With COVID-19 concerns not disappearing over-night and with more and more people regulated to their homes, some are finding some downtime to get back into hobbies. One of my favourite hobbies and a great way to put down the phone and cut yourself off from the swirling negativity and anxiety that seems to be circulating social media lately, is reading. Through the years I’ve lost count of how many amazing books I have read, but here is a top five list of phenomenal books to read through quarantine! Most bookstores have free shipping until the end of the month, possibly even longer because of the pandemic, along with online options like Kobo, Kindle or ibooks, there is so many ways to have these books ready to read as soon as possible.
The Night Circus: The Night Circus is a whirlwind of creativity. This novel by Erin Morgenstern has the most delicious imaginative scene descriptions. Two starcrossed magicians engage in a fierce competition, and their battle grounds—Le Cirque des Rêves, a circus that is only open at night. The circus mysteriously appears without warning and no announcements precede. This fresh take on magic and fantasy is captivating in every way.
The Glass Castle: This memoir by Jeanette Walls had my emotions flying every-which way when I read it, from devastated to furious and more. The Glass Castle recounts Walls’ childhood and the unconventional, poverty-stricken life that she and her siblings lived at the hands of their very dysfunctional parents. This memoir reads like a gorgeous fictitious novel which makes it an even more stunning piece of literature as you remind yourself it is written about her life.
The Chemist: This high impact action novel is impossible to put down. I’m not lying when I say that I started this book one afternoon and didn’t stop reading until 4:00a.m. when I finally finished it. Written by Stephenie Meyer—yes the one who wrote the Twilight series, this novel follows a central female character who used to work for the US Government as their specialty chemist. After learning about a secret that she wasn’t supposed to, she has been on the run from the government, using her in-depth knowledge as a chemist to keep alive. When the government reaches out to her with an olive branch, in need of her help to stop a potential case of biological warfare on US soil, she has to decide who, and what to trust.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz: This novel by Heather Morris is based on the recollections of Lali Sokolov, a Slovakian jew who was forced to tattoo numbers onto thousands of incoming prisoners to Auschwitz concentration camp. In Auschwitz Lali, named Lale in the novel, finds the love of his life after tattooing her prisoner number. This book is a tale of love and tragedy and is definitely worth the read! It is also a good quarantine read because it truly puts our positions into perspective, and how lucky we are to only be forced to social distance.
Small Great Things: Jodi Picoult is one of my all-time favourite authors, so it comes as no surprise that one of her many amazing novels is on this list. Small Great Things is one of her more recent novels, and it tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice and compassion. Though it has multiple character perspectives, as do all Picoult novels, the main character is Ruth Jefferson. Jefferson is a labour and delivery nurse with over twenty years of experience. However, Jefferson’s livelihood is tested when a white supremacist couple demands that she not touch their baby because she is African American. The next day the baby goes into cardiac arrest and with only Jefferson around, and orders for her not to touch the baby, she hesitates before performing CPR. As a result, the couple tries to charge Jefferson with the murder of their child. This novel is incredible and really makes you think about the social constructs in which we often find ourselves confined in.