Sometimes, I might come off as a bit of a snob, talking about all kinds of high literature, claiming all the best books are written by people like Turgenev, Flaubert, Zola, etcetera. But even I acknowledge that there are times when ‘high’ literature might not be the best of choices. Sometimes you just need a guilty pleasure.
My personal guilty pleasure is historical fiction. I especially like the books by Diana Gabaldon and Robert Harris. And even though I acknowledge that they don’t have the same literary value as some of the great Russian writers, it might just be what I need sometimes. When you’re going through a rough time, you might not always want a book that makes you rethink your own life. You might just want a book that’s action driven and is such a page turner that you completely forget to think at all for a few moments.
You want to forget your own feelings, and just go with the flow of one of the character’s feelings. This is where it gets important to know your author. In these moments, you have to be sure what to expect from a writer, so you don’t get surprised by a certain theme and get sucked into your own feelings again. For example, when suffering from a bit of a broken heart, you might want to stop reading that book where the main character turns out to be your love interest’s alter ego. And if you suffer from nightmares, don’t start reading Dracula.
Pick a book where you kind of know what to expect, from a writer you already know so you can be sure the style speaks to you. Make yourself a big cup of hot chocolate, curl up under a blanket, and just start forgetting. And when your healing process is done, you can start reading Tolstoy again.