introducing readers to writers since 1995

January 27, 2004

Good Grief!

by Ron Hogan

Terry Teachout lists his comfort reading and asks others to do the same. I share many of his enthusiasms -- O'Brian, Trollope, Westlake/Stark, and (to some extent) Chandler, plus I've always wanted to get around to reading Anthony Powell. Plus I'm going to have to look up this William Haggard he mentions. But none of this is what I turn to when I need "comfort food" for the mind.

peanuts.jpgOddly enough, in contemplating the subject, I can't think of any fiction I turn to time and again. I've recently reread a lot of Tim Powers, but that was because I'd just found the books in the ancestral basement where they'd been for about a decade. I did make my way through the Narnia books for the first time when I was 18 and needed some comfort reading, but I haven't gone back to them since, so that doesn't count...and it's been a long time since I read and reread the Spenser series, so that doesn't count either... I guess if I had to pick anything, it'd be omnibus editions of comic strips like Foxtrot, Get Fuzzy, and Calvin and Hobbes for being simple yet engrossing in their bulk. And when Fantagraphics starts releasing The Complete Peanuts, I'll be there for the whole ride.

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