A favour

Someone I love really loves reading – and they don’t have a lot of time left to do it. If you knew someone who could only read a few more books, and you were going to the bookstore for them, what would you get?

Your best suggestions will be purchased on my way there. Thanks to all. I’ll be back in this space soon. 

1,074 thoughts on “A favour

  1. P. G. Wodehouse – The Code of the Woosters. Delightful and beautifully crafted fun.

  2. Dean Koontz “A Big Little Life”, “Relentless”, and “Breathless”

  3. I second the nomination of Outlander, and it’s a truely addictive series.

  4. The Secret History by Donna Tart
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (same guy who wrote Remains of the Day)
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
    Water for Elephants by can’t think of the name

  5. Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

  6. Short stories. Still need concentration, but can be finished in bursts. Maybe magazines with long articles: Vanity Fair?
    For you and loved ones, although you didn’t ask, but Elizabeth Kubler Ross.
    Sweet thoughts to you Stephanie.

  7. I agree with Outlander. By itself, or the entire series, depending on how much time we are talking about.

  8. i’m so sorry for your friend.
    i recommend The Night Circus by Erin Morgentstern. plots within plots (but not confusing), a love story, magic, and more. no sequels. it’s a gem.

  9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I found it beautifully moving.
    Or anything by Jane Austen, but I think that goes without saying.

  10. How about a classic? I’m thinking A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Or Anne of Green Gables. Little House on the Prairie (any of the series). Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Assuming your friend is a woman, she may have read these as a younger person and might enjoy the familiarity. They are also all great read-alouds, which might give her visitors a way to spend time in a restful and meaningful way.

  11. Slapstick or Hocus Pocus or Slaughterhouse 5, all by Kurt Vonnegut, who understood transience and permanence better than anyone else I’ve ever read.

  12. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
    100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Small Gods, Terry Pratchett

  13. The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart (I’ve red others by her and love them)

  14. I love Outlander but it would just be frustrating to never get to find out how it ends. I like the idea of something that you can read with a short attention span (something I always have when ill). What about The Prophet by Khalil Gibran? Philosophical but accessible poetry.

  15. I know some one who was just diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease, and suddenly tastes and priorities shifted.
    I think you should ask them what they want to read; or even if they still do.
    The best gift you can give is to honest compassion and inquiry, and love, and to follow their lead. You don’t know me, but trust me on this one. I am a survivor, too.

  16. How could I have forgotten my all time favorite–A Prayer of Owen Meany by John Irving
    Oh, and any poetry anthologies by Billy Collins.

  17. Mist of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley; a retelling of the Arthurian legends from the perspective of a goddess-based religion. I read it for a university course and it is still one of my favourite books.

  18. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak would be particularly beautiful given the situation. Incredibly touching, lovely language.

  19. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve read them both over and again. Lovely stories.

  20. They’re many hundreds of pages and it seems time is of the essence, but I would recommend the Harry Potter series. I know they’re supposedly for children, but to me they’re some of the best written books EVER, so easy to get lost in. I also agree with Mindy above, any or all of the Jeeves and Wooster books. None of these are traditional “classics” but they’re entertaining – who needs “The Grapes Of Wrath” when things are kind of down already?
    Sorry you’re going through this, hope you’re back with us soon….

  21. You didn’t specify fiction or non-fiction, or gender or general likes or dislikes; but I would be looking for something different and with real impact, so —
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is a letters novel about someone discovering and becoming immersed in the story of the German occupation of Guernsey during WW2;
    Mr. Pettigrew’s Last Stand, which is another English novel about a traditional, dyed in the wool, snobbish, aging man who blossoms into someone much better as he learns to open his eyes and see the world around him more clearly;
    Monseigneur Quixote by Graham Greene, is a retelling of the Don Quixote story in modern times with a Spanish clergyman tilting at seriously interesting windmills; and
    Any of the Mapp and Lucia books by EF Benson (written in the 1920’s, also in England), because they are some of the funniest books I have ever read.

  22. Perfect timing! I’ve been pondering this exact question while awaiting some test results. Best wishes to your friend (and you).

  23. And any short stories by Andre Dubus. (Not Andre Dubus III. He’s the sone. Look for the ones by the father).

  24. Sending warm wishes to your friend. All of these are books that have stayed with me – smart and moving and beautifully crafted and told. I care more for narrative and characters who feel complex and true – all of these fit that description.
    ‘The Interestings’ by Meg Wolitzer (new and smart – pure pleasure)
    Anything written by Jhumpa Lahiri (stunning and intimate and full of perfectly chosen language – it’s one I pick up extra copies of to give away).
    The Lacuna by Kingsolver. Achingly lovely and spirited.
    Wolf Hall by Mantel if they like historic detail – just gorgeous.
    Wallace Stegner. Crossing to Safety.
    Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. Charming.

  25. As a nurse,they probally won’t read.
    Check out the Talking Book section, or some music to listen too

  26. The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard — gorgeous.
    Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems — vol 1 or 2, doesn’t matter.
    Seconding The Life of Pi.
    Contents May Have Shifted, by Pam Houston.
    Blessings to your friend.

  27. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
    Christopher Moore – all of his books are entertaining
    Straight Man by Richard Russo
    Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins

  28. Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series – it is a great sci-fi/fantasy series that was just recently finished. Just a really exciting, insightful and well-written series (14 books in all).

  29. A Fine Balance by Rohintin Mistry. (And I loved Mists of Avalon and Outlander too)
    (Such a tough question…!)

  30. The Art of Fielding – a novel with gorgeous character development, even if you don’t like baseball

  31. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson is one of the few books I have read twice and will surely read again. It is very affirming of the kinds of things many of us hope to leave behind when we go.

  32. Fup by Jim Dodge. Granddaddy planned to live for forever, but at 100 he got bored and decided the best way to overcome it was teach something he did not know. Fup the duck did not particularly want to learn to fly…
    It’s short and beautiful

  33. Good Omens by terry Pratchett and neil gaiman
    Harry potter
    Pride and Prejudice
    Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy
    I’ll also say night circus because that book is amazing

  34. I really enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird, The Secret Garden and lots of Jane Austen (Emma, Sense and Sensibility & Pride and Prejudice).

  35. The Book of Qualities, By J. Ruth Gendler
    Small Wonders, By Barbara Kingsolver
    The Brothers K, By David James Duncan
    Much love to you and yours….

  36. I Remain, Your Uncle Ambrogio, by Gene Horowitz. A true story and a spirit lifter if ever there was one, it is a collection of the letters a niece received from her uncle after she moved away, telling her about the daily goings on of the family. A great reminder too, of how people used to keep in touch when there was no internet and long-distance calls were prohibitively expensive.

  37. A short story compilation (best of for the most current year you can find); GlimmerTrain (on the magazine rack…short story magazine); an anthology of poetry (Best loved poems, something along that line. If they were of age in the ’60’s, there is a nice compilation by Caroline Kennedy S_ _ _ _ (can’t remember her married name) of poems loved by her Mom and shared in her family)…
    Ogden Nash poetry
    Erma Bombeck’s essays on family life (comedy)
    You and your friend are in our thoughts and prayers.

  38. I would say the Hobbit by Tolkien is a really good read as well as Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey is another book that is part of a trilogy that I really enjoyed.

  39. Second the suggestion of Me Talk Pretty Some Day – but David Sedaris’s books are best listened to as an audio book (read by him).
    Also suggest The Deafening, a lovely book by Canadian author Frances Itani.

  40. If history/nonfiction is his/her cup of tea, here are some suggestions:
    Cod: A biography of the fish that changed the world (Mark Kurlansky) – very short
    Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that changed America (Erik Larson)
    Mayflower: A story of courage, community, and war (Nathanial Philbrick)
    Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food (Paul Greenburg)
    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

  41. I know I saw it already mentioned here, but I’ll add another vote: The Night Circus

  42. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for the innocence and wisdom of children and any of the “numbers” books by Janet Evanovich for laugh-out-loud fun.
    My best to you and your friend, who surely knows what a treasure and support you are.

  43. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, Jasper Fforde, Jane Austen, Arthur Ransome, Terry Pratchett or J.R.R. Tolkien.

  44. Anything by C.S. Lewis–but especially the “Great Divorce” or “The Screwtape Letters.”
    Also, if fiction is loved and a laugh is needed, “The Princess Bride” by Willam Goldman is a personal favorite.

  45. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It is really beautifully written. It takes you to a magical circus you would want to visit if it could be real.

  46. Another recommendation for “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgentstern. It’s a wonderful, amazing, marvelous, gripping, magical story. Intriguing characters, fascinating plots, expert weaving together of characters and events. And love… such a love story. Truly fabulous.
    And, should your loved one prefer to listen rather than read, the audiobook version is read by the incomparable Jim Dale who does a fabulous job of bringing the story to life.
    Many good thoughts to your loved one that s/he enjoys whatever reading remains. <3

  47. P.G. Wodehouse, for fun (The Code of the Wosters is splendid, but they are all wonderful!)
    The Night Circus, for diversion
    Pride and Prejudice, forever

  48. The most amazing book I have read lately was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Other top choices: Goldbug Variations by Richard Powers, anything by A.S. Byatt, anything in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, and Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett. Happy book shopping!

  49. A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson is still one of my all time favorite books…will keep you laughing and engaged. One i could not put down and would read again.

  50. “Cloud Atlas,” by David Mitchell. A unique story of six intertwined lives spread out over centuries. The end always makes me cry.
    “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” by Tom Robbins. A witty tale of a young woman with big thumbs and a ranch of strong, independent women.
    The short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. Magic realism in short, meaty bursts. Phenomenal!

  51. anything Barbara Kingsolver ever wrote
    How to Make an American Quilt
    The Red Tent
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
    The Joy Luck Club

  52. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Love all of her novels.
    Anything written by Rosamunde Pilcher, my all-time favorite author.

  53. I am an avid reader. The best book I’ve ever read is
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Lucia Graves

  54. Listen to someone read Jane Austen–you get so much more out of it, in my opinion.
    The Fault in our Stars could sound depressing, but it’s life-affirming and a real joy.
    Someone else mentioned Jenny Lawson’s book. I agree on that suggestion.
    I dearly love the Accidental Tourist. And I read To Kill a Mockingbird annually.

  55. Definitely The Night Circus, and if you can find it get Veronica, by Nicholas Christopher. And if your friend is a knitter, any of your books!

  56. These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine by Nancy Turner. If your friend really likes it, there are two more in the series. It is the fascinating account of a pioneer woman on the Arizona frontier.
    I have loved anything by Edith Wharton, but I think that the Age of Innocence and The Buccaneers are among my most favorites.
    The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. The trilogy is actually 6 books and they are a very compelling read that does not require a ton of concentration.
    The Help is another recent favorite. Also any of the early Stephanie Plumb books by Janet Evanovich.

  57. Jane Austin – Emma, Pride & Prejudice.
    Grimms Fairy Tales – all nice and short that will take them back to being a child.
    Anything that is short and sweet and doesn’t need paying attention to but will allow the mind to wander. Hugs

  58. I recommend, ‘I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere’ by Anna Gavalda.
    It’s a short story collection in which each story is linked to the other about the delicate nature of humanity in its most fragile moments. It is utterly amazing.

  59. Eternal on the Water – Joseph Monninger
    Similar in subject to Wit, although this is fiction.
    Wishing you all peace.

  60. Im so sorry.
    Small Wonders or The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
    Kingfisher Days by Susan Coyne
    Harroun and the Sea of Stories by Salmon Rushdie
    colony of unrequited dreams by Wayne Johnson
    Mary Oliver or Pablo Neruda

  61. The Art Of Racing In The Rain
    I can’t currenty think of who it’s by. But it is one of my favourites.

  62. I hated The Night Circus, as did every one I know who read it. That said, I’d second PG Wodehouse, Harry Potter, The Secret Garden, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Jane Austen (P and P or Persuasion), The Bbok Thief by Markus Zusak, Poems of WB Yeats. Best to you and yours, we are thinking of you.

  63. Alice Munro for the absolute depth of humanity in each paragraph and Robertson Davies for the wonders of the English language so carefully crafted into such magical stories.

  64. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter. If they’re a dog lover, “A Dog’s Purpose” by Bruce Cameron.

  65. My favorite books:
    Little Women by Alcott
    Gone with the Wind by Mitchell
    The Good Earth by Buck
    Tale of Two Cities by Dickens
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee
    Three Weeks with My Brother by Sparks
    Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple’s Last Case by Christie

  66. I think people have probably mentioned it but poetry seems like a good way to go. There are some ways to think outside the box (Tennyson’s huge memorial to a friend seems too saddening). I like sonnets because they codify life so well. Plus you never feel like you’d be caught unable to finish them. Penguin has a great collection of sonnets. There’s also a really good international poetry book published by them. also: Emily Dickinson. (She needs no explaining)

  67. _A River Runs Through It_ by Norman Maclean. It’s beautiful; it sings to the spirit.

  68. If you want something newish I absolutely loved “Me before you” by Jo Jo Moyes. The subject matter is sad, but the book is uplifting and beautifully written.

  69. Anything by Alexander McCall Smith, Ann Patchett or Barbara Kingsolver.

  70. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park, by Steve Kluger.
    It’s a wonderful story, sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant, always uplifting. It’s also an easy read and would probably be wonderful as a book on tape.

  71. The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
    Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins
    And I’ll second The Secret History – Donna Tartt
    as well as the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

  72. Agree with the nurse–books on tape.
    Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

  73. So sorry about your friend.I listen to books on CD all the time when driving which I do a lot of for work. You need both a good story and a good reader. I would suggest The Art Forger, Unbroken, anything by Sarah Addison Allen. To read I’ve really enjoyed the Outlander series but they are all long books. I second the recommendation for The Night Circus, Water for Elephants, Lets Pretend this Never Happened. Also, The Help, Shantaram (amazing but also a long book) and anything by Janet Evanovich for a light/silly book.

  74. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
    And I vote for the classics:
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    And my personal favorite since forever ago: A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle

  75. The Ender series by Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind
    David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    The Little Prince by Antoine de St Exupery

  76. The Secret of Chimneys – Agatha Christie
    Belgarath the Sorcerer – David Eddings
    Good Omens – Terry Prachett & Neil Gaiman
    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  77. I vote for the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – the series of books are a quick read and are laugh out loud funny.

  78. Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
    Help, Thanks, Wow, Anne Lamott
    Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Shafer
    Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence
    Take Me With You, Brad Newsham
    A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
    I have lots more. If you email me and narrow down topics or subjects I can help!

  79. Margaret Atwood. Her anthologies of shorter stories are wonderful, and Alias Grace is about as great a story as one could ask for. Moral Disorder is great, too.

  80. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, or the very amusing Don Quixote by Cervantes

  81. The Little Prince
    The best book ever. I read it, in its entirety, every day for years. Whenever I see it, I buy a copy, and yet I never have more than one copy in my house at a time because I give it away constantly. It is a treasure.

  82. The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    American Splendor by Harvey Pekar
    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
    True Grit by Charles Portis
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  83. The Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis – not difficult, but very meaningful. Some of the titles: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Prince Caspian, and the last one – The Last Battle.
    And look to see what kind of books/stories/literature he/she has been reading.

  84. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig
    many of those mentioned above – my we have great readers in our midst. For something a little lighter and thought inducing, may I suggest our own Rams’ new book of poetry – A Mind Like This.
    Sorry to hear about your loved one. I’m having an awful year with the 9th & 10th funerals since January 20 coming up this weekend. Hang in there, spread your love and that of your children and Joe to this person. My thoughts are with you.

  85. I’ll nth “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”…
    If your friend likes mysteries, I’d recommend the Benjamin January series by Barbara Hambly – the first one is “A Free Man Of Color”.

  86. What a beautiful gift.
    Redeeming Love – Francine Rivers (!!!!)
    Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
    Seconding Harry Potter
    Travels – Michael Crichton’s autobiography through about 1986
    Also seconding The Princess Bride

  87. Some of my suggestions are already listed above – A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, the first book that ever made me laugh out loud in public, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt, probably still my favourite book. Two other books that have stayed with me all my life – Watership Down by Richard Adams and (I’m using ‘book’ loosely) Romeo and Juliet. If I didn’t have much reading time left, I would spend some of it with Shakespeare.
    Thinking of you and your friend xxx

  88. A couple oddball ideas for a science fiction fan.
    The Last Question by Isaac Asimov is available in audio… I’d recommend.
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    and Bliss to You, by Trixie Koontz. (Hilarious books by Dean Koontz’s dog.)

  89. I second Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – a great read for lovers of books, little-known history, and witty letters. (I stole that recommendation from a friend, but wholeheartedly agree with her assessment!)

  90. Kipling’s Just So Stories are so well written and always good for a chuckle, Wodehouse’s Jeeves books are terribly funny, and The Princess Bride is a long-standing favorite.

  91. I second the Gabaldon suggestion.
    Outlander is the first book in the series.

  92. The Little Prince. It has every essential. It is short but beautiful.

  93. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. It’s a children’s book, but is so warm and loving and imaginative. I reread it multiple times a year when I feel down.

  94. Watership Down by Richard Adams — just listened to it while recovering from knee surgery… FANTASTIC!

  95. Any poetry by Shel Silverstein
    Calvin and Hobbs comic collection
    Rebecca by Daphne DeMurier…”Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”…

  96. And there’s a lot to be said for the best children’s stories to take you back – my son is currently discovering the magic of the Narnia stories by C.S Lewis, and I am getting lost in their adventures again.

  97. Anything by Anne Lamott, Jane Austen, Robert B. Parker, Orson Scott Card; “The Borrowers”, “Miss Happiness and Miss Flower” by Rumer Godden.

  98. Another vote for Time Traveler’s Wife, as well as Winnie the Pooh
    My thoughts are with you both ~

  99. The Wool series by Hugh Howey
    Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
    The Dresden files series by James Butcher

  100. The trouble is of course with books is that not everyone has the same taste ( as with so many things). Many people are suggesting the classics, but if your friend has been an avid reader I would avoid this as they will have read those that appealed to them already!

  101. Adult fiction: Water for Elephants, Night Circus by Morgenstern, Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Piccoult.
    YA Fiction for when concentration is harder: Elephant Run by Roaldn Smith, A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (fun take on Hanzel & Grettle) Dewey; a small town library cat by Vicki Myron, Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, The Giver by Lois Lowery and 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson.

  102. Anything written by Douglas Adams, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and anything by Geri Larkin (if she has Buddhist leanings)

  103. so many good books mentioned.
    Here’s mine;
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
    blessings to your friend.

  104. The Fault In Our Stars
    The Orchardist
    Little Bee
    Seraphina
    Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
    The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
    These are some books I’ve read over the past year and really enjoyed. My tastes run to somewhat dystopian, but these are not in that category! The Fault In Our Stars and Seraphina are both considered Young Adult, but they are very good.
    I should probably also mention that I mostly listen to books, so these also all had very good readers if your friends inclinations go that way as well.
    Of those listed above The Fault In Our Stars is about children with cancer, but it is not at all depressing (although it is sad in places). It could be exactly the kind of thing you want – or the exact opposite.
    You are a very caring friend.

  105. Anything by Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, or Neil Gaiman. And prayers for the person, and you and yours.

  106. People are so different, but my father, when he was dying, loved George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.
    For something completely different–with compression, profundity, heft: try the other Eliot–T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.
    The poetry is difficult, but I would think that someone facing the darkness would find it deeply soothing. “Time present and time past/are both contained in time future. . . ”

  107. A beautiful book that covers a lifespan of a beautiful character:
    The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich.
    It starts in the early 1900’s and follows the life of a priest on a reservation in North Dakota, or maybe it’s across the border in Canada. That isn’t really clear (or important) and the evolution of her (yes, her) faith and relationships. I am in no way religious, btw, and I’ve still read it twice. Each time I’ve felt uplifted and stirred.

  108. Anything by Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver or Isabelle Allende.

  109. The Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeQuin. It’s beautifully written, and the characters are so real and humble.

  110. The Eight by Katherine Neville (love that one!)
    The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (second favourite)
    The Girl you left behind by Jojo Moyes
    One hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
    Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman (no fiction, but just great)
    All the best!
    Nanika

  111. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society [Paperback]
    Mary Ann Shaffer (Author), Annie Barrows (Author)
    The Kitchen House: A Novel [Paperback]
    Kathleen Grissom (Author)

  112. Anything by E..B.White. Excellent essays and his clarity of voice on the dailiness/extraordinary-ness make for rewarding reading.
    May Sarton.
    Love to you, both.
    Solace and joy in the reading.

  113. The River Witch by Kimberly Brock and The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

  114. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel but it is very long. I would read it again as a last book.
    Winnie the Pooh

  115. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Sayers (fiction), Peter Mayle, Agatha Christie. One of my favorite books is “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle. A children’s book, it has a sweet message and would read quickly. I really enjoy listening to “The Ladies Number One Detective Agency” series as audio books.

  116. I second the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And
    A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

  117. A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher.The only book I’ve reread until it fell apart.

  118. Anything by Maeve Binchy…delightful novels, set in Ireland, easy to read yet gripping, about everyday people and how fascinating their lives are.

  119. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. A wonderful book about the power of words, and the only book that has ever brought me to tears.

  120. If this person likes dogs then anything in the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt or another golden series by Donna Ball.
    And lots of love.

  121. i really loved ’til we have faces’ by c.s. lewis. it is a little more obscure than some of his other works, but it resonated with me.

  122. I like sci fi and my current absolute favorite novel/sequel is Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. The second picks up directly after the first, so both of them are necessary. They’re intellectual and beautiful.

  123. The Hunger Games books are a good read. As awful as some may thing, The 50 Shades books are a good read and might take your friends mind off the bad.

  124. I love epic family stories, so I’d choose anything by Rosamunde Pilcher, but especially Coming Home. Also Republic of Love by Carol Shields, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and A Good House by Bonnie Burnard.
    Safe travels.

  125. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett –so many great jokes in there even if you don’t know all the DiscWorld stuff
    Instructions by Neil Gaiman (yes, it’s a picture book)
    The Duke and I by Julia Quinn if a romance might not go amiss. Again, very funny. Kind of modern Austen.
    Gail Carriger’s Soulless. It’s Victorian Steampunk and the first book in the series stands alone nicely if you don’t want to get into a huge long series
    And many hugs.

  126. the Night Circus- transported me in ways few books have.
    Let’s Pretend this Never Happened- inappropriate laughing. so necessary when life hands you a big pile of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me

  127. The short, very easy reading but very entertaining series “Gregor the Overlander” by Suzanne Collins, the same lady who wrote the Hunger Games Trilogy (also recommended)

  128. I agree with many of the other posts, that you are a very kind person. As your friend is a great reader, I would recommend Jasper Fforde’s Tuesday Next series since it’s a great way of imagining the characters from classics in new contexts. Light but engaging. I always turn to Virginia Woolf for comfort reading. Poems were my first thought since they contain so much meaning in short form (generally). But, overall, I think go for the topics your friend likes most.

  129. any of Kurt Vonnegut’s short story books, I especially liked the Mogambo Snuff Box.
    Christopher Moore’s books especially Lamb because it’s irreverent and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove because it makes me laugh every time I read it and when I use oven mitts while cooking. (you’ll have to read it to get the reference)

  130. I just finished a great book- would bw great to read or have read to you. The Snow Child. New fiction based on a fairy tale. Maybe you can read it to your friend?

  131. I second The Mists of Avalon. Also anything by Kate Atkinson, particularly the Detective Brody series. She’s such a wonderful storyteller.

  132. The Poisonwood Bible: Kingsolver
    Jane Eyre: Bronte
    The Guersney Literary and Potatoe Peel Society: authors above.

  133. The 2 books I go back to over and over and over:
    I Heard the Owl Call My Name
    To Kill a Mockingbird

  134. A novel by fellow knitter Ann Shayne from Mason-Dixon Knitting.
    The book is called Bowling Avenue. I have read it twice and enjoyed it both times.

  135. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
    The Time Traveller’s Wife.
    The Edge, by Dick Frances.
    Strong Poison, by Dorothy Sayers.
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
    Winnie the Pooh.
    Miss Buncle’s Book.

  136. Gaiman & Pratchett’s “Good Omens” is a hilarious gem. (And Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, of which there are many many, are all lightweight, quick reads, and wonderful. Start maybe with “The Colour of Magic” or “Equal Rites.”)
    John Crowley’s “Little, Big” is lush and fabulous and beautifully written and possibly my favorite book in the world.
    If your friend is a science-fictiony type, Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels are vast and celebrated. Some take a bleaker view of human nature than others: “Use of Weapons” and “Consider Phlebas” are dark, but “Excession,” say, is good fun.

  137. I also second Rhonda’s suggestion of A Wrinkle in Time. A very comforting view of a universe where love can achieve much in spite of all obstacles.

  138. I’d read ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving. Hilarious, pants wetting humor mixed with serious what is life about, worth themes.I’d reread this if i only had one more book to read.
    If I could read two books, I’d also read Richard Russo’s ‘Straight Man’. Funny, funny human and full of details of academic life.
    Hugs to the reader !
    Katbene

  139. I highly recommend 2 of my all-time favorite books:
    1) “The Heavenly Village” by Cynthia Rylant
    2) “Green Dolphin Street” by Elizabeth Goudge
    Both are out of print, but they are SO worth finding. I read “The Heavenly Village” every summer (only about 150 pages), and I have read “Green Dolphin Street” twice. Both are superb!!!

  140. Such a wonderful idea on your part. I am so sorry there is a need…
    I am leaning towards quirky, fun, light and perhaps obscure with strong characters:
    My three favs by Christopher Moore – Lamb, Fool and Fluke
    Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
    I add another vote for the Janet Evanovich Number series with Stephanie Plum
    The Cat Who series from Lillian Jackson Braun
    The Mrs. Murphy Series from Rita Mae Brown

  141. Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenigger
    Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

  142. I love books so much, but I would probably reread my favorites. So I would just take her your favorite.

  143. Light Years by LeAnne Schreiber
    poetry by Marie Howe (and her recent interview with Krista Tippett on “On Being”)

  144. i would recommend 100 Years of Solitude. It is by far the most beautiful book I have ever read. His descriptions are exquisite; I have been a hospice volunteer for many years and I know that I would love to read or reread this book in similar circumstances. Also, the Snow Child is a lovely book. I have found reading on a Kindle much less physically stressful than holding a book in my hands.
    Posted by: conehead at May 9, 2013 4:55 PM

  145. I’m with anonymous at 4:17. After watching several loved ones pass-on over the years, their tastes, attention span and ability to concentrate changed. Sometimes the best gift I could give them was to sit quietly and listen as they reminisced and reflected on life.

  146. The All Creatures Great and Small books by James Herriot , anything by Dave Barry, anything by Adriana Trigiani
    I have read them all many times. They are also available as audio books.

  147. I second the suggestion of short stories. I particularly like O. Henry and have always been happy to read his stories over and over.

  148. Isabel Allende – The House of the Spirits. I missed my train stop many times while reading it. A Prayer for Owen Meany. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Handmaid’s Tale. All transcendant. Hugs and positive wishes to you and your friend.

  149. In addition to the excellent suggestions of Pratchett, Gaiman, Adams, et al, I recommend books by Thorne Smith (He wrote Topper, Night Life of the Gods, The Glorious Pool, Turnabout, etc.) He is considered the grandfather of the fantasy comedy in normal life genre.
    Best read aloud, it’ll make one heck of a party.

  150. I agree with Jane Austen, that’s where my mind first went. I also can recommend two books of short stories: Tenth of December by George Saunders and Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin.

  151. If your friend likes ‘cozy’ mysteries they may have read these. The Donna Andrews series about Meg Langslow, easy reading, with a crazy bunch of relatives, and a nice romance thrown in. I keep rereading them. Start with Murder with Peacocks.

  152. Richard Bach’s “One” (“Bridge Across Forever”, too, but “One” is better)
    I’m another for “A Wrinkle in Time”
    “A Tale of Two Cities” – Dickens
    “Things Fall Apart” – Chinua Achebe
    “Catcher in the Rye” – JD Salinger
    The Canterbury Tales
    The Divine Comedy – Dante Aghlieri (one of them is usually referred to as Dante’s Inferno)
    Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books. Yes, a series that’s still in progress, but one worth reading for the funny parts. Everything else I’ve mentioned is pretty serious.
    Oh there are so many, but I think those are a very good start.

  153. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
    Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West

  154. To say nothing of the dog, by Connie Willis, it’s a farce but profound it its way:in its own way time is on our side.

  155. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy
    The Hunger Games Series Suzanne Collins
    The Once and Future King T.H. White

  156. I’m sorry to hear that someone you care for is son unwell – I hope these books go to soothing the way.
    Favourite poet – Veronica Patterson – beautiful language
    Favourite author – Madeleine L’Engle – recommend her children’s series ‘a wrinkle in time ‘ most – favourite book of all time
    Eat, Pray, Love
    Time Traveller’s Wife
    Any books by Robert Fulghum – super funny and so true
    Anything Irvin Yalom – interesting premises, such a good storyteller

  157. Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere. My absolute favorite Gaiman novel. I found it far more approachable than American Gods (yes, I’m aware that’s close to blashemy)
    I second anything by P.G. Wodehouse especially the Bertie Woosters. I also second David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day and The Wind in the Willows.

  158. Also, The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis, because I can’t imagine anyone not taking delight in it. (it’s an ancient history murder mystery)

  159. I’ve also always found comfort in re-reading some of my childhood/young adult favorites. Many are out of print now, but I think you can still find Sweetgrass by Jan Hudson and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi in most book stores.

  160. 84 Charing cross Rd, by Helene Hanff – a beautiful story about how books can shape a life

  161. Some notable favorites that I’ve recently enjoyed: American Gods, Good Omens, The Night Circus, Beauty, and the Divergent series. Most of these are fantasy/scifi, but that is where my tastes tend to fall.
    If we go to classics I will always say Jane Austen, especially Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice.

  162. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
    Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
    American Gods by Nail Gaiman
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    All books by John Green

  163. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.
    Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
    Harry Potter by JK Rowling

  164. “Language of Flowers”. First time author Vanessa Diffenbaugh, might be Victoria, wonderful, wonderful book.

  165. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is one of the best books I’ve read, and has the most beautiful ending. For light and fun, I’d recommend any of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, especially the audiobooks ready by Lorelei King. Laugh out loud funny and wonderful characters. Best wishes to you and your friend.

  166. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    These are my go-to books. I could read them over and over again!

  167. I agree with others who suggest audiobooks. My Mom was an avid reader but couldn’t do much more than listen to audiobooks the last few months. Her favorites were mysteries by authors like James Patterson (Alex Cross) and Mary Higgins Clark.

  168. Anything by Bill Bryson. A Short History of Nearly Everything is sectioned into chapters that can be read individually.

  169. The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies.
    Anything by Austen, Wodehouse, Pratchett.

  170. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Its themes come down to destiny and meaning of friendship, especially when time is short.

  171. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch or “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess.
    Both books are great for every age.

  172. The Left Hand of Darkness
    Watership Down
    Book of Merlyn
    Sword in the stone
    One hundred years of solitude
    Chronicle of a death foretold
    Gingerbread
    Narnia series
    Ladies number one Detective agency (whole series)
    Agatha Christie
    Three musketeers
    The Phoenix Guard
    Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, especially her Miles Vorkosigan books, but I am also a big fan of “Falling Free”
    T.S. Eliot poems (I love The Wasteland)
    I’m so sorry. Many hugs. My husband is going back for a third round of chemo, so I’m making note of this list. But I remember how he couldn’t even concentrate to listen to books on tape the last time through chemo. 🙁 Everyone is different, though.

  173. Tuesdays with Morrie or any other Mitch Ablom; poetry by Rumi; Benjamin Button and I 2nd “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Or this book I’m currently reading “Knitting Rules!”, author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee I believe is the name….
    I’m sorry about your news, and I hope you both enjoy your time together.

  174. Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick is an excellent book… I highly recommend it….

  175. …and Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer – about the women in a small town in Ohio starting right after the Civil War and their book club. Follows the members through their lives, from the ones that were just graduating from high school at the start of the book until their passing from old age. About history, relationships, families and growing old.

  176. Anything by Maya Angelou. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Shakespeare’s sonnets. Blessings to you and your friend.

  177. So many books in the comments to agree with, especially anything by Irving, Life of Pi, Mists of Avalon, The Time Travellers Wife and Margaret Atwood.
    For humor, definitely David Sedaris but also Christopher Moore, Sophia Kinsella and I can’t remember the author but the title, The Sisters Brothers.
    Hugs to you and your friend.

  178. laugh out loud collection of vignettes (autobiographical) – david sedaris’ me talk pretty one day
    my favorite book, so gorgeously written – charles dickens’ a tale of two cities
    bible: ecclesiastes
    blessings…

  179. The History of Love by Allison Kraus. Amazing. Also, the book thief. I would be happy to have them as myblast books.

  180. Atticus, Ron Hansen
    The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
    The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder
    Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
    Iron and Silk, Mark Salzman
    Lost in Place, Mark Salzman
    Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
    The Road from Coorain, Jill Ker Conway
    Going Solo, Roald Dahl
    84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
    All Creatures Great and Small (or any of his books), James Herriot
    My Friend Flicka, Mary O’Hara
    Letters to Malcolm, CS Lewis
    The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    All favorites for different reasons, but all have passed the multiple-readings test and are on the shorter side since there isn’t a lot of time left.
    take care

  181. I had a similar time last fall with my mom. We read her Winnie the Pooh…all the different books, by A. A. Milne. It was magical.

  182. another vote for Outlander
    and also Once and Future King
    Any book by Bill Bryson or Madeleine L’Engle,
    and one I haven’t seen listed but is just plain fun and clever – The Mysterious Benedict Society series. (like many awesome books, written for kids but fantastic fun.)
    All best wishes to your loved one.?

  183. My two favorites – and oldies to boot – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and ANYTHING by Erma Bombeck

  184. might be too late for you to be reading comments, but Princess Bride is such a great book – there’s a couple of changes from the movie. Something about it has always stayed with me.
    I guess I need to check in on the Outlander series. I had issues with the time-traveling aspect, but maybe not.

  185. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
    Owen and Mzee by Hatkoff, Hatkoff & Kahumbu
    A Primate’s Memoir by Robert Sapolsky
    Giraffes Can’t Dance by Andreae & Parker-Rees

  186. Another vote for The Night Circus – the only book I have ever read from beginning to end and then immediately started over.
    Much love to you and yours x

  187. Books:
    A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
    Lunatic Villas by Marian Engel
    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    The Fire-Dwellers by Margaret Laurence
    People You Can Trust Your Life To by Bronwen Wallace
    All of these are fairly short and widely available from any good library.

  188. -one of Roald Dahl’s short story collections- I own and love “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More”
    -“Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison
    -children’s/young adult books (good ones that adults can also enjoy) — off the top of my head I can only think of “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
    sending love to you and your friend.

  189. 84 Charing Cross Road
    Einstein’s Dreams
    Longitude
    all personal favorites, all former bestsellers though they might be hard to find in a small bookstore. They are all high quality, entertaining, not plot driven so they are easy to dip into, and good enough to reread. And they are relatively brief. For those “Guernsey” book lovers, check out 84 Charing Cross Road. Guernsey is a pale imitation of 84.

  190. David sedaris reads his books and his delivery is awesome. Might be good if your loved one wants to listen.

  191. Handling Sin by Michael Malone, may not be currently in print. It has long been the book I would want with me if I were stranded on a desert island and I could have only one. Uproariously, laugh out loud funny, but thought provoking too.

  192. For spiritual comfort, anything by Rumi or any of the angel books by Lorna Byrne
    For great fiction with a lovely message “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson
    Blessings!

  193. Peter Beagle is my favorite author and I’d suggest “The Last Unicorn” or “A dance for Emilia” He has many good others but those both will be a good read and perhaps bring some enjoyment. Thoughts and prayers to you and your friend.

  194. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. One of the world’s funniest books with extraordinarily satisfying ending.
    Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend.

  195. best “listen to” book (audiobook) i’ve ever had was “the secret life of bees” by sue monk kidd. it was beautiful and made me think of summer. personal favorites are jane eyre and life of pi. and the lion, the witch and the wardrobe, of course. my first chapter book and my first true love. my best thoughts to you and your friend.

  196. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
    Persuasion by Jane Austen
    Winne-the-Pooh original stories by A.A. Milne

  197. Definitely “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” – I would read it as my last novel, I think. I also really liked “Secret Life of Bees” and “The Penderwicks.”

  198. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
    Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

  199. I would suggest Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan C. Merrill (Dec 18, 2006

  200. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
    anything by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Kite Runner by Khaleid Hosseini
    anything by David Sedaris
    I agree with the John Green Fault in Our Stars recommendation
    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
    The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
    I hope your friend’s journey is not too painful and is filled with the love it sounds like they receive from people like you.
    Robin

  201. “The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”. It’s beautifully written and uplifting without being sappy. It’s how I’d like to think of the world – flawed but basically good.

  202. Audiobooks – great one “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”.

  203. I see it’s already been suggested, but The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is wonderful. Such a beautiful book.
    Love to your friend!

  204. The Redwall series. I know they’re children’s books, but you can really get lost in them. Also, the audio books are really fun – all of the characters are read in different voices.

  205. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Uplifting, hopeful and speaks of the power of what we give to the world and leave in our future/past.

  206. Laurie Colwin, Happy All the Time
    It is witty, and true, and not at all sentimental; Ms. Colwin died too young, but left us this and several other books, full of real people, relationships, emotions–if it were a knitted garment, we’d exclaim at the extraordinary stitch definition.

  207. Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden
    Susanna Kearsley, The Winter Sea.

  208. I hope I’m not too late, because I’m a book-lover, too… and this situation reaches me.
    I’d give hopeful, beautiful books.
    #1 on my list is one not commonly read these days, but one of the books I truly believe everyone should read: “The Little Bookroom” by Eleanor Farjeon. It’s a collection of quirky, odd, and beautiful stories, all original, but somehow drawing on the child-stories we all know.
    #2 is another uncommon one, but quite nearly as wonderful: “The Reluctant Dragon,” by Kenneth Grahame. I can’t describe it– it’s a short read, and it must be read, not described.
    #3 is another Eleanor Farjeon book, “Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard,” for love, rebirth, and hope. It’s beautiful.

  209. Anything by Jasper Fforde or Neil Gaiman. I third or fourth “The Book Thief”. How about “Princess Bride”?

  210. The last two books I read and didn’t want to end:
    The Birth House by Ami MacKay
    The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    Thinking about you and yours…really.

  211. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    Moving Mars by Greg Bear
    Darwins Children/Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear
    Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer
    Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safron Foer
    Any of Tamora Pierce’s books
    The Hunger Games bu Suzanne Collins
    The Girl in the Steel Corset – Kady Cross
    Any of Laurie Halse-Andersons books

  212. Terry Pratchett: I love his Discworld series; my world seems better knowing that Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, Sam Vimes and Corporal Carrot are in the world; a wacky, weird and wonderful world.

  213. Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
    Whatever books they loved in childhood. (Roxaboxen feels like home to me.)

  214. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King, truthfully I’d recommend any of her books!

  215. There are some great suggestions on this list but if your friend loves to read, I think it is safe to assume that she has discovered some of the greats like Jane Austen already so I would go with something newer or a little off the beaten path.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the Night Circus. It was gorgeously written, enchanting and dream-like!
    I would add The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield to the list. It’s a great book lover’s book in which Jane Eyre and other great literature plays a major part in a compelling mystery.
    Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn or Charles de Lint’s Someplace to Be Flying are both incredible books!
    The Mermaid’s Singing by Lisa Carey was also amazing.

  216. The Grand Sophy- Georgette Heyer, Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons, any Jane Austen, any Haruki Murukami. And I second Wind in the Willows – such a beautiful book.

  217. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, definitely.
    Jan Karon’s Mitford series if this person would enjoy a homey series about a middle-aged Episcopal minister in a small town.
    Robert Fulghum essays for a loving laugh in the midst of tough times.
    Virtual hugs and prayers going out to you and yours.

  218. As I hit post way too soon on my last comment, I just want to add that you and your friend will be in my thoughts.

  219. the outlander books are awesome, also early maeve binchy are good, especially as audible books- – a good listen is transporting when the reader is good and both of these series have great readers, also lee smith books come to mind, and triganni books

  220. Most of my favorites are by women and usually about women.
    Ahab’s Wife (Sena Jeter Naslund), Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden), Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende or anything by Isabel Allende – even her version of Zorro is good.
    I also second the recommendations of Prayer for Owen Meany (Irving) and Life of Pi.
    Couldn’t get through Time Travelers Wife – too much back and forth to keep up with – confusing.

  221. I think this is a beautiful thing to do for your friend. I am a Reader, and even if I found myself in your friend’s situation and was totally unable to actually read the books, the gift and the thought would mean so much to me.
    My touchstone books, that have been a comfort to me at every life event so far:
    Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
    Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
    Thank you for inviting people to share. I have enjoyed looking through people’s suggestions.

  222. “Island,” Aldous Huxley. About an aboriginal tribe on an undiscovered island that has a very liberating and uplifting philosophy of what death means.

  223. The Night Circus by Morgenstern, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by See, and The Stolen Child by Donohue…ALL are magical.

  224. The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende is beautiful.
    The Whole Story and Other Stories by Ali Smith.
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman… and/or Stardust.
    The Phantom Tollbooth… I can’t recall the author, but I remember reading it as a kid and it was so lovely.
    And something by Michael Ondaatje. His poetry would be best, or his semi-biography, Running in the Family. He writes exquisite scenes.

  225. Another vote for James Herriot — its what I asked my husband to bring me in the hospital when I almost died (thank goodness for modern medicine). His stories just make me feel good. In addition, because his books are actually lots of short stories, they don’t require a long attention span or remembering complex plots from day to day.
    I have to disagree with The Book Thief. It is a fantastic book that touched me deeply, but not what I would want to read if I were terminally ill, or give to a terminally ill person. The tragic sections could be very upsetting to a person in those circumstances.

  226. My read again and again books are:
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    Paradise by Toni Morrison
    Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
    And of course most of the works of Jane Austen, but if your friend is a book lover I assume they have either already read them or already decided they don’t like them.

  227. My magical three all linked by the same theme
    To Kill a Mocking bird
    The Secret Life of Bees
    The Help
    All time drama and romance based on a true story
    The Tigerclaw

  228. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, because it’s full of puns and wordplay and childlike wonder at the amazingness of the world.

  229. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – wonderful story of friendship told in letters between an American and a London used bookshop owner. And I second Guernsey Literary Society and Time Travelers Wife – loved both of them. Best wishes and peace in what must be a tough time for you and your friend.

  230. The at Home in Mitford series. Definitely the first book “a light in the window”.

  231. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Addams.

  232. If they like fantasy novels at all, Lois McMaster Bujold’s *Curse of Chalion* and *Paladin of Souls*. Great characters, great worldbuilding, great stories.

  233. The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. A wonderful story that can carry one away, even in the midst of great trouble.

  234. It’s hard to know what will appeal to someone else. For warmhearted humor, all the (5)”All Creatures Great and Small” series by James Herriott, for a long, historical, romantic saga, “Green Dolphin Street” by Elizabeth Goudge, and for comfort, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Rabbi Kushner.

  235. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
    Our Lady of the Lost and Found (Diane Schoemperlen)
    Little Big (John Crowley)

  236. I probably 100th Erin Morgenstern’s “Night Circus.”
    Also, Nick Bantock’s “Windflower” or Griffin & Sabine series.
    “The Mists of Avalon”
    Sending love to you and all of yours.
    Katie =^..^=

  237. Anne Lamott – yes — funny and inspirational.
    Art of Racing in the Rain, also agree.
    Bill Bryson’s books are enjoyable, light, pick up & put down, especially “Notes from a Small Island” about an American living in England. Laugh-out-loud funny.
    Do be prepared, though, that she may not read. When my best friend was dying of cancer at age 44 she didn’t feel like reading at all even though she’d always been an avid reader. She enjoyed fun, familiar music, having her good friends help her with making sure everything would be okay for her family, and the company of close friends. And she liked watching “Touched by an Angel.”
    I’m so sorry you have to go through this.

  238. Anything by Barbara Kingsolver. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh… Where the Heart is by Billie Letts… Anything by Ann Patchett…

  239. I’m pretty sure no one else will suggest this one:
    “Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod” by Gary Paulsen. My favorite book of all-time.

  240. Barbara Kingsolver – poisonwood bible. Absolutely and most definitely.
    Pigeon English.
    Allende’s Daughter of Fortune, particularly if your friend has any link to or interest in San Francisco.

  241. Ah, Tove Jannson, a winter book. Short stories but related to each other and just so beautiful. A book to be savoured story by story.

  242. *Another vote for the Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    *Basically anything by Neil Gaiman
    *Basically anything by Bill Bryson–my faves are In a Sunburned Country, A Walk in the Woods, and Neither Here nor There
    *Bird by Bird, Travelling Mercies, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, all by Anne Lamott
    *Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

  243. Just some of my favorite stand alone books
    Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    Blue Moon Rising by Simon R. Green
    Deerskin by Robin McKinley
    The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    My Antonia by Willa Cather

  244. I’d give them the ones that made me laugh out loud:
    Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) – the audiobook for this one is delightful too
    The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)
    and the ones that make me happy:
    The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)
    Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)
    Eight Cousins and A Rose In Bloom (Louisa May Alcott)
    Those are just off the top of my head, but I am sending some love to your friend and to you.

  245. Any book by Lauraine Snelling;
    ‘The Shack’ by William P Young;
    The New Testament in a modern translation (eg The Message’);
    Any of the ‘Little Women’ series ….
    Thoughts and prayers from across the Pond.

  246. The “Maisie Dobbs” mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear is light and still intelligent. For a laugh or to ease the spirits, animal lovers can’t go wrong with James Herriott’s “All Creatures Great and Small” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”
    Comfort and strength to you and your loved one during this challenge.

  247. Not much time?? Get an Audible membership!! I’ve been a member for over 10 years now & I can listen to Audible books when I’m driving, walking, waiting for the dentist, laying in the dentist’s chair, while doing dishes, during long hours of data entry, while knitting, spinning . . . you get my drift! And they can be shared on up to FIVE devices. I highly recommend “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society”. Based on the actual memories of the people on the island who survived WWII. It’s written with a full cast who tell their stories to a young London reporter to falls in love with Guernsey & it’s people. It made me laugh & cry at the same time.

  248. 100 years of solitude. Beautiful writing and a hopeful tale. Any short story.
    I am sorry and am thinking of you, your family, and your friend. I hope for peaceful times for all of you.

  249. The Piano Tuner – Daniel Mason
    A Woman of Independent Means – Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

  250. West with the Night by Beryl Markham. A memoir of a remarkable life with some of the most compelling prose ever written.
    Lost Horizon by James Hilton. A great story, well told.
    Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. More than 100 years old and still fresh and laugh out loud funny.

  251. I love the comments here. So many books I need to read. So many I should re-read.
    Wishing your friend peace and love.

  252. If it weren’t for the title I’d suggest Last Chance To See by Douglas Adams. The german Title is “Die letzten ihrer Art” which means as much as “The last and therfore most precious ones of their specimen”.
    Else:
    Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future – Olaf Stapledon
    The Chain of Chance – The one and only crime novel Stanis?aw Lem wrote.
    Goethe’s correspondence with a child – Bettine von Arnim.
    Letters Back to Ancient China – Herbert Rosendorfer
    Funny novel about an ancient chinese emperor who, by a time lapse accident pops up in Munich/Bavaria of the 1980ies an writes about his adventures to his friend in old China.

  253. I like books by Cecelia Ahern. Anywhere But Here, P.S. I love You, etc.

  254. Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
    Dragonsong by Anne Mccaffrey
    Those are both starts to series but I think you could read them alone and still be happy with the outcomes.

  255. I second the person who said The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, and if anyone wrote A Tale of Two Cities, I second that one, too. The latter is a classic, and for a reason. It truly lifts up my spirit to read such beautiful language. Maybe it will do the same for your friend.

  256. Also, The Wind in the Willows. Thoughts about home, and friends and loyalty, comic relief and beautiful writing.

  257. Julie Rose’s translation of Les Miserables- -beautiful, beautiful language. Bel Canto by Anne Patchett. MFK Fisher’s the Art of Eating and Julia Child’s, My Life in France.

  258. Coffee with Nonna by Vincent Iezzi
    As others have mentioned, the Harry Potter series is captivating, but the books are heavy. Perhaps an ebook or audiobook edition?

  259. The one hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared. (Laugh out loud funny near the end.)
    I am so sorry xCx

  260. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It’s my favorite book of all times. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. Also, enjoy Regina Brett books–they are fabulous

  261. Any of Miichael Palins travel books. And if not up to reading, the accompanying photographic books by Basil Pao are beautiful

  262. CS Lewis. Or, watch the movie Shadowlands, which is a marvelous evocation of his life and faith.

  263. What a sad and beautiful thing to be doing.
    I second a number of the ideas above – Wodehouse, Austin, CS Lewis, Tolkein, Terry Pratchett, Herriot, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Tried and true, and comforting.

  264. Mink River by Robert Doyle
    Amazing book about spirituality, but not in a religous specific way. It really changed my outlook on pretty much everything.

  265. Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry
    Shogun – James Clavell
    Hawaii – James A. Michener
    River God – Wilbur Smith
    The Harry Potter books
    The Shell Seekers – Rosamund Pilcher

  266. Wind in the Willows –
    The Egg and I – Betty MacDonald
    Travels in West Africa – Mary Kingsley
    All insightful and brilliant!!

  267. For a book of quick stories that are funny but serious get Nora Ephron’s “I Remember Nothing”. It was her last book and was a perfect goodbye.
    For a novel to lose yourself in try a Pat Conroy book. He is in my opinion the best writer of this generation. “Beach Music” and “The Prince of Tides” are both fantastic.

  268. For a book of quick stories that are funny but serious get Nora Ephron’s “I Remember Nothing”. It was her last book and was a perfect goodbye.
    For a novel to lose yourself in try a Pat Conroy book. He is in my opinion the best writer of this generation. “Beach Music” and “The Prince of Tides” are both fantastic.

  269. “Time of Wonder” by Robert McCloskey,
    a beautiful picture book by the author of “Make Way for Ducklings.”
    “Busman’s Honeymoon'” by Dorothy L. Sayers. My favorite of her mysteries. Mostly a love story.
    “Mortimer Says Nothing” by Joan Aiken a long, detailed, funny story for kids about a raven that’s probably in a collection; there’s a really good recording that’s probably only available in libraries.
    I love that you’re doing this and I want to read everything in the comments. Best to you both

  270. When I didn’t know what my future would hold last year when I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, I wanted to read the Harry Potter series again. At that time it was likely I wouldn’t be able to read it but the audio books would be great.
    Also, I loved someone’s suggestion for the Princess Bride! I didn’t want anything too serious or sad. That book is perfect.

  271. The Tempest (Shakespeare)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
    And Never Said a Word (Heinrich Boll)
    Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Louis de Bernieres) – so much better than the movie…

  272. Just very recently finished reading Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, and loved it – considering I’m not as avid as a reader as I wish I was, I couldn’t put it down.

  273. World According to Garp, Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving
    Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
    much, much love.

  274. The mirror of her dreams and A man rides through, 2 books, one continuing story. By Stephen R Donaldson. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

  275. If I didn’t have much time left to read, I would want to read things that weren’t too sad or philosophical, but at the same time had substance. With that in mind, here are a few recommendations:
    The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword and Sunshine by Robin McKinley.
    These are all fabulous adventure stories, with wonderful strong female heroines. Sunshine may be my favorite vampire novel of all time, and surprisingly, there’s no need to be put off by the fact that there are vampires. It is lovely.
    The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer.
    This is a regency romance, but not the sexy kind. It’s funny with endearing and lovely characters, and remains one of the first books I reach for when I’m feeling blue.
    Neverwhere and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
    I really can’t say enough good things about this man’s writing. Neverwhere is about London, and it is imaginative and brilliant and beautiful. American Gods is a classic.
    I hope that you find the perfect book for your friend.

  276. Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
    Things I learned from knitting (there are some wonderful gut busters in there)
    Anything with Jeeves and Wooster (Wodehouse)
    Crocodile on the Sandbank (E. Peters — a silly mystery)
    Prayers for your friend.

  277. The Little Prince. Or something completely different and very funny The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love .
    You are both in my thoughts.

  278. Pratchett! I forgot about him.
    “Nation” (YA, so a bit lighter, but still Pratchett-esque)
    “Wee Free Men”
    “Hogfather”
    Etc, etc…
    Katie =^..^=

  279. The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty, also excellent as an audio book read by the author. The Holy Man by Susan Trott. To Kill a Mockingbird. Jane Austin. Great Expectations by Dickens.
    Thinking of you and yours.

  280. Anything Jane Austen! Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility.
    For something fun, but light, and great as a read aloud, Peter & the Starcatchers (prior to the whole Peter Pan story)
    Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath

  281. My thoughts are with you and your friend.
    It is not clear whether someone is going to read them to him or her, or whether they will read by themselves. If the latter, please consider paperback books. I once spent six weeks flat on my back with a leg in traction, and holding up a book became very tiring. Paperbacks are lighter.

  282. I want to second or third “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. I laughed so hard.
    Anything by Bryson will make you laugh but that one was just exceptional.

  283. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Each Book is stand alone, but follows the character along. First in the series in ‘Storm Front’. Alternately, they are also available as audiobooks, read masterfully by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

  284. The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman. The story stretches across many generations in a small town, from the 1700’s to the present, and is beautiful and full of life.

  285. What about a subscription to audible.com? They have wonderful audiobooks easily downloaded to their device of choice.
    I think all the suggestions are lovely, but would also like to suggest things you can return to – Jane Auston, Louisa May Alcott and the like. It’s like visiting an old friend.
    Best wishes to you and your friend.

  286. Gilead by Marilyn Robinson. A book about love that you need to read in small thoughtful pieces. Only a few characters, and so beautifully written. Perfect for those of us with only spare minutes here and there.

  287. If it’s not too late for the bookstore, Frost on My Moustache by Tim Moore is what I read whenever I need to laugh. It’s the funniest book I’ve ever read — I have to read when I’m alone in the house because I laugh out loud on every page.

  288. Another vote for A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It’s one of my favorites.

  289. I would suggest buying them any of the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s an amazing series for people of ALL ages.
    Also, Miss Marple the Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie is PERFECT if they’re a fellow knitter since Miss Marple was known for her knitting.

  290. (Listening to Outlander while reading this post) 🙂
    I suggest the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy by Ursula LeGuin (or anything by her, for that matter).
    Mary’s Stuart’s The Crystal Cave trilogy, also.

  291. Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People you Meet in Heaven, and Have a Little Faith, all by Mitch Albom. Easy reading, thoughtful, gentle, wise.

  292. I’m so sorry. It’s harder to recommend when you don’t know if someone is losing their sight or their life, but here goes:
    I tend towards engaging and fun – which also tends towards YA type reading. I echo Harry Potter and Hunger Games. I laughed out loud with every book in the Stephanie Plum (“the numbers” series: One for the Money is the first) series by Janet Evanovich — but I have found that women find it funnier than men. The Mrs. Pollifax series are mystery/spy type with a retired woman as the “spy” – entertaining as well. I have cried every time I read “Love You Forever” so I’m not sure if it’s appropriate. “Mr. Nick’s Knitting” is also fabulous in the same kind of way – and has knitting as a theme, too! I also find the “Gallagher Girls” series a fun, fast read. First book is “I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You” by Ally Carter.
    Best wishes to you.

  293. Oh, and for a good laugh I always turn to Robertson Davies book,
    Leaven of Malice. He cracks me up!
    And Flannery O’Connor’s Habit of Being is a wonderful collection of her letters that make you feel like you are getting mail every day — from someone highly intelligent and amusing.

  294. Laurie King – Sherlock Holmes series – starts with “Bee Keeper’s Apprentice”

  295. So sorry to hear, and so wonderful and thoughtful of you to do this. Sending you and yours warm thoughts.
    Love in the Time of Cholera by G Garcia-Marquez
    Franny and Zooey or Nine Stories by JD Salinger
    The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by M Chabon
    Middlesex by J Eugenides

  296. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    Engine Summer by John Crowley
    Morgan’s Passing by Anne Tyler
    The Giver by Lois Lowry

  297. The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
    The Red Pyramid
    Throne of Fire
    The Serpent’s Shadow
    All are action-packed, fun and fascinating novels about two children who find out they are descended from great Egyptian royalty and magicians (and who have to save the world, by the way). They read fast and have great appeal to readers of all ages.
    Good luck!

  298. Anything by you — it will be like spending time with an old friend 🙂

  299. “The Help”. The audiobook was excellent also.
    “An Old-Fashioned Girl” by Louisa May Alcott.
    I know someone suggested an Erma Bombeck selection. I think any of her books would be a delight. (I’ve said this before, I think you are the Erma Bombeck for knitters!)
    Such a heartfelt gift.

  300. The red tent
    the mermaid chair
    Light a penny candle or any Maeve Binchy novel
    Prayers for you and your loved one.

  301. There’s a lot i agree with – Time Traveller’s Wife, Handmaid’s Tale (or Any Atwood), And Pratchett (just finished The Long Earth and I feel some of Pratchett’s own battle comes through). And Gaiman of course. His short story collections are amazing (smoke and mirrors and fragile things)
    For anyone who’s ever been to London and likes a touch of Urban Fantasy, River of London is brilliant (there’s 2 more, but they’re all quick reads). They’re by Ben Aaronovitch
    One of my favourite ‘forgotten’ magic realism books is “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel and in a similar vein, Eva Luna by Allende
    If your friend wants a silly laugh, then if you can find them, I recommend Kirsty Brooks (she’s Australian so might be hard to find her books…) Lady Luck or The Vodka Dialogue are a good place to start.
    If this friend loves fantasy but doesn’t want to get stuck into an endless series, then The Redemption of Althalus is a great stand alone (David Eddings) or Mordant’s Need (the mirror of her dreams and a man rides through) by Stephen Donaldson are both great.
    But i know, I personally, would want to make sure i read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking glass again.

  302. “Come and sit by my laughing fire”, poems by the late wife of Rev. Billy Graham. I have often turned to it for wisdom and comfort. She talks of love, family and loss. It is warm and re-assuring.

  303. “The Mistress of Nothing” by Kate Pullinger,
    and almost everything else that’s already been suggested!
    Much love to you and yours.

  304. James Herriot books. I find them wonderful, gentle, and soothing. The chapters can be stand-alone-stories — taken all together they add up to a lovely journey.

  305. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Both are moving, relevant. not maudlin, empowering.

  306. Try Above All Things, the dual story of George Mallory’s attempt to climb Mt. Everest and of his wife’ concurrent vigil in England. Written by Tanis Rideout a Canadian author. I heard her interviewed about the book earlier this week on CBC and paid the big bucks to get it delivered super fast post from Amazon for my BFF’s birthday tomorrow.

  307. I haven’t read all the comments above, so apologies for any repeat suggestions:
    Persuasion–Jane Austen
    Pride and Prejudice–Jane Austen
    The Woman in White–Wilkie Collins
    the four Harriet Vane mysteries by Dorothy Sayers (they should be read in order, which I think is): Strong Poison, Hangman’s Holiday, Gaudy Night (my favorite! actually this one could stand on its own), Busman’s Honeymoon
    Possession–AS Bayatt
    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand–can’t remember the author, it was published recently
    Middlemarch–George Eliot

  308. I’m late getting to this! But the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith is fantastic! They are quick to read, happy, feel-good books. I read them when i’m in school because they are easy to read and fun

  309. I second the commenters who suggested “A Big Little Life” and “Bliss to You” by Dean Koontz. I absolutely love those books.
    I will keep you – and the person you love – in my thoughts…

  310. Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen. Short and although it appears to be about religion, is actually the most beautiful evocation of life on earth (the actual, planted, harvested ground) and seasons ever written.

  311. It’s so hard to make recommendations without knowing the person but if he/she likes mysteries the Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny are wonderful. They are set in the Southern Quebec (imaginary) town of Three Pines and are beautifully written. The first one is Still Life.
    Another beautifully written mystery series is by Julia Spencer-Fleming about a female Episcopalian priest in Vermont. The first of those is In the Bleak Midwinter. These are available as audiobooks as are the Louise Penny books.
    I also love Elly Griffiths’ books about Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist in Norfolk, England. The first one is The Crossing Places.
    I heartily endorse the idea of PG Wodehouse and some of those are available on Libravox.com from which you can download audiobooks. The books are read by volunteers and the quality can vary.
    The Lucia and Mapp books by E.F. Benton are on my list of books for comfort reading. Another series of books are those by Angela Thirkell which are set in English between the world wars. I like the earlier ones better than the later ones and they can be read in any order. Titles that spring to mind are High Rising and Pomfret Towers but there are many more.

  312. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – it’s about a book and how it moves through time and various owners. It’s lovely and good for book lovers.

  313. Winnie the Pooh. I am not kidding. These stories have brought my family great comfort in times of sickness and sadness. They are stories of true friendship. Godspeed.

  314. The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves – there is also a fabulous audio version too
    The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

  315. My heart goes out to you and your loved one. What a kind gesture. If I were entering hospice, say, even if I didn’t feel like reading such a gesture would make me feel so loved and valued for the things that make me me.
    I agree with the audiobook direction (or reading aloud yourself). The Chronicles of Narnia, as others have mentioned, would be my first suggestion. Audible offers an outstanding set of unabridged recordings of those short books, and they are read by top-flight British actors including Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Northam, and Vanessa Redgrave. The Pooh stories would also be lovely.
    Many of the commenters have mentioned The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. That is one of my favorite recent novels, and the audiobook is brilliantly done. For me personally, it would not be on my list for the utmost end of my life, but it is excellent, and I commend it to you for yourself if not for your loved one.
    Prayers to you for comfort and grace to bear this sadness.

  316. Having been in this situation before, I would find out the reader’s childhood favorites. I know that if I had only a few books left in me to read, I would be reading The Lord Of the Rings, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, even Nancy Drew. The simple things are the ones that stay till the end and make the biggest impression.

  317. Mitford Years/Father Tim series by Jan Karon – the best audio books with thoughtful insight and laugh out loud giggles
    I second James Herriott collection of Dog Stories, my personal favorite is the one about the farting boxer
    Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by Haywood Smith – absolutely hilarious
    Hugs to you and your friend
    Vinyl Cafe story collections by Canadian Stuart McLean (audio available by download)
    Bridges of Madison County – a real tear jerker

  318. I love Barbara Pym – I would recommend Excellent Women or Some Tame Gazelle – Pym was an English author who wrote about post-war Britain, lovely warm-hearted characters, small village country life; perfect to sit with a cup of tea and relax and enjoy. Pure escapism.

  319. My thoughts and heart will be with you and your loved one during this time.
    If this person has science leanings, I recommend 40 Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson. Interesting and moral main character, good science, politics, and…Tibetan Buddhism. Great read for both me and my scientist husband who reads one paragraph a night before he falls asleep. You have more good tips to choose from. Follow your heart.

  320. Another vote for The Night Circus… also loved A Light Between Oceans. Another good one ( with the most fantastic title) is The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making.

  321. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn – could NOT put this book down! Amazing page turner!

  322. I second the recommendation for The Little Prince.
    Also consider Nevil Shute’s Trustee from the Toolroom. My DBIL was a great reader and read that (at our recommendation) in his last few months and enjoyed it. Others of Nevil Shute — EXCEPT NOT On the Beach. Most of his books are interesting and positive and don’t give you nightmares as that one gave me.

  323. Something by John McPhee. Everything he’s written is good, but Encounters with the Archdruid and Survival of the Bark Canoe are exceptional. Or Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, which may not be his master work but it’s lovely, warm-hearted, and hilarious in a way that only Neil can pull off.

  324. The Giver-Lois Lowry, it’s short and young, but wonderful.
    Harry Potter- may be too long, but they were such a part of my life that I would reread them.
    Hamlet-I was never a lover of Shakespeare, but for some reason I loved this play.
    Poetry, I could read just a little, or a ton depending on the mood- Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allen Poe
    Insomnia-Stephen King, may be a difficult read at the end of life, but I must have read it 100 times.
    I hope that the end of this life is as gentle as possible, and respected in all of the ways that matter. Good luck in the coming times.

  325. This winter, I have been passionately obsessed with reading the memoirs of Jennifer Worth retelling her years in the East End of post-war London as a district midwife. there are 3 volumes; CALL THE MIDWIFE, IN THE SHADOW OF THE WORKHOUSE and FAREWELL TO THE EAST END. Another beautiful, but sadly haunting tale is UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY by Canadian author Shandi Mitchell. An account of the hardships of a Ukrainian immigrant family determined to survive the Depression years on the prairies. I could go on forever, but these are most recent gems…

  326. Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
    Full of beautiful language and thoughts on life:
    “We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.”
    It is a story that takes you somewhere else, allowing you to see love, suffering, and life in a different perspective.
    And my all time favorite, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  327. Little Women, Little House on the Prairie – any,
    Anne of Green Gables, Talk Before Sleep (Elizabeth Berg), My Dog Skip (Willie Morris), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), A Woman’s Book of Courage (Sue Patton Thole), Prodigal Summer (Barbara Kingsolver), The Water is Wide (Pat Conroy),
    like mysteries? Robert Crais writes Elvis Cole series – all entertaining.
    Must stop at 10! Namaste

  328. The School of Essential Ingredients can’t remember the author. Beautifully written and light.
    Take the best care…
    Wendy

  329. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. Published in the 1940s, it’s now considered a young adult novel. It’s an absorbing and heartwarming story of a family in genteel poverty in the English countryside; the characters are so lovely I want to hug the book every time I see it. Very sweet and affirming.

  330. THE STONE DIARIES by Carol Shields. The writing is so extraordinary, I read it almost in one sitting, then opened it up and started again.

  331. Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen
    (usually can be bought as one book, although originally published separately)
    The movie with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep didn’t do it justice. Beautiful language describing a beautiful land, writing to really make you feel the joy and beauty on this earth. Grace and dignity and calm acceptance of the ending of things. A book for people who love words.

  332. “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. Nonfiction, fascinating book about snails and a really long time with debilitating illness and resulting small focused world – likely not the best book for this situation, but very good.
    “Gaudy Night” by Dorothy Sayers – a mystery and love story and a finding/becoming oneself, Harriet Vane as main character, with Lord Peter Wimsey of course. Lovely language and good story. A frequent comfort read, and my favorite of her books.
    Robin McKinley. All her books are comfort reads for me, except “Deerskin” (also good, but not comfortable).
    Joshilyn Jackson for compelling intense books that always end with a bit of hope.
    “Bet Me” and “Faking It” by Jennifer Crusie. Contemporary romance, frequent re-reads. “Faking It” is pretty goofy and cheerful and full of nonviolent crime. “Bet Me” is more realistic (sort of!) while being a fairy tale of sorts.
    “Venetia” by Georgette Heyer. Regency romance with a rake and an intelligent woman with an imperfect family who fall in love through long conversations with lots of classical literary references. Takes them a bit to get to their Happily Ever After. Probably my favorite of hers.
    “Witches Abroad” by Terry Pratchett. Hilariously funny and serious at the same time. The running of the bulls! Bwahahaha! A story about the power of stories.
    Poetry. Elizabeth Bishop (“One Art” is a lovely villanelle about loss, again maybe not good for this situation). Edna St Vincent Millay. Anne Sexton. Dylan Thomas (“Being But Men” is a favorite. “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” I argue with.)
    “Winnie the Pooh”
    Maggie Stiefvater for well-written angsty intense paranormal YA with a bit of romance. I love “Scorpio Races.”

  333. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    Maggie Now by Betty Smith
    The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

  334. My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of healing
    Rachel Naomi Remen

  335. Harry Potter on CD. Amazing narrator.
    Pride and Prejudice
    The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  336. Any of the Cat Who… Books by Lillian Jackson Braun (all of which are available in large print & audio books) they are a wonderful series starring journalist Jim Qwilleran and his crime solving Siamese cat Koko and their companion YumYum. Each book is just as wonderful as a stand alone.
    I don’t know how hard it would be to find but “the Best Loved Poems of the American People” is an Excellent compilation!
    I agree also Harry Potter ( also in audiobook format) and PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves & Wooster.

  337. The world according to Garp by John Irving
    About life, death, love, and everything in between. Weird, but so wonderfully funny. I’ve read this book hundreds of times and if I could only ever read one more book, this would be it, hands down
    Close second would be A Short Walk In the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby. A true story about some completely untrained ,en who go to climb a big mountain in 1960s ‘stans – he writes beautifully and you feel like you are there with him

  338. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.
    Or something contemporary .. like Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man.

  339. PS – don’t rite off Garp because of the film – the film missed all the beauty of the book (but if you liked the film, the storyline is the same, just minus his amazing writing so you’d love the book even more)

  340. Oh yes, I have more.
    Pat McIntosh’s Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery Series. Medieval, series starts with “The Harper’s Quine.” Engaging characters with a story arc across the series, a very real feel to the time and place, well-written. 9 so far.

  341. An avid reader has probably read many classics.
    So these are relatively new books.
    I enjoy all books by Tracy Chevalier “Remarkable Creatures” is one.
    Also Susan Vreeland’s books “Clara and Mr. Tiffany”
    My latest good read was a 2012 book: “John Saturnall’s Feast” by Lawrence Norfolk if your friend is in anyway a foodie. (Historic period is 1600’s)

  342. The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
    Garden Spells by Sara Addison Allen

  343. Little Women, Lord of the Rings, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.… Those are all classic favorites if mine that never fail to comfort me.

  344. Anything by Maeve Binchy or Terry Pratchett, the library has these books on CD so you can both listen

  345. Lamb by Christopher Moore, one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It’s narrated by Jesus’s best friend Biff. I’d also recommend “Goodbye Tsugumi” by Banana Yoshimoto. She is a contemporary Japanese author and her prose is quite wonderful.

  346. Bambi – original by Felix Salten
    The Princess Bride – William Goldman (even funnier than the movie)
    anything Tolkien
    Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

  347. “May the Road rise Up to Meet You ” by peter Troy…so lovely. Mary in cincinnati

  348. So many good suggestions. May I add:
    for snorting, tears down your face funny – any short story volume by Patrick McManus (although very young people won’t get them as much).
    for funny, easy – Calvin and Hobbes
    A Town Like Alice, or if sad is ok, On the Beach both by Nevil Shute.
    If it was for me, any of the old classics.

  349. Anything by PG Wodehouse and Jane Austen. Also Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris.

  350. Dean koontz from the corner of his eye about many planes of existence, all the Stephanie plum books by Janet evanovich for belly laughs and Winnie the Pooh for wonderful memories. Such a difficult question. Peace to you and yours.

  351. “I Am David” by Anne Holm. It’s a young adults novel, short, easy to read, but beautifully written.

  352. David Weber “On Basilisk Station”/Honor Harrington series think hHoratio Hornblower in space w/a strong heroine. Wen Spencer,”Tinker” love this series urban fantasy. About anything by Suzanne Brockmann, her Tall, Dark and Handsome series is fun. Her. troubleshooter series is one I always look forward to getting the next book. Usually found in the Romance section. Kim Harrison Rachel Morgan series; Mercedes Lackey Valdemar,; Patricia Briggs, Mercy Thompson; Janet Evanovich, stephanie plum (ok the movie kinda sucked but the book was funny); Eileen Wilkes Lupi series.
    Ok so I have a serious bias towards sci fi/fantasy. I looked at the iPad and the 3 e-reader programs to see what we liked enough to pony up for second copy in e-format. (a cousin and I share our accounts). These are all series that I read again and again.

  353. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Anne Burns is a book about an old man at the end of life, but it is not sad (OK it is sad, but in that grateful-for-life kind of way)
    Farmer Boy – my sister read it during all three of her labours. If it’s good at the beginning of life, it should be good at an end.
    Peanuts cartoons, esp. ca. 1960-1965

  354. Anything by Diana Wynne Jones, but most specifically probably Howl’s Moving Castle which is the easiest to find in book stores and it’s sequels if you can find them. Also her Chrestomanci series is also a fun romp.
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede and it’s sequels are also fun.
    If you are not interested in Fantasy and looking for something more “literary”:
    The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
    But for something fun!
    50th Anniversary Peanuts collection Charles Schultz
    60th Anniversary Peantus collection Charles Schultz

  355. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. It’s a great choice for someone who likes history with a tiny dose of science fiction. The book presents an alternate history of the world if 99% of Europe’s population had died of the Plague, instead of one third. the story is told on 10 distinct eras by characters that are repeatedly reincarnated. Consider both print and audio of any book you choose. As your friend transitions they can continue to enjoy the book.

  356. I second someone waaaay up in the comments section on her suggestions of The Birth House by Am McKay and the Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
    My beloved novel is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
    I hope your book lover enjoys the books and time remaining. There is wonder and magic around us, this life is a blessing.

  357. “Plainsong” by Kent Haruf — Beautiful, gentle and quiet. A day slipped away reading it (all).
    But I agree with previous posts, as many times ill people are too ill to read. My husband, very ill, just liked me to sit beside him and knit.
    My thoughts are with you.

  358. I suggest the Alexander McCall Smith books based on the Isabel Dalhousie character. They are light and charming but revolve around kind and thoughtful people who are fallible but ponder on life and the importance of doing what is right and good. There are also lots of digital versions (which I haven’t tried) and they are easily available from public libraries and book shops.

  359. Oddly enough considering where I am falling I was scrolling through all of the recommendations to see if anyone had mentioned “The Years of Rice and Salt”.
    I cannot recommend it enough, and for someone who is facing the last big step in this realm it provides a great deal of fodder for contemplation with regards to what comes next.

  360. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
    Little Women by LM Alcott
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    These are the three books that I would want to read if I only had limited time left. Thinking of you.

  361. “Medicine River” by Thomas King
    “Barking” by Tom Holt
    “Captain Alatriste” or “The Club Dumas” by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
    “The egg and I” by Betty Macdonald
    Any of Michael Palin’s travel diaries
    “The book on the bookshelf” by Henry Petroski

  362. Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill. An older friend’s mom read it shortly before her end and found it wonderful. By coincidence, I gave it to that friend shortly after her mother died.
    The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford as a tale of redemption and healing.
    The Fourth Hand by John Irving (I saw Owen Meaney above and that’s also a favorite)
    Yes, also to The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. Absolutely beautiful.

  363. I also recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein…excellent and fast read. I love that the book is written from the dog’s point of view. made me cry..

  364. How about A Discovery of Witches and the second book in the series Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness? I really loved them. Unfortunately the third book isn’t going to be out for a while.

  365. American Gods, Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (Madeleine L’Engle), Contact (Carl Sagan), and Suite Française (Irène Nemirovsky – despite the title, it’s available in English).

  366. I would recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows.

  367. I recommend “The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist, Shepherd” by Mary Rose O’Reilly, poems by Mary Oliver, and poems by Wendell Barry.
    Mary Rose O’Reilly’s book is heartwarming, funny, difficult, and engaging. Mary Oliver’s poems are earthy and luminous, and Wendell Barry’s poems speak to our need to care for the earth and each other.

  368. Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
    Pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman, really. Fragile Things is an excellent collection of his short stories.
    I send love to you and your friend.

  369. I love the Outlander series. Its about a woman who ends up as a time traveler and falls in love with a sexy Scot in Scotland. Nothing better than an love story.
    Prayers for your friends and for you also. These things are always hard and never easy and most of all heart breaking. Enjoy these last times with your friend and cherish them forever. Never forget the memories of your past.

  370. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
    Stamping Butterflies by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
    Tourists by Lisa Goldstein
    Marrow by Robert Reid
    Lamb by Christopher Moore

  371. I agree with those who said “short stories” and one of the collections I recommend is The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor.

  372. Broken for You – Stephanie Kallos. Just simply a beautiful, heart-warming story. Thoughts are with you.

  373. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: a most bizarre, compelling, suck-you-in book.

  374. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Get two copies so you can read it, too.
    A Wrinkle in Time

  375. How lovely that you are taking books, how lovely that so many have suggested such a wonderful list. I’ve written down several that I want to read for myself. I second (third, etc.) The Time Traveler’s Wife – such a loving, touching book. And Eat Pray Love is so much better than the movie – a beautifully constructed story. Anything by Rosamunde Pilcher will evoke the strength, warmth, and resilience of the whole UK (and they always make me hungry!)… Hope that all is positive, loving, and right in its own way for you and your loved one.

  376. James Thurber (author). I would think a little humor might be appreciated

  377. Cloudstreet by Tim winton
    Breath by Tim winton (amazing Australian author)
    Poisonwood bible by barbara kinsolver
    Blind assassin by Margaret Atwood
    Little white secrets by Catherine jinks
    Anything written by Barbara vine (pseudonym for Ruth rendell)
    Leaning towards infinity by sue woolfe
    Xx

  378. The Martian Chronicles, or Dandelion Wine, both by Ray Bradbury. Short stories of the very best kind.

  379. So many excellent recommendations, many authors I have read and others I have put on my own reading list.
    Please give some serious thought to choosing to read a book aloud to your friend. It will save the conversation of independent reading becoming too difficult on his or her own and will be excellent time spent together.
    David Sedaris on audiobook is amazing. Hearing him deliver his stories is better than holding his book and enjoying the feel of the words on the page.

  380. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. A “children’s book” / short story that answers the question, what is real?

  381. The Girl on the Cliff – Lucinda Riley
    The Silence of Trees – Valya Dudycz Lupescu
    The Dovekeepers – Alice Hoffman
    In that order, those are the best books that I have read in quite some time. I recommend them to anyone who sincerely enjoys reading. They are very well written and their characters are deep and believable. I am a better person for having read them.

  382. I second the suggestion of James Thurber.
    Also:
    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
    A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
    Most anything by Maya Angelou
    Dandelion Wine or The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury
    Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
    The Princess Bride by WIlliam Goldman
    Hugs to you and the reader.

  383. A good book of short stories. Good idea for reading aloud to someone who might be in a weakened state and appreciative of the time and comfort of that.
    My mother in law passed from cancer, during her process of death i read to her daily from her bible, and from my book of C.S Lewis short stories.

  384. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
    And a correction, the Velveteen Rabbit is written by Margery Williams Bianco

  385. Bossypants by Tina Fey
    Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
    State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
    Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
    ((hugs)) to you and the reader you love

  386. Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White
    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
    (and agree with the comments regarding books on CD to listen to may be better)
    These are both relatively short and have eccentric and interesting characters.
    I also like the Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

  387. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Fab.u.lous.
    (And the sequel, Days of Blood & Starlight.) Daughter is funny, sweet, sad, gloriously creative and so well written. A friend sent it to me last year, and its become one of my favorites. Karou, the main character, is an art student in Prague with a side to her life that she’s kept secret.

  388. American Gods -Gaiman
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay -Chabon

  389. Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley. The Chosen and Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok. Seconding Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Khalil Gibran’s Poetry, any of them. Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke. I know you didn’t ask for music, but Bach is awesome. The Art of Fugue, especially.
    Sounds like you’re in a rough spot right. Much love and hugs for you and your reader, and your families.

  390. Drawing in the Dust by Zoe Klein. For non-fiction, Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

  391. The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford…set in the Canadian Rockies, wonderful story to listen to and beautiful writing.

  392. If I had only a few books left to read, I would re-read my oldest favourites:
    Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy
    English Mediaeval Embroidery by Mrs A.G.I Christie
    The poetry of Gerard Manly Hopkins, Seamus Heaney and John Donne: I think I’d like to go out to A Valediction Forbidding Mourning!

  393. I am so sorry. As a reader I would not want to miss…
    All books by Anne Lamott
    She’s Come Undone
    All the early Pat Conroy books
    Poinsonwood Bible
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Surprised by Oxford
    There are so many, these come to mind now.

  394. To sure if anyone asked it does ur friend knit or crochet, try any oom by Debbie mcomber try the loss on street series.. Qts a feel good kinda oom, or I like the suggestion the wind n the willows..

  395. For this person? Haven’t the foggiest idea. For you, your family, their family: Sacred Dying by Megory Anderson.

  396. I would suggest the Bible, specifically the four gospels. 🙂 If that’s not to your friends liking, then Little Women and Little Men are sweet, heartwarming books. Tell your friend I’m praying for her. <3

  397. All Creatures Great & Small by James Herriot
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
    The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold

  398. The Borning Room, by Paul Fleischman. It’s juvenile fiction, set in 1851. The borning room is where people are born and die, but it is not depressing.

  399. The red tent.
    The mermaid chair.
    Secret life of bees.
    the mercy of thin air.
    Any jodie picoult.
    I do t comment often. But this is important.

  400. The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas
    Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (read long ago and loved)
    Greenlanders or A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley
    Safe travels.

  401. The most enjoyable, fascinating, and “cozy” books I have ever read are the At Home in Mitford series by Jan Karon– not too long, but riveting, with characters who ring true. Can’t believe no one suggested these, but they do have a religious thread woven in, so that may be why, since we all know you aren’t religious. But hopefully your friend would enjoy them, all the same . Best wishes to you both!

  402. I second the James Herriot suggestion. I love all of his books. Also, Travels on my Elephant, the talking book version read by Michael Palin (one of the Monty Python guys.) Or perhaps just some gentle music. When my favourite aunt was dying of cancer, one of her caregivers noticed her cd player in the corner and picked out some classical music to put on quietly for her. She couldn’t speak anymore but could certainly hear and enjoy the sound.

  403. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
    Anything by Tamora Pierce
    The Chrestomanci books by Diana Wynne Jones

  404. Stone Fox, about a boy and his dog. A junior high level book and guaranteed to be a very fast read and a good cry. But good for the soul.

  405. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo – a youth writer who has a wonderful way with characters.

  406. For humor: A Walk In The Woods, by Bill Bryson
    For pure genius: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
    Some of my favorite books are marketed Young Adult, and I still think they’re awesome. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is excellent too. If someone’s having some physical issues, maybe a simpler book would be better anyway?
    My favorite audio book is Truth And Beauty, by Ann Patchett.

  407. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. One of the few books I have read multiple times. It’s about friendship between two couples and so much more.

  408. Thanks to all who offered their favorites here. Night Circus is now on my list.
    I offer one back: the poems of Kay Ryan, former American Poet Laureate.

  409. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver or ANYTHING by her, including her poetry and nonfiction
    For the coziest fires, the loveliest seascapes, prettiest cottages, and yummiest tea — Rosamund Pilcher.
    xoxo

  410. As a librarian, I wouldn’t answer this without knowing what they like. Ask them to tell you about a book they read and liked then tell that description to your librarian/bookseller and watch them work. In this situation I really like the idea of getting their childhood favourites.

  411. Love in the Time of Cholera, Garcia-Marquez
    Immortality, Milan Kundera
    poems by Pablo Neruda
    Rainer Maria Rilke (I haven’t read him yet, but he’s next on my list)
    Rumi (ditto)
    The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
    I’m very sorry about your friend, if I read correctly.

  412. Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and it would be wonderful if it was an audio book of Thomas reading it.
    There is joy, there is love of family, there are moments of beauty and quiet reflection and rip-roaring humour. Truly a slice of life.

  413. Another vote for Robin McKinley – either of her Beauty and the Beast retellings alternate as my second favorite book. My first favorite book is The Far Pavilions by M.M.Kaye. If my house was burning and I only had time to grab one of my thousands of books on the way out the door, I’d grab that one.

  414. Vladimir Nabokov ‘s _Speak, Memory_. It is an achingly beautiful meditation on time, life, death, love, loss, hope, and transcendence, interwoven with his autobiography. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is one of my favorite books.

  415. The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton Porter.
    The Hawk and the Dove trilogy.

  416. Oh yes, the princess bride!
    Anything by haven kümmel because she loves her characters and never let’s anything really bad happen to them
    Conrad richter the awakening land
    The no 1 lady’s detective agency by Alexander McCall smith
    All happy, uplifting books that completely draw the reader in to maybe get their mind off their troubles and leave them feeling better

  417. The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth VanArden (not sure about her last name). It’s light, set in Italy, and ends with lots of happy endings. It always calms me and makes me happy.

  418. The John McPhee Reader, for two reasons:
    1. The wonderful descriptions of our wonderful natural world.
    2. It would allow for a McPhee reader to read aloud the John McPhee Reader.

  419. T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, if s/he has not yet read it. Or even if s/he has.
    [And I see I need to print the whole comments section for myself – so very many books I have not read – always such a delight to meet a new author.]

  420. All of the Outlander series, all of Jane Austen, possibly The Lord of the Rings.

  421. The Burgess Brothers(new) World According to Garp … John Irving in general, actually…. Anne Lamott on tape..for humor..David Sedaris…

  422. Anything by Mercedes Lackey but especially the “Heralds of Valdemar” series and “The Five Hundred Kingdoms” (based on international versions of fairy tales).
    Always been my go-to for a great re-read! That IS what makes a book great, isn’t it?

  423. Harry Potter. I know it’s a lot to read, but maybe it’ll give them something to hold onto till the end.

  424. Oh my…yes, oh yes on “The Night Circus” and so many of the first ones I read on the comments. I would add Alan Bradley’s “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”. Definitely Wodehouse.

  425. Oh! And don’t forget to get pictures, including one of the two of you together.

  426. What a nice thing to do!! I love the 1st lady detective series by Alexander McCall Smith – set in Africa and so peaceful – I always feeling better about things after reading them.
    warm thoughts to you and the person you love

  427. These are not philosophical suggestions, but books that are real page turners – good escapism, and the educator in me would say high interest and low level, meaning a high degree of concentration is not required to enjoy and become involved in the stories. The first is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and the second is The Curve of the World by Marcus Stevens. I tried not to repeat the suggestions of the other posters…
    Best wishes to your friend.

  428. I’m so very sorry, m’dear.
    Books on tape. Or downloads from Audible.com. No need to struggle to focus. You can be doing any number of things while someone else takes you on the journey… No matter what title you choose.
    A suggestion: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow. It reminds us of all the things in life we’d like to pass on to those we love before we leave.

  429. Much love.
    Madeleine L’Engle, hands down, as almost anything by her is loving, full of hope and joy. Youth books and adult books.
    The Illustrated Man
    Georgette Heyer mysteries. Light, fun, beautifully written.
    Asimov.
    Nero Wolfe

  430. Wishing you and your friend both blessings and peace in your endeavor.
    With a wide variety of books already noted, I must agree with Winnie the Pooh, The Shell Seekers (Pilcher), A Wrinkle in Time (L’Engle) and any/all of the James Herriott books (All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, and The Lord God Made Them All plus some other short stories) as well as any novel by DE Stevenson that you can find, for poetry fun find some Shel Silverstein, for a fun romance try anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, my favorite is Natural Born Charmer.

  431. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (and sequels) for someone who is familiar with British lit.
    Books by Carl Hiaasen are light weight but entertaining, his kids/young adult books are also good. These are good to listen to.
    Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey is a beautifully written collection of 5 stories of increasing length that tell about a postapocalyptic earth.

  432. Many blessings to you and your friend. I second the above re-read the books with your friend that they loved when they were younger, see if they still have their copies said books from their youth and read them. You and your friend may find additional joy tucked away in those books. I did when I re-read my Little House books by Laura Ingles Wilder. I’ve had my set since 3rd /4th grade and read them again a few years ago in my late 30’s. Peace be with you and your fried.

  433. Help. Thanks. Wow. By Anne LaMott
    Father Brown Stories G K Chesterson
    Good Poems for Hard Times, collected by Garrison Keillor
    Gaudy Night, Dorothy L Sayers

  434. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

  435. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It is sweet and wonderful book about the people of a small island in the English Channel during the Nazi Occupation- they could only meet if they pretended to be a literary society. Lovely ending.

  436. Anything by Bii Bryson -humor
    Anything by Carl Hiaassen- funny, too
    To Kill a Mockingbird-the best book ever
    The Guernsey Literary Potatoe Peel Society

  437. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for the absorbing story and I think it is even better as an audio book with the amazing Davina Porter narrating!
    Best wishes to your friend 🙂

  438. A sampling:
    Wild Swans by Jung Chang
    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
    Ivan Doig
    Sharon Kay Penman starting with Here Be Dragons
    Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
    Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
    In a Sunburnt Country by Bill Bryson
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  439. Lean In, by Cheryl Sandberg. You read it, and go, “Yeah…um.” The resonance is there. I am insisting my sons read it to get a sense of how the “other half” live. Empowering and insightful.

  440. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
    Because I believe magic is still a part of our world and choices can always be made.

  441. For the kind person who asked if there was a recording of A Child’ Christmas in wales read by the author …. There is a a cd and you can listen to it on you tube. It is wonderful! Hope you find it and enjoy!

  442. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, for remembering.
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, for laughing.
    any Fannie Flagg will do really, for life.
    The Gift: Poems by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky, for love.
    Peace and Blessings upon you and yours.

  443. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
    Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey
    The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
    and anything at all by Dorothy L. Sayers (The Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series)
    I have read and re-read these and never get bored with them. Although written in the 30’s and some in the 50’s, and with a strong English slant, the detail and sense of time and place, the characterisations are all wonderful!

  444. Mist of Avalon–Zimmerman
    Crossing to Safety–Wallace Stegner
    Angle of Repose–Wallace Stegner

  445. Love that Dog by Sharon Chreech
    Even though it is a children’s book, the story, told in poetry, works on so many levels.

  446. Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro
    I read it in University and I loved it.

  447. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. Anything by that author actually. Also, things that are not so long won’t wear out a person with limited strength. Xoxo, thoughts and prayers!

  448. The Interpreter of Maladies by Jumpa Lahiri. Hands down my favorite collection of short stories.

  449. The Bible in an accurate but easy to understand version such as the New Living Translation Life Application Bible

  450. The Bean Trees or The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Or anything else she has written, really.

  451. Ditto on the suggestion for P.G. Wodehouse.
    Also, by Anne Fadiman, “Ex Libris” or “At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays”. Both are books of essays: truly amazing, wonderfully written, engaging, brilliant. If I were leaving this world, I would be happy to know that there are such persons as Anne Fadiman left in it.

  452. Outlander – fantastic.
    Also Pillers of the Earth – Ken Follett (probably spelled that wrong…blame the wine.)

  453. Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Love in the time of Cholera” or “One Hundred years of Solitude”
    Saramago “Seeing” or anything by him
    lighter=
    Cleave “Little Bee”
    Hoffman “The Dovekeepers”

  454. Books that are dear and sweet that I don’t see above: ‘The Last Unicorn’, Peter S. Beagle (has nothing to do with a unicorn). “My Antonia”, Willa Cather. “The Little White Horse”, Elizabeth Goudge

  455. Steph,
    I think you have plenty of suggestions now. Just wanted to say my thoughts are with you and the one you love. I hope that the one you love is only losing their eyesight and not their life. I hope that doesn’t sound weird and you know what I mean. It’s been a rough few weeks for me at work and I’m filled with sadness as well…..and a little bit armageddonish which is sometimes the downside of my job. Will be thinking good thoughts for all involved. There has just been too much sadness that I’ve been made aware of recently. Sorry you are going through it too.
    Tamara

  456. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. He was a professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer who decided to write a book for his two young sons. It’s not sad at all and quite uplifting and beautiful. Everyone would benefit from his insight and way of LIVING his last couple of years. An eye-opener and not long. My thoughts are with you and your friend.

  457. Watership Down is my favorite book of all time. Wild rabbits in the English countryside leave their warren on a mighty quest. It always soothes me and makes me believe in goodness.
    My best to your friend and family at this time.

  458. When I was seriously ill I got more than one gift book in which the plot turned on a terminal illness or death. These were not good choices, for me. A number of the suggestions above are books with this feature – including classics such as Anne of Green Gables and otherwise good reads such as Prodigal Summer. Perhaps whatever you choose you can double check that this is not a plot device, unless you are sure that your recipient is okay with it. I certainly wasn’t at the time, but then, everyone is different.
    Best wishes and kind thoughts to you at a difficult time.

  459. One more vote for the Guernsey Literary Society.
    Every year I re-read Rosamunde Pilcher’s “September” and “Winter Solstice”.
    Kate Morton’s ” Forgotten Garden” and her newest book, “The Secret Keeper”.

  460. So many good suggestions already, but I don’t think these were listed..
    Mary Stewart – Madam Will You Talk?
    Anne McCaffrey – The Lady

  461. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a good, meaning0filled but lightweight book that came out last year that I’d recommend to any book lover, even one with limited time.

  462. I love the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. They are great for laughs. 🙂

  463. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’ve read it a dozen times and I would want to read it again.

  464. So many good suggestions. Wind in the Willows, especially the volume The Willows and Beyond.
    The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay – 3 book series, Tolkien-like but different too. some difficult parts, but the idea of everything being part of a tapestry created by the Weaver is somehow comforting.
    Also a little book called “Lambsquarters: scenes from a hand-made life” by Barbara McLean, 2002. I have 2 of them, both currently out on “loan” in the world, and if I see another one tomorrow I’ll buy it too. She grabbed me in the first chapter with the dog food in the rubber boots and never let go. Available for Kindle which might be a good option. Gentle chapters about how our lives and dreams change and come true all at the same time, how we learn about life while we are living it. My prayers to you, your friend and the families involved. Chris S.

  465. I would chose a beautiful coffee table book, with luscious photography of the persons interest, that will “transport” him/her while looking at it….

  466. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (I know this is a kid’s book, but I just re-read it as a 55 year old and I’m convinced it may be one of the best books ever, for anyone of any age in any circumstance.)
    Still Alice by Lisa Genova
    The Snow Child by Ivey Eowyn
    The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
    These are the books I would want to read when my reading time was finite. I’ll be thinking of you and your loved one during my reading time.

  467. Were my reading time finite, I would definitely be reading my very favorite of books. For me, this would be the Lord of the Rings books plus the Hobbit. For your friend – the most beautiful edition you can find of whatever that favorite book might be. Prayers are with you all!

  468. I would second A Ring of Endless Light or anything else by Madeleine L’Engle, which have helped me cope with some tough times.
    I also use Jane Austen as “comfort books”
    I love books by LM Montgomery and Robertson Davis
    Hugs to you and yours

  469. Jonathon Livingston Seagul and Illusions-both by Richard Bach
    Big Fish -Daniel Wallace

  470. The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, by Wayne Johnston.
    Who Has Seen the Wind, by W.O. Mitchell.

  471. so many great books – so hard to choose. I’m certain your friend will treasure your generosity & strength.
    May I suggest:
    Theo 100 year old man who climbed out the window & disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
    Think 100 year “forest gump” style personality & adventure. My father loved it & very light reading.
    Also, Chokecherry by Norma Hawkins
    a newlywed couple move to small prairie town as the husband takes on his first parish.
    I listened to it years ago as it was narrated by Janet Wright from Corner Gas on the CBC Between the Covers podcast. the book is hard to find in stores but you may find it 2nd hand.
    Don’t get her started on the Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon hasn’t finished Jaimie & Claire’s story, it would just be cruel to not know how it ends.
    Also … totally mining this list for summer vacation reading !

  472. ******** I might get them a book that teaches them Braille so they can continue reading after their sight is gone.********

  473. Anything by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) or H. C. Andersen. Though I have to admit that Andersen’s stories are very much better in Danish than in English.

  474. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, for the text and the illustrations.

  475. Horton hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
    Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
    Small Gods by Terry Prachett

  476. Stories by Hans Christian Anderson, the Wizard of Earthsea and the two follow up books, and collections of folk tales. It will be a journey, so that might be a theme to look for. I wish for you, as did a previous commenter, strength and grace.

  477. Try any of the short stories by Jeffrey Archer.
    There is always a twist at the end. Anyone who loves to read should love them. Me – I’m a readaholic

  478. My heart goes out to you and your loved one. I have nothing to add to this list. All of my favorites are here, especially the books by Bill Bryson and James Herriot.

  479. I haven’t the time to read all 600+ suggestions above, but my all time favourite book is “The Princess Bride” by William S. Morgenstern (soo much better than the movie). If the person in question is a dog lover, “A Dog’s Purpose” and the sequel “A Dog’s Journey” by W. Bruce Cameron would be excellent choices. Sending positive thoughts for you and yours.

  480. Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – lovely, sweet, poignant, sad, beautiful.
    Good Omens – funny, clever, witty, amusing.
    Both very readable and can be put down and picked up again without any problem.

  481. Forget the books. Just give your time. My daughter was in the hospital, severely ill in Sept – Nov last year, and even holding a magazine was nearly impossible. Even when she was out of the hospital and appeared to be recovering quite well, she didn’t have the energy or concentration ability to read more than a magazine. She died quite unexpectedly 3 weeks ago, and I cherish the time I was able to spend with her, just talking and laughing. My daughter never enjoyed audio books, but I did wish that during her bored hospitalizations she could have enjoyed them, if your friend likes them, I’d go with Douglas Adams or anything read by Jim Dale.

  482. Probably a little late, but the first thing that popped to mind was JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is just as good, too. Or even go for Anne McCaffrey’s DragonRiders of Pern series or Rita Mae Brown’s books.

  483. *******************
    Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and Lewis Galantiere
    ******************
    A story of airplanes when they were called airships c1930s maybe?. The word usage is marvelous, the story is epic, the settings are unique. He also wrote “The Little Prince”

  484. Another vote for the Earthsea series, Watership Down, and for uncontrollable laugh-out-loud funny, so much it got me kicked out of study hall as a teenager, The Horse’s Mouth, byJoyce Cary.

  485. Hi Stephanie,
    “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
    “The woman who went to bed for a year” (or any Sue Townsend book)
    Or a nice illustrated book on what that person loves or could like—design, gardening, theatre, wine, knitting, name it—where you can read and learn without reading too much at a time. For example : “Design?” by Frédéric Metz (but no use if that person doesn’t read French) or “Taste Buds and Molecules” by François Chartier (very interesting book on food and wine pairing), or a Taschen book (they’re always very nice).
    Have fun shopping!

  486. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is always my suggestion…technically young adult lit, so it’s not too much reading, but the story is phenomenal.

  487. The Secret Garden, Peace Like a River, Cold Sassy Tree, Blackbird, Angle of Repose, & Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime.

  488. I had this conversation with a relative guaranteed to lose sight due to a degenerative disease. They know I am a voracious reader…5 or more books a day..and they asked what I would choose…
    my final eye feast would be a book of National Geographic photographs to remind me of the wonder of the Universe and the one book I recommend often and that still gives me great thoughts to ponder (and despite the title is not a ‘spiritual’ book): The Autobiography of God.
    The author writes beautifully, creating a jewel of a sentence with just a few words. It is a smallish book but loaded with an amazing understanding of what we put ourselves through in a time of crisis

  489. “Black Out” and “All Clear”. Both volumes by Connie Willis. Time travel to the blitz in Britain. She is a WONDERFUL writer.
    I agree with all the other posts. Worked in a bookshop for 13 years. Tell us what she lives so we can narrow it down.

  490. I love books that create realistic characters who work through difficult life situations.
    “Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, a novel about a young woman raised in foster care homes who figures out a way to make home her own way.
    “I Know This Much Is True” by Wally Lamb, a novel about a man with an identical twin who is psychotic.
    “A Yellow Raft on Blue Water” by Michael Dorris, a novel that tells the same story from three perspectives – a woman, her daughter, and her granddaughter.

  491. Not really something to read, but how about a journal-type book. My mother has one made for grandparents that has prompts for her to write about her life.

  492. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Thought-provoking on the important things in life while being a simple, elegant read.

  493. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. For Beauty, Wisdon and Fearlessness! My best to all.

  494. Hi Steph,
    Really sorry to hear about your friend, my recommendations would be I capture the castle by Dodie Smith (just a lovely story) and either chocolate or a cat, hat & a piece of string by Joanne Harris (The latter is a collection of short stories & they are really good). Good luck at the bookstore.
    Vikki x

  495. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett – or indeed anything by Terry Pratchett…wise, compassionate and extremely funny. Otherwise, yes, Persuasion by Jane Austen. Best wishes.

  496. If this person likes the crime genre and needs something to simply take their mind off things then I suggest the Jaquot series of novels by Martin O’Brien. If they are of a certain age I recommend 3 Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome – it made me laugh even when I had cancer, xx

  497. Short stories might work best as noted above– I loved Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Really beautiful.

  498. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is the most beautiful book I have ever read, and perfect for someone who loves reading.
    Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield is one I will never get tired of (and the TV film adaptation is actually really good).
    Of recent reads, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson had me in stitches – I couldn’t put it down and would highly recommend.
    It’s a lovely thing you’re doing x

  499. I would fall back on books that I have loved and have comforted me over the years, I think. So my list would be Pride & Prejudice, to be Lizzy Bennett again. To Kill a Mocking Bird, just because it is so beautiful and so hard. The Hobbit for the memories reading it the first time would bring back, and A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett because I always thought it was written about my home.

  500. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.
    Have to really disagree with the Diana Gabaldon suggestions – I really, really cannot stand them but of course that it only my personal opinion and your milage may vary! Just thought it might help you to know that they do polarise opinion, somewhat.

  501. Ask them, it’s so personal a decision. I might be re reading The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Persuasion, Dune, or just something that caught my fancy. Have they read The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie? Flavia is delightful or The No. ! Ladies Detective Agency series.

  502. I too was/am a librarian and I also think that we don’t have enough info to make any specific suggestions-find the library or bookstore this person goes to and ask the people that know him or her.
    Having been through the last days with my mother, I second the idea of audio books…back then they did not exist so we took many turns reading to her…she wanted to hear Benet’s poems one more time.
    And, if your friend is losing their sight, what a marvelous suggestion someone had about National Geographic…I’m tucking that one away if I ever need it…wow.

  503. My favorite book of all time is also a book lover’s book: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Buy it for yourself too!

  504. I inherited my copy of “I heard the owl call my name” by Margaret Craven from my mum. I first read it quite soon after I found it when clearing out her things so it will always be filled with my memories of her. I’ve read it a number of times now and still find it the most beautiful study of live and death. If you don’t buy it for your friend, you might find it brings some peace to you.

  505. I second the Alan Bradley books with Flavia de Luce. If ever there was an optimistic character it is her. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency are beautifully written gentle and wise reads. My favourite series is Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. In her own words her books are “….about goodness. And kindness. About choices. About friendship and belonging. And love. Enduring love.

  506. If the person loves classic literature, I’d recommend The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It’s funny and satirical. It’s the 1st in a series but works as a stand alone book.

  507. My favorite books are the Outlander series by Diana Galbadon. The first two books aren’t as long as the rest of them, and they just suck you into the world of Jamie and Claire. For science fiction my favorite is The Stand by Stephen King. A book that might provide your friend a bit of comfort is the Last Lecture. Also for something short and beautiful I love the poems of Maya Angelou. Her work is amazing.

  508. You have a good heart to be thinking of your friend in such a way at this tough time. Best advise is from the nurse and some other survivors. Perhaps engaging the person in such a conversation about reading and books would be a nice way to gather info and to provide some welcome distraction during your visit?
    There are great books on this list. I can’t think of any I would add.

  509. I strongly second the Louise Penney Inspector Gamache series set in Quebec. Excellent mysteries, characters to learn to love, and an overall warm sense of the humanity and love to be found in the world. Also available as very well-read audio books. Frank McCourt’s books, beginning with Angela’s Ashes – his stories of poverty in Ireland, immigration, and life as a teacher. Alternately sad, funny, touching – but always a good story. Also available as audiobooks read by the author, with his lovely Irish brogue. A Wrinkle in Time and other Madelaine L’Engle books.

  510. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonsen
    The Witch of Palo Duro by Mardi Oakley Medawar
    The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
    and those are just starters. 🙂

  511. So glad to see someone mentioned A Fine Balance, by R. Mistry. A big, beautiful book, full of life.
    And though it may seem maudlin, for the title, consider A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest Gaines, one of the most moving books I have ever read.

  512. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
    by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

  513. For comfort: “A Little Princess”, by Frances Hodegson Burnett and “Peace is every step” by Thich Nhat Hanh
    For humour: Most any Gordon Korman book, but particularly “I want to go home!” or “No coins, please!”
    Most of these are children’s books, but they are well-written, and hold a lot of hope. A lot of “literature” doesn’t exactly end on a good note; children’s or young adult books are more likely to end on a good note.

  514. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. First book I’ve read in years that I didn’t want to put down, and didn’t want to end.
    Seconding A Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving, as well as Daughter of Fortune by Allende.

  515. John Irving, anything at all by him.
    Poetry: Billy Collins, Ogden Nash
    Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge) and
    Anne Tyler.

  516. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. The person who introduced it to me said he like to imagine she spent the 15 years between her first book and this one “writing and maybe sleeping sometimes.” Each word is perfect, but I should point out that it’s a father writing to his son just before his (the father’s) death.

  517. Ditto on Diana Gabaldan. She has written 7 in the series; number 8 to be out soon, so if one starts reading Outlander, be prepared to read the 6 sequels to it!!! 🙂

  518. A tree grows in Brooklyn , Gone with the wind or any of the Little house on the Praries series.
    I have read all 3 aloud at various times to very ill relatives, readers and non-readers alike.
    My thoughts are with you and yours

  519. I agree with the suggestion for a subscription to Audible.com. I don’t always have time (and my eyes don’t always cooperate when I do) to read but I love books! I started with Audible.com a couple of years ago to accompany my spinning and knitting and have not regretted a moment of it. The Audible app can be loaded on a smart phone, a computer, an iPad, a Kindle, etc. Also, there is something very magical about being read to! I had forgotten what that was like over the many decades since I left elementary school and, Wow!, it’s quite a nice experience. 🙂

  520. I am pretty sure that whatever you read will do. The real comfort will be in hearing your voice.
    I can think of a few choice chapters in some of your books that might fit the bill perfectly.
    Thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  521. The Fionnanvar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay
    May their thread shine brightly in the hand of the Weaver on the Loom.
    Or, any of the Vorkosigan Saga or the Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

  522. It’s always hard to name an alltime favourite, but my current favourites are
    A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
    The Sisters Brothers
    Any Salman Rushdie
    The Dovekeepers

  523. You already have thousands of suggestions, but…
    I agree with the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
    Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

  524. Pick out something that has the cover is bright like pink or blue or green with title like Confessions of a Shopaholic or the Icing on the cupcake. Nothing to heavy.

  525. When my aunt was dying from cancer, I gave her the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Entertaining and at the bottom, he has unshakable faith.

  526. Watership Down by Richard Adam. Lovely story! (for sine reason I could not get into Night Circus! Reading these comments is making me wonder if I should try again!)

  527. I am WAY late to the party… but I recommend Young Men and Fire by Norman McLean. It is a fabulous true story by the author of A River Runs Through It.

  528. Probably way too late, and there’s no way to buy all these books anyway, but one of the loveliest books I’ve read is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. And I adore anything by Andrea Barrett.
    All the best to you and your loved one.

  529. My favorite science fiction (space opera) is the Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers. I’ve read it many times over and still love it.

  530. I would also say Outlander. I am in the midst of reading this series for the first time. I wouldn’t want any reader to miss out on it.

  531. Wind in the Willows — so good at any age
    Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
    Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
    Crossing to Safety (Wallace Stegner)

  532. The End of the Alphabet, CS Richardson
    A man learns he has a month to live and decides to visit places by following the alphabet : Amsterdam, Berlin…
    It is short, beautiful, thougthful, and yes, a little bit sad. But not pitiful.
    I loved it and carry it in my heart.
    Thinking of you and your loved one.

  533. Count of Monte Cristo – might be a little thicker than what you want, but I love it!
    In other news, I just listened to Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman audio book and it was QUITE good.

  534. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – charming!
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman – wonderful fairy tale
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – sad ending, maybe not the best choice for this situation!
    The Art of Fielding by Chad Harback – sports themed that this non-sports lover really liked

  535. Thoughts and prayers go out to your friend and to you in this time.
    It’s probably too late, but the most tender book I’ve ever read was “The curious incident of the dog that barked in the night” — I laughed and cried out loud in public, but in a good way.
    The funniest book I ever read (while still offering a few beautiful thought-provoking sections on religion and belief) was “My year of living biblically”. I was laughing in public till tears came out my eyes, and I also learned something at the same time. I found it spirtual without being self-rightious, inaccessable or smug.
    Last, if your friend is the type to want to confront things head on, “The Death of Ivan Illytch” by Tolstoy is beautiful and incredibly moving, and talks about how it feels to confront mortality (to be angry etc and find peace), it’s about 100 pages in Tolstoy’s beautiful writing.

  536. Bet Me by Jennifer Cruisie
    Take care and we will be here when you come back.

  537. classics that they’ve read before and loved? Travels with Charley? Farenheit 451? I know why the Caged Bird Sings? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? To Kill a Mockingbird?

  538. I don’t want to offend anyone or their beliefs. My personal answer is The Bible. Book of John and Romans. My prayers are with you all.

  539. Tell the Wolves I am Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. Oprah loved it too! It is a great coming of age story centered around a young girl. Fantastic read!

  540. All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Lindergarten by Robert Fulghum
    I bought this at a second has store when I was 13 and it has been a favorite since. It’s a collection of short, funny, and uplifting stories. Very easy to pick up and put down if you need to.

  541. Stephen King – 11/22/63 or The Wind Through the Keyhole, EM Forster – A Room With A View. I have so many other favorites that I can’t think of or list all.

  542. Looking at the compassion and the excellent book selections of the Blog, it occurs to me that the muggles would be stunned at how well read and intellectual we are given that we have all that leisure time to just sit around and knit. Read that with as much scarcasm as it was written with. We are a smart. We are kind. We are generous.

  543. Plainsong by Kent Haruf
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley’s People by John LeCarre
    The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver
    All of Kate Atkinson’s books – Started Early Took My Dog, When Will There Be Good News, One Good Turn, Life After Life.
    And – Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Ann Tyler

  544. The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. An amazing gothic thriller that will make you fall in love with literature again.

  545. The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbarty
    The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
    Lovely stories both

  546. The thought of only having time to read a few choice books seems very tragic to me. The world simply can’t end, I have too much to read! Much peace to you and your friend. I find any Terry Pratchett (if they like fantasy related literature) is easy to read, lighthearted and funny and often, especially in his later books, have a serious bent as well. There are many others books I could think of but they seem long and maybe too involved (Lord of the Rings comes to mind). I suppose there is also poetry, if they like that. Edna St. Vincent Millay would be my favourite choice there.
    My best to you and yours.

  547. To kill a Mockingbird. Wonderful characters and story. Prayers for your friend and you.

  548. I’m a big fan of YA books, so my favorite is Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce. I completely understand that it might not be even close to the right genre for the person, but it is definitely sweet and touching.
    In a similar vein, I often reread A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer.

  549. Anything by Harlan Coben, but especially Tell No One
    Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver
    Book by Whoopi Goldberg- made me cry I laughed so hard.

  550. Watership Down by Adams; American Gods by Neil Gaiman; Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser and my very favorite, The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne!

  551. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
    Children’s book, yes. But you appreciate it more as a grownup.

  552. Cloud Atlas – it’s quite long but just everything about it is pretty much amazing.

  553. Barbara Kingsolver–Prodigal Summer. Lovely and uplifting
    The Velveteen Rabbit
    The Animal Family
    The Secret Garden

  554. I’ve only been reading birth and pregnancy books for the last couple years, so not sure how much help I can be. I loved Water For Elephants too. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, the Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood (and it’s sequel) by Rebecca Wells. A few by Barabara Kingsolver: Animal Dreams, The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. My husband loves anything by Stewart Edward White (I don’t think you specified girly books). And if your friend likes a good (and twisted) scare, American Psycho.

  555. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan or the Ender series (Enders Game, Enders Shadow, etc) by Orson Scott Card.

  556. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey Wonderful, not long read about solving the mystery of King Richard the III. Wonderful writer. Strongly recommend.

  557. The Brothers K and The River Why by David James Duncan
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    These are probably my most favorite books and I have read all of them several times!

  558. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare or the love psalms from the bible, two of my favorites.

  559. Is this a man? A woman? Can they concentrate? …
    I would go for something spiritually uplifting but entertaining, something with meaning…
    If they can concentrate enough,
    these come to mind as possibilities… but it really depends on their interests etc.
    “Expecting Adam” by Martha Beck
    “Wheel of Life” by Elizabeth Kubler Ross
    “Messages from the Masters” by Brian Weiss
    “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Von Trapp
    “Strength to Your Sword Arm” by Brenda Ueland
    “The Findhorn Garden” by the Findhorn Community
    (my husband likes “Jacob the Baker” Noah benShea)

  560. I also agree with the Outlander series, but they are long books. I just read “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss and it was beautiful. I can’t put a finger on why it moved me as much as it did, but it’s one I want to recommend to everyone.

  561. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
    I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn
    Looking for Lovedu by Ann Jones

  562. Seriously, The Fault In Our Stars. Beautiful book. Don’t dismiss it just because it’s marketed as young adult fiction.

  563. Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is fantastic, as is its sequel, World Without End.

  564. From the audio section:
    The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Lisette Lecat
    For escape, any of …The Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novels by Anne Perry, read by Davina Porter
    Shared with blessings of peace and comfort.

  565. I second American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. But if they’re a sci-fi fan, I’d recommend Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. If they’re a horror fan, Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King. For humor, Terry Pratchett (anything in the disc world series, it always makes me LOL). And the book I would be sure to read one last time if I only had a few reads left…The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende. It’s my all time favorite.

  566. Wishing you all peace. A Testimony of Two Men by Taylor Caldwell. My favorite book of all time (that’s saying alot). I read it over 30 years ago and still love it.

  567. Shout out to Strongcat, didn’t see that you recommended this as well. I read this once or twice a year, it draws me in every time. Good luck to you and your friend!

  568. Anything by Alexander McCall Smith, especially the 44 Scotland Street series.
    Also, I Capture the Castle is charming, not depressing, and just a wonderful book overall.
    I also love, love, love The History of Love, but it may be a bit too sad.

  569. The Bean Tree and /or Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Heaven Tree Trilogy by Edith Pargeter
    The Mitford series and the Father Tim series by Jan Karon

  570. Peter Pan -J.M. Barrie
    Stardust -Neil Gaiman
    The Graveyard Book -Neil Gaiman

  571. I am joining in with Water for Elephants as well as a Prayer for Owen Meany. In addition, Jan Karon’s series about Fr. Tim [rural English minister] is a feel-good set of books. I’m not a religious person, but the faith displayed by the characters made me feel that the world has meaning and worth. I smiled a lot while reading these books.
    Prayers for you and your loved one during this difficult time.

  572. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,by Edmund Morris, my son says. “Everybody should read it”. Ditto The Shack for its powerful forgiveness subject. The 3 Frazz books are what I send to friends in the hospital.

  573. I recent read…”Joy for Beginners” It was a short book, but really spoke to me about taking time to be ourselves and be happy with our lives.

  574. I just bookmarked this page, as my knitting really suffers, because of ‘books’.

  575. Anything by Bill Bryson–all non-fiction, but engaging and can be read as time permits.
    John McPhee for the same reasons

  576. My life’s favourite book is Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg, I’ve read it over and over and never tire of it. I also loved Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.
    Can’t bear the thought of not having much more time to read, my heart goes out to your friend.

  577. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    A favorite of mine and my mother’s for many years.

  578. I see that most of the suggestions are for fiction. If your friend enjoys nonfiction I would suggest “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. It is a fascinating tale of the first human cells to be successfully grown outside the body and what impact those cells have on medical science and on the family whose mother was the “donor”.

  579. I Capture the Castle for sure; but more than that, The Enchanted April. The book is 100 times better than the charming movie.

  580. I can’t wait to hear how you managed to selecet a couple a books from all these comments!

  581. Peace to you Steph and your dear friend. I get so much enjoyment from reading your blog and I love the number of comments from readers that show how many people you touch who want to support you right back.

  582. “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson. New York: Random House, 2010. Utterly delightful; a joyous read that doesn’t talk down to its audience.

  583. Any thing by Mitch Albom, Have a little Faith and of course Tuesdays with Morrie. The Bible is always first on the list….if she hasn’t read it she might find it more comforting then she thought it might be.

  584. It’s so hard to pick a book for someone else. I’ve received numerous books I never read over the years. What about a Kindle and a gift card, so they can buy whatever books they want from their bed/chair? (And read while knitting, if the person is a knitter. And buy audiobooks if they don’t feel like reading.)

  585. Rachel Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings, and her earlier Kitchen Table Wisdom. But perhaps Grandfather’s first.

  586. You already have so much good here, and I will do some reiteration:
    C.S. Lewis: The Cosmic Trilogy
    J.R.R Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings
    Barbara Kingsolver: anything, but especially The Bean Trees or The Lacuna
    Christopher Moore: Lamb
    Mary Doria Russel: The Sparrow

  587. I had to reread to quite get–oh Stephanie. Then I really would recommend Dr. Remen; she’s a pediatrician who felt medicine had to change to become more human, she teaches at UCSF, and she counsels cancer patients. And she has Crohn’s. Her books are short vignettes of hers and her patients’, showing what it truly means to be human. I reread them every few years to remind myself who I want to be when I grow up.

  588. Not sure you’ll get this far in the comments,but here goes…
    Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
    Anything by Barbara Kingsolver
    Anything by Kurt Vonnegut
    My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

  589. I saw all these names here already, but they all bear repeating: Anything by Jane Austen, Robin McKinley, or Diana Wynne Jones. Austen is classic, of course; the other two women have produced some truly wonderful fantasy works.
    I’m sorry about your friend.

  590. Anything by Suzanna Kearsley (like the Outlander series, which I also love, without the huge time commitment),anything by Carol Goodman (love how she uses language), Kate Morton’s stuff, particularly The House at Riverton….which will be very familiar to Downton Abby fans…… There’s more, but without knowing what he/she likes to read its hard to tell.

  591. The Once and Future King.
    Lovely story, beautiful language–it’s a retelling of the Camelot story and might make a nice companion piece to Mists of Avalon(I preferred this one, largely because of the beauty of the language).
    And I’d definitely consider books on tape(CD now, I suppose)–the act of reading can be surprisingly taxing when a person’s sick.

  592. please NOT ‘a fine balance’. A more depressing book I have never read in my life.

  593. Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin. It’s has the greatest intro page quote in the history of intro pages. It says, “I have been to another world and come back. Listen to me.” 🙂

  594. As if you needed any more suggestions!
    Two by E. Annie Proulx: Accordion Crimes, The Shipping News. The amazing twists and turns that life can take.

  595. I just had to comment again..like Deidre, your blog brings me so much laughter, joy and support; you give us so much of yourself. In return, I love that the blogs asking in some small way for help or support for yourself bring the most comments. We all love and appreciate you and wish you and your friend only the best.

  596. The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean
    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
    Dream When You’re Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg
    and my absolute favorite book –
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

  597. Possession by AS Byatt
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
    Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
    Shanghai Girls/Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
    Notes on a Scandal
    Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – Probably my favourite from my whole list
    The Age of Miracles

  598. My mother wanted a book she’d loved as a child ( 1920s) and I got it for her on abebooks.( It’s called Pink Furniture ). Is there something from this person’s childhood ? They might find it helps them to go full circle…
    I’m so sorry, Stephanie.

  599. It’s not a classic or anything deep, but anything by Celia Rivenbark. They are funny!

  600. I heard God laughing by Hafiz, edited by Daniel Ladinsky.
    This book helped me through many difficult times with a good bunch of wisdom and humor.
    I’d also recommend Gabriel’s Ghost and the follow up Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair.

  601. One of the best books I’ve ever read “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts.

  602. Deborah Harkness A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and its sequel: SHADOW OF THE NIGHT. Awesome. I gave the first to friends and suggested it to my students and they all loved them! Greetings from Italy!

  603. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
    The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
    The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
    Flight Behavior – Barbara Kingsolver
    Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

  604. If they’re an animal lover, Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams.
    Works that are cozy, soothing, happy, relaxing, or peaceful might also be good. And I love the suggestion of audiobooks, or books read aloud by loved ones. What better than to hear your friends and family sharing a wonderful tale?

  605. Anything by Austen
    Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    Don Quixote by Cervantes
    The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
    A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens
    Huckleberry Finn by Twain

  606. I also recommend lets pretend this never happened by Jenny Larson. I bought it at chapters and she now has it in paperback. This book is like an autobiography of a woman who has a messed up family (in a good way) battles with depression and makes you laugh so hard I may have peed my pants a little, more than once.
    Ps I think you are awesome doing this for your friend

  607. Barometer Rising – Hugh MacLennan
    Cereus Blooms at Night – Shani Mootoo
    Chorus of Mushrooms – Hiromi Goto
    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard
    A Companion to Wolves – Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
    Beloved – Toni Morrison
    The Road – Cormac McCarthy

  608. Thank you from all of us for a wonderful book list that I shall start working on immediately. Best wishes for your friend. How lucky to have you as a friend!

  609. I’m so sorry, Steph. What a nice thing to do for your friend, though.
    I loved The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Small town setting, interesting characters, humor, etc.

  610. When I’m fuzzed up with drugs, I go to Cathy Guisewite’s Cathy cartoon books. They’re out of print, but can possibly be found in a good used bookstore. A lot of wisdom and laughter in 3 frames if a person isn’t up for the concentration needed to read any of the excellent suggestions above.

  611. Gone With the Wind…once started it is impossible to put down….I’ve read it 6 times and of course it is a classic and beautifully written…the perfect summer read!!!

  612. My favorite recent book is “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbach. It’s a feel-good story in the end. I second the idea of Janet Evanovich for pure silliness. For a mystery lover, you can’t go wrong with “Still Life” by Louise Penny, which takes place in Canada.
    As some others have said, when my mother became ill, we gave her books on tape because reading became more difficult, then we moved to reading out loud. She loved any of the Number 1 Ladies Detective stories by Alexander McCall Smith.

  613. Love and Death by Forrest Church
    Also, Mark Twain’s short stories. Particularly his account of learning to ride a bicycle.

  614. Seconding _Haroun and the Sea of Stories_ by Salman Rushdie, given to me by a friend because it was their favorite. It’s beautiful, dream-like and comfortable.
    _One For the Morning Glory_ by John Barnes, a quirky fantasy tale that isn’t afraid of playing with the reader, if clever escapism is the goal.
    I don’t know! It’s hard to contemplate what would be worthy of being a last or near-to-last book. I’ve always been a greedy reader. Perhaps the commenter who suggested an e-reader and gift card was on to something.
    Best wishes and my hopes for you to find inspiration somewhere in all these comments that leads you to just the right book.

  615. Someone else already suggested it, but Code Name Verity is one of the best books I’ve read in years (and I’m a librarian so I read a lot of books!)

  616. Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones. I am another vote for Terry Pratchett. For books on tape, how about Mary Rose Wood’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place or Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series of mysteries.

  617. If the person has some interest in technology or science fiction:
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
    If they enjoy children’s books:
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
    best wishes

  618. “This Will Make You Smarter” a collection of science and philosophy essays. The editor has assembled short (1-2 page) essays from leading thinkers, asking them: if you want people to know one thing, what is it?
    The value in the book for end-of-lifers is that it is filled with essays on man’s place in the universe, i.e. The Big Questions: why is life, who is man, what is God.
    My favourite is a two-page essay from Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist from Caltech. He writes that the universe is full of things which obey rules. If you keep asking “why” the answer is ultimately that “because of the state of the universe and the [iron grip of] the laws of nature.” He notes that this is not an obvious ways for humans to think, and cites historical examples (e.g. people believe that evolution inexorably creates more complex and intelligent creatures). At the the end, he gives us hope:
    “None of which is to say that life is devoid of purpose and meaning, only that these are things we create, not things we discover… in the fundamental architecture of the worl