Uplifting Reading for Shut-Ins!
Posted 12 June 2003 - 09:39 PM
here's the story:
my mother, who is a voracious reader, has simultaneously (last year), had a stroke and moved house - far from her huge circle of literate, film-loving, art&crafty-type, mostly-female friends from academia.
because the stroke co-incided with the move, she had no opportunity to make a new circle of friends. so, limited by her current immobility, she spends most of her time at home alone, reading. ....often several books a day...
of course, this means she is getting through the good stuff pretty fast. and she doesn't want to spend a fortune on NEW books, nor to acquire more 'baggage' - having just given away all her work-related books, on her retirement.
so: books that are old enough to be in the library system would be good, but new titles are welcome, too.
i know this is a tough one, because anyone who reads that much is quite likely to have read whatever you recommend - but, putting that to one side for a moment -
what books can you recommend that are uplifting positive reads?
that make you appreciate life, and feel happy to be here (even if you are temporarily incapacitated, and having to struggle for tiny improvements in walking and feeding yourself...). please - i don't mean helen keller/'invalid' books - nor necessarily books about recovery, or triumph over difficulty -
just feel good books...?
Posted 12 June 2003 - 09:44 PM
NO mills & boon, murder mysteries, crime or war novels, ...nothing about the holocaust......no bad language, drugs, corruption, organised religion, rape, pedophilia or mayhem, and nothing about domestic violence.
too hard? ;)
Guest_twas a delight_*
Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:55 AM
Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:32 AM
Both are novels about women who have amazing friendships and get thorugh tough times... I love them, they made me feel good. The characterisation is very good, so you really believe you are reading about real people.
Your criteria are quite tough. Are they yours or your mother's?;)
Posted 13 June 2003 - 04:47 AM
*MY* criteria would be : only ballet books, & NO fiction at all !!
also of course, i do take her shopping for books - so i see, out of the books i pass to her, what she actually looks at, and what she rejects out-of-hand!
i think she has read 'ya-ya sisterhood' .
i will take a note of the others. thanks!
Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:37 AM
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is also fascinating. The title character goes through much tribulation but triumphs in the end.
Posted 13 June 2003 - 06:15 AM
I've just finished Sylvia Townsend Warner's "Lolly Willowes", and found it extremely well written, very witty and also quite poetic. The main character is an English women who, in the 1920s, after spending two decades with boring, conventional family of her brother in London, decides to go back to the countryside (where she was born and raised) and settles alone in a small village.
Also, I don't know if it has been translated into English, but I love Kenji Miyazawa's books of short stories; they are very poetic and uplifting. The main characters often are animals or natual elements (flowers, mountains...) If you've seen some Japanese cartoons by Hayao Miyazaki or Iseo Takahata, there are some similarities in the atmosphere.
Posted 13 June 2003 - 07:42 AM
Posted 13 June 2003 - 07:47 AM
Posted 13 June 2003 - 09:25 AM
I also recommend "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," which I realize almost everyone has read, because it's one of the few books I know of that seems to please everyone, no matter what their usual tastes or the level of their brow.
I'd suggest "The Joy Luck Club" if Ari hadn't already. I would add Bette Bao Lord's "Spring Moon."
Posted 13 June 2003 - 10:45 AM
Posted 13 June 2003 - 10:58 AM
Some people find mysteries uplifting, and, if so, there's Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout and the Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie.
Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:31 PM
Both of us enjoyed Gladys Taber's books. There are at least a couple Stillmeadow books and one about Cape Cod, as I recall. In fact, my mom gave those books to me when I was going through a rough time emotionally and was looking for good prose but nothing heavy.
Older books that fit your mother's definition (although being a voracious reader, she may have read them already) are Trollope's Barchester Chronicles . There's a good bunch of them. He had such perception when it came to people.
I also would highly recommend Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals if she hasn't already read them. L'Engle's prose is peaceful and provocative at the same time. There are 4 books in the series but I like Circle of Quiet ,Two Part Invention , and The Summer of the Great Grandmother . The fourth book, The Irrational Season , doesn't appeal to me because it's primarily about her relationship to God.
There's also a nice autobiographical book called Letters of a Woman Homesteader that I recall my mom and I liked equally. I really enjoyed another autobiography called Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. It chronicled her grandmother's, mother's, and her own life in China throughout the 20th century. Riveting stories about living under all the upheavals in China during that period, but ultimately a book full of hope.
Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:39 PM
His biography is excellent: Surprised by Joy
There is the seven volume The Chronicles of Narnia, a children's tale for adults. There was a new Australian edition brought out last year, so it may well be in libraries. Details of that edition are here:
Also The Screwtape Letters, in which an apprentice devil keeps failing to tempt people into Hell. Its attitudes are closer to the nineteenth century than the twenty-first, so it may not be appropriate.
Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:51 PM
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