need of comfort is as good a reason to break a book buying ban as they come. So if you can think of anything that would charm me or make me smile, let me know and I'll get it. If you were feeling particularly generous with your time, you could go through my tbr pile and let me know if any of the books I already own would fit the bill.

As for blogging: I've been too sad and unmotivated to return to it just yet, but as I said I'm also in need of something that will distract me, so I'll probably be back either late this week or the next. I really want to make an effort to finish Orlando and join the discussion at Nonsuch Book on Friday, which I've really been looking forward to. We'll see if I can manage. Also, I haven't opened Google Reader since last Monday, and the thought of struggling to catch up is stressful enough that I might just click the dreaded "mark all as read" button. Apologies in advance! I promise I haven't forgotten any of you, thought, and I very much appreciated all the comments, tweets and e-mails I got.

On that note, if you've written a post you really think I shouldn't miss, or saw one in someone else's blog, please feel free to leave me the link in the comments. I mean it. I don't feel up to braving Google Reader just yet, but I'd love something that would entertain me or distract me. So don't be shy about leaving me a link if you've reviewed something you think I'd love this past week.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of you loss. As an animal love, I know how much a part of the family they become and how difficult it is when they're gone. I'm sending hugs your way.

  2. Oh I am so, so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved dog. I can't even imagine and don't want to. But know that my thoughts are with you and hope you are feeling better soon. I wish I could think of a good comfort read for you but I'm not sure anything I might suggest will help!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. No wonder you haven't been around.

    Anne of Green Gables is a good book to uplift you.

    Btw, I'm doing Valentine related stuff this week on my blog. Nothing too heavy.

  4. *hugs tight*

    I'm so sorry.

    I didn't see anything on your TBR that sprung out at me but let me think about what you like and what I have read that you might like.


  5. {{{{Nymeth}}}}

    I'm so sorry. I've lost pets before and I know how hard it can be. :(

    As for a read that is pleasantly distracting, maybe a Vicky Bliss mystery? I can't really think of anything that fits that description in what you usually read.

  6. *hugs* I'm so, so sorry. Chris's recommendation of Anne of Green Gables was one of mine, as well; The Princess Bride is another. I hope you find something that will help you feel at peace.

  7. I've already sent you my love and condolences, so you know that, but I'm just so so happy that you found Calvin. I gave my kitty extra hugs this week and realized just how sad I would be to lose her, even though she's kind of the meanest cat ever.

    As for comforting wonderful books, if you haven't read Marcelo in the Real World then you totally should! It's very heartwarming, even if there are some parts that will anger you. The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine is not the best book I've read, but it certainly has its heartwarming moments. And Graceling has heartwarming romance! Looking for Bapu is sad sad, but will eventually warm your heart.

    I hope this was some sort of help, Ana.

  8. I'm so sorry about your dog, Ana. I lost my dog Gypsy just a couple of weeks ago, and I miss her a lot, so I have an idea how you're feeling. Many hugs to you.

    I took a little time off from blogging after she passed, too, but writing a long post about her actually helped me. As for "comfort reads," I'd probably turn to an old favorite or two for re-reading.

  9. So sorry about the loss of your dog.

    As for uplifting reads, I just finished Austenland by Shannon Hale, and it was light and fun.

    Also, if you're able to get your hands on a copy of Aimee Bender's little book The Third Elevator, I highly recommend reading it. It's absolutely delightful.


  10. Oh, I am SO sorry to hear that. You are doing much better than I would I'm afraid...so here is a BIG virtual hug....ready? {{{{(((((HUGHUGHUGHUG))))}}}}
    I know it doesn't make it better but hopefully it helps a little.
    I took a look at your current TBR and my suggestion from it would be FAIREST. If looking for a new addition, I would go with SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman (So. Chick-lit), or SNOW QUEEN by Emma Harrison (YA pure fun...).
    Wishing you all the best.

  11. I'm so sorry about your dog.

    As for books, I've loved Chocolat by Joanne Harris as a fairy tale for adults. It just carries you along and seems fairly positive.

    I noticed you had The Perilous Gard in your TBR list and although it never struck me as particularly happy, it was an engaging story far away from here (at least that is the way I remember it - it's been a long time.) Take care

  12. I'm so glad you got Calvin back safely! I was talking to my little cousins about loving pets and one of them worried that he had a finite amount of love and he'd spread it too thin. We had to conclude that you grow a new heart for each thing you love, and to loose one hurts as much as all of them, though the others keep beating.

    The Moomin books are some of my all time favourites for curling up with and retreating into for a while. So I vote Tales from Mooninvalley.

  13. Ohhh Nymeth {{{♥Hugs♥}}} I am so sorry to hear about your loss :( It's hard for me to even imagine how you must feel, pets bring so much joy to our lives. I hope that the memories you have of your pup bring you a touch of happiness in this sad time.

    No comforting titles come to mind, but maybe some of the fantasy titles from your TBR would be good right now - something that will take you away to another world in your reading.

    More {{{♥Hugs♥}}} for you, my friend.

  14. Hi Ana. I went through your TBR list but alas all the ones I've read I don't think would make good suggestions...I don't know what to suggest either. I've got a couple of feel good sorts of books - Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos, Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton, Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin (though that has some sad parts, too, but overall it's hopeful). That's what comes to mind right off. Sorry I can't help more...

  15. Oh no I'm so sorry :(

    You have so many fabulous books in your tbr.

    I see you have some by Diana Wynne Jones - I'm just reading her lates, "Enchanted Glass" and its a funny, warm and loving book, just brimming with her fondness for her characters.

    But if you can possibly get hold her book "The Ogre Downstairs" its HIGHLY recommended.

  16. OH and I nearly forgot. When I feel a little sad, this blog cheers me up with its everyday picture of happy family life. Very well written too:

  17. Oh, I am so sad to hear you lost your dog!

    When my life turns to utter pants, I've started self medicating with Meg Cabot books. She always makes me happy.

  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog, Ana. =/ Losing a pet is so hard.

    I had a quick look through your TBR pile and unfortunately came up empty - none of the ones I had read were really uplifting books. I did notice you didn't have The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's not all cheery, giving the British occupation during WWII and some of the horrors that went on, but I finished it with a smile on my face and it's impossible not to describe it as charming. I also echo the suggestion of Anne of Green Gables, which never failed to cheer me up when I was younger.

  19. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. That's awful :(
    I can't think of anything too charming that I've read lately. Any of Georgette Heyer's work usually leaves me with a smile on my face, and they are light reads, so maybe something like that.

  20. Nymeth, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can sympathize all too well.

    As for "comfort reads," here's a few of my faves:

    Watership Down
    The Secret Garden
    Little Women
    Jane Eyre

    I'll try and come up with some more...I know I am forgetting many good ones!

  21. ((((((Ana))))))) I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is heartbreaking and you have my deepest sympathies. I am relieved that Calvin is okay.

    As for comfort reads, The Enchanted April is a must-read as are Lady Rose & Mrs Memmary and Ballet Shoes. Once you're up to it, Geek Love must be read too.

    I was going to point out that my blog has moved but I see that you're on top of that ;). I'd suggest reading my review of Les Liasons Dangereuses as I'm proud of that one :).

  22. So sorry to hear about your loss, Nymeth. I lost a well loved dog from my childhood just over two years ago now and it still hurts, so I know how much this can wound.

    As for comforting reads, I find the following pretty wonderful in times of trouble:
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
    Any of the Jasper Fforde novels
    Anything by Jane Austen

    Also, I recently read and reviewed The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which you might like to check out! I really enjoyed it!

  23. ohhh Ana...:o( I am soooo sorry for your loss. I wish I could magically say something to make you feel better but I know that's impossible so I am sending a cyber hug(((((hug))))).

    I wish I knew a great book for you too but the only book I can remember reading that I thought was kinda funny was "Gils All Fright Dinner" but I guess it wasn't all that great 'cause Chris never finished it!

  24. Sorry to hear about your loss :(
    I just mentioned on my blog that I finished Bone series. It's an amazing series. How about going back to Bone and read the funny bits? I think the funniest is the 5th, in which they meet Rockjaw :)

  25. Nymeth, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I wonder if this time of year is particularly hard on pets for some reason. I've seen several pet losses mentioned in the last few weeks, and I thought we were going to lose one of ours recently as well. I completely understand your need to take a break. Just anticipating having to tell anyone about that kind of loss is enough to send me crying. Take all the time you need and if you ever want to tell us what happened, I'm sure you will have plenty of sympathetic ears.

    I just read a book called The Moon in the Water: Reflections on an Aging Parent by Kathy Phillips. It chronicles the last years of a father with his daughter as care taker, and I was able to draw some parallels between the author taking care of her (old man) father and my taking care of my (old man) dog. I'm not sure if it's quite what you're looking for, but it might provide you with some comfort.

  26. I'm probably a terrible suggester, and if you want something LIGHT this won't help, but as far as comforting, I REALLY found William Blake comforting, AND To the Lighthouse is very honest - which can be comforting depending on your temperament. In terms of light and happy, I'm not the best resource...

  27. I am so sorry to hear about your dog! Looking through your TBR, I think anything Gail Carson Levine fits the bill perfectly. I actually really enjoyed Fairy Dust and Fairy Haven, even if they are meant for 9 year olds.

    The most comforting, cotton candy book I've ever read is Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.

  28. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. It's a bit like losing a limb...I'll second (third?) the suggestion of I Capture the Castle, because it's just such a pretty book. All good thoughts to you, Ana.

  29. Ana, I am SO very sorry about the loss of your dog. My pets are family to me, and I know how devestating it can be to lose one, especially so suddenly as it sounds like this case. *hugs*

    I saw that you have "Just Listen" in your tbr, and while it's not exactly a shiny happy book all the way through, it is an excellent one that I think you will much enjoy. When I finished it, I had a huge smile on my face and I really wanted to read it again right away. :) Plus it's an easy read, which is probably what you're looking for right now.

    I hope your heart will feel better soon, Ana. <3

  30. So sorry to hear your loss! I third (fourth?) the recommendation of I Capture the Castle. Also, Eva Rice's The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is a good comfort read and reminds me of Dodie Smith's book a little.

  31. I'm so sorry about your loss! I don't have anything to suggest because when I am sad, everything turns into sad for me. But I hope some of the other suggestions will benefit you! And I'm so glad your Calvin is safe and sound! Sending many hugs your way!!!

  32. I'm so sorry about you loss! Perhaps some Barbara Pym to lift the soul?

  33. I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I know how hard it is to lose a pet; it's just ridiculously painful.

    As for reading suggestions, all the books in your TBR list that I have read aren't particularly cheery. Dorothy Sayers does happen to be a comfort read for me, but a murder mystery may not be quite the thing. I did notice Enchanted April on your list and although I haven't read the book, the movie is just about the most cheerful film ever made, and I hear that the book is equally good. Lemony Snicket also seems to be able to get me out of a funk.

  34. I am so sorry about your loss. Losing a pet is so hard. Sending you good thoughts.

  35. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, losing a beloved pet is a very sad thing.

    Gerald Durrell's Corfu trilogy is utterly charming... any of his animal collecting books are in fact. And I really enjoyed Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth earlier this year.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    (I'm just reading one of your recs, Daddy Long-Legs - it's delightful!)

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Oh, this is terrible news. I'm a pet owner too, but I can't even begin to imagine what it feels like to loose an animal as loyal as a dog. I'm so sorry, and I hope you start to feel better soon!

    As far as recommendations go, you obviously need something light. Maybe The Nanny Diaries? It's short and entertaining, and maybe it would take you mind of things.

    Une Parole

  38. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Ana! {{BIG HUGS to you!!}}

  39. Sorry to hear about your loss. I do hope you feel better soon. As for comfort reads...I always turn to P.G. Wodehouse...any of his books will do. Recently I read a Persephone, Miss Buncle's Book and it was really endearing and delightful.

  40. Oh, I'm so sorry! I totally understand the need to be distracted, and distracted by happy things.

    From your TBR pile, I think Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist or To Say Nothing of the Dog would work - they're both charming with good endings. Personally, I'm a big re-reader when I'm down - I tend to go for stuff that's I know will distract me and end happily. Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles (starting with Dealing with Dragons) might do the trick, if you haven't read them already.

  41. Oh Ana, you have no idea how badly I wish I could think of the PERFECT book for you right now! To be able to bring you even one teeny tiny bit of joy right now would be the greatest thing I could ask for. But I'm afraid even after scouring my pathetic little brain for the past hour, I've come up with nothing.

    I love you, sweetie. *more and more and more hugs*

    (Sorry about that deleted comment above. That was dingbat me. I mentioned the boys and I reading Kaspar...which while it is the sweetest little book, it's actually not a good choice for right now.)

    *and more hugs*

  42. Seems like you and I are in the same place, Nymeth. You have my heart-felt sympathies. It's so hard to lose them.

    Don't have a book to recommend but I do have a suggestion - maybe making your way through your Google reader might not be a bad idea. Spending time with friends is never a bad thing.


  43. Ana, I am so very sorry about your beloved dog. You will be in my thoughts.

  44. Hey my dear! Big big hugs...I can't think of quite the perfect book right now, but going through your TBR list, I think you have a few there that I've read that may be good choices for now!

    The Book of Flying will whisk you away while you're reading it. It's impossible to not just get totally lost in the beautiful language and world that Miller created. I think that would be a good one.

    Dylan Fontaine would be a good one too! I think that overall it's a lighthearted book though it does deal with a few serious issues.

    Ooooh, Just thought of a good one Ana...how about Marcelo in the Real world by Francisco Stork? or Bonk by Mary Roach? Oh wait...I have it...ok, this is guaranteed to cheer you up...ready? You must go read....SCOTT PILGRIM!!!! YOU CAN'T BE SAD WHEN YOU READ SCOTT PILGRIM!!!

    I so hope that you find something that takes your mind off of things Ana :( *biggest hugs in the world*

  45. I've had to use the dreaded 'Mark as Read' button a few times this semester due to student teaching and two part time jobs. It's just one of those things...

  46. I found The Uncommon Reader to be delightful. I even said so in my review of it.

  47. Oh, Ana, I am so sorry about your dog. It’s terrible losing a pet – my thoughts are with you. Of your LibraryThing books, I’d say go with Crocodile on the Sandbank. It’s fun, it’s got Egypt in it, the narrator is funny, and there are no sad bits. Plus, if you like it, then lucky you, you already have the second mystery in the series right there to hand! Ballet Shoes is also good for when you are sad, because everything turns out well. Have His Carcase is a comfort book of mine, but there are a few moments when emotions run high between Harriet and Peter; also the mystery is quite complicated, not sure whether that’d be a good thing or a bad one in this case.

    Or if you decide you want to buy something new: The Ordinary Princess is a sweet dear darling of a book, but very short. Sorcery and Cecelia is Regency-era and fantasy and epistolary (and lots of fun). I don’t know how you felt about Saffy’s Angel in the end, but the second one, Indigo’s Star, is probably my favorite of the five. Or as others have noted, L.M. Montgomery is always a solid comfort read choice – for when you are sad, I say go with Jane of Lantern Hill or The Blue Castle.

    Also: Eleanor Estes's The Witch Family, Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game, Ernestine and Frank Gilbreth's Cheaper by the Dozen, and Robin McKinley's Beauty. All books I turn to in times of sadness.

    I am so, so sorry that you lost your dog, and glad that your cat's okay. I’m sending many hugs and good thoughts in your direction!

  48. Jeez, I'm on the end of this thread, so that tells you how my day is going. Ana, there isn't a day that goes by that I am not haunted by the loss of my Lab Meggie, and she went to doggie heaven over five years ago. I felt like I needed grief counseling, I was just devastated. I am just so sorry. Take you time getting through this.

    I was going to suggest Anne of Green Gables as well. Also School of Essential Ingredients, and Guernsey. It is a slippery slope though. Too much happiness might just annoy the hell out of you. Prayers and hugs.

  49. I am so sorry, Nymeth. My thoughts will be with you and I completely understand needing a comfort reading during such a time. Looking at your tbr list...I can suggest the Wodehouse for a light spirited read. For comfort, Miss Read brought alot to me during the holidays while not being near my family for the first time. But if you would like to feel that another knows exactly how much our dogs mean to us...I cannot recommend Anna Quindlen's Good Dog. Stay. It might be a little too soon but this little book brings me much comfort when I am missing all of the dogs that have meant so much to our family over the years.

  50. I'm so sorry, Ana! The first book that come to mind would be Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day - a fairy tale for adults. The Enchanted April might also be a good choice. Take care of yourself...

  51. I'm so sorry about your dog and I hope your kitty continues to do well.

    Others have already recommended Anne of Green Gables and Ballet Shoes, so I thought I'd suggest a manga instead. One of my favorites is a short, four volume series by Matsuri Hino called Merupuri (or Marchen Prince). It's light-hearted and whimsical, and always cheers me up when I'm feeling down.

  52. Ana - I'm so sorry. You are in my thoughts. I've looked through your TBR list and a couple of books jump out at me. Tales from Moominvalley by Jansson, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by McKillip. Have you read McKillip? Also Water by Robin McKinley.

    I thought of The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale and The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Oh, and The Wizard of Earthsea series by Le Guin. Be well and hug Calvin for me.

  53. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I'm not sure I'm a good suggester. I haven't read a lot of those on your TBR. I saw someone mentioned The Princess Bride in the comments, though, and I love that book. And the movie if you have it!

  54. Oh Ana, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. For some reason I always turn to poetry at such times. Anne Morrow Lindbergh suffered such tremendous losses in her life, and wrote the most beautiful poetry that helped her come to terms with those losses. Her poems always brings me solace. I hope you find solace soon in the warm and happy memories of your beloved pet.

  55. Oh, sweetie... you know my heart goes out to you and I'm sending you giant, huge hugs. I know that terrible pain. I hope your kitty is okay. If you *wanted* to talk about it, please know you can send me an email and I will "listen" with open heart. Terri and I are both sending you comforting thoughts. Did you read "Enchanted April" yet? If not, you should DEFINITELY read that. I think you said you have it? It is the sweetest, most charming, comforting book. After my kitty died, I found a lot of comfort in re-reading The Rescuers by Margery Sharp. Very sweet and a little bit of mild adventure, good for sore hearts not yet ready for real adventure. Be sure to get the one with original illustrations by Garth Williams. And lastly, I really enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express... it's not exactly happy-cheerful, but it was very charming and absorbing, and not too taxing. Oh, and for pure charm, The Guernsey Literary Society and Potato Peel Pie.. (whatever that title is...) was surprisingly wonderful and had a very sweet ending. Sending you big, big hugs.

  56. I don't think you want to think about your dog, so I'll just say I'm SO GLAD you found Calvin. Really, really, really glad :-)

    As for a comforting book, I went through your TBR list and I haven't read any of those, so I can't really recommend anything! But Diana Wynne Jones & Patricia McKillip seem like certain wins. Or if you have a Terry Pratchett you're saving... now might be the time to break it out!

    Not to reiterate my pushing of Georgette Heyer, but I find her PERFECT for these occasions. She got one of my best friends through a really, really difficult time. I could mail you one of her books, if you want- just let me know via email if you want to. I'll surprise you :-)

  57. Good vibes and happy feelings sent your way! I am very sorry about your dog : ( : ( I was trying to think of a comforting book, and I've found that the one I turn to most is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. It isn't particularly overflowing with happiness, but it has a great, uplifting ending and a fabulous story. Plus there is luuurve and magic and fighting. Go fantasy novels!

  58. Sending hugs your way and lots of good wishes. I know what that's like and you shouldn't even have to share if you don't want to.

    As for comforting books, Orlando might just help - I've been having so much fun with it. I also loved Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - very fun and Faustian but modern. (:

  59. Am so sorry to hear about that. :(

    Looked through your TBR and nothing jumped out as a comfort read. Looking through the books I've read recently, the one that stands out as a comfort read is Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day - although you've probably already read that?

    Some Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett?

  60. I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. (Hugs)

    I don't know if you've read them before, but I've been reading some Anne Fadiman essays (At Large and At Small) and they often make me smile. Also, The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby recently had me grinning and laughing a lot.

  61. jasper fforde - the big over easy will take your mind off things, its brilliant
    tom robbins - still life with woodpecker or jitterbug perfume

    they wont take away your sadness, but they will help in escaping it for periods of time

  62. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Ana. Sending lots of hugs your way... I think anything fantasy would be good for you now.

  63. I'm so sorry about your dog. I hope you're healing a ittle bit. I see your cat is named Calvin, how about a Calvin and Hobbes comic book collection, which has some fuzziness and some odd cheeriness qualities.

  64. So so sorry....Yes, books can be both comforting and distracting. "Delightful" to me brought to mind Julia Child's My Life in France (which yes, most everyone has read...but loved the excitement that comes through of her learning about a new country and then learning to cook!) and Connie Willis's All Seated on the Ground. Sort of Christmas themed, so extra distracting at this time of year.

  65. Oh Ana, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. We give our hearts to them and it's just devastating when they leave us.
    As for comforting books, I looked through your list but the ones I've read weren't very cheery, to say the least. I skimmed the comments and you've already had some great suggestions. Maybe treat yourself to a Persephone? Sending you some virtual (((((hugs))))). Nat

  66. I am so very sorry. It is heartaching to loose a pet. My comfort reads would be The Last Unicorn, Amy's Eyes or the less-well-known Edge of the Forest, by Agnes Smith. It's very sweet.

  67. I'm so sorry, Nymeth. Sending hugs. Lots of 'em.


  68. :-( So sorry to hear about the loss of your furry family member, Nymeth.

    From your tbr pile, I'd recommend Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I saw the movie and loved it, and we all know the book is always better.

    Personally, my comfort read is the Hitchhiker series. It always manages to cheer me up.

  69. Nymeth, so sorry. Big hugs. What a horrible shock and I feel very bad for you; but I am glad that the second part of the news is good, that Calvin is all right.

    I am going to second Chris' recommendation of Scott Pilgrim. They are *seriously* engaging and fun and funny and joyful but also a little thoughtful, but not in a sad way.

    Also, Ellis Peters has become one of my go-to authors when I need something that makes me feel good -- A Morbid Taste for Bones would be an excellent choice right now. Believe it or not, with a title like that!

    *hugs hugs and more hugs*

  70. I also meant to suggest Calvin and hobbes,
    perfect comfort reading.

  71. To everyone,

    I want to reply to you all with more time, but before I do, I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you. Your kind words have brought me a lot of comfort. And thank you also for the recommendations, but more on that soon. Thank you, truly ♥

  72. I'm so sorry for your loss. :( It's so tough.

    My favourite funny book: Leave it to Psmith, P.G. Wodehouse.


  73. I'll also echo the Ellis Peters suggestion--great for distraction. From your TBR list, I highly recommend Feed by M.T. Anderson.

    Much sympathy.

  74. Oh Nymeth, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dog. I know just how you feel, I lost two of my cats last year and it was just so traumatic and heartbreaking. I don't have any recommendations for you at the moment, but I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Please take care of yourself, and if there is anything at all I can do for you, please e-mail me and let me know.


  75. Oh dear. I am so, so sorry. Anything I can do, just let me know.

    For some reason, I thought of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I'm not certain if it qualifies as comforting, but it's somehow exactly what I thought of.

    Thinking of you.

  76. OH - I am so, so sorry! My heart aches for you as I also know the pain of suddenly losing a most beloved pet.

    I am afraid that I do not have any uplifting book recommendations for you, but I will promise to lift up a prayer.

  77. Like Kate says, I Capture the Castle is a good one. I also checked your TBR.

    For comfort and cheer: Tales from Moomin Valley, definitely. It did the trick for me several years ago, in a very bad place. It has strange depths even for a moomin book. And pictures.

    For totally absorbing escape: Across the Nightingale Floor.

    For escape and humor: Conrad's Fate

    I also remember the Forgotton Beasts of Eld as being very beautiful, but it's been a while.

    I'd be inclined to warn you away from Feed. Great book, but not if you're feeling fragile.

    Bless your heart. I look at my beloved kitty and imagine your pain.

  78. Oh, Nymeth, I'm so sorry for your loss. It is terrible to have a furry family member suddenly gone from your life. I can't think of any "comfort" books that would be new to you, so please accept a huge, sympathetic ((hug)) instead.

  79. By far one of the most delightful, happy, blissful, "I feel like I just went to Italy and fell in love" books is E.M. Forster's _A Room With a View_. Doesn't look like you have it, but it will make you giggle, blush, and sigh with contentment.

  80. Oh Nymeth! I'm so sorry to hear about your dog! :( :( and (hugs)

    I went through your list, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist stood out - I loved that book. Plus it has a strong musical theme, and I know you love music.

    <<<333 I'm really sorry :(

  81. Gosh, I sure wish I could think of some uplifting books...but I don't really read a lot of those, ha!

    I came by because I just reviewed THE ASK AND THE ANSWER, and I thought of you and #teamboycolt.

    If you're interested: http://presentinglenore.blogspot.com/2010/02/book-review-ask-and-answer-by-patrick.html

    I'll also post by Patrick Ness interview later today, so you might want to read that!

    Sending love your way!

  82. I'm so sorry to hear about your news *hugs* I know that I find it almost impossible to read when I'm sad. The only thing that works for me is some light DVDs, or even an audio book. I hope you find something that works for you soon.

    I recently found this website with amusing comic strips: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/facebook_suck

    Perhaps there is something in there to make you smile?

    Thinking of you.

  83. Kathy, thank you so much <3

    Kathleen, many thanks for the kind words. They truly mean a lot.

    Chris: I was thinking just the other day that I haven't read an Anne book in far too long...I think it's time for Anne of Windy Poplars. Off to check out the Valentine posts!

    Zee: Thank you so much <3

    Heidenkind, thank you. This is something animal lovers inevitably go through, I know...but it never gets easier. Thank you also for the suggestions. Mysteries are definitely comforting, so I'll probably pick up one before long.

    Kirsten: Thank you (and Chris) for reminding me of Anne. I think she'd definitely cheer me up.

    Lu: lol...we love them even when they're mean, though :P One of my cats, Mi, is a bit of a sociopath, but I still love him to pieces. You know, I think I'm going to *finally* treat myself to Graceling. It's about time!

    Florinda: I'm so so sorry about Gypsy :( Hugs back to you.

    Alita: I love Shannon Hale, and her books are definitely comforting - thank you for reminding me of her! I haven't read Austenland, nor the 4th Bayern book even though I adore that series. I think now would be a good time.

    GMR: lol...the big virtual hug was VERY much appreciated - as were the suggestions. You're all too kind <3

    Jess: Thank you so much for the suggestions - engaging is as good as happy, really. I just need a book that will make me think of other things.

    Stormfilled: I agree with that conclusion. I've loved many animals over the years, and lost many as well...but it never gets easier.

    Joanne, thank you so much for the kind words and hugs <3

    Amanda: You did help - thank you for being so kind and patient and willing to listen during this past week. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it #luvamanda

    Masha, thank you so much <3 I loved The Ogre Downstairs! I wish I could read it again, but unfortunately I read a library copy while I was studying in the UK. But I think she'd be perfect for this rough period - her books are so full of warmth. And thank you also for the link!

    Jennie: Thank yo so much for the kind words and for the suggestion.

    Meghan, thank you. It really is. I've been meaning to read Guernsey for ages...maybe now's the time.

    Fence: I think I ought to have signed up for the Heyer Classics Tour. But the fact that I haven't doesn't mean I can't read her, of course.

    Bibliolatrist: Oooh, those are some great suggestions - comforting books indeed. Some (Little Women and The Secret Garden) ) read recently, but the others I could very well revisit.

    Claire, thank you so much. Calvin's safe return was a HUGE relief. I was thinking of saving Lady Rose for Persephone Week, but then again, I have two others I could read then. And The Enchanted April is calling my name; I can feel it. Congratulations on the new blog, btw! I love it :D

    Andrea, thank you so much.

    Steph, thank you so much. I Capture the Castle is indeed perfect, but I first read it shortly after a friend passed away, so I worry that if I revisit it again now, it will become too associated with grief in my mind...probably a silly concern, but I can't help it. I was thinking of reading The Blue Castle soon anyway, though, so I think I'll just bump it up the list. Also, I LOVED The Remains of the Day, so I'll definitely drop by to read your thoughts on it!

    Deslily, thank you so much *hugs back* And Chris never finished? :P Well, he also didn't finish my all-time favourite book, Middlesex, so I'll just not take his word for it ;)

    Mee: I could do with some more Bone...maybe it's time to treat myself to Rose?

  84. Dreamybee, thank you so much for the kind words. I couldn't even tell anyone he was gone for 3-4 days, because it was like...the moment people told me they were sorry, it was final...it meant he was really dead. Which sounds silly, I know, but I couldn't help thinking it. What happened was that my backyard fence collapsed while I was at work, and they (3 dogs and 4 cats) ALL ran off. I live in a somewhat rural area, but there's a busy road not too far off. Sadly, Zacarias wandered that way and was hit by a car. He was only one and a half, almost still a puppy, so the suddenness of it has me in shock. And there's also the fact that it could have also happened to any of the others...for a while, I thought it might have. This happened on Tuesday of last week, and by Wednesday, the day we found the body, they were all back but Calvin, who remained missing until Saturday. Gah...it was a week to forget. Thank you again for the sympathy, and also for the recommendation. It might be too difficult a book for me right now, but I will definitely keep it in mind.

    Jason: Comforting is not necessarily the same as light and happy, I know. To the Lighthouse is on my "soon, very soon" list. I finished Orland and I'm about ready to declare myself cured of my Woolfphobia :P

    Biblio Reader: Excellent suggestions, thank you! I can see how Levine would be perfect...Ella Enchanted made me so very happy.

    Priscilla: It is, isn't it? :( Thank you so much.

    Heather: Thank you so much. It really was very sudden - and as I was telling Dreamybee, he was only one and a half. You know, I've had Just Listen on my night stand for ages because I keep mean to get to it soon. I think it's time for "soon" to become "now".

    Christy, I've seen great review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    Jill, thank you so much. That tends to happen to me as well :\

    Amanda, thank you so much for the suggestion.

    Teresa: It really is :\ Thank you for the suggestion - so many people have mentioned The Enchanted April that I cannot say no!

    Nan, thank you so much.

    Cath, thank you! I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying Daddy-Long-Legs. If it weren't too soon I'd read it again.

    Emidy, thank you so much for the kind words and suggestion. I definitely need a book that will take my mind off things.

    Melody, thank you so much *hugs back*

    Mrs B, thank you. I think I'll read Psmith Journalist soon...I'd been meaning to anyhow.

    Fyrefly: Thank you so much! I think I'll read both Nick & Norah and the Connie Willis soon. I recently finished Three Men in a Boat, actually, so the timing would be right. I haven't read any Wrede yet, but I'll definitely keep those in mind.

    Debi, you've helped SO much already. Seriously. So don't you dare say sorry!

    CJ: It really is. So sorry about your golden boy :( As for GR, the problem is that I'm a completist, so I worry that if I open it I'll want to get to EVERY post, and feel guilty for commenting on some but not others. I overthink things, I know :P

    Stephanie: Thank you so much *hugs*

  85. I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I don't have any suggestions, but you'll be in my prayers.

  86. Oh Nymeth, I'm so sorry for the loss of your pet! Sending you big hugs.

    I saw someone mention Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day... I can't remember if you've read that but it's so sweet. Also, The Enchanted April is a lovely book. and how about The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery...

    And, most importantly right now, just take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and know that a lot of us are thinking of you!

  87. *hugs* So sorry about your loss.

    I'm going to suggest the first two short stories of Peter Beagle's We Never Talk about My Brother. Those two stories are up there with anything by Margo Lanagan. Seriously.

    Have you ever read The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac? It's a non-fiction book about reading. I think you'll really enjoy it.

  88. Oh dear, I'm so sorry Nymeth. I can only imagine how hard it would be.

    I went through your TBR pile and I guess you could do with something light.

    How about Godmother? It's a fairy tale after all.

  89. Oh No Ana, it's horrible. I remember you posting about your new puppy and how adorable he was. I can imagine how devastated you are at this time, and you have all the rights. If you have problems concentrating reading, don't feel too pressured, you need time to mourn. But I also know that you'd love to take your mind off your grief. I find movies sometimes are easier to fall into. Maybe Lord of the Rings, or Labyrinth, or any of your old favourites. Or even a good TV series. For me Buffy works like a charm.
    Hope you'll find something to make you feel a tiny bit better, even for just one hour.
    lots of love and gazillion of hugs.

  90. I'm so sorry. How terrible to come home and not know where everybody is or if they're OK. I know what you mean about telling people-it's not silly at all. We had to put Buster down on Tuesday, and I want to let people know, but I feel bad calling them up and then blubbering uncontrollably into the phone while they try to figure out who is on the other end. It's too hard to even say, "Hi," without falling apart. I did manage to get a post up-I figured I might as well do it now while I'm crying all the time anyway...

    Hang in there. And I'll hang in there, and we'll just hang in there together and eventually this will stop sucking. Right?

    If the books don't do it for you, I think now is a good time to pick up some project that you've been meaning to do and have been putting off because it's tedious and time-consuming, like reorganizing closets or filing cabinets. I did that for a good portion of today, and that helped keep my mind occupied.

  91. So sorry to hear about your puppy, Nymeth :( Big hugs and take care. I second Vasilly's suggestion about Pennac's The Rights of the Reader.

  92. Chris: Oooh...I think all of those would do me good. I actually noticed the other day that there are Scott Pilgrim omnibuses, which would make acquiring them much more affordable. *hugs back*

    Amanda: Sometimes it really has to be done...

    J.T. Oldfield: I really loved The Uncommon Reader too. I read it only a year ago, but it might not be too soon to revisit it. And it's such a quick read too.

    Jenny: I've been craving a mystery, actually, and hesitating between Peters and Sayers...Crocodile in the Sandbank sounds like it would be more cheerful, so I'll probably go with that. Also, I loved Saffy's Angel (can't wait to post about it!) and I'll definitely need to get my hands on the rest of the series soon. It was such a kind book. Thank you so much for the kind words, good thoughts and recommendations <3 On the bright side, for once I'm glad we still have to wait a couple of months for Monsters of Men. I don't think I could handle The Scene We Know Is Coming right now.

    Sandy: I'm so sorry about your Maggie :( *hugs* It's really incredibly hard. After so many of you suggested her, I decided to revisit Anne Shirley, and already she's cheering me up some :)

    Book Psmith: Thank you so much for the kind words and suggestions. I'll be getting to Wodehouse before long for sure. I don't think I can read anything animal-related for a while, but I'm sure that someday in the future, when the pain is less raw, Good Dog will bring me much comfort.

    JoAnn: I really ought to treat myself to a Persephone...I'm sure that would cheer me up. And thank you so much.

    Gricel: That's an excellent idea - I haven't read any Manga in far too long. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    Gavin: I haven't read any McKillip yet, though I've been meaning to for ages. Somehow I had the idea that The Forgotten Beasts of Eld was sad, but I'm hard to hear that's not the case. Thank you so much for the recommendations, Gavin.

    Rebecca: I do have both the book and the DVD - perhaps it's time to rewatch it.

    Robin, thank you so much. Poetry is a lovely idea, especially as it's something I can read for a little bit and then put aside. I have two Mary Oliver collections calling my name...

    Daphne, thank you so so much *hugs* Calvin is fortunately just fine. I checked for injuries and nothing, and he didn't even seemed to have lost any weight...I think he was probably fed by a neighbour for those five days. I think I'll read The Enchanted April very soon, and will also keep all the others in mind. Thank you so so much.

    Aarti, I wish I had a Terry Pratchett I was saving! But sadly, no. I can always revisit an old favourite, though, and also count it for the flashback challenge. As for your offer, you're too kind! But I live so far away and don't want to burden you with overseas shipping. You know, Amy offered to do the same so that I could the Classics Tour...this says both that book bloggers are the NICEST PEOPLE EVER and that the world really wants me to read Heyer :P

    She: lol, luuurve and magic and fighting sound about perfect. Thank you so much.

    Lena: I finished Orlando yesterday and you were SO right. I had a ton of fun with it. Thank you for the nudge! So looking forward to the discussion tomorrow.

    anothercookiecrumbles: Thank you so much. I still haven't read Miss Pettigrew! It's almost everybody's first Persephone, but I didn't start there. As for Gaiman and Pratchett....I think it's time I re-read Good Omens.

    Carrie, many thanks I think a book on books would cheer me up...they always do. I love Hornby and perhaps I should revisit him.

    I'm so not a blogger: That sounds exactly like what I need...and I've been meaning to try Fforde for ages.

    Alice, thank you so much *hugs*

  93. Jodie: I did name him after Calvin & Hobbes, which I haven't revisited in ages. Thank you so much for the suggestion - it's an excellent idea!

    Becker: I actually haven't read Child yet! Nor Connie Willis. Thank you so much for the recommendations.

    tanabata, thank you so so much. I think I WILL treat myself to a Persephone. It'd cheer me up for sure.

    Jeane, thank you so much for the kind words and recommendations.

    Lezlie, thank you <3

    Amanda: OOoh..I should re-read Hitchhiker's! Douglas Adams always makes me happy, and I haven't read him in far too long.

    Kiirstin: Thank you so so much. lol, the title definitely doesn't sound comforting, but I'll believe you :P I know that mysteries can do the trick wonderfully.

    Colleen: Thank you <3 I'll definitely get to Wodehouse soon!

    Jeanne: Many thanks. I've been dying to read Feed for ages, but I worry a little bit about it being too dark right now.

    Zibilee: Thank you so much, and I'm so so sorry for your loss as well :( The wounds stay open for a very long time, don't they? *hugs*

    Kate: Thank you. I Capture the Castle *is* perfect, but I used it to rescue me from grief once before and worry about it getting too connected with this emotional state, you know?

    Molly, thank you so much for your kind words.

    Trapunto, thank you for the kind words and suggestions. So many votes for Moomin! How can I say no? I feel like I could read nothing but comforting books for a month thanks to you guys. Book bloggers are the best.

    ds: *hugs* thank you so much. The kind words are very much appreciate.

    Shay: I've been meaning to read that for such a long time! I adored Howards End.

    Maree, thank you so much! Nick and Norah is a wonderful suggestion. I do love me some music.

    Lenore, thank you <3 Loved your review and interview. As I was telling Jenny earlier, at least for once I'm glad Monsters of Men won't be out for a few months...I couldn't handle Angharrad's death scene right now :S

    Jackie, thank you so much. And thank you for the link! Those did make me smile :)

    Carol, thank you so much.

    Iliana: I plan to read both The Enchanted April and The Blue Castle soon, and am very much tempted to treat myself to a Persephone. Thank you so much for the suggestions and kind words!

    Vasilly, thank you so much. Up there with Margo Lanagan?! I have no idea why I haven't read that collection yet.

    Violet: Thank you so so much. I heard Godmother has a sad ending, which makes me hesitate.

    Valentina: Thank you <3 It seems like it was only yesterday that I was posting about him all excited :( Sigh. Your suggestions are great - I have a feeling I'll be having a DVD marathon this long weekend.

    Dreamybee: SO sorry about Buster :( It HAS to get easier with time, right? But probably not for a while yet. You know, your suggestion is wonderful...I have some craft projects I've been meaning to get to, and now might just be the time.

    Alessandra, thank you so much. I love books about reading, so I'll definitely keep The Rights of th Reader in mind.

  94. So sorry to hear of your loss and I'm so relieved that Calvin is safe home. Thinking of you.

    I won't recommend anything else as you have already had so many wonderful suggestions. Though I will second Jasper Fforde for some hilarious escapism that will put a smile on your face!

  95. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It is such a devastating thing to lose a pet.

    I haven't read through all of the comments, but one of my favorite books for escapism is Outlander (and all of the rest of the books in the series). I don't read popular romances much, but this time-travel/historical fiction/romance novel is a very nice distraction and the writing is a cut above regular romance novels.

  96. Dear Ana,

    It's such a grievous thing to lose one of our little ones...here Nancy/Bookfool lost her Spooky, and now your dear dog.

    The books which offer me the most comfort (besides the Bible, personally) are children's books. They have such a clear, simple vision, and I can't help but be comforted when I immerse myself with Winnie The Pooh, Narnia, or E.B. White.

    I know you'll find something which will offer you just the right encouragement, or someone who will say just the right words.

  97. Oh Anna, I am so so sorry, I can immagine what you must feel, all I have to do is look at Oliver...I hope he stays healthy for many more years.


  98. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats, and I know how much this must hurt.

    My pick from your TBR list would be Just Listen.

    I'll be thinking of you.

  99. Mariel, Alyce, Belleza, Sylvie, Kelly and Naida - thank you SO much. Your kind words and good thoughts are very much appreciated.

  100. I'm really sorry for your loss, Nymeth. I really know how it is to lose a beloved pet. No one else knows except my family, because I haven't told anyone else, but I lost my cat 2 weeks before giving birth to my daughter back in November. I was so sad, and I still am because she was my first and only pet...So I know how you must feel! I hope you're doing better! Take care! I missed you too!

  101. I remember losing mine, and I have never gotten over it. But we have a new sweetheart now, which I adore...

    I am sure, it will take time to heal.. because small everyday things will remind you of your doggy! But hang in there.. he is there in Doggy Heaven and telling you to be happy and not feel sad for him .. And that he had a good and fortunate life with you... and that he will be with you through out.. :)

    Take care girlie!

    I am sorry I can't think of any recommendations.. I just remembered Tuffy.. when u pray for your baby, ask him to look for Tuffy too :) They sure can become friends :)

  102. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. My dog was poorly recently and although my parents were looking after him, I provided him with some entertainment when I visited and he seems to be pulling through. A pet isn't just a pet but is part of your family. To cheer you up, how about a dose of Terry Pratchett? He always cheers me up.

  103. Although this is much belated I am terribly, terribly sorry about the loss of your dog. I've only had to go through that once and am not anxious to go through it again. I wish you all the comfort and peace I can squeeze through this electronic connection.

  104. Andreea, Veens, Chasingbwa and Carl, thank you so much for the kind words. I truly appreciate them.

  105. Oh, no! I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. What a loss! And sorry for the late comment - I'm still catching up on blogs from being away. Big, big hugs. You aleady know this, but I'd send you to your favorite Terry Pratchett novel, of course.

  106. Hello Ana,

    First, I am so sorry to hear about your dog and do hope Calvin is ok. Having 3 dogs and 1 cat, I can really sympathise. Hope you're holding on. I also agree that re-reading a book you love could help and be a comfort. If you want to try something else:
    * 'Miss Pettigrew lives for a day' by Winifred Watson (light and uplifting read)
    * Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician trilogy (fantasy - lost 2 nights of sleep reading these)
    * 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen (after P&P, this is my favourite)
    * 'Anubis Gates' by Tim Powers (can't remember how many times I've read this one)
    * 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' by Jean M. Auel (set in pre-historical times)
    * Paulo Coelho - his Portuguese prose is very poetical and uplifting

    Secondly, I just found your blog by 'accident' (surfing while I really should be finishing my essay - for a second degree too, in Lit) and wanted to let you know how great it is! I am also a complete book worm with pretty much the same taste as you. Can't believe it. I'll be coming back once the dreaded paper is finally finished and read all your posts.

    All the best


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.