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5 Books to Read When You’re Bored in Quarantine

Recently, I’ve been sent back to my home town, which has given me the chance to revisit my bookshelf. For a long time, I wasn’t really able to just sit down and enjoy a good book, but for the past couple weeks, I’ve been able to read a lot again amidst the free time afforded to me by the pandemic. 

My go-to genre for reading has always been YA romance, with a mix of fantasy fiction, and poetry. Here are 5 books I’ve re-read that I really enjoyed, and I think you will too: 

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho 

The Alchemist is one of my all-time favourite novels, and everytime I read it I learn something new about myself and the world that surrounds me. It’s a classic novel to read, where we follow Santiago's adventure to find his personal legend and learn the secrets of the universe. It’s beautifully written - Santiago’s thought processes were relatable even if his experiences weren’t, and the journey itself is incredible to take part in. 

For me, it was a way to journey through Egypt while I was in the comforts of my own home. It also always provides me time to self-reflect, as the passages in the novel are quite allegorical, and relevant to every person’s own personal journey in life to find their purpose. The Alchemist just feels right to read in times of uncertainty, and always brings me comfort.  

The Sun is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is one of my favourite authors, since reading Everything, Everything, I’ve been obsessed with her writing. The Sun is Also a Star is no exception to her incredibly written stories. Most of the novel takes place in a single day in New York City, and we jump back and forth between the main characters’ perspectives. Immediately, I was hooked into their stories, and couldn’t put the book down. The book is so easy to read, and Nicola Yoon captivates you with every single word she writes. 

Personally, she wrote the story of my New York City fantasy, where I bump into someone and then immediately fall in love. It gave me the perfect narrative to dream myself into, and also provided the exact right amount of giddiness and hopefulness that a good YA romance should give. 

The Timekeeper - Mitch Albom

The Timekeeper isn’t the first book I remember by Mitch Albom (I always read The Five People You Meet in Heaven), but every time I read it I get so emotional. It’s touching in every sense of the word, and it discusses two perspectives of life, and the beautiful importance of time, but also its insignificance. It’s a wonderful novel that teaches the reader to value life, and the time we’ve been given.

I first read this at a time when I was in a bad place mentally, and not that novels are gonna solve everything, but it provided a valuable perspective to me that helped me to evaluate my thought processes. I cannot recommend this enough. 

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart - Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett manages to touch on some hard topics in this book with a lightheartedness that makes it manageable. Though some aspects of the plot aren’t very memorable and can be a bit cringe-y (and honestly at times it’s unrelatable and QUITE a stretch), it’s a very cute story to follow. It’s very reminiscent of young love (not that I’m old, or know exactly what ‘young love’ should be) that’s portrayed in movies. For me, it was a nice book to read to pass some time while also having a nice distraction. It’s easy to read and the story is easy to visualize. 

Pillow Thoughts - Courtney Peppernell 

Pillow Thoughts provides a collection of poetry and prose for different times in life, from feeling lonely, to feeling loved. It communicates so many raw emotions, and it’s a perfect book to help you through the varying emotions that can come up during self-isolation. It’s amazing, and I could not put it down. If you love poetry, it’s perfect. It’s helped me sort through the thoughts and emotions that have been floating through my head, and has reawoken my love for prose. I cannot recommend it enough.

Nicole is in her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, double majoring in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies. On campus, you can find her volunteering for many organizations, or studying with friends, and getting coffee. During her free time, she loves to sing karaoke, watch cheesy rom-coms, and take all the naps. Find her on Instagram @nicoledegrano! 
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