Quarantine Reading Life
Each week feels like living inside the movie Groundhog’s Day and also like staring into a black hole of uncertainty. I don’t know what the world will look like after all this, if there even is a true “after” or when I’ll be able to wander again, but I do know that books will always be there.
Living in quarantine has had an interesting effect on my reading life. As this is (hopefully) a rare experience to live through, I’d like to document this one part of my life – a part of my life that I’m so thankful to have a strong foundation in that I can lean on when all of life’s other distractions are MIA.
Week One of Quarantine Reading
Week one consisted of very little quarantine reading for me. I was a distracted, anxious mess and books weren't distracting me easily enough. I did finish Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl and really enjoy this foodie memoir, a genre that felt very comforting and homey. Plus, I returned to my favorite easy-to-watch television shows like Parks & Rec, Survivor, and New Girl.
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
When to read it: When you’re really wanting some comfort food. When you want to peek behind the curtain of the food publishing industry. When you want to be inspired to play to your strengths. Where it will take you: New York City, Paris Don’t read if: You’re really stressed about work/life balance.
Week Two of Quarantine Reading
I started distancing myself from daily (hourly) news updates and started to dive into books again. I was still craving “comfort” reads. The Harry Potter series will be my ultimate comfort read, always. I started reading and then subsequently watching each movie after I finished.
I made each movie night a little bit special, with freshly popped popcorn, no phones allowed, and a healthy dose of anticipation. Highly recommend this strategy if you’re days and nights are feeling incredibly long and meaningless.
The Harry Potter Series
When to read it: When you’re feeling alone in the world. When you’ve lost your sense of wonder. When you feel like the bad things in the world outweigh the good. Where it will take you: To Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, of course! Occasionally, you’ll feel some UK flavor too. Don’t read if: You are adamantly against magic. Even then, I’d still try to put these books in your hands anyway. The magic is secondary to the story here.
Week Four of Quarantine Reading
While the weather turned cold again, I continued to read the Harry Potter series. The later books’ darker moods certainly fit my mood. I’m more and more impressed with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They’re certainly the two books I’ve read the least and they might be two of my favorites (although Prisoner of Azkaban will never be dethroned from the top spot for me).
One Day by David Nicholls
When to read it: This book is full of hope and constantly reminds you that no story is ever truly over. It’s the perfect read for when you’re graduating, when you’re feeling a little discouraged about your current love life, or when you’re going through a discouraging chapter of your story. Where it will take you: To the UK and ever so briefly to Greece. Don’t read if: You are triggered by cancer, drugs, alcohol or death.
And We're Off by Dana Schwartz
When to read it: When you’re ready to daydream about an epic European backpacking trip, a mother-daughter trip, or spending time at an artist’s colony abroad. Where it will take you: To France, Belgium, Ireland and Italy Don’t read if: You don’t enjoy a teenage perspective. You don’t want to face our lack of travel freedom. You don’t want to explore a mother/daughter relationship.
What I'm (Probably) Reading Next
I'm going to continue down the path of least resistance and return to some books I've always been curious to reread.
The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
I’m leaning into my every reading whim and think I’ll pick up another series that I absolutely devoured in high school, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I have a feeling it might not hold up quite as well as the Harry Potter series does. What I’m hoping it will teach me: How to recapture that must-keep-reading feeling. Where I’m hoping it will take me: The Pacific Northwest on a moody, misty day.
Open by Andre Agassi
I’m also hoping to reread one of the first memoirs that captured my attention, Open by Andre Agassi. What I’m hoping it will teach me: I remember that this book felt like getting shook by the shoulders. I’m looking forward to the lessons it might teach me on the reread. Where I'm hoping it will take me: To all of the “Grand Slam” tournament cities. I’ve been to Wimbledon and the Australian Open already.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
My IRL-turned-Zoom book club also landed on our next read, Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. I’ve heard great things, mostly from one of my favorite blogs Cup of Jo. What I’m hoping it will teach me: To embrace the curve balls life throws at you. Where I’m hoping it will take me: I have absolutely no clue, but I’m excited to go on the journey.