Long-time readers of this blog may know that I have a secret obsession with the daytime soap General Hospital. One of the many, many characters I love is Molly, a preteen bookworm. Molly often references books on the show but her taste generally runs towards classic love stories like the works of Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters. So I was excited when on yesterday's episode Molly's reading choices featured some more modern literature.
For those who may have missed the show, Molly’s older sister Sam is in the hospital. (As will happen on soap operas, Sam survived a car bomb, but she is now suffering from temporary deafness.) While Sam recuperates, Molly brings three books for her sister to read: the latest Sookie Stackhouse, the first in the Outlander series, and Laura Lippman’s series starter.
While I applaud Molly’s thoughtfulness (and her taste in authors), I wasn't so sure about her choice of 'sick bed' reading material. I have three rules that I like to follow when picking out books for a sick friend:
#1 - No books with a realistic setting and/or premise. Someone dealing with an illness has enough reality to handle. They don’t need more of this — they need an escape.
#2 – Avoid paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction or other stories that have a lot of worldbuilding. These stories may be too complex and difficult to jump in and out of when it is time to put the book on pause to eat or sleep.
#3 - Stay away from the mysteries and thrillers — women in peril and murder can be upsetting.
So what are my go-to books? Here are three I’ve used before with great success:
I’m assuming the theme here is clear, I like to choose happy historicals that make me — and hopefully, my friend — smile.
Do you have any books you like to spread around when people are down? Let me know in the comments.