5 Books that Distracted Me During Quarantine
posted on May 28, 2020 | by Kelley Matney
As the ‘stay at home’ orders in many places across the country have been extended, books have proven to me to be an increasingly delightful and appreciated break from the continuous anxiety-inducing news cycles. Here is a list of books that I have read while being stuck at home that have been great moments of escapism.
Also, remember to support your favorite indie bookstores during this time. They need help and most of them are likely still shipping out orders.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Reading during this anxious time has been difficult—it can be hard to stay focused. But this book is perfect for a little bit of escapism. You find out early on that a murder takes place at a high-profile wedding on a remote Irish island, but who is the victim and who is the killer? We follow 5 different points of view: the Bride, the Plus One, the Best Man, the Bridesmaid, and the Wedding Planner … and one of them is a murderer. Can you guess who? A modern-day Agatha Christie style whodunit for you to lose yourself in for a few hours.
Anna K by Jenny Lee
Who knew we so badly needed a young adult version of Anna Karenina in our lives? This is a reboot of the classic Russian Leo Tolstoy novel with a Gossip Girl twist. The story follows Anna K, a Korean American teenage socialite, and her many friends and acquaintances as they attempt to navigate the struggles of modern teenage love and life. This novel really pulled at my heartstrings and brought me right back to the unsteady, wonderful, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
This book made my brain hurt—that always happens when time travel is involved—but in a good way. This story tackles the age-old question of ‘if you could go back and change something in your life, would you?’ Barry, an NYPD officer, starts investigating a case of FMS—False Memory Syndrome—a brand new disease that causes people to suddenly gain memories of another life they never lived but seems as real as the one they are currently living. While Helena, a neuroscientist is doing research to help Alzheimer’s patients, like her mother, “map” their memories before they are lost forever.
Harry Potter by: J.K Rowling
This was a complete nostalgia read for me. I have always been a big Harry Potter nerd and I have read through the entire series several times in my life, but it had been a couple of years. Re-reading The Sorcerer’s Stone gave me a cozy feeling like reconnecting with old friends. Whether you have read Harry Potter a million times or if it is your first go-around, this would be the perfect time to take a stab at the seven-book series.
In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
With exquisite prose, Carmen Maria Machado writes about the intricacies of abuse in queer relationships in her incredibly outstanding memoir, In the Dream House. Machado met her ex-girlfriend when she was getting her MFA in Iowa. Over time, “the woman in the dream house” became increasingly domineering, passive-aggressive, and physically violent. She would gaslight her, insulting her and toying with her insecurities, until Machado finally found the strength to leave. The composition and structure of this story are what truly make this book a masterpiece. It is not just the experience; it is the delivery. The darkest memories are brilliantly conveyed in the second person and through varying lenses.