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Annie’s Social Distancing Book Reviews and Recommendations

Since coming home in mid-March, I have had a lot more time on my hands. I still have plenty of Zoom classes and school work to keep me busy, but now that I don’t have any places to go or friends to physically see, I have a lot more time to read! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, and since coming home, I have read about one book a week. If you are looking for some good books to slip away into during this social-distancing time, look no further! Here are my thoughts on some books I’ve been reading.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

After reading Little Fires Everywhere, all I wanted were more books about family dramas, and Commonwealth is just that. While going back and forth between different time periods, the book follows the intertwining stories of two families, the Keatings and the Cousins, and how they share in one terrible tragedy. Each family member remembers the tragedy differently, and all of these narratives are knit together in order for the reader to fully understand what happened. Commonwealth was very enjoyable to read because of the many different characters within it; There are a lot of them, which may be confusing for some, but Patchett’s intricate descriptions and details make each character distinct and unique. Also, the cover of Commonwealth is so beautiful that it might bring you some joy during these tough times

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This title may sound familiar to you, as it was adapted into an award-winning 2017 HBO series starring none other than Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. I have yet to watch the series, but I can now say that I’ve read the book, and boy is it good! Big Little Lies follows how three friends and mothers are involved in a death, and the events leading up to it. The novel pays close attention to many types of relationships- parents and children, husbands and wives, as well as friendships and affairs. There are so many secrets and surprises that seem to come out of nowhere and I even found myself gasping at moments towards the end of the book. The pacing is excellent in Big Little Lies and I cannot wait to watch the series!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I loved this book so much that I finished it in three days! Where the Crawdads Sing is a coming-of-age story about Kya Clark, or the “Marsh Girl”, as the town calls her, who grows up alone in the marshes of North Carolina in the 1950s. Though ostracized by her community, Kya is intelligent and perceptive and learns to survive all on her own, but when a murder occurs, she is the first one suspected. The book is beautifully written and Owens’ descriptions of nature are incredible. I promise that you will fall in love with the characters in Where the Crawdads Sing and never want it to end! Just read it!

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Growing up, I was a huge Harry Potter fan. I reread the books when I was 14 and realized how much joy they brought me. As I was staring at my bookshelf a few weeks ago, I realized that during this time of confusion and worry, the Harry Potter books were just what I needed to take me away and make me feel safe. If you were a Harry Potter kid then you will understand this feeling! So far I have reread Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets and over the next few months, I plan on reading the rest in between other books. If you’ve never read the Harry Potter series before, then maybe now is a perfect time! You are never too old to read Harry Potter!

Stay well, and happy reading!

Annie Stevens

U Maine '23

Annie is in her first year at the University of Maine. She is double majoring in Media Studies and English with the hopes of working in the publishing industry one day. She enjoys reading, watching Sex and the City, learning about sustainable practices for the planet and attending live music events.
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