It's two weeks later, and my boyfriend is still in the hospital, although he's finally made his way out of the claustrophobic, windowless ICU into surgical stepdown, and now, a regular room.
He's not hooked up to a bunch of machines any more and he's off oxygen, although he's still got one tube left draining his lung. But other than being skinnier and hairier than I'm used to, he looks like my guy again.
He's even got one side tube-and-IV-free so I got to sort of climb into the bed and cuddle with him the other day.
He's more alert now, so there's not as much downtime as when he was in a medical coma or sedated, but the man still needs his sleep and overall I've spent a lot of time reading at his bedside.
Picking a hospital book isn't easy. It needs to be extremely easy to read, since my brain isn't functioning that well, but also completely engrossing, to take my mind off where I am. It doesn't have to be cheerful, just pretty effortless to get through. Smart "chick lit" of the Jennifer Weiner/Marian Keyes variety would be good, but I've already read almost everything by those authors and don't know who else is good. This is one of the few times in my life I'm interested in reading fiction.
There's a Barnes and Noble near the hospital, so I've spent a few session wandering through there looking for something to grab me. One day I walked past the following display and laughed because I was looking for the exact opposite. Where's the "books that make you NOT think" section?
For guidance, I've already blazed through:
"Inside the O'Briens" by Lisa Genova
Lisa Genova, also the author of "Still Alice," which was made into an Oscar-nominated movie, writes novels based solely on neurological disorders like Alzheimer's. Her newest book "Inside the O'Briens," focuses on a Boston family whose father is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, a genetic illness that puts the entire family at risk. It was sad, but Genova's prose is clear and pulls you through the story and also it reminded me to be grateful that Deer Hoof doesn't have a degenerative disease and will recover, if slowly.
"Luckiest Girl Alive" by Jessica Knoll
It's like a rule that all crime thrillers written by women have to be compared to "Gone Girl" now, but I think I actually liked this one better. Focusing on Ani FaNelli, a New York media power bitch who is obsessed with status and starving her body into size zero submission, the story slowly unfolds with a shocking crime and a surprising sympathy for the prickly protagonist.
"True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa" by Michael Finkel
Disgraced journalist Michael Finkel (he had just been fired from the NY Times for fabricating a story) attempts to redeem himself by thoroughly and honestly covering the too-strange-to-be-believed nonfiction story of a murderer who briefly escaped to Mexico, where he adopted the identity of Michael Finkel, disgraced journalist. It's currently being made into a movie starring James Franco.
"The Daylight Marriage" by Heidi Pitlor
Another "missing wife" crime thriller, this one ultimately disappointed, but the story before the ending moved well and kept me interested in the failing marriage of Lovell and Heidi, as seen through the lens of her disappearance.
I'm going to be doing hospital duty for at least a few more days, so I need another page-turner or two to keep me occupied while Deer Hoof is resting. Tell me what I should read in the hospital! Just remember, I don't want to think.