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When you're feeling unwell, what's the book you read to make yourself feel better? And why does it work?
Clinical psychologist Jane Gregory explains why she sometimes prescribes novel-reading to her patients; and academic Guy Cuthbertson tells how post-WW1 Britain was soothed by Agatha Christie's murder mysteries.
- I really enjoyed these discussions of your favourite convalescence books on the Allusionist Facebook and Twitter, and you recommended a lot of excellent books that I need to read.
- Recognise Jane Gregory's voice? In the Behave episode, she explains how cognitive behavioural therapy works. Her posts on her website cognitivebehaveyourself.com are rare but always worth the wait.
- Guy Cuthbertson's book Wilfred Owen is out now, and you can preorder his new book about the Armistice, Peace At Last.
- Guy's convalescence book of choice: Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers. Jane's: James Bond.
- Ranking the authors who've written James Bond novels after Ian Fleming - the new kid on the block is Anthony Horowitz, who has also picked up the Poirot baton.
- My own convalescence entertainment went from swirly hallucinations to Queer Eye season 2 (hear me on Jonathan Van Ness's podcast!) to Cold Comfort Farm (I recommend the 1995 BBC adaptation for the ultimate cosy sofa day viewing) to humorous memoirs friends sent in the post, to the sign I was returning to health: The Underground Railroad. After I left hospital, I also loved reading Killers of the Flower Moon and The Blind Side - yes, well done, Roman, you got me to enjoy a book about sport.
- I prefer false crime to true crime, but Vulture's recent series of essays about true crime is well worth your attention.
- And this longread about the film Clue is an absolute treat.
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/convalescence.
THANKS TO TODAY'S SPONSORS:
- SQUARESPACE makes it easy to build and run your own website. Use the free trial at squarespace.com/allusion, then if you decide to sign up to their website-designing and hosting services, the offer code ALLUSION will score you a 10% discount off your first purchase of a website or domain.
- AUDIBLE has a huge selection of audiobooks, original series, comedy shows, news and more - including many classic literature of convalescence! Convalescing or not, if you're in the USA you can get a free audiobook by signing up for a free 30-day trial at audible.com/allusionist or by texting ALLUSIONIST to 500500.
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