21 more book choices for while in quarantine

A lot of people are happiest these days with the tried and true. There’s the comfort factor, yes. But many of us are finding that our ability to concentrate is simply not up to its usual peak so a difficult book is just not in the cards right now.


21 Readers Share Their Stay-at-Home Reads

By Kimberley Laws•April 15, 2020•4 min read

In a time when hugging your best friend may not be prudent, many of us have turned to books for a warm embrace. We asked our readers what books they’re choosing for companionship and distraction, and these are some of the responses we received. Perhaps you’ll find your next literary hug among them! Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Just One Damned Thing After AnotherJodi Taylor

Annie: “They are funny, quirky, and light. They’ve taken me away from everything going on around us at the moment.”

Book cover for The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

The Splendid and the VileErik Larson

Linda: “[It’s] not light reading, but [it] reminds me that others have gone through trials before and come out okay.”

Book cover for Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Eight Perfect MurdersPeter Swanson

Bonnie: “I discovered a new author, Peter Swanson. I read his most recent, Eight Perfect Murders, featuring a mystery bookstore in Boston which blogs about fictional murders only to have someone reenact them in real life. The book was so well-written that I ordered the author’s five previous novels.”

Book cover for The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless SeaErin Morgenstern

Heather: “Erin Morgenstern’s writing is beautiful, and the book tumbles through stories that are at once real and fantasy. It has taken me back to the best books of my childhood.”

Book cover for The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

The Shell SeekersRosamunde Pilcher

Christie: “It’s an old book, but her portrayal of Cornwall and the characters transport me there, even though I’ve never had the privilege to see it for myself. I hope to go someday!”

Book cover for The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

The Mirror and the LightHilary Mantel

Maggie: “The Mirror and the Light [is] the third part of the Wolf Hall trilogy. I reread the first two parts last week. It was like meeting kid friends after a long absence.”

Book cover for The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the RingsJ.R.R. Tolkien

Cathy: “Fighting Sauron is easier than an invisible bat virus.”

Book cover for Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Crescent City: House of Earth and BloodSarah J. Maas

Sasha: “I love how at every turn something unexpected and crazy happens. Demons, faeries, and angels — it has an elaborate cast of characters, and I’m only 100 pages in. It’s great so far.”

Book cover for The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt PathRaynor Winn

Paula: “[It’s] so beautifully written, it takes you with the writer on a journey along a wild and rugged path. [It] made me feel extremely lucky to have my warm bed to sleep in, and helps you realize just how resilient we can be when life gets hard.”

Book cover for Still Life by Louise Penny

Still LifeLouise Penny

Karen: “Set in Quebec, Canada, [these] murder mysteries read like a Hallmark Christmas movie crossed with Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.”

Book cover for The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery CrossDiana Gabaldon

Barbara: “I am a big fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Last week I plucked The Fiery Cross from my bookshelf, even though I have four library books waiting to be read. It’s a VERY BIG read, and I thought I’d be able to put it aside to read a library book, but it’s one of those books that sucks you right in. Love all the characters and the intricacies of the storylines.”

Book cover for Death in the Family by Tessa Wegert

Death in the FamilyTessa Wegert

Kim: “[It’s] similar to Knives Out with a compelling female detective who has a chilling backstory.”

Book cover for Becoming by Michelle Obama

BecomingMichelle Obama

Kathy: “Not only is she beautiful and classy, but she is also a phenomenal author!”

Book cover for A Winter’s Promise: Book One of The Mirror Visitor Quartet by Christelle Dabos

A Winter’s Promise: Book One of The Mirror Visitor QuartetChristelle Dabos

Aleksandra: “We had to cancel our spring break vacation at Universal Studios, Florida and stayed home whole week. Previously I picked up A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos at Barnes and Noble for my teenager to read… Of course I ended up reading it and was not able to put the book down.”

Book cover for Eragon by Christopher Paolini

EragonChristopher Paolini

Ashley: “I happened to see it on HBO before the quarantine started and realized that I missed the world and never finished the third book. So now is the perfect time to come back to the land of Alagaësia.”

Book cover for Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Little DorritCharles Dickens

Margaret: “Because I have to have a regular Dickens ‘fix.’”

Book cover for The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea WomenLisa See

Patricia: “[I’m reading] The Island of Sea Women right now; then I’m opting for something lighter; then Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas…that should keep me busy for days!”

Book cover for A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of WitchesDeborah Harkness

Pammie: “[I] was watching the TV series, A Discovery of Witches, and [I] wanted to try the books. Like always, the books are much better.”

Book cover for Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

PachinkoMin Jin Lee

Amy: “One of the best books I have read in a long time. The author has a talent for making her characters and the story jump off the page… She has a true gift for making you feel and see everything because of her descriptive writing…”

Book cover for All Roads Lead Home by Diane Greenwood Muir

All Roads Lead HomeDiane Greenwood Muir

Lisa: “[It’s a] lighthearted mystery series, very uplifting. [It has] wonderful characters, and lots of life lessons included. [It is] very appropriate for what our world is facing right now. [It] teaches us the power of loving and caring, in coming together to help each other.”

Book cover for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

The Tenant of Wildfell HallAnne Brontë

Helen: “[I’m] going back to classics. [I’m] discovering the least-known Brontë in Tenant of Wildfell Hall.”

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