During quarantine, there were no new shows to watch and no space to move around, so I decided to pick up a book that was laying in my apartment (originally there for decoration, of course). Next thing you know, that one book turned into 12 books. Out of all the books I read since my newfound love for reading, here are five that helped keep my sanity over the past year and taught me something along the way.
- Daisy Jones & The Six
Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid back in 2019, Daisy Jones & The Six transports you back to Los Angeles in the ’70s and follows the life of an up-and-coming fictional rock band. The book is written like a documentary: you’re reading each member’s answers to an in-depth interview, which gives the book an element of reality. It felt so real that I fully believed Daisy Jones & The Six was a real band until the last few chapters. You can imagine my disappointment when I tried to search for their music and nothing came up. Reid lures you into the chaos of the ’70s by glamorizing and exposing the reality of rock and roll, with all its ups and downs. I read this book in two days, and if it wasn’t all the drama and tension that kept me turning the pages, it was the unconventional love stories that left me wanting more. Read Daisy Jones & The Six if you need a fun new perceptive and a reason to unleash your inner rock and roll. If you don’t trust me, trust Reese Witherspoon, as she’s helping produce the book into an Amazon original show.
- Where the Crawdads Sing
Written by Delia Owens and published in 2018, Where the Crawdads Sing is a mystery, turned love story, turned compelling coming of age story. As a wildlife scientist, Owens captures the true beauty of nature by the way she personifies it throughout the main character’s — Kya’s — life. This book will have you turning pages for the suspenseful mystery but also for the need in uncovering the true Kya. Despite being on a road trip I managed to finish this book in three days and shed some tears along the way.
Written by Tara Westover in 2018, Educated is a memoir that reads like a fictional story. Reading Westover’s coming of age story made me grateful for my educational privilege, because school isn’t a guarantee for everyone. I grew up knowing I was going to go to college and it wasn’t until this book that I realized how great of a gift education is. Centered around her education journey, Educated ties in Westover’s family loyalty, religion and self-empowerment. If you’re finding it difficult to stay in school, I recommend you read this book to give you a fresh perspective of how education plays an impactful role in Westover’s life.
- The Immortalists
Written by Chloe Benjamin in 2018, The Immortalists starts in 1969 with a family living in New York City. It isn’t long before you’re following the same family members throughout their lifetimes. The book is centered around death and family, yet doesn’t shy away from love, drama and magic. Benjamin’s fear of death is reflected in the book, as death is the main character leading the characters’ lives while revealing their innermost vulnerable feelings. I found myself relating to each character in a different way because they all demonstrated the different roles death plays in our life. Whether it’s reminding you to live to the fullest or telling you to stay away from the people you love most, death is something universal and there’s beauty in that uniformity. I read this book in a week and I don’t know if it was because I was surrounded by family, but it made me appreciate the love I have for my family and friends a little extra.
Written by Glennon Doyle in 2020, Untamed is a memoir that reveals the unspoken reality of society and how Doyle is navigating it by choosing to listen to her inner self. Doyle’s endless metaphors and brutal honesty had me nodding the whole time I was reading. She touches on personal topics like racism and addiction while still connecting them to common experiences in a way we can all relate to. During the summer of 2020, while everyone was quarantining, I couldn’t stop hearing about this book and it’s only now in 2021 that I have decided to pick it up and give it a read. This book was exactly what I needed to hear, since the spring semester is starting to feel like a never-ending grind session, and it reminded me to listen to myself at the end of the day. If you need a little empowerment in your life and a reminder to live life your way, read Untamed and you’ll question why you didn’t go wild earlier.
It’s been months since I picked up new books because I’ve been reading the same one for weeks now. When I do find the time, I sit down and lock myself away, finishing the whole thing in a few days for fear of forgetting about it when the next rush of assignments comes in. Don’t let the spring semester steal your joy of reading; I hope you take my recommendations to rekindle that love for books.