Well, it looks like we’re ALL going to have a lot more time to read coming up. Which normally would be great!! I’m always complaining about how there’s too many other things to do and no time to read. A common dream of mine is(was?) running off to a mountain cabin with no internet so I can knock like 10 books off of my kindle in a week.
I did not expect for the whole world to gain reading time as a society came to a grinding halt.
In fairness I don’t think anyone did???
But that’s where we are now. And in these crazily uncertain times, the best we can do is share in our hobbies and try to find to stay safe and stay home, and not go stir-crazy. I’ve put together a list of books that I’ve personally read in the last few months as recommendations. You’ll see that I will basically read any topic and any genre, jumping around like someone who’s brain can never decide what to focus on. Hopefully that means at least one of these books will catch your eye! If not, I plan on doing a deep dive into the hundreds of books on my kindle to put together more genre specific reading lists so keep an eye out for that.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
One funny thing about this book is that it sat on my kindle for YEARS getting skipped over as my mom begged me to read. Finally a few months ago I did…and I LOVED IT. Like it immediately gained a slot on my all time favorite books list. Mom’s know best!!
The other funny thing-it’s about how a flu wipes out most of civilization and what comes next😬😬😬 OOPS.
I totally understand if you can’t handle that kind of story right now but I do want to emphasize that the focus is how different groups came together to survive. The main character is part of a traveling theater group who go around performing Shakespeare to the small colonies/towns that have formed. It’s not horror in any way, it’s hopeful and it’s about the many ways we can come together to survive an unimaginable world-changing tragedy.
This book is so beautifully written, and the way flashbacks and characters weave together kept me so enthralled, I cannot recommend it enough.
The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict
This one is for those of us finding ourselves completely lost in a world without sports. I will warn that this book came out in 2013 so it is definitely starting to get a bit outdated. College football is a MASSIVE industry. There’s too much money involved for it not to have both importance and corruption. This book dives into some of the biggest scandals college football and the NCAA have faced.
As a fan I found it super interesting getting a look in the behind the scenes of why and how some the scandals happened, along with the culture that almost always made them worse. Each chapter kind of jumps around to different schools and different types of scandals so it gives you a broad idea of all the different ways corruption can and has happened. If you’re interested in the business of the NCAA and college sports, or just desperate for a sports fix this is a good book for you.
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
I first heard of this book when I was looking up what books were being taken to the screen in 2019. A Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son!!) novel that Zachary Quinto was going to star in for Hulu immediately had my interest. It’s about an ~immortal~ being who feeds on kids souls and a girl who has a special power to find lost objects.
This book is DARK. It’s also weirdly Christmas themed without actually being about Christmas? I wasn’t super into it, mostly because it felt overly long and lost my interest in many parts. I still got hooked enough to have to finish it and find out what happened though so it wasn’t bad! More like a 3 out of 5 stars and only if you have the time to take it on…like if you’re quarantined at home for the foreseeable future!
Then you can go watch the tv show to kill more time! I will warn that the show makes a TON of changes to the book. So it’s not even super necessary to read it first. Unless you’re like me and refuse to watch anything based on a book without reading it first lol.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I know I was way behind on this one, both because the book came out nearly 20 years ago and the tv show nearly 3. But I didn’t find out about this until after reading/watching Good Omens and therefore being introduced to Neil Gaiman. This is another book that took be a while to get into as everything was being set up but omg I did not see where it was going at first. Then I got super SUPER into it.
How a story manages to blend Americana, Norse & God mythology, and a full narrative novel I don’t really know but there’s a reason it became a popular tv show! This is another book that’s very very long, and so it is very very good for #quarantinelife.
Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They’re Good by The Editors of Rotten Tomatoes
Do you LOVE movies? Even the ones that are so bad they end up being a cult classic? I personally will watch any movie no matter what the critics, reviews, or fans say. Which means this book is perfect!! The editors of Rotten Tomatoes put together a book gathering up all those ‘so bad they’re good’ movies. Each movie gets just a page or two where they include who starred, what it was about, what the critics said, and a behind the scenes look at the ~why~ it bombed. Maybe it was production issues or simply a story out of its time. They go pretty far back in time for movies all the way up to the 2019 release.
I especially love the essays scattered throughout where the editors go more in depth defending a movie they love despite it’s critical ‘score’. Movies are so subjective and I know I will pretty passionately defend some really bad movies lol.
Also, I got this on Kindle but really want to get it as a physical copy too. It’s a bunch of quick reads perfect for a coffee table! It’s also a great way to figure out what to watch when you’re stumped for movie night.