Quarantine has redefined our new normal and that includes an increased number of hours staring at our laptops, our TVs, our phones… you name it. In this time of anxiety, losing ourselves in a good book has become a novel way to deal with our changing reality. While there’s nothing wrong with mindlessly bingeing our favourite shows, sometimes, it’s good to crack open a book (or an e-book) and experience a different form of escape. Here’s a list of recommended books to read during quarantine and don’t worry, there’s everything to please the romantic in you and to fulfil the self-improvement boss that you are striving to be!
For the Fantasy Lovers
The Age of Innocence
While there are no vampires or zombies in this one, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence provides a fantasy that’s equally coveted. The novel brings you to a time where New York was undergoing an unfamiliar change – not unlike today’s world a la coronavirus. However, in Wharton’s book, the shift is in society and its unflinching eye on societal norms and those who betray them. The Age of Innocence makes an ironic commentary on the cruelties and hypocrisies of Manhattan society in the years before, during and after the Great War.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
A true crime-loving book club in Charleston, South Carolina, is on the case when a handsome new neighbour moves in and people start dying. It’s got Southern charm, it’s got suspense, it’s got touches of feminism AND it’s a horror story to boot. Can you really ask for more?
For the Romantic
If you’ve loved reading the intimate details and the nuances of emotion that are the substance of Elio’s passion in Call Me By Your Name, you will love André Aciman’s second novel Find Me. This novel follows Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who s now a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train upends Samuel’s visit and changes his life forever.
Eleanor and Park
Eleanor & Park is a coming-of-age romance about two high-school misfits in the ’80s who meet and fall in love on the school bus. There’s strong language and mature themes about poverty, domestic abuse, and emotional/financial instability. The central characters explore the challenges of being different from status quo but also the joy of falling in love for the first time. We love the hit of popular culture from the ’80s – when things were simpler!
For Those Seeking Inspiration
Park Avenue Summer
Park Avenue Summer was based on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Helen Gurley Brown, one of the first female editor-in-chief that was willing to shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits. Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine through the eyes of Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams. This book will inspire you to bend social expectations and question the status quo, gearing you up to take the world by storm after quarantine!
The Art of Not Falling Apart
In this incredibly inspirational book, Christina Patterson reflects on the lessons she has learned since being made redundant, and highlights ways to deal with personal challenges, that range from domestic abuse and having a severely disabled child. These are all trials that life may throw at us and for some of us, these trials may hit too close to home during this pandemic. This is not a typical ‘how to’ guide that promises all the answers – you may find some along the way, but more importantly, you’ll enjoy reading something that you can relate to. The Art of Not Falling Apart is a memoir that you can draw strength and inspiration from.