10 Books to Read While Quarantined

10 Books to Read While Quarantined

With the whole world essentially on "lockdown", we suddenly find ourselves with more time on our hands than we know what to do with. One way to pass the time without going crazy is reading a new book! We rounded up ten of the best books to #stayathome with.

"101 Essays to Change the Way You Think" - Brianna Wiest

Over the past few years, Brianna Wiest has gained renown for her deeply moving, philosophical writing. This new compilation of her published work features pieces on why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.

"The Glass Hotel" - Emily St. John Mandel

At the remote Hotel Caiette, a 5-star hotel on the coast of Vancouver, a barmaid named Vincent meets a man named Jonathan the same night someone has scrawled “Why don’t you swallow broken glass” on the lobby wall. Vincent will embark on a relationship with Jonathan, though she doesn’t yet know he’s running an international Ponzi scheme. Gorgeous and haunting. The author’s previous book, “Station Eleven,” is also incredible, but as it deals with the aftermath of a global pandemic, it’s perhaps best shelved for happier, healthier times. NY Post.

"After Me Comes the Flood" - Sarah Perry

This is the haunting debut novel by the bestselling author of “The Essex Serpent” and “Melmoth,” written before she became well known. A London bookseller breaks down in his car en route to seeing his brother, and when he goes to a nearby house for help, a woman — and everyone else in the strange house — knows who he is, and has been expecting him. NY Post.

"The Red Lotus" - Chris Bohjalian

A couple goes on a bike tour in Vietnam, but only one comes home: The man, Austin, vanishes one night on the road, leaving only a pack of yellow energy gel in his wake. As his girlfriend Alexis struggles to put together the pieces back home, she uncovers a trail of lies — and realizes she may not have known Austin very well at all. Pretty much everything Bohjalian writes is addictive, so when you’re done with this, check out “The Flight Attendant,” among others. NY Post.

"Dear Edward" - Ann Napolitano

Twelve-year-old Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed his parents, his older brother and 183 other passengers. As he struggles to adjust to life with his aunt and uncle as the public face of a shocking national tragedy, he tries to navigate a world in which nothing feels certain. Trust me on this one: While it deals with a plane crash, it’s really a celebration of life and feeling connected to other people. NY Post.

"And I Do Not Forgive You" - Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks has been writing some of the weirdest, most majestic short fiction for years. Her first collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, was published back in 2012 and has since become a classic of independent literature. In her latest and most rebellious collection, Sparks offers the full effect of what it’s like to be a woman living in modern day 2020. In doing so, you’ll find her exploring the gamut of imaginative conceits that science fiction, the supernatural, and the fabulist might offer but without losing sight of the storytelling and its characters at the center of each prism-like story. It’s a resounding success, a real demonstration of her range as a writer, just how wild her imagination is, and it’s the perfect book to read if you’re even a little bit angry. Sparks’ anger will combine with yours to become the escape from reality you need. The book is worth checking out for the story "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines" alone. Thrillist.

"Run Me to Earth" - Paul Yoon

Yoon has long been a master of drawing complex emotions from some of the coldest, most desolate of situations, and in his second novel, he’s at his peak. Run Me to Earth chronicles the journey of three orphans as they navigate and attempt to survive the war-torn landscape of 1960s Laos, eventually finding a field hospital and a doctor named Vang who treats the wounded at all costs. Run Me to Earth is that careful balance of history and fiction, and in a world where a bombing literally happened every nine minutes, Yoon has achieved what you could say is the impossible: procuring and saving what little of human compassion was left in a world bombed into submission. Thrillist.

"Weather" - Jenny Offill

Cutting right to the heart of what it feels like to be alive in 2020, Jenny Offill’s Weather is a novel of both anxiety and love. A librarian with a young son reckons with what climate change means both in this moment and in the future while coming to terms with what she wants the world to look like for her child. Offill knows what it’s like to face the end of the world and a grocery list—how the enormous concerns and the minor annoyances can fuse together, rendering us exhausted and helpless. Adrienne Gaffney

"The City We Became" - N.K. Jemisin

Fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin is the only person to have won a Hugo Award (science fiction’s most prestigious prize) three years in a row. In March, the author creates a new world for the first time since 2015. In The City We Became, human avatars of New York’s five boroughs must battle a force of intergalactic evil called the Woman in White to save their city. Like 2018’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the novel leans into social commentary—the foe presents as a literal white woman whom some mistakenly deem harmless—without slowing the action sequences that drive the plot forward. Bri Kovan

"Wow, No Thank You" - Samantha Irby

The only writer who can make me laugh with abandon in public, Samantha Irby follows her breakout collection We Are Never Meeting in Real Life with high-speed treatises on everything from relentless menstruation to "raising" her stepchildren and the stress of making friends in adulthood. Her signature irreverence is intact, of course, but it can't mask the heart she leaves bleeding on the page. Julie Kosin

Sources: Elle, NY Post, Thrillist