Five Things in Literature

I’ve seen this going round the blogs and thought I’d do an adapted version for book lovers. I’m anxious right now, and I imagine a lot of you are too. So I’ve focused on comforting or cathartic books and interactive fiction recommends to help people relax and unwind.

5 Comfort Reads

Comforting Books

  1. Soulless by Gail Carriger. A brisk, no nonsense young woman navigates a Victorian London populated by the supernatural set, as an octopus themed secret society plots in the shadows…
  2. Close Encounters of the Furred Kind by Tom Cox. A cosy, adorable non fiction book about a man and his four cats, moving to Devon. Sweet, funny and poignant.
  3. One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters. Historical detective fiction with the cheerful, practical Cadfael, a monk and former crusader, out to solve the mystery, save the girl, and get back to his herbs.
  4. The Thrift Book by India Knight. A beautifully illustrated book detailing how to be greener and thriftier, written by a self aware and funny author who pokes fun at her own wealth and privilege.
  5. Threshold by Ursula le Guin. A beautiful coming of age story in a fantasy framework, featuring a fierce woman with an abusive stepfather and a gentle man with a hectoring smother. (Also known as The Beginning Place). 

5 Apocalyptic Reads

Post Apocalyptic Books

  1. The Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H Winters. A charming yet dark police procedural set in a world where the asteroid Maia is going to hit Earth in six months time…
  2. The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham. An apocalyptic sci-fi with an environmental twist, as invading aliens begin melting the polar ice caps to flood us out…
  3. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula le Guin. An unassuming man on an overpopulated Earth is using drugs to prevent himself from ‘dreaming real’. A doctor begins manipulating him to improve their world, with unintended consequences…
  4. Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K Dick. A 1965 sci-fi classic charting a world post nuclear apocalypse, with an ambitious travelling salesman, malevolent psychic and guilty professor converging…
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Set in a dystopic future where the world is ravaged by lack of resources, and most people exist in the virtual world of Oasis…

5 Interactive Fiction

Interactive Fiction

  1. Some Distant Memory by Galvanic Games. In a world devastated by ecological disaster, you play a professor desperately searching for resources to save her colony.
  2. The Mask of the Plague Doctor by Choice of Games. You play a doctor, sent to the quarantined town of Thornback Hollow, tasked with ending the virulent Waking Death plague. (I appreciate this may not be to everyone’s taste right now, but I found it very cathartic).
  3. What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow. As Edith, you explore the ancient and labyrinthine Finch house, and learn more about the supposed curse haunting this tragic family.
  4. A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight by Hosted Games. One of the finest I’ve ever played. A delicious mixture of Sherlock, steampunk, supernatural and political elements.
  5. Fallen London by Failbetter Games. A free browser game based on cards where you play a character an alternative Victorian London with gothic overtones.

What are you reading to relax right now?

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