Top fives for reading and watching when you’re sick

12 Feb

Much like many others around this time of year, I have succumbed to the gunk. I can’t quite seem to shake it all the way. If you’re anything like me, being sick is on an excuse to seek out the comforts of your old favorite leisure stories. Since I’ve been sick off and on for almost a month now, I’ve had time to go through a lot of favorite material. So, here’s a nice list for you, for next time you’re sick.

Books

5.    

This may seem like odd place to start this list, but I think I’d be betraying my roots if I made any list of stories that didn’t include one by Stephen King. It is best for enduring sicknesses because long stories can do wonders for making the time pass. I love the child/adult dichotomy in It, which has invoked many a deep thought for me before, but when I’m sick the reason I pull up It on my Zune (yes, you read that right) and listen to this long, long story with my eyes closed, it’s for the transporting nature of the language of the book. King is wonderful and developing and preserve and interior sort of language in the slang, habits, and especially the names he uses in his world building. I listen to It when sick for the prolonged time it can fool me that I am somewhere else.

4.

3.

It is for similar reasons that both number 4 and number 3 are on this list. Both are equally captivating and provide the necessary escape, and both are a smidge happier than It. I recommend The Hobbit for shorter term sicknesses—maybe the one-full-day in bed type—where you can actually sustain reading yourself, or if you just don’t like audiobooks. Harry Potter in audio book is read by Jim Dale, who will forever be the voice of those stories for me. Dale’s delivery is magic.

2.

I like mysteries for the puzzles that they provide. The most satisfying mysteries are those that you can solve the mystery, or at least make significant headway, by what it’s told you before the reveal. Most of Stout’s stories are like this, but the reveal is still always more than what you may have guessed, so it’s satisfying on more than one count. They’re short, but there are A LOT of them. Quirky characters, historical detail, etc. BONUS: The audio reader is Michael Pritchard, who is excellent as the stories to-cool-for-school narrator Archie Goodwin.


  1.  

The worse part of being sick, for me, is the loneliness. It’s isolating, even if you’re around other people for large parts of the day, because you don’t feel good, goddamnit. It makes it harder to participate when all you can think about is the next time you get to lie down and close your eyes. One of the wonderful feelings I’ve always felt from Ready Player One was camaraderie. I’d like to think this feeling would translate even if the reader isn’t a geek or nerd, but I can’t know for sure. (It’s beyond me for the same reason I can’t describe for sure what it would be like to read this book as a man. Or a cheetah.) The book has triumphs and disappointments like any other, but every time I listen or read this book (which I have several times, even though it’s only a couple years old) I feel like I’m almost part of the team. I almost start to think in terms of “we,” (We found the second key!) the way people who loyally follow particular sports teams do (We made it to nationals!). It may not be a decongestant, but that feeling is one I appreciate a lot when I’m sick.

Movies

5.

Die Hard and Die Harder I usually watch at least once a year around Christmas, which leaves out Vengeance since it’s not a holiday movie. I know the dialogue like the back of my hand, so I don’t actually have to look at the screen to follow the plot. It’s also engaging to the point of yelling/cursing along with the heroes. Helps you to forget you’re feeble and bedridden.

4.

The thrilling music and sound track will give you exciting Nyquil dreams, and if you “watch” the extended version you can use the end of the movie as a reminder to take the next dose.

3.

Because I’m pretty sure crying is good for sinuses, somehow.


Simply because it could be worse…


1.

Every single scene is classic, so it doesn’t matter if you doze off a bit. It’s equal parts exciting and funny and doesn’t require much from you.

TV

5.

The first time I watched these in any sort of order was one summer when I was sick in bed for over ten days. I watched ALL OF IT. It gave me A GOAL. It also made me a little crazy, but it still gets a place.

4.

3.

For both of the above: Laughter is the best medicine, but if your lungs are full of horrible, horrible gunk, laughing out loud might not be. These cartoons have always provoked a steady, sardonic smile over outbursts. Also, Cartoons are easy to see if your eyes are blurry, and most of the humor is delivered by the voices, so again, you don’t have to keep tired eyes on it at all times.

2.

Good for popcorn watching. The best flavor of the L&O, in my opinion, it has enough character arc to be interesting enough to watch several at a time, but also easy to stop or pick up at any point. Much of the story is advanced through dialogue, so if you close your eyes, you won’t be lost. Enough philosophy to make you think a few minutes on each episode, enough formula to let you give yourself a pat on the back for guessing whodunit before Oliva and Elliot catch on.

1.

Time travel shows make a uniquely perfect rewatch because you will inevitably miss hints and foreshadowing the first time around. It’s exciting and quirky—but it does require some attention. So I recommend it for the upswing, let it get your blood pumping again.

 


 

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