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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

This pandemic has really pushed us to find simple pleasures throughout this challenging year. For me, books have been my saving grace. This summer I read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, a book about a young girl moving to a desolated area of Alaska with her family during the 1970s. It was the perfect escape from my mundane daily routine that consisted of me migrating between my bedroom and my living room. The book offered incredible descriptions of beautiful scenery and raw wilderness, serving as a much needed and covid-friendly cure for my wanderlust. The reading experience made me appreciate the difference a good book can make, and inspired me to reach out to some friends and see what books helped them make it through this tough year.

For Introspection:

During the many months of quarantine, there has been at the very least ample time for thinking. The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter—and how to make the most of them now by Meg Jay is a book that delves into the importance of your twenties, and provides tools to help you capitalize on these crucial years. Jay’s insights are based on years of working with clients and experts from other fields, providing the reader with a framework for introspection and internal growth.

girl with coffee and book
Photo by Anthony Tran from Unsplash
For Perspective:

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy tells the story of fraternal twins who are separated during their childhood in Kerala, India. The book recounts the events that led to their separation, and provides a powerful social commentary through the portrayal of a family’s tragic struggle.

The protagonist from Life of Pi is stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after surviving a shipwreck. His treacherous and inspiring journey reminds us that, although we may be stuck in our houses, many of us still live very fortunate lives and should take time to be grateful.

Tara Westover’s memoir Educated tells another inspiring story of human resilience. Driven by her desire to learn, Westover recounts leaving her survivalist Mormon family to pursue a college education. Her journey is filled with many milestones, from preparing for the ACT by reading textbooks with a flashlight in her basement, to eventually completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge.

pile of books
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
For Distraction:

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle is a perfect distraction from the stresses, hardships, or boredom that the pandemic has inflicted on our society. This witty novel effortlessly draws the reader into the romance between the two main characters. 

Similar to Hogle, author Colleen Hoover is well-versed in beautifully written love stories that transport readers into her world. Some great books among her extensive collection of novels are It Ends With Us, November 9 and Without Merit, all of which would serve as welcome retreats from pandemic life.


Happy reading!            

Sarah Eisen

Queen's U '21

Sarah Eisen is a fourth year psychology student at Queen's University.
HC Queen's U contributor