Help–need books

I’m trapped in the house with feverish people. Feverish is better than the other possibilities. Zombies, for example. Or vampires. Or exceptionally grumpy folks.

Still, time is ticking by slowly. Lots of napping, lots of quiet. And me, stuck without anything good to read.

That’s not totally true. I have lots of good books here, but nothing new. It used to be that I’d reread Stephen King’s The Stand whenever I was sick, and then watch The Thing. I found it comforting (I’m not dying of an lethal virus! I don’t have aliens eating their way out of me!).

Ever since the great book purge we undertook a few years ago, I haven’t been able to find The Stand. It’s also not really what I’m in the mood for. Jon just finished reading a book about the influenza epidemic of 1918. Nope, that one’s not right either. No flu for now.

Help me out. Tell me what you’re reading, what you’ve read, what you love so much you almost want to tattoo it on your wrist. I’m making a library list, and I could use some suggestions.


  1. Book recommendations? Oh, can do.
    Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
    Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
    The Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
    American Gods or The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    Anything written by Nancy Kress. Honest, anything!

    Hope your family is back to health and happiness soon (probably about the time your books get delivered, right?)

  2. “Just Gone” by William Kowalski is a sic-fi/fantasy novella about a nun who runs a domestic violence shelter who meets a kid named Jamal. Jamal is convinced there’s a supernatural creature called Jacky Wacky who protects abused/homeless kids, and the more the nun hears about him the more she wonders if there’s any truth to them.

    I don’t know how much nonfiction you read, but I also finished “The End of the Suburbs” by Leigh Gallagher recently. It’s a fascinating look at how the idea of the suburbs came into existence as well as why most of them are bound to vanish soon.

    I hope everyone in your household gets better soon!

    • Thanks so much, Lydia! “Just Gone” sounds exactly like something I’d like. My nonfiction reading is much more erratic, but I know a couple of people in my family who would be interested in “The End of the Suburbs.”

  3. Anything and everything by Ursula LeGuin. I could read and re-read any or all of her books. Also, as weird as it might sound…Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut is one of my bestest faves. Finally, I will never forget being in 5th grade and reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in a single afternoon. It is still a good read more than 42 years later…

    How’s that? Have a great evening, and hope you get to feeling better.


    Sent from my iPad


  4. Here are some of my recent reads. Although they come short of meeting the “tattoo criteria”, I found them enjoyable:

    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Speaking of sick… Germs are everywhere when a woman travels back to 14th century England, and the only ones who can retrieve her start getting deathly ill. You have to constantly remind yourself that it was written before smart phones. Otherwise quite good!

    The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer. Wherein Persephone ventures to the Underworld voluntarily and Hades turns out to be a woman, Zeus is evil, and the dead are revolting. You can actually find this for free online, (but I was a good citizen and paid). Stale, stifling mood, but in the best possible way.

    • I’ve heard of Doomsday Book and meant to stick it on my list a while back, but promptly forgot. I’m clearly drawn to plague and disaster, so it’s likely my thing. And The Dark Wife sounds perfect–I’ve always loved Greek myth, and Persephone/Hades in particular. Thanks so much!

  5. Melissa @ Swamp of Boredom

    March 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (doubt I spelled that right) set during the Chechyan wars of 94-94 and 2004/2005, about a man who hides a girl in a hospital run by two women and guarded by a one armed veteran. Okay, that might be the shittiest summary I’ve ever given, but I’m too lazy to search for it online and copy and paste the real one. The novel goes back and forth in time and is one of those amazingly written books that I hope to one day be able to write myself.

    • Ha! My summaries tend to be “So, there were people and then some things happened, you know?” I’m great at matching books and people, lousy at telling them why they should read something.

      I haven’t heard of that book, but I looked it up and it sounds great! (Not that your summary was bad or anything. :-)) Thanks so much, Melissa!

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