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Books to read during self-isolation

(83 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

Urmstongran Sun 29-Mar-20 10:31:23

I too loved ‘Education’ GagaJo. Uplifting doesn’t do it justice.

‘Year of Wonders’ was our most favourite book club read of all time SueDonim when we read it a few years back.

I’ve just finished ‘American Dirt’ and couldn’t put it down.

I’m searching for a new book or two for my Kindle so I’ll keep checking this thread!

Urmstongran Sun 29-Mar-20 10:32:27

Ooh I love David Sedaris - thanks rosecarmel that’s one to buy!

Craftywriter Sun 29-Mar-20 18:17:47

You might enjoy The Workhouse Waif or The Matchgirl by Lynette Rees. Both books are available in Kindle, paperback and audio formats. smile

Fennel Sun 29-Mar-20 18:21:59

@ millymouge
I agree about Charles Dickens. I've got most of them from school days.

BBbevan Sun 29-Mar-20 18:53:51

I have the new Hilary Mantel. But I have also bought The Source by James Michener. I have read it before. A lovely big chunky book. If I finish that I will get Hawaii. ButI have six library books to read first. Not that Ican return them any time soon

Urmstongran Sun 29-Mar-20 18:54:47

I’ve bought the Sedaris book and read a couple of chapters which made me laugh out loud (unusual for me). I went to see him at the Lowry in Salford Media City a few years ago it was money very well spent!

Also pre-ordered the new Anne Tyler, to be on my Kindle 9 April.

3dognight Sun 29-Mar-20 19:09:56

My last library book was Where The Crawdads Sing, and as it cant be returned I may well read it again, it was so good.

Before the lockdown my sister gave me:
The Salt Path
TheCloudSpotters Guide
The Stopping Places

Lots of recommendations for good books to lose yourself in, thank you everyone

rosecarmel Sun 29-Mar-20 19:59:21

Urmsongran, I laugh out loud reading his books also- My daughter saw him some years ago and then gave me one of his books to read and I was hooked- smile

I really want to gently push everyone to read Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn- Just a little at a time, to help everyone relax- It's 700+ pages, you can read a little each day to decompress, focus on breathing and be calm-

Another little book I think might be fitting to read, to help us understand and appreciate our collective circumstance is the novella The Pearl by John Steinbeck- Its a quick read with deep meaning-

Oopsadaisy3 Sun 29-Mar-20 20:03:10

I’ve just read Wall of Days by Alastair Bruce.
I’ve read loads of books recently but this one was unusual and very good.

lemongrove Sun 29-Mar-20 21:20:16

SueDonim I agree wholeheartedly about Donna Tarrt (Tarte?) books, doesn’t she have an editor?!

I may re-read Any Human Heart by John Boyd, a marvellous book, also anything at all by the author David Mitchell, I have all his paperbacks.The best is The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob de Zoet.
Good supernatural book, Thin Air by Michelle Paver ( not sure of spellings).

Ealdemodor Mon 30-Mar-20 11:48:38

I am currently reading A Year in the Chateau by Sarah Long - perfect if you want easy-going escapism.

GagaJo Mon 30-Mar-20 17:35:49

SD & LG, I hated The Goldfinch, but loved Tartt's other two. The Little Friend and The Secret History. I will reread the latter while in isolation.

Currently rereading (first time in 20 or so years) Michelle Roberts, Daughters of the House.

Oh yes, Middlesex! Eugenides. I used that as part of my MA thesis. Wonder if I'd still enjoy it?

And anything (mostly) by Atwood. My favourite writer since I was 15.

Harris27 Mon 30-Mar-20 17:39:29

Good choice mini moon. I will return to my Rebecca shaw books loved them. I’ve read a lot of Erica James books and reading ‘ a sense of belonging’. Lovely.

Tobyjugg Tue 31-Mar-20 00:42:20

Wodehouse. Lots and lots of P G Wodehouse.

lemongrove Tue 31-Mar-20 09:22:18

Ah, Wodehouse!
‘I was sprawled in my armchair pondering the vagaries of life, when Jeeves shimmered into the room and coughed apologetically.Am sorry to bother you sir, he said, but there is a gentleman at the door who wishes to speak to you most urgently.Then show the blighter in Jeeves, show him in...oh and rustle up another Manhattan would you, with two olives this time.
As I was straightening myself up in the chair, who should rush in but Binky Nosethrottle, I hadn’t seen him in months,
And gave him the glad hand. Sit down old fruit I entreated him warmly, what news from Tottering Towers?Binky looked in a frightful stew, why, haven’t you heard he cried, looking around wildly, I’m a marked man!
I boggled at him, what on earth are you burbling about Binky,
Marked in what way? He slumped onto the damask divan and put his head in his’s the police he murmured in a broken voice, they’re onto me...I, I broke the curfew, went into a shop and Easter egg!! As I looked on aghast at this news, he started to sob.
Jeeves! Come here at once, I cried, this is a job for that great brain of yours, but at that moment the doorbell rang, and then there was a great thumping at the door and a booming voice yelled ‘Constable Higgins ‘ere sir, we knows you ‘ave a fugitive in there!’
We’re done for Jeeves, I whispered........

Greyduster Tue 31-Mar-20 09:32:29


Urmstongran Tue 31-Mar-20 10:01:32

Oh lemon that was bluddy brilliant! You are clever!

annodomini Tue 31-Mar-20 11:09:40

I need to wean myself off crime books. At the moment I am reading (or re-reading) Peter Robinson's works in sequence. If anyone here needs a recommendation for a good crime series, I suggest Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache and Martin Walker's Bruno books. Both series have great characters and a wonderful sense of place, Quebec and rural France respectively and are best read in order.

Craftycat Tue 31-Mar-20 13:04:19

I'm sure most of you have read it but if anyone has NOT read Eleanor Olliphant is Completely Fine now is a good time to do so.
I finished it & went straight back to the beginning to read it again I loved it so much.
I started the new Hilary Mantel but I think maybe I need something a bit lighter just now. Only so many beheadings you can take!!

Craftycat Tue 31-Mar-20 13:06:25

Maggie Maybe--- YES to The Rotters Club- I go back to it just to read the 'letters' if I feel a bit low. So funny.

lemongrove Tue 31-Mar-20 13:34:07

Thanks Greyduster and Urmston 😃it gave me ten mins of amusement this morning to write it.

Crafty Yes, Eleanor O is an excellent book, and I may re -read it again soon.
I also like Joanne Harris books ( all of them).Also Any Human Heart by William Boyd.

lemongrove Tue 31-Mar-20 13:36:50

Am listening to Anton Lessor reading the new Hilary Mantel book on radio four ( about lunchtime) he reads it really well, although I shall still buy the book.

NannyJan53 Tue 31-Mar-20 13:42:14

I can recommend anything by Dorothy Koomson

Especially, The Rose Petal Beach, The Ice Cream Girls, My Best Friends Girl, The Chocolate Run, The Woman He Loved Before.

SirChenjin Tue 31-Mar-20 22:01:47

‘All the light we cannot see‘ by Anthony Doerr and ‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent - 2 of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

lemongrove Wed 01-Apr-20 09:01:33

The Anthony Doerr book is brilliant, I shall be re -reading it.
Plus all the David Mitchell books ( this is not the David Mitchell married to Victoria Coren btw!)