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Monday, December 10, 2001

While I think of it, there's a bit in the Washington Post Book World about comfort fiction, in which a dozen authors (me included) talk about the books we turn to for comfort. I note that most of the other people on the list took the high road (Shakespeare, Melville, etc.) I briefly thought about picking Chesterton or even Robert Aickman, but eventually thought it would be more interesting to think about those books that are places you can go to in times of stress -- comfortable and comforting. As a kid it was Narnia for me; as a teenager it was Heinlein's Glory Road (I have no idea why, but it could always cheer me up, often in conjunction with Lou Reed's Berlin, which always made me feel better as whatever teenage thing was making me miserable it was never as bad as that.) There's Lafferty, of course. I only have to read the chapter titles of The Reefs of Earth to feel happy. But it's very out of print. And then there was the book I picked for the Washington Post Book World (which you'll have to look at to see what it was).

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