Book Recommendations for Sick People (but really for me)

Last Friday, I was more or less fine until I stood up around 8pm. Body aches, fever, headache, chills, all the flu- y nonsense appeared with a bang. I spent most of the weekend griping that my last three-day weekend until MAY was passing me by. On Monday, I started to feel better. The aches stopped, the fever stayed away for a longer interval, and my cough sounded drier. This morning though, I still had the fever so I called out.

After the doc listened to my lungs, I tried explaining the burbling noise that came out my chest at random intervals, but of course not then, not around medically-trained witnesses. I coughed and it sounded dry. I sighed. It’s good to feel better, but I needed my symptoms right then. I worried she thought I was malingering and was thinking of a way to adequately describe the way I’d started huffing and puffing and couldn’t breathe on my walk there, but she said:

“Your lungs don’t sound right; there’s no WHOOSH when you inhale. Also, your blood oxygen levels are significantly low, so we’re going to take an X-ray of your chest.”

Or something like that. I’m not a doctor.

The chest X-ray showed some worrisome patches that are developing into pneumonia. So she’s not treating me for the bronchitis I have, she’s treating me for the pneumonia I’m just this side of having.

Friday. I can’t go back to work until Friday.

The book-a-holic in me is shouting HOORAY, READING TIME, because I really can’t do anything else. But I actually feel too sick/tired to read much. Could this be a good time to try Audiobooks? I’ve learned over the last four days that no matter how crummy I feel, I can’t sleep more than a few hours at a time during the day. So…

Does anyone have suggestions for good books while recuperating? Just about any book can be ordered (and instantly delivered!) on a Kindle or through Audible.

And don’t worry, most of my time will be spent asleep, but I do need to be awake sometimes in order to drink fluids, eat bland things, and take a bunch of pills. The doc already put the fear of getting sicker into me—she said I need to take my condition seriously because if it gets worse, I’ll be in the hospital. Yikes!

15 Comments on “Book Recommendations for Sick People (but really for me)

  1. Oh dear, I hope you feel better!

    When I’m unwell, I like to read cozy books that have zero stress and lots of happy endings. Off the top of my head – ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, ‘The Blue Castle’ by L.M. Montgomery, ‘Indiscretion’ by Jude Morgan, ‘An Old-Fashioned Girl’ by Louisa May Alcott, and anything by Eleanor Estes (I’m particularly fond of ‘The Middle Moffat’). I also love ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ by James Herriot because each chapter is sort of its own little story, so it’s easy to drift in and out of it. P.G. Wodehouse is obviously always a win (although sometimes laughing out loud isn’t good for a cough, so be careful). Um, let’s see, ‘Spindle’s End’ by Robin McKinley, ‘The Hundred and One Dalamatians’ by Dodie Smith (only if you can get it illustrated by Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone!), and now I’m probably getting carried away so I’ll stop. 😀

    Take some time to relax and hopefully you’ll be back to good as new soon!!!

    • Thanks! I really love Wodehouse and your suggestion reminds me that I have the Jeeves and Wooster DVD set with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Surely this is as good as an audiobook! 🙂

      The Secret Garden definitely finds a place on my queue now. I can picture the copy I had when I was little. Though I remember how much I liked it, I don’t recall anything about it.

  2. Poor you! If you’re a Wodehouse fan I highly recommend the Jonathan Cecil narrations – great fun, and don’t require concentration. Derek Jacobi’s reading of the Sherlock Holmes stories is brilliant – especially The Hound of the Baskervilles, where he excels himself! I love Joan Hickson’s reading of Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger – it’s like being read to by a favourite old Aunt. And the Torchwood dramatisations are fun – I actually preferred the audio to the TV show on them. If you feel up to something stronger, then Meryl Streep’s narration of Toibin’s The Testament of Mary is very good. And I’m not sure whether you enjoy factual stuff, but Simon Shepherd’s reading of Boris Johnson’s ‘The Churchill Factor’ is surprisingly fun!

    Feel better soon! 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s funny– I’ve run across quite a few suggestions and reviews for Alice Hoffman lately and I’m starting to feel that I’m missing out in not having read anything of hers… 🙂

  3. My favorite audiobooks involve comedians reading their own books, like Aziz Ansari reading Modern Romance and Amy Poehler reading Yes, Please! I don’t want you to be laughing if your lungs aren’t strong enough, though!

    As for books to read while sick, I think Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series would be nice to read in bed. I hope you feel better soon!

    • Thanks! I’ve recently started watching Parks and Rec so Aziz Ansari and Amy Poehler’s books sound excellent about now. My favorite audiobooks are those read by the author and I suspect these two would do a brilliant job. Absolutely love their comedic timing.

      I’ve been reading John Cleese’s So, Anyway… and it’s easy to hear in his voice even though I’m reading it to myself. (So far, it’s excellent!)

  4. I hope you’ve recovered ok, I read The Secret Garden to my daughter when she was in hospital, but she did complain it took too long to get to the secret garden part! So she started drawing one herself while we read through the rather grim beginning!

    The Novel Cure is a great book to have on the shelf, a book of literary remedies for every ailment!

    Personally when I have the flu or am ailing, I go for light, uplifting books, a few I remember reading last year that were all great were:

    The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
    The Presidents Hatby Antoine Laurain
    The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

    • I was also surprised by how long it took for the secret garden to be fully revealed. How clever that your daughter drew one!

      I love the idea of The Novel Cure! I will definitely check it out for future reference. Thanks for the kind words! I am feeling much better. 🙂

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