Delicate morsels for the brain when unwell

This week I had a horrible cold, the kind that turns the brain to cotton wool. It turned out that what I needed to read was not detective fiction but rather short essays. I polished off three rather good collections with just enough intellectual content in each column/essay to make me feel that I did still have some ability to reason. They were Between Eternities by Javier Marias, Umberto Eco’s Chronicles of a Liquid Society, and Colm Toibin’s Homage to Barcelona.