When trying to come up with ideas for topics, this one popped into my mind:
What would you read to an adult friend who was ill?
I don’t believe any one book or story popped into my mind at the time.
Almost everyone else brought up judging the taste and sex of the sick person, well, of course those need to be taken into account, but I know that all of us know a lot of books. I was hoping this would be a change of pace, but it seemed to have become a chore.
I would think that soothing, uplifting and possibly funny works would be good ideas, depending on the person, and the degree of their health. The patient wouldn’t have to be incapable of reading for themselves for this to be beneficial. I think some give and take, opinions voiced, just social interaction during a long recovery might be nice and take the person’s mind off of what has gone wrong…and what could.
Several of us came up with classic children’s stories; I would add some new, amusing ones, some of which I have mentioned a week or so ago, to catch them off-guard:
Click, Clack, Cows Who Type,
Dear Mrs. LaRue, and others.
In that vein I might also go for Tomie DePaola’s books, especially his autobiographical ones.
C. S. Lewis’ short stories would be good, or his less familiar stories, such as The Magician’s Nephew, (how Narnia began).
If the person was feeling stronger, I would go for chapter books. Patty mentioned Harry Potter. If the friend only knew the movies, there is so much more in the books that they could get out of them.
Then we have YA books. A female friend might hear the Ghost Girl Trilogy, which is about overcoming pettiness and becoming better; anyone might get the first of the Percy Jackson series and enjoy them.
If we read the best of the children’s books or the person was stronger or simply not so inclined, The Puzzle Lady books have some mystery and are thoroughly amusing. They never lost their edge, unlike so many other series.
Most of the books by Liane Moriarty are fantastic and all of them are about secrets coming to light and characters becoming better people, and it is amazing how she ties all of her characters together. (I was not as fond of her latest, Nine Perfect Strangers; I would pick What Alice Forgot if I could only choose one, The Hypnotist’s Love Story for a second, The Last Anniversary for another.)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series would be good for either sex, depending on the person’s sense of humor. Despite Doug Adam’s insistence that he is an atheist, I find spirituality in them, meaning of life, spiritual development and just doing the right thing to be a common thread throughout.
I might choose several, but not all, of Cecelia Ahern’s works, especially Rosie Dunne, (Where the Rainbow Ends), If You Could See Me Now and There’s No Place Like Here. Rosie Dunne would be liked more by women I would think, but the other two, especially No Place, would be liked by men.
And we can hope that the friend would be better after just a chapter book or two, instead of a whole, long series.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (no relation), might be a comfort to anyone who is seriously ill. Gauging what would be spiritually helpful depends on how unwell the person might be. That is something of a judgment call for the individual: Do you keep it light, or do you help them prepare and put their lives in order? Do you think that you can help if they have a chance of recovering and becoming a better person because of their suffering, or do you go deeper if they need to prepare to meet their Maker?
Poetry can be in all of those categories and would be a nice break, or good for when they are not feeling up to a long visit.
Jeff brought up the Chicken Soup books, and I would think that any anthology would be a good idea, again, depending on the taste of the patient.
I could go on, since it is no secret that I LOVE books. There are many good works published by the Hound and our Foxes here which would be very good choices to keep a patient from dwelling on their illness and problems, and sometimes, to give them a good laugh.
Despite all my ideas, I sincerely hope that none of you ever need me in the capacity as above.