I have books that I keep by for just that. I don't need to read them back to front anymore, they are already part of me. I find that the Aubreyad works that way, and the Hornblower books, and the Jonty and Orlando books. And now Marlowe too. In years past I have found Mary Renault, or Dorothy Sayers or Thurber would do the same.
As a child, growing up, I was pretty isolated from the outside world. The Vineyard was less popular, and less populated, in the 1970s. I had kids in my class at school who had never been off-island. We only went a few times a year. And I found the big roads and the bridges and traffic and tall buildings pretty alarming. So it was important for me to read about people in other parts of the world, and other times, people very different from country-mouse me. I can remember thinking, that the world, although it seemed scary, was full of kind and interesting people. Because look, they were in books, and somebody had to write the books.
Well, as you guys know, it turned out to be true. Look, there you all are! Kind and funny and interesting, and writing books!
And here I am, in one of the worlds big cities-- managing more or less. How are all of you doing?