writing

Books Are The Best Medicine

I always know when I’m really ill – because I can’t read. That’s a sure sign that it’s time to curl up under the covers, and that’s what happened this weekend, which is why this post is a bit late! Reading has always been my go-to comfort thing, and when I can’t read I feel cross and stressed. However, when I’m feeling able to pick up a book again in the ‘convalescent’ phase, I generally turn to re-reading old favourites. There’s something about these particular books which feeds and nourishes something in my soul, and helps the healing process, so I thought I’d share a few with you (there are more, but if I tell you all of them, we’ll be here for days!).

First comes Robin McKinley’s BEAUTY and ROSE DAUGHTER. They’re both retellings of Beauty and the Beast, and I love them both for the richness of the writing and also for the miraculous alchemy that is a writer’s brain telling the same story in two completely different ways.

Second comes Georgette Heyer. I can pick up almost any Heyer and be transported. I don’t mean only to the Regency period, to feisty heroines and heroes in buckskin breeches – but also to the long, hot summers of being a teenager, with the smell of freshly cut grass and the slow buzz of bees in my ears.

Third comes Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula le Guin – Chrestomanci fascinates me, and Earthsea transports me.

Last, but not least is Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS. I’ve been re-reading it every year since I was about twelve. Even though every word and phrase is familiar, I still feel shivers down my spine whenever I read: Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne…

Books are the best medicine for me – are they for you? I’d love to know what you re-read and why!

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