I saw some people asking for book recommendations on Facebook so my friend Stephanie over at Mrs. Bishop-A Motherhood, Beauty, and Lifesyle Blog and I thought we would drop some recommendations of some of our must-reads-to-help-you-survive-quarantine-list. Please check her blog post HERE!
First I wanted to share some awesome apps that every book lover should take full advantage of.
If you have a library card you have access to your library’s ebook/audiobook/read to me (for kids) collection. FREE OF CHARGE. This app transformed my life when I was nursing a baby 24/7. I was still able to read even though I wasn’t able to hold a book (which is my preferred form of reading).
Hoopla is another free resource libraries may have. In addition to books/audiobooks, Hoopla also has movies, television and music. Also free, but with more restrictions on how many items you can check out per month.
This may be my favorite app. I track all of my reading and find a lot of books this way. It’s interactive and you can see what you’re friends are reading and what they like. I use it daily.
Okay, onward to the books!
If you need a good laugh/if you’re a parent/if you love food:
Dad is Fat or Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
I read these several years ago and still remember the laugh-out-loud fun they were. Josh and I listened to Dad is Fat on a road trip and I read a lot of Food: A Love Story to him out loud. I’m not exaggerating when I say he was laughing so hard he cried. These books are great options to listen to with your spouse (or by yourself) at night if you need a good laugh/stress relief. Jim Gaffigan reads them so it’s extra funny to hear them in his voice.
If you want to escape into the future/you like sci-fi type novels:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I loved this book, it hooked me from the start. It’s a good one if you like dystopia type novels too. In some ways we are kind of living the future of this book right now, as many people in the novel didn’t leave home much and lived in the internet of the future. But hopefully all of you are getting outside to bask in the sunshine when it peeks out. A great novel for anyone who loved the 80s too. A lot of energy and nonstop action.
If you want to escape reality and fall in love with a novel:
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Now this isn’t a super happy novel. But you know what, maybe you need a good cry. This book will absorb you and sweep you away to Alaska. I have loved everything I’ve read by Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale being one of my favorite novels of all time, check that one out if you love historical fiction). You’ll fall in love with the main character and learn about resilience and see how love can transform and save you. I loved every aspect of this book and it made me want to dive into learning more about surviving in Alaska. (Trigger warning: there is parental abuse in this novel).
If you want to seek spiritual solace:
Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God During the Most Difficult Days of My Life: by Mary E. Lenaburg
I just finished this book a week or so ago and I already feel like this book is so timely that I should pick it up again and reread it. These are uncertain times, we don’t know what tomorrow will look like. But we don’t have to sit in fear and anxiety. God wants to hear all of our big feelings, He wants you to let him into those places. He wants you to stop trying to figure it out on your own. Each chapter ends with some reflection, a relevant Bible verse and space to journal.
If you prefer nonfiction/audiobook:
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff
I really struggled on suggesting this one. It’s an excellent novel but I think parts (the stress of 9/11 itself) might turn on someone’s anxiety. However it’s also one of the most recent American tragedies that induced fear like we are experiencing now. And this novel shows the American spirit we all must have right now. It shows that people were willing to go into a burning building to save someone they didn’t know. It shows people choosing to stay with someone and die rather than leave them behind. And I think it’s a good reminder that we can overcome anything if we approach It with humanity and good will. This book is a compilation of many many different people’s (from government officials, to fire fighters to citizens) perspectives on and after 9/11. I learned so much about 9/11 that I didn’t know about, so many details I had never heard (I was only in 8th grade at the time). I listened to this on audio and I really think reading it would do an injustice to this novel. You must listen to the different voices, you must hear the recordings from the planes, hear President Bush speak. If you want to be reminded that we can overcome great struggles, maybe this is the novel you need.
Please comment under this post any book you feel is a must read during this time. And if you read any of these or Stephanie’s picks, let us know what you think!