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I’m a reader and always have been. During the school year, finding time to balance schoolwork and pleasure reading has always been difficult, but thanks to COVID-19, I had nothing but time for the past six months. As difficult and endless as social isolation felt, I did manage to catch up on books I have missed when I was too busy and I fell back in love with reading. Although quarantine is not over yet, here is a list (in no particular order) of five of the books I read while social distancing!

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris 

Before quarantine started back in March, I had been on a kick of reading creative nonfiction and became obsessed with David Sedaris and chose this collection to start off the long months ahead. Sedaris skillfully blends traumatic life events, such as death and drug usage, with humor in a way that makes the reader almost miss the darker tones to the works. Sprinkled in are flat out comical stories which offered a refreshing break and made it an easy read. Overall, I would give this collection a strong 7/10 (if you are interested in any Sedaris, I recommend starting with Me Talk Pretty One Day).

One Day - David Nicholls 

Right up front, I cannot praise this book enough. I had looked on Harper’s Bazaar for books similar to Sally Rooney’s and found this one. I’d never heard of it but I am so glad I gave it a chance. This book is the perfect blend of romance and heartbreak that left me thinking about it for days after I closed the cover. This book told the story of two friends after a one night stand on the night of their university graduation. Each chapter shows where they are a year later on July 15th, whether it be together or not. Nicholls did an amazing job creating and depicting emotion within this novel. Easily I would give this book a 9/10. I cannot recommend this book enough.

The Spellman Files: Book One - Lisa Lutz

I read a book by Lutz back in the winter and loved it. This spring, I decided to read another and started her comedy series, The Spellman Files. This series revolves around a family of private investigators and is told from the point of view of the “black sheep” of the family, Izzy Spellman. Book one was comedic and fast-paced, focusing around a police investigation. However, it just was not my type of novel. I found the plot to be boring despite being an interesting subject and I thought the characters were pretty unlikeable and non-sympathetic. If it weren’t for Lutz’s writing style, I am unsure if I would have finished this book. Overall, a 4.5/10 (I do recommend How to Start a Fire by Lutz though).

Mother Daughter Widow Wife - Robin Wasserman

I read this book as an advanced reader copy that my sister got from work back in April. However, it has now been published and available to buy so I am including it on my list! This novel is a psychological fiction about a woman who finds herself waking up with no memories of her past life and her daughter’s quest to find her. It was an interesting read and I found myself genuinely caring about almost all of the characters and the plot felt unique and original. I was not a huge fan of the ending (no spoilers!) but even that did not ruin the book as a whole for me. I would give this book a solid 7/10.

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

Rereading this book in quarantine was entirely for nostalgia purposes and I really enjoyed it. At the beginning of quarantine, my mom and sister and I decided to watch the Canadian tv show, Anne With an E, and since I had not read the book since I was a lot younger, I decided to reread it. It took only about a day and a half as it is an easy read but it made me remember how much I loved that story when I was younger. Anne inspired my younger self to be braver and more adventurous, and by reading this book again at age 20, it felt almost like reuniting with an old friend. For younger readers, I highly recommend this book as well as for some nostalgia-loving adults. But for anyone, I definitely suggest revisiting childhood classics when you have some spare time! All of the warm and fuzzy feelings were felt.

Madyn is a senior at Emmanuel College and studying English with a focus in writing and communications, as well as pursuing an art history minor. She loves all things vintage, Hozier, One Direction, and her cats. She is the 2021-2022 President for the Emmanuel College chapter!
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