Books laying on top of wood with a vine spreading around them.

The Best Books I’ve Read While in Quarantine

By Ally Bolender
Assistant Web Content Manager

While staying safe indoors, I made a pact to myself to read more books.

If you’re like me, you’ll pick up a book, read it non-stop until you’re finished, then neglect to start another book for weeks– maybe months. This is a common obstacle I faced during the school year, but now that it’s socially encouraged to stay inside, I’ve been needing new ways to stay entertained and step away from my phone.

Throughout this quarantine, I’ve read everything from memoirs to historical fiction, so I tried to include a little something for everyone.

Here are five of my favorite books I’ve picked up since March (all available on Amazon)!

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” By Mindy Kaling

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” is Mindy Kaling’s memoir. She takes the reader through her childhood, moving to New York City, and other life-changing experiences while being a minority-female comedian in a white-male industry.

We all want to be friends with Mindy Kaling, and this book will tell you exactly why. It’s adorably hilarious, hard-warming and serious at times. You end up learning a lot about what goes behind the scenes in entertainment and how much we really are alike to the people we look up to.

“The Nightingale” By Kristin Hannah

“The Nightingale” is a long read, but entirely worth it.

This book is about World War II. It starts off with a glimpse into the life of a young family doing everything they can to survive. They get separated, but the two sisters return to war-torn France to fight for freedom.

In my opinion, World War II fiction books are almost always amazing reads. “The Nightingale” is no exception—It was a truly new take on what life was like then, and who doesn’t love powerful, courageous women leads.

“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” By Neil deGrasse Tyson

I picked “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” during my astronomy class last semester. At the time, I was really interested in what I was learning, so when I saw this book at the used bookstore I knew it was perfect for me.

This book is for the people who want to learn more about astrophysics but probably stopped learning about space in high school. I found it relatively easy to read (given I had just taken astronomy at Texas State), but even then, Tyson “dumbs down” the concepts and big words for us non-geniuses.

If you’re someone interested in the cosmos, universe, theories and how things work, I would definitely give it a read. It’ll be way more interesting than your Instagram feed.

“The Merciless” By Danielle Vega

I actually purchased “The Merciless” in high school after reading another book by Vega, but I never got around to it until I saw it shoved in the back of my bookcase. For starters, if you like to keep your books like me, it’s very visually appealing. The book itself is a fiction described as “‘Mean Girls’ with an occult twist,” and “page-to-page Stephen King-style terror.”

It starts off as the classic tale of the new girl at a new school. She’s befriended by the equally-mean-as-pretty popular girls. It’s not long before she realizes that these girls are not normal, in fact, they’re “The Merciless.”

If you’re into supernatural, horror books I’d give this one a try.

“Educated” By Tara Westover

“Educated” gave me “Glass Castle” vibes. It’s a memoir about Westover and how she grew up completely isolated from society. Her family didn’t believe in modern medicine, and she was 17 by the first time she ever stepped foot in a classroom.

Once she hears of this outside world, she taught herself everything. She managed to leave her family and kept learning until she reached Harvard and Cambridge University.

This story is incredible. I was in shock with every page I turned. It’s definitely a great read if you’re looking for something different, yet page-turning.

Those were my favorite books I’ve read while quarantining. I hope these books help you start a new wave of reading and decrease your screen-time!

Featured image by Ally Bolender.

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