For most students, the rapidly changing situation regarding COVID-19 has shaken up the remainder of the spring semester. Whether you’re back in your hometown or stuck on campus, it’s likely that you’re finding a bit more free time on your hands now that you can attend your lectures from bed. These 3 books are perfect for easy reading in between classes, Netflix marathons, or when the boredom takes over.
- “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by Ottessa Moshfegh
While the title of Moshfegh’s novel appears as if it’s a self-help book, you won’t want to follow any of the advice that the unnamed main character provides. The book focuses on a young woman encompassed in the complex, pretentious, and often laughable art scene of New York City. Though she has the life that nearly every Instagram influencer dreams of, she chooses to self-medicate with jumbles of prescription drugs, movie marathons, and Chinese take-out over the span of one year. Her waking moments are few and far between as she hops between states of consciousness throughout the story. Even though the majority of My Year of Rest and Relaxation takes place in one tiny New York City apartment, I promise that this woman’s quarantine is nowhere near as boring as yours may be.
- “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language” by Gretchen McCulloch
With everyone stuck indoors, it’s safe to say that social media usage has gone into overdrive. Instead of posting your 5th Instagram story challenge of the day (though they are fun), pick up McCulloh’s nonfiction novel to learn why we communicate on the internet the way we do. Because Internet covers every platform the Internet has seen, from MySpace to Vine, and picks apart the trends and memes that have become second-nature to us. Even if you aren’t too interested in the complexity of online language, reading McCulloh’s in-depth analysis of the eggplant emoji is a foolproof way for any reader to kill a few hours.
- “Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
While I must admit that I haven’t finished this last book on my list, I can promise that I haven’t put it down since I went into quarantine (and not just because I’m desperate for entertainment). Reading Owens’ carefully crafted Where The Crawdads Sing is an immersive, charming, and indulgent experience for every type of reader. The book focuses on Kya, who is better known as the “marsh girl” to the city folk in her tiny Southern town. The reader follows Kya through an atypical coming-of-age story that seems to focus more on catching mussels than navigating adulthood. As Owens jumps between time periods, characters, and settings, her storytelling abilities never wane, making it no surprise that 4.5 million copies of Where The Crawdads Sing have been sold as of December 2019.
So, if you’re finding yourself needing a break from lecture live streams or watching endless hours of Hulu, these books are great for breaking the social-distancing blues!