In Which I Cope With Life by Buying Books


Some people have practical reactions to stress. They go for a run. They clean their house. They garden. I, however, buy books. Actually, I buy books and eat sweets. My friends and family have been providing a steady stream of sweet treats since my husband was injured. In the last two weeks, we have been given multiple boxes of chocolate, lots of cookies, lemon bars, apple pie, flourless chocolate cake, carrot cake, and chocolate-covered fruit. Maybe I should go for a run instead of sitting on my couch and ordering more books. Maybe tomorrow...

In the meantime, I have been doing an excellent job comforting myself with books as you can see from the photo above. I have a few more ordered that have not shown up yet. I know it isn't particularly easy to see the titles in the photo but the weather is not cooperating for photos and, to be honest, I just gave up. I'll list them for anyone interested.

A Kind of Magic by Edna Ferber. This is the second volume of her autobiography. I read the first volume a month or so ago.

Darkness Falls From the Air by Nigel Balchin. I listened to a Backlisted podcast about this and the enthusiasm was so contagious I immediately bought it. I think the episode was from a while ago but I just got around to listening to it. Books set during WWII are definitely my thing.

A Woman's War by Frances Donaldson. The diaries of a woman during WWII. Of course I bought it.

A Soldier's Letters by Jack Donaldson. This is a very slim volume but it is the letters of Frances Donaldson's husband. It seemed necessary.

Pastoral by Nevil Shute. I read A Town Like Alice earlier this year and loved it. I  have gone on to read a few other books by Shute and this is up next.

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley. I read The Boat by Hartley a while ago and enjoyed it. This is a book that everyone seems to know about but somehow I never heard of it. I am making up for lost time.

What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan. Because if you are stressed and tired then obviously the only thing to do is read Jane Austen. Which I did. I just finished rereading Northanger Abbey for the five millionth time. When you have done that the next step is to buy a book about Jane Austen. If that doesn't help with stress then I don't know what will.

The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism by Lynne Olson. I read Citizens of London by Olson recently and found it fascinating. I wanted to read more about Edward Murrow and the other journalist who became famous for their coverage of WWII.

An Open Book by Michael Dirda. I have loved everything I have read by Dirda. His bookish enthusiasm is a joy and a pleasure.

That is it. For now. My husband is doing better but his recovery is going to take a while. I see more stress--and more book purchases--in my future.


7 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the mention of back-listed - I had not heard of it (cannot believe I did not know about it) and so happy to have found. My best thoughts to your husband's recovery. I enjoy your blog.
    Bronwen

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you enjoy Backlisted. Their enthusiasm for books is so much fun to listen to.

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  2. I've only read Pastoral from that haul and as I recall I enjoyed it. Your other books all sound very interesting though. Thanks for the link to Backlisted. I'm exactly like you, it's amazing how much better a piece of chocolate makes me feel in times of stress. I'm so glad your husband is continuing to improve.

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    1. Chocolate is an appropriate solution for almost all of life's ills. I just have been eating too much of it lately!

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  3. I'm sure you'll enjoy The Go-Between, and anything from Nevil Shute is worth reading. I hope that, in addition to the ordering itself, the reading of these books helps you deal with your life. Hugs!

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    1. I hear such good things about The Go-Between. Books are always a good source of stress relief. I actually have been doing a lot of rereading lately but maybe it is time to move on to some of the many books I have purchased recently.

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  4. Sounds like a good stress buster to me (unless you are desperately short on shelf space, which leads to a different kind of stress altogether)! You have some wonderful books here. I've read the Shute (whatever ails you, a Shute book is a good remedy. Much like Georgette Heyer) and the Mullan, which is very entertaining. And I love everything I've ever read by Lynne Olson and Michael Dirda so am sure those will be great, too. Happy reading and good luck to both you and your husband during his recovery.

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