April 16, 2019

Rainy Day Reads

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Rainy Day Reads. This should be fun. I rarely get a nice rainy day when I can just sit and read. It rained this last Saturday, but I was at a work event. The other problem is, I'm usually so tired that when it's raining and I'm reading, I'm falling asleep.

All that aside, here are some books I think are good for reading on a rainy day.

I have divided the books up into categories. The first category is mysteries. A good mystey lends itself very well to the mood of a rainy day. Here are some series I would pick up on a dreary day. None of them should surprise you.
The Jane Austen Mysteries by Stephanie Barron - Jane Austen is a sleuth! This was a really fun series.
The Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun - I have been entranced with this series since I was in middle school. A cat that solves mysteries and also is a general jerk Siamese.
The Commissario Brunetti series by Donna Leon - I love this series for probably all the wrong reasons. I don't care so much about the crime being investigated. I'm more interested in the descriptions of Venice and the interactions with his family. His wife is fascinating. She's a professor of English and has lots of philosophical discussions with the family.

I would also pick up a nice non-fiction book. It has to be not-too-exciting. Something slow-paced and quiet. Like these:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - Some people are surprised when I tell them I am an introvert. I can be friendly and outgoing, but I have to be alone to get my energy back. This was a lovely look at how introverts can be included in the world.
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel - This book is bizarre. This guy disappeared into the Maine woods for 27 years. A couple of people ran across him over the years, but no one knew where he lived. And Maine gets crazy cold in winter.
The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz - I enjoyed this look at the Bronte sisters' lives through nine things they owned. It was an interesting way to go about a biography.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes - This is a fun, light-hearted memoir about the filming of the Princess Bride movie in 1986, or thereabouts.

This list would not be complete without some books about books and reading. These are my absolute favorite types of non-fiction books and they are perfect for a drizzly day.
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson - I have read and re-read this book too many times to count. I love the way Nelson talks about how what she's reading fits into the rest of her life. The descriptions of her apartment in NYC sound amazing.
The Pleasures of Reading In An Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs - This is a regular comfort read for me. Whenever I get in a reading slump, I pick up this book and remember why I love reading.
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma - After the death of her mother, her father promised to read at least 20 minutes every night with her. And he did it. Even if he had to call her on the phone at a sleepover and read to her, he did it. Sometimes, it was embarrassing. The last time he read to her was the day she moved into her college dorm.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch - Sankovitch and her sister were very close and often read the same books. Her sister died and she decided to deal with her grief by reading a book a day for a year. She had an old purple chair that she put in a nook off her kitchen, and she read.
I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel - This one just came out last year. It's all about books and reading. It talks about weird reading habits and all kinds of bookish things. It is delightful.

A good fantasy novel can take you away if you are not really enjoying the dreary day outside. Ok, one of these is not fantasy. It's actually apocalyptic fiction, but it fit best here.
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz - This is the first in a series about a young guy who can see dead people. He can't hear them, but he can usually figure out why they're hanging around. Usually, they've been murdered and they need him to out their killer. He can also see other paranormal beings like demons, etc. These books can get scary, but Koontz IS a horror writer.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik - I'm sure this is based on a fairy tale. Maybe Beauty and the Beast? Loosely? Anyway, it's fascinating and beautiful.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - This is the one that actually includes no fantasy elements. It's about the US 20 years after a virus wiped out 80% of the population and people were living in little groups. The main character is part of a traveling Shakespeare acting group and orchestra.
Territory by Emma Bull - This weird little book is about Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday but also magic.

The last category of books I feel would be great for a rainy day, is humor books. If you're in a weather-related funk, there's nothing better than a funny book to jolly you up.
You Suck by Christopher Moore - This is actually the second in the series, but this is where my favorite character is introduced. Abby Normal is a goth teen with an inner cheerleader. She's whip smart and won't back down from an argument. She has the best lines.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - This is actually a memoir, so I could have put it up there with the non-fiction books, but it's just laugh-out-loud funny. She is a strange, strange lady.
Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson - This is the first Bill Bryson book I read. I laughed all the way through it. Back then, his cynical outlook and sarcastic tone where hilarious.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt - This is the kind of book that makes you feel guilty for laughing. These brothers are seriously twisted. They are mercenaries during the California gold rush, and they have a bizarre sense of honor.

What would you recommend to pick up on a rainy day with all the time to read?