As a life-long reader and an indie publisher it’s a little obvious, but having a good book on the go really increases my quality of life. Most recently it’s been John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, a great book about a post-apocolyptic Britain being terrorized by, erm, walking plants. (Wyndham, who preferred the term “logical fantasy” to describe what he did, manages to make his ridiculous Dr. Who-class monsters a plausible threat in the book. Can’t speak for the movie versions, which look as hilarious as you’d expect.)
But back to the quality of life issue: there’s something about a continuing narrative that is as soothing and enjoyable to slip into as a bath. I notice that I miss it in short story collections, for instance. I have to work at getting into the next story, while a good novel draws me back of its own accord. Occasionally I find a writer’s sensibility is engaging enough to pull me through a collection, as was Kelly Link in her wonderful (and now free!) Stranger Things Happen.
I finished Triffids this morning, and I’m on to The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. If you’re a little Pottered out but want a fantasy fix, Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is highly recommended. Feel free to add your own good reads to the comments.