Comfort Books Or What Do You Read When You're Down - CATEGORY Report today: TITLE

Why is this an issue? Well, the world is really crappy right now (three wars, two genocides, and an world economy on life support) plus it is the time of year that Dad died in 5 years ago. This has left the ol’ Hound running to some of his best loved books. Since the Dog is a compulsive essayist, he thought he would share a few of these "Comfort Books" with you in the hopes that you might find the same level of comfort.

Let’s start with a classic (very loose definition here):

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein – Yeah, RAH could hardly be thought of as liberal in his politics, but his books had this undeniable call to take the action you feel necessary for change. That is the lesson the Dog got from his works and this book is a fine example. The sentient computer Mike was the Dogs first introduction to the idea of non-human sentience. Combined with the sprawling family structure of the exile families this book charms the pants off of me every time. With its message of the fight for freedom being a good one, if you are willing to live with the consequences, this is a book the Dog picks up whenever the he feels that political action is futile. If you have not read it, you really should.

The Hobbit (Or There and Back Again) by J.R.R. Tolkien – Sure, everyone has read the Lord of the Rings, but the gentler and less epic Hobbit is a great book to curl up with for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Slipping into that story is like staying at Grandmas house and getting the bed with the flannel sheets. The warmth and good nature of Bilbo and his terribly earnest nature are enough to recharge any battery that needs it. After all if a very respectable Hobbit like Mr. Bagins can help return the Dwarves to their home, then our challenges can not be that hard.

Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton – This is a newer book, but just fabulous space opera all the same. It is set in the 24th Century and while the book is about war, cooperate greed and the future path of humanity, there is a comfort in the ending (no spoilers here!). The book makes the trails of its protagonists worthwhile, if not always (or ever) easy or clearly moral. The main message of the book is that while some will have grand designs for all of mankind there is something to be said for knowing when you have a good thing and living that life for all it is worth.

Glory Season by David Brin – This is book about a young woman on a distant planet. It is a coming of age story, set against the back drop of a society where the basic unit of humanity are cloned (by parthenogenesis) and men are the vast minority. The world is coming back into contact with the rest of the Human Phylum and there is much social upheaval. Again it is a story where the good triumph (though not without cost) but that is not the same as saying that it fixes everything. This is the book that the Dog reads to remind himself that the end of one issue is just the start of another. The main character Maya is never quits. She can be beaten, but that is not the same as giving up.

The Night Side Series by Simon Green. These are great popcorn reads. They follow the adventures of a psychic detective who can find anything by opening his third eye, you know his private eye! It is all set in the Night Side, the secret heart of London, where gods, demons, angles, and worse go to let their hair down and party. The books are all short and pretty violent, but are filled with tons of puns and sarcastic humor. Think of them as tune up for snarky blogging.

So, that is what the Dog has read in the last two weeks, what about you? What are you comfort books and most importantly why?

The floor is yours.

> Wed Jul 08, 2015 at 1:48 PM PT

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