My Book Recommendations While Social Distancing

I’m a book lover. I love to read so whenever I’m feeling stressed, I turn to something I love: books. I also work in a bookstore so I have the opportunity to see the new releases the day that they’re released. Now that we have a little more time on our hands than we’re normally used to, it’s the perfect time to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read. Additionally, if you’re looking for a good read to pass the time and can’t think of any, here are five of my recommendations that I plan to read while I social distance. All synopses are from Goodreads.

  1. 1. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

    This is the book I’m currently reading. It’s very good but it’s very intense so I will warn you to read it in doses. It’s written for the #MeToo era and leaves you thinking.

    “Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

    2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

    Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.” - Goodreads

    Buy here!

  2. 2. Verity by Colleen Hoover

    This is one of my all time favorites. When I first read it, I finished it in one sitting, unable to put it down and carry on with my day until I finished. I’ve read it many times since its release and I love to give it as a gift to people who are looking for something a little twisted. I highly, HIGHLY recommend!

    “Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.” - Goodreads

    Buy here!

  3. 3. Open Book: A Memoir by Jessica Simpson

    I have yet to read this one but it’s the next one on my list. Since its release, it’s been highly praised and said to be revealing about her time with a certain Mr. Mayer. Who doesn’t love a bit of gossip?

    “This was supposed to be a very different book. Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie. Jessica couldn’t be authentic with her readers if she wasn’t fully honest with herself first. Now, America’s Sweetheart, preacher’s daughter, pop phenomenon, reality TV pioneer, and the billion-dollar fashion mogul invites readers on a remarkable journey, examining a life that blessed her with the compassion to help others but also burdened her with an almost crippling need to please. Open Book is Jessica Simpson using her voice, heart, soul, and humor to share things she’s never shared before. First celebrated for her voice, she became one of the most talked-about women in the world, whether for music and fashion, her relationship struggles, or as a walking blonde joke. But now, instead of being talked about, Jessica is doing the talking. Her book shares the wisdom and inspirations she’s learned and shows the real woman behind all the pop-culture clichés — “chicken or fish,” “Daisy Duke,” "football jinx," “mom jeans,” “sexual napalm…” and more. Open Book is an opportunity to laugh and cry with a close friend, one that will inspire you to live your best, most authentic life, now that she is finally living hers.” - Goodreads

    Buy here!

  4. 4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    This is a classic that is celebrated among many. Since the release of the film in December 2019, the book has met a whole new group of people ready to learn about the March sisters and their beautiful story, and I urge you to do the same!

    “Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.

    It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with "woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the "girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.” - Goodreads

    Buy here!

  5. 5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

    I don’t typically read thrillers but this one was worth the read. It was a pager turner that kept me on the edge of my seat.

    “Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...”  - Goodreads

    Buy here!

If you end up reading any of these books, please let us know at @hcyorku! Wishing you all the best during this stressful time. Drink lots of tea and don’t forget to wash your hands!