I know that things are pretty scary in the world right now concerning the Coronavirus Pandemic, and many of us are being forced to self-isolate, which is why I wanted to write to you today. Self-isolation is so trying for our mental health and overall wellbeing, but I have found that books are an excellent way to help us ease stress and work through these difficult times.
Therefore, I wanted to provide you with a list of 10 of my favorite books that have helped me when I needed a mental escape and books that I hope will help you as well! All of these books provide fantastic imagery to help consume your imagination, and they are representative of various genres. No matter what your preferred genre is, you should find at least one title that catches your fancy!
All of these books can be found on Kindle or Nook for instant access, or Amazon and Barnes and Noble for delivery, so you won’t have to worry about going out and purchasing them if you are unable to do so.
With all this being said, if you are struggling with anxiety, fear, or your mental/physical health due to the Coronavirus pandemic and you would like support, please feel free to comment below! I am here for you, and I will do my best to help you with any concerns or companionship you may need.
My Top 10 Books to Keep You Company in Self-Isolation
1. The Inspirational Pick
“When the world is bringing you down, Gmorning, Gnight! will remind you that you are awesome.”—Booklist
Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos!
Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.
This book is an excellent companion if you are feeling alone! Lin-Manuel Miranda (the creator and star of Hamilton) created this book with adorable illustrations and little notes to help you get through your day. It is a super quick read, and each note is meant to uplift your soul. I am a super fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I may be a little biased, but I have found so much comfort in this book.
2. The History Buff’s Pick
Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper
Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffeehouses, lived on country estates; they breathed ink dust from printing presses and escaped human traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.
For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, but it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness, and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born women.
If you are a fan of history and true-crime, then you are going to love getting lost in this pick! Historian Hallie Rubenhold put in so much love to dig up all of the information on the women who were killed by Jack the Ripper, and she writes their stories in such a way that it reads like an exhilarating novel. This book isn’t about Jack the Ripper, but about the women that were silenced, and it is a beautiful ode to oppressed women in Victorian London.
3. The Heartwrenching, Life-Changing Pick
Held captive for years in a small shed, a woman and her precocious young son finally gain their freedom, and the boy experiences the outside world for the first time.
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating — a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
If you are a lover of heartwrenching, realistic fiction, then look no further than Room by Emma Donoghue! This book is one of my all-time favorites, and it makes me cry every time. A movie was also made based on this book that stars Brie Larson (available on Netflix) and it is well worth a watch!
4. The Sci-Fi Lover’s Pick
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
The bestselling cult classic—now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.
In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
I absolutely fell in love with this book when I first read it! It is the perfect blend of 80s nostalgia and all-engrossing sci-fi. You can’t help but fall into this book when you read it! If you need a book to help you escape reality for a while, then this is definitely the one to read. I would suggest reading this book before seeing the movie, or even if you have seen the movie, read the book because they are quite different.
5. The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Pick
“The Merciless is chilling. Think Mean Girls meets The Exorcist.”—MTV.com
Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page of this thrilling debut novel. Fans of Asylum by Madeleine Roux and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will devour this terrifying series.
Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls…unless she wants to be next.
By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?
“Pretty Little Liars fans, get a sneak peek at your new favorite book The Merciless…a nail biting thriller.”—Seventeen Magazine
I absolutely LOVE horror, because it always seems to give me an outlet for my anxiety. I know that some people are sensitive when it comes to horror, but if you are looking for a book that will devour you whole then The Merciless is the way to go.
6. The Scare-Your-Pants-Off Part 2 Pick
ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY‘S “BIGGEST AND BEST YA BOOKS OF THE SUMMER”
From Danielle Vega, YA’s answer to Stephen King, comes a new paranormal novel about dark family secrets, deep-seated vengeance, and the horrifying truth that evil often lurks in the unlikeliest of places.
Clean slate. That’s what Hendricks Becker-O’Malley’s parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. Forget him. But things don’t go as planned.
Hendricks learns from new friends at school that Steele House–the fixer upper her parents are so excited about–is notorious in town. Local legend says it’s haunted. But Hendricks isn’t sure if it’s the demons of her past haunting her …or of the present. Voices whisper in her ear as she lays in bed. Doors lock on their own. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn.
With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts . . . if they don’t take her first.
Usually, I wouldn’t choose two books by the same author in a row, but with Danielle Vega, I couldn’t help myself! All of her books have been super therapeutic for me because of how emotionally involved they are, and The Haunted is no exception. If you are a fan of old-school, haunting-based horror, then you are going to swallow up this novel. The sequel comes out this summer as well, so get reading!
7. The Swoon-Me-Over Pick
In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?
Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?
Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?
Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!
Okay, so I’m a bit of a sucker for cowboy romances, but Harper Sloan’s Coming Home Series takes the cake! You don’t necessarily have to read the three books in the series in any specific order, but Lost Rider is the first book in the series. Each book centers on a different Davis sibling and serves up a wholesome romance with plenty of hot and steamy scenes to boot. Get ready for the ride of your life!
8. The Sleuth-Status Pick
A journalist uncovers the dark secrets of an abandoned boarding school in this chilling suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the ones too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears….
Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan’s elder sister’s body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can’t stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won’t be silenced….
The Broken Girls is the perfect combination of “haunt” and “true crime”. I love how it is a mystery that unfolds page after page and never ceases to keep you guessing! If you are a fan of You by Caroline Kepnes, then you are sure to love The Broken Girls.
9. The Young Adult Lover’s Pick
From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.
“Niven is adept at creating characters. . . . [Libby’s] courage and body-positivity make for a joyful reading experience.” –The New York Times
“Holding Up the Universe . . . taps into the universal need to be understood. To be wanted. And that’s what makes it such a remarkable read.” —TeenVogue.com, “Why New Book Holding Up the Universe Is the Next The Fault in Our Stars”
“Want a love story that will give you all the feels? . . . You’ll seriously melt!” —Seventeen Magazine
This book, more than any other on this list, captured my heart and soul. I grew up as the “fat” girl and experienced severe bullying because of my size. I wish so badly that this book had been around when I was a teenager, but it spoke just as much to me as an adult woman. It is a beautiful story about confidence and being true to oneself despite what anyone else might say. If you have ever felt like an outcast, then you are going to love how relatable this book is.
10. The Comedy Lover’s Pick
From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.
Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.
Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.
If you are in the mood for a read to lighten your mood, then this pick is for you! Judd Apatow is one of the biggest names in classic comedy, and his collection of interviews with comedians is a must-read. The beauty of this book is that you can read it bit by bit since it is a collection of quick interviews. I love reading this book when I need to pull myself out of my depression, and I think that it is the perfect read to get you through this pandemic.
Let me know of any books that help you get through tough times below! Let’s connect during this time of isolation.
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