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Rob has not been very well of late and he reflects on his recovery reading.

Some of you may not know that I haven’t been that well these last few weeks. Sadly I’ve had to miss a few podcast recordings on both Adventures with Words and Hear Read This! and also been rather quiet on Twitter. Thankfully though I’m now on the mend and so thought it was time to look back on my reading whilst I’ve been recovering.

It was after a rather unexpected trip to A&E that I’ve been off work for over three weeks recovering from a painful back. As a result, a lot of my time has been spent lying in bed or propped up on the sofa – perfect I thought for making a dent in my TBR pile. Except I returned home from the hospital with some rather stonking painkillers… and these meant that I couldn’t read for as long as I’d like to. As Kate will happily tell you, these painkillers not only got rid of the pain but also turned me rather giggly before eventaully falling asleep. Not the ideal conditions for reading.

Thankfully it wasn’t all giggles and sleep as they did leave me though with a small window of opportunity every few hours to read. First off I settled on Michael Palin’s second set of diaries Halfway to Hollywood. These I’ve been reading off and on for the best part of a year, dipping in and out to read a month or so at a time. They are entertaining, informative and perfectly formed insights into Palin’s life at the time and meant I could read a few very quickly before the giggling painkillers kicked back in.

Once I was a bit more adjusted to the tablets I could read for longer and so went for the new Young Bond novel Shoot to Kill by Steve Cole. With very short and snappy chapters and a pace that romps alongs nicely, I soon found myself tearing though Bond’s latest escapade. I’d read Charlie Higson’s Young Bond series as they came out a number of years ago and found Cole’s book to be a worthy successor.

Finally I wanted a ‘comfort watch’ and so bought the DVD  box set of all of Basil Rathbone’s appearances as Sherlock Holmes. These I’d often watched growing up as a child on rainy Sunday afternoons and all are in black and white and delightfully hammy at times. They take Conan Doyle’s canon and mangle them but these were a wonderful few hours of nostalgia that I could collapse in front of.

Thankfully now though I am on the mend and, all going well, should be back to my normal self in a month or so. It really hasn’t been very pleasant not having the concentration span to read properly for any long period of time so I’m looking forward to delving into a good, lengthy book as soon as possible. But what are your go-to books when you are unwell? Let me know what your comfort reads are!

– Rob

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