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Thursday, March 26, 2020

5 Comfort Reads in the Time of Coronavirus

Crazy times, friends. Crazy times. Thankfully, we have books. The other day, I found myself just spacing out staring at my shelves for a good several minutes. It was really calming. As is reading itself. Whether you're reading to escape from the awful hellscape of the outside world or just to fill a few idle hours, reading is surely one of the best ways to cope with this horrific crisis. Here are a few suggestions for novels that may help you do that:



5. This Is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper — Yes, staying home sucks. However, this novel is about how funny it can be to be stuck with your family.

4. Gilead, by Marilynn Robinson — Quiet, poetic, and peaceful. I can't think of a more soothing novel to read (or reread, as I just may do now) than this slim, beautifully written series of musings about life and death, connection, family, what makes a good person, and so much more. It's "remarkable to consider" how comforting this novel could be these days.

3. The Brothers K, by David James Duncan — Today's supposed to be Opening Day for baseball, and I already miss baseball just about as much as any part of normal, non-virus life. So if you miss baseball too, why not check out not just one of my favorite all-time baseball novels, but one of favorite novels of all time, period. This long family saga is so engrossing you won't even realize you're reading for long swaths of time. (Also, if you want some suggestions for some more baseball novels, here's a Book Riot post I did a few years ago. And more recently, Emily Nemens' The Cactus League is great.)

2. The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton — Okay, hear me out on this one. You need to be distracted, possibly for a long time. You need to focus your brain on something besides what's going on beyond your front door. This book is 850 pages, requires a vast amount of mental energy, and really is pretty spellbinding in how the plot unfolds. So, it's a perfect quarantine comfort read! And it's rewarding, for sure — though, like any difficult novel, you get out of it what you put into it. (If you want some help, I wrote a summary of each chapter as I was reading to keep track of this knotted plot. Enjoy!)

1. Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig —You want a pandemic story? THIS is the pandemic story to read. Everything is wretched right now, but boy, it could be so much worse.


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