Jul 12, 2012

by English Muse


We all have those days: tired, heart a little roughened, a slump in the shoulders, a sigh ready in the ribs.  Those days are the ones in which people are irritating, frustrating, or sometimes mean, in which we encounter reminders that the world is not exactly the place we want it to be or feel it should be.  We want to shake our fist a little, say, “Hey, world, be better!” and sometimes we flounder and wonder what we are doing with ourselves, and sometimes we wonder why.

The books that nurse our flustered spirits on those days are hard to name.  I never know what it will be: an escape into some YA fantasy, a tried-and-true classic, a heartbreaker, a heart-lifter, or poetry.  I do know, however, a few books that have comforted me before, and find I return to them when I need them.  I can name one of each category: A Great and Terrible Beauty, anything by Jane Austen, After You’d Gone, Love Walked In, and Dickinson’s collected works.  I have two rules: one, sad endings are permitted, but nothing hopeless; and two, I must be filled up again by the time I close the book.

What books do you turn to when you’re frustrated with the world outside of literature?


until next Thursday,

Katie (Unwritten, Untitled)


[image 1: “am i supposed to say where am i,” inspired by J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey/image 2: “She was pursuing a phantom,” inspired by Lonfellow’s “Evangeline,” both by Bevin Valentine, available in her Etsy shop.  Don’t they both make you want to fly into the pages of a book?]


This entry was posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am. It is filed under Decor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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9 Responses to “Soul-Soothers”

  1. Tonia says:

    I Capture the Castle or Jane Eyre, without question or hesitation. Right now, I’m wishing I could read both at the same time!

  2. Yali Noriega says:

    I was going to say Jane Austen, too! Also, The Little Prince. I love it and every time I read it, it’s different. Lately I’ve been thinking it’s a sad story but it’s still filled with so much beauty and hope and wisdom that it never fails to pick me up.

  3. Lalli says:

    I love biographies, like Queen Victoria of Christopher Hibbert…

  4. Sumire says:

    Dominic by William Steig is my soul soother. Others have been at varied times but when I hear that phrase, Dominic jumps to mind.

  5. Katie says:

    Wouldn’t reading them together be perfect?

  6. Katie says:

    I hate admitting this on English Muse, but I’ve never read The Little Prince!

  7. Katie says:

    That’s so interesting! I rarely read biographies, so I can’t say that I’ve ever found them to be the right book for a frustrated day.

  8. Katie says:

    Oh goodness, I haven’t read Dominic, but I just looked it up and really want to read it now! It sounds like the perfect soul-soother!

  9. Rachel says:

    I had one of those weeks myself, and I turned to the new Rebecca Wells novel. Reading about the Ya-yas and their own troubles always makes me fall back in love with the world around me! If I’m feeling like more of a kid, Roald Dahl provides a similar cure. 🙂

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