book, book club, book reading, book review

Reading in the Time of COVID-19

I have a really hard time concentrating when there are major stressors in my life. And COVID-19 is right up there. Go figure. So, I’ve found myself chucking book after book aside. I don’t think they are bad books, but rather that I’m currently a bad reader.

What I have been enjoying, however, is light, fun reads. And I figured that I should share some of these suggestions with my reading friends, since you might be bad readers right now too. Here are some of my recent finds – I’d love to hear from you about yours as well! These aren’t all books that I’ve read during COVID, by the way, but I looked through my recent reads and picked out the ones I gave very high ratings, and that were lighter.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. I just loved Evvie. She’s down on her luck, she really needs therapy but doesn’t seem to recognize that she does, and her life is about to change. I read as slowly as I could so that it wouldn’t end.

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. I did not expect to like this book. It’s about greed and guilt, weird family dynamics and Ponzi schemes. It was written in a fascinating style and I found the main characters weirdly compelling. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Oh, how I loved this book. You’ll never look at Hollywood quite the same way again. This would be an interesting book club read – it really kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami. Ok this isn’t light, but it’s really well done. It’s a story about immigration, discrimination, family and love and features many perspectives and voices. If you don’t have the head space for it now, I recommend it in the future.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. So two of the kids in this story burst into flames when they get upset. When I first started it, I thought ummmm….what the hell is going on here? Are they kidding? But, no, they aren’t kidding. When you suspend your disbelief, it really turned into a lovely look at friendship, family and love.

Long Bright River by Liz Moore. Ok, this one isn’t light. But it was beautifully done. It’s a look at addiction, family love and the prices we pay when the two meet.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. I don’t typically like mysteries – but they can actually be a great way to take your mind off of things right now. I’ve enjoyed a few of the books by this author and by Kimberly Belle as a fun way to escape.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah. A small girl shows up at the rural home of a single woman, claiming she is from outer space. I have to say, I was really hoping for most of the book that she was. The book is tender and intriguing. I think it could be another good one for a book group.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. I just didn’t want to walk away – ever. The day that I discovered this author was a day that made me very happy. Her writing is so uplifting and endearing, so playful and dynamic. I loved this book and her other novel, Things You Save in a Fire. These are great COVID reads!

Stay inside. Stay safe. Wash your hands. And have fun reading!

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