Rescue Reads

What have been your rescue reads? These are books that helped you through a difficult time. As a Christian, the Bible is my ultimate rescue read, but I’d like today’s prompt to focus on fiction. What works of fiction rescued you?

Shortly after I was married, moved to a new city, and began looking for a new job, I was dealing with severe anxiety. The funny, domestic stories of Erma Bombeck were able to lift my mind out of its anxious rut and make me smile or laugh. When I’m depressed, I love to lose myself in the humor stories of P.G. Wodehouse. In his unique, wacky world, a character’s biggest worry is getting jailed thirty days for stealing a police man’s helmet or battling the relatives of the girl he loves because they think he doesn’t have enough money. And in P.G. Wodehouse stories, love always triumphs over snobs, cads, and obstructive aunts and guardians.

So what fiction has been your rescue reads?

What Books Did You Fall in Love With the Second Time Around?

What books did you fall in love with second time around? I have read some books that I couldn’t stand, and then after the passage of time, I’ve given them a second chance and fell in love with them.

When I was twenty, I was working my way through classic mysteries. I’d already read Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Nero Wolfe, so I decided to try the Father Brown short stories. And I hated them. They seemed so unrealistic, and worse, weren’t fair play mysteries. In most of the stories, Father Brown solves the mystery because of a special insight that the reader had no opportunity to learn.

Twenty years later, I tried them again, although I don’t remember why. And I fell in love with them. I realized that not all mysteries have to follow the fair play formula. The Father Brown stories are more like morality plays or fairy tales for adults with elements of mystery rather than realistic crime stories.

At forty, I could appreciate G.K. Chesterton’s writing better. At his best, Mr Chesterton’s prose has a bounce and rhythm that makes it a breeze to read. I would love to be able to write that well some day.

Let me hear from you. What books did you fall in love with the second time around, maybe after a year or a decade or two had past?

For more bookish questions, click here.

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