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Books to read during self-isolation

(92 Posts)
NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 27-Mar-20 15:35:47

Hi all, smile

With social distancing and self-isolation, many of us now have more time on our hands than before. If you're looking for some entertainment, we've put together this page with HarperCollins on their recommended reads while you're stuck inside.

We also want to hear what books you'd recommend to gransnetters who are in isolation. Whether it's a gripping thriller or a forgotten classic, leave your suggestions on this thread.

And don't forget to come back and let us know if you read a good book over the coming weeks. flowers

GagaJo Fri 27-Mar-20 15:37:40

Education, Tara Westover. It's an amazing triumph over adversity book. True, too!

Greyduster Fri 27-Mar-20 15:47:32

‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller. Wondefully written and a complete distraction.
I currently have my head buried in Hilary Mantel’s latest book. Masterful and completely unputdownable.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 27-Mar-20 15:54:41

Yes another vote for Mantel. I’ve got the trilogy to read through. I’ve already read the first two, but it was 10 years ago so can happily re-read before I get to the one I really want to read

Calendargirl Fri 27-Mar-20 18:01:44

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Never tire of it, a huge book, but have read it many times.

If you’ve only seen the film, please read the book, it surpasses it.

Fennel Fri 27-Mar-20 18:15:52

I've read that Calendargirl and agree, it's a wonderful book.
I'm sorry to say I'm not a big reader these days, I must change my habits.
I once had a phase of reading Russian short stories - in english of course. Mostly Chekov, also Gorky, Gogol and Dostoevsky. And Tolstoy. Never got round to Pushkin who wrote earlier. I got most of them out of the library, but these days the choice there is limited.

Newquay Fri 27-Mar-20 18:39:06

Have started Vanity Fair

Maggiemaybe Fri 27-Mar-20 19:07:00

I’ve just read Jonathan Coe’s trilogy following the lives of a small group of people who start off in Birmingham in 1976 and end up all over the place in 2018. Well-written state of the nation tragi-comedies covering the Thatcher years, the Blair years and the Brexit years respectively.

The Rotters’ Club, The Closed Circle and Middle England.

millymouge Fri 27-Mar-20 19:10:51

Any of Charles Dickens books

grandMattie Fri 27-Mar-20 19:11:35

I’m reading a gripping and fascinating book but Ben Elton “Time and Time again”. A thriller, what if book about changing one event in history. Well written and worth it.

MiniMoon Fri 27-Mar-20 19:12:45

I've just finished Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. I intend to work my way through all the Miss Marple books in order.
At some point I must buy The Rosie Result, it's the third in the trilogy about Don Tilman the socially inept professor. I really enjoyed the first two.

SueDonim Fri 27-Mar-20 19:20:24

Salt Path by Raynor Wynn.
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks if you want plague literature.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen.

If you want a soothing bookish podcast then Slightly Foxed might be just your thing.

Gemini17892 Fri 27-Mar-20 20:16:50

I reread 1984. That didn’t help ! So now I’m reading Susan Hill’s Serailler series.

Maggiemaybe Fri 27-Mar-20 23:35:08

How about the latest Hilary Mantel to while away a few hours? I haven’t read it yet, but if it’s as good as Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies it’ll be a corker.

I’m going to download it as an audiobook from my local library service. Apparently it’s free and I’ll have a fortnight to “read” it. That way I can enjoy it while getting a few cupboards sorted at the same time. Win win.

lemongrove Sat 28-Mar-20 08:39:38

Anything by Kate Atkinson, recently read Transcription and also A God In Ruins, with brilliant.
Am also re -reading Billy Liar and Lucky Jim, bound to cheer you up.By Keith Waterhouse and Kingsley Amis respectively.

lemongrove Sat 28-Mar-20 08:40:28

That should read ‘both’ brilliant.

Mynxie Sat 28-Mar-20 09:12:27

Thank you Maggiemaybe

The first in the trilogy is free on Kindle and sounds right up my street!

gillybob Sat 28-Mar-20 10:15:43

I second Education by Tara Westover GagaJo . A harrowing almost unbelievable read . How on earth did she stay sane ?

TerriBull Sat 28-Mar-20 10:35:02

Yes another here who would highly recommend Tara Westover's "Educated" definitely one of the best books I read last year. Many accolades on GN but I'm going to mention it again "Hearts Invisible Furies" John Boyne, loved it so much. Also these all wonderful, imo "The Goldfinch" Donna Tart, "Life After Life" Kate Atkinson, "Middlesex" Jeffrey Eugenides, "The Blind Assassin" and "Alias Grace" Margaret Atwood, "The Crimson Petal and the White" Michel Faber,
this following one a real tome 1,200 or so pages "The Quincunx" (Latin - sounds rude but it isn't) by Charles Palliser. A Dickens pastiche - five families and an inheritance at the heart of the book, easier to read than Dickens. Loved it, should keep anyone going for a while.

gillybob Sat 28-Mar-20 11:00:18

Oh yes “Hearts invisible furies” gets my vote too TerriBull I enjoyed it so much I didn’t want it to end .

SueDonim Sat 28-Mar-20 14:12:25

I found The Hearts Invisible Furies tedious. It started off well but I got bored. Same with The Goldfinch. Whatever happened to editors? Sometimes less is more. grin

Eloethan Sat 28-Mar-20 15:25:06

I would recommend Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, a very well written thriller which I found really tense and engrossing. It was serialised on TV fairly recently and a friend who had watched it told me it was a gripping story.

Secret History by Donna Tarte is another all-time favourite of mine - a sort of psychological slow-burning thriller. I found The Goldfinch, by the same author, also very readable up to about three quarters of the way through and then it sort of petered out.

Scott Turrow's The Burden of Truth is another of his legal mysteries/thrillers which had quite an unusual and unexpected resolution.

Lissa Evans' Crooked Heart is a fairly lightweight but funny and touching story which made me laugh out loud.

Most of Anne Tyler's books are very readable - she draws characters so well you feel you know them. I especially liked Saint Maybe and Breathing Lessons. I recently re-read The Accidental Tourist but, on reflection, decided I prefer the film, in which William Hurt played the main character brilliantly.

When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman is laugh out loud funny at times, and at others achingly sad.

Books are a very personal thing, though, and what appeals to one reader may not appeal to another.

Greyduster Sat 28-Mar-20 17:16:10

Plus one for “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” Terribull. Also liked his “The House of Special Purpose”, but disappointed with “A Ladder to the Sky”.

rosecarmel Sun 29-Mar-20 04:24:21

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

Katyj Sun 29-Mar-20 09:34:33

SueDonim.Thanks for the recommendation of The salt path,started it yesterday and loving it so far 😀