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by Mo Amiri April 18, 2021
In this video, Grace is going to recommend 5 books that you should read if you are stuck at home, feeling bored, during a lockdown. Each book is specifically chosen based on what kind of lockdown reader you are, and what it is that you mostly miss about 'normal life'.
Hi, it's Grace! Welcome or welcome back to Emposia's channel. Today, i'm going to be recommending some books that are specifically catered to when you are stuck at home.
Books are a great means of entertainment and comfort. So, no matter what kind of lockdown reader you are, because I know everyone is different, I feel like I have the perfect book to recommend to you.
Okay, so the first kind of lockdown reader is someone who is missing
traveling. I feel like this is definitely me. I'm so sad that I haven't been able
to explore any new places for quite a while now, and so the book i would recommend if you're missing getting out and about, seeing new places, new countries, is Less by Andrew Sean Greer.
This is a literary fiction novel that follows a middle-aged man, who is a kind of semi-successful writer, and in order to avoid going to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, he decides to accept all of the invitations that have come in for work and plans this trip around the world, doing various things like speaking at a literary festival, doing a writer's retreat, and lecturing at university. Basically so he can avoid his real life for the Summer. And so, we follow Arthur, our main character, to South America, to Europe. He goes to India, to Morocco.
In what is a relatively short book, we get to see a lot of the world. I absolutely love this book for that reason. I think Andrew Sean Greer evokes these different places so well. It's a real kind of like 'romp'. It's very fun traveling with Arthur. This is a very funny book. He gets himself into a lot of mishaps as he's on his journey around the world. He is a bit of a kind of bumbling fool character, but this is also a really really heartwarming book.
It's beautifully written and, ultimately, it is kind of a love story in part with Arthur dealing with his past relationships that he's been trying to avoid, but also in coming to terms with himself and the person that he is, and learning not to be so down about himself, not to worry so much about growing older, and about not being successful.
This book is an all-time favorite of mine. It's a perfect balance of that 'romp', traveling the world, seeing all these vibrant things with Arthur, but also a really beautiful character study.
The next kind of lockdown reader is any of you who are feeling a bit down. I feel like that's to be expected. No one would blame you, and so the book that I think will cheer you up is The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré.
This is about a young girl, who at the start of the novel is also feeling quite down. Terrible things are happening to her. Her father sells her own marriage to a much older man. She's 15 and all she wants to do is go back to school and get
an education. However, throughout the book as she strives to get out of these bad situations to stand up for herself, we see a really uplifting, heartwarming and positive story about a young girl who is committed to following her dreams.
This book does deal with slightly difficult stuff, as i say, but ultimately, the friends she makes along the way, the people who help her out, really just a heartwarming story about a young girl coming up against the odds and fighting to get an education.
This book had me just smiling at the end of it. It really touched me. It's very
readable and i'd highly recommend it.
So maybe you're just a total escapist lockdown reader. You just do not want to think about what is happening in the world. I got you. I would recommend The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
This is kind of like a fantasy book, but don't worry if you're not a fantasy
reader. The book follows a writer who is telling his son the story of The
Princess Bride, which is a story that in turn his father used to read to him
as a child.
So the story of The Princess Bride, the action of the book, is about this fantasy land. There's swashbuckling men, there's a stolen princess. It is very,
kind of, sweeping and epic and totally unlike the real world. But then, you get these interjections from the father to kind of give context to what's happening. He butts in. It makes it really funny.
This also has an amazing film made out of it, so something to go to once you finish the book.
I read this all in one night. I couldn't put it down, and it totally took me out of myself because you just get so wrapped up in the world of these characters that are so far flung from our own. They get into all sorts of exciting, ridiculous situations and yet you will definitely forget about the real world.
Another thing I think is affecting a lot of readers right now is just a lack of concentration, trying to focus their mind on a book. And so, i have the perfect short clever book that you won't be able to put down. This is Pet by Akwaeke Emezi.
This is actually a YA (Young Adult) title. I don't read a lot of YA, and I still really really enjoyed this, and I think because it's written in that slightly more accessible style, it's also very helpful in terms of concentration.
So this feels like it's set in our world, apart from the fact that it's ruled by these people, these high up figures called angels, and all of the citizens kind of know that there used to be monsters, but there's not monsters anymore.
Everyone is safe; however, when Jam meets a monster, Pet, everything she knew about her life kind of changes. And Pet tells her that her best friend Redemption is in trouble, and there's a monster who's trying to hurt him.
So it follows a very kind of well trodden, I would say, narrative of YA, something not being right and two teenage characters trying to solve it. But this book is actually so so smart in what it says about the way we build society. It's really compelling because you want to know who the monster is. You want to know what Pet is. Who Jam can trust and who you can't? But it's actually very powerful, and it has a really satisfying ending. It'll make you think about a lot of things and I highly recommend it.
Finally, I think part of us, some lockdown readers, just want to read about people who are in an even worse situation than us. And so, if that is you, i have to recommend One by One by Ruth Ware.
This is a thriller, and it is set at a ski resort where there's an avalanche and all of the people who are in this chalet get locked in there. So if you thought you were stuck at home, they're really stuck at home. The group are colleagues who work at a new social media platform, and then there's the members of staff and they're all locked in this house in France. The police can't get to them and then soon one by one they start dying.
So this has that perfect claustrophobic, tense atmosphere because you kind of are expecting, you know, someone else is going to die, but you don't know who and you don't know when and you really don't know who to trust.
I could not put this book down because it's so fast and readable and it is actually kind of scary in a tame way, like you know you're safe at home, but the thought of being locked in a house with a murderer does kind of freak you out. So yeah, you'll end this book, I think, being satisfied with the conclusion, having been creeped out, being very pleased that you are stuck in your home where you can at least open the doors and the windows.
So there are the 5 books that I wanted to recommend, but if you're still not sure what kind of lockdown reader you are, Emposia has a quiz that you can take that will let you know.
We'll see you in the next one! -Grace from GKReads, Emposia Book Club
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