Great Books for Your Quarantine
By Erin Rebello
With the current quarantine in place you’re probably finding yourself with a lot of free time. What do you plan to do with your spare hours? Play video games? Bake? Sew? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to end up doing a lot of reading! Although some people dislike reading, it’s quite possible that they aren’t reading books that they’re actually interested in. Personally, I love indulging in a good fiction book to help me unwind, and with all the stress in the world, it makes sense to relax with reading. Books allow you to step away from the world and dissolve into the universe that the author has created. Listed below are a few of the books I’ve read and loved over the years, and I recommended all of them for a good ol’ quarantine reading session!
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This novel is told through the eyes of Amir, a Afghani boy living in Kabul. While the novel starts off fairly positive and cheery, as you continue through the book and Amir starts growing up, the reality of the dire situation in Afghanistan becomes clearer and clearer. Although this novel and its characters are fictional, you should know that a lot of the stuff in the book- as scary as it may seem- happens in real life. The author, Hosseini, is an Afghan-American, and is not afraid to get authentic with his audience.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. If you’re into an engaging plot and incredible character development, this novel is for you! It tells the story of two very different families who come into each other’s lives through what can only be described as fate. Although it is purely fiction, Little Fires Everywhere succinctly summarizes modern-day socioeconomic issues including poverty, income disparity, and saviourism through its storyline and plot dynamics. An absolute must-read in my opinion!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Although it is just one of Atwood’s many written works, The Handmaid’s tale is easily her most popular (and controversial) book. The book is written from the perspective of Offred, a young woman living in the dystopian universe known as Republic of Gilead. Although she once had a loving family, she is now only wanted for her ability to bear children, and is kept in a house with many girls in the same horrific situation. Overall, The Handmaid’s tale is a cautionary tale that highlights the importance of women’s rights and bodily autonomy and the ongoing need for feminism. If you enjoy this novel, you might be interested in reading the recently-released sequel, The Testaments.
IT by Stephen King. If you’re into horror and are looking for a loooong read, look no further than the novel IT! In recent years, this novel was released as a movie, and for good reason, too! Stephen King is an engaging writer who really knows how to concoct a good horror book! I highly recommend any Stephen King novel and that includes IT! If you’re looking for something a bit shorter, Stepehen King has written almost 100 books, so you’re sure to find something that you enjoy. My personal recommendations would have to be Carrie, The Shining, and Finders Keepers.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. If fiction isn’t really your thing and you’re trying to learn something new, I highly suggest Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrass Tyson. Right off the bat, the cover art looks amazing, but you should know that the contents are even cooler! Astrophysicist and author Neil DeGrass Tyson artfully explains the nature of various aspects of the universe and cosmos is a way that the average person can understand. This book is a gateway for curiosity and makes the reader want to learn more and truly push the envelope!
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. If I had to only recommend a single book, it would be this one. I bought the book on a whim because someone else recommended it to me, and I have to say that it’s an absolutely stunning book. The story is told from the perspective of both Finch and Violet, and discusses themes of mental health, relationships, and the hardships of being a teenager. Each and every page is filled with emotion, and although I’ve cried more than once while reading it, I highly recommend it!