A little while ago I came across a a question posed on social media about which books had helped in times of trouble and difficulty. Some answers were just the title of book, but some added comments. Some of the choices seemed obvious, spiritual, religious or self-help books, other less so.
Here is a selection of some of the comments which were made, explaining the reason for their choice of book:
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams: a good laugh can buoy you up from some very dark places.
- It – Stephen King: knowing others also see It making me feel better
- The Life Of Pi – Yann Martel: Read it years ago, in my mid-20s – encouraged me to follow my dreams.
- Peace From Broken Pieces – Iyanla Vanzant: it taught me what pathology meant and started my new birth, forever grateful
- Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace: (i) it once helped fill hours and hours that would have otherwise been devoted to really bad thoughts; (ii) it gave me something to focus on and get lost in when I lost my job.
- David Copperfield – Charles Dickens: Life was hard, working three jobs, going to university full time, and this book perfectly mirrored how I was feeling.
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume: I give it to my friends when they become twelve.
- Harmless Like You – Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: (I read it) in times of identity crisis and being scared to grow up
I have only read ‘It’ and ‘David Copperfield’ and although I enjoyed both of them (in very different ways) I’m not sure i would turn to either in times of stress… however, I guess not many people would understand my choice of book to escape into – ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy…’ by John le Carré.