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Good books to read while social distancing

In the past few weeks, the world has been going through unprecedented times with social distancing and self-isolating becoming part of our regular vocabulary. Now, more than ever, is the time to escape to the world of fiction! Find your perfect read with our book recommendations below.

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Rooney focusses on the relationship between Connell and Marianne, two characters with opposing personalities who pretend not to know each other at school. As they grow up and enter different stages of their lives, the dynamic of their relationship changes. Once you’ve started, you won’t be able to put this book down so set aside a full day for this read!

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo

This Booker Prize winner explores the lives of twelve different characters, the majority of whom are black and women, and their experiences of growing up in Britain. Evaristo’s book tackles a variety of different subjects ranging from sexuality through to domestic abuse. Unputdownable!

Educated – Tara Westover

Westover was brought up in rural Idaho by a survivalist family. When she first entered education at the age of 17, Westover realised there were chunks of history she either knew nothing about or had been taught to her in a completely distorted way. Her memoir documents the abuse she suffered at the hands of her brother, the radical views of her father and the way that memory impacts our understanding of events.

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Braithwaite Oyinkan

Looking for something quirky and different? Order a copy of Braithwaite Oyinkan’s debut novel about an unusual sisterly relationship filled with murder, lust and lots of cleaning products! This is one of the best books to read if you’re wanting to get back into reading after taking a break.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Honeyman’s novel is focussed around Eleanor Oliphant, a socially awkward 29-year-old woman who has been in the same job for years, has no friends and consumes two bottles of vodka every weekend. The novel deals with feelings of loneliness and the impact of the kindness of others. The awards the book has collected are a testament to its brilliance!

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

If you’re looking for a light-hearted escape during this time of uncertainty, this book will warm your heart and possibly make you weep. Joyce’s novel follows Harold Fry, a retiree who walks from the south of Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed to see an old colleague in a hospice. This is one of our must read books!

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

If you’re looking for books to expand your knowledge, try Sapiens, a book based on lectures the author gave while teaching at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Harari traces the evolution of humans throughout history and how they came to dominate the planet.

The Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling

Now that you have more time on your hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into a series. Often featured in ‘must read books’ lists, the Harry Potter series has captured the imagination of readers both old and young. You can also treat yourself to the films once you’ve finished!

Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie’s novel follows the story of Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who moved to the US to study at university. Her life is juxtaposed with the story of Obinze, her former high school lover, who is still living in Nigeria. This novel is an excellent way to transport yourself to a completely different culture.

Looking for more book recommendations? Check out the Goodreads website to find out what’s new on the bookshelves.