I am sick.
Scratchy throat, pounding head, blocked ears, clogged nose, horrible cough. The works.
The only thing to do is stay at home in bed, with my hot water bottle, a cup of tea, and a good book. Of course.
So here is my definitive list of books to read while sick.
The Silent History – Eli Horowitz
A generation of children who cannot communicate. They can’t speak, read, write – zilch. Will make your illness feel trivial.
Note: not The Secret History, which you need to be in full intellectual health to appreciate.
The Wasteland – T.S. Eliot
There is no better time to plough through the enormity that is The Wasteland than when you have too much time on your hands.
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket – John Boyne
The day Barnaby is born his normal family’s life is turned upside-down. Because Barnaby can float. They try to fix him, they see it is an illness – we all know they need to just let him do his thing! If only your ailment was as cool as his.
The Architecture of Happiness – Alain de Botton
As you are bed ridden and unable to go anywhere, vicariously visit all the beautiful buildings de Botton takes you though in his marvelous book.
The Lord of The Rings – J.R.R Tolkien
If you are sick for a long time, this is the one for you.
The Age of Magic – Ben Okri
“One of the benefits of illness: giving people time to catch up with themselves, to arrive at where they are in life’s fast-moving story.” The magical-realism of this novel will make you wonder what you read and what you dreamt in your drug-induced fitful sleeps.
Also, there is a character called Mistletoe. How can that not make you smile!
Artwork by Hope Gangloff.