Lockdown week 143. Reading prospects looking bleak? Exhausted your childhood bookshelf? Mum’s cookbooks not quite cutting it? Here are 10 book recommendations for when you’re feeling bored, nostalgic, or even just in need of a pick-me-up!
1. My Family and Other Animals – Gerald Durrell.
A perfect book for when you’re in need of a good chuckle or wishing you were living in Greece (so, always.) Not to mention that My Family and Other Animals has become strangely relatable now that we’re all cooped up with family in quarantine…
2. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons.
Flora Poste’s modern upheaval of nineteenth century rural life will have you in stitches from start to finish; definitely one for a day when lockdown’s got you loopy.
3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom.
I first read this book years ago, and it’s stayed with me ever since. It’ll have you weeping, smiling, reminiscing and heart-aching all at once as maintenance man Eddie relives his life and death through conversations with five people who significantly affected his life in some way.
4. Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The Little Prince is an uplifting and charming tale, but don’t be fooled by its fantastical nature, it will most certainly make you question the way you live your life. This novella is also perfect for French learners; I’d recommend reading it side by side with the English translation, or if you’re more advanced – try reading it without!
5. The Beekeeper of Aleppo – Christy Lefteri.
This is a book I’d class as ‘non-put-downable’. Following the journey of Nuri and his wife Afra from Syria to England, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is heart-wrenching and devastating, exposing but a mere fraction of the horrors endured by refugees.
6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer.
If you’re after a wholesome, warming book, then I couldn’t recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society highly enough. Set in Guernsey after the Nazi occupation, it follows Juliet Ashton as she escapes metropolitan life and begins to document the lives of Guernsey residents during the war. I guarantee you’ll be packing your bags and jetting off to Guernsey as soon as you finish it!
7. My Brother’s Ghost – Allan Ahlberg.
I read this book and wept when I was nine and can safely say that it still has the same effect twelve years on. My Brother’s Ghost is a heart-rendering tale of loss, family and memory that follows the life of Frances as she is guided by her late brother’s ghost.
8. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing follows the life of Kya, a young girl living alone in a marsh in 1950s America, and her survival as an isolated outcast as she discovers friendship, family, and justice. Kya’s timeline is intertwined with the murder investigation of Chase Andrews as we learn more about the circumstances of his murder, and are made to wonder who could be responsible.
9. A Good Detective Book
Craving a little excitement and deviation from that oh-so-riveting daily exercise? Then I’d suggest cracking on with a good mystery book! I honestly couldn’t choose just one for this category, but I’d generally recommend anything by Agatha Christie. Or, for something a little different, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon) is a moving take on your usual detective sagas.
10. 1984 – George Orwell.
1984 is a gripping dystopian novel – the perfect boredom breaker for when you’re in need of a little focus, or even just something to excite your mind!
And, if you’re struggling to get hold of new books during lockdown then I’d recommend the app BorrowBox. Just log in with your local library details and loan audiobooks or ebooks for free.