Good news is hard to come by these days, but here’s some: book sales have increased. On my own social media accounts, I keep seeing posts of people asking for book recommendations. As a former English and creative writing major, and a current writer/teacher, this makes my heart very happy. I have been reading more, too. I’ve noticed that this time has pushed me towards reflection.
I’ve compiled my top three recommendations for quarantine reading in each genre. I know our library has some of these titles. If you do have any expendable income right now, I also encourage you to support our local bookstores.
New Collected Poems or A Woman Without a Country by Eavan Boland. She was an Irish poet who died this year. Her work is extraordinary and illuminating.
Plainwater: Essays and Poetry by Anne Carson. This is a really cool, genre-bending book that you’ll keep thinking about for a long time.
Power Politics by Margaret Atwood. While Hulu and Netflix are making her novels into series, I think it’s a good idea to check out her early work.
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges. At six-years-old she became the first black student to attend her school in Louisiana in 1960. Most of us have seen the famous photograph of her walking past an angry mob. This book is her account. It is short, but full of interesting photos and quotes. I think it would be a great book to read with children (you can read it first to determine if your kid is ready), as a way to talk about segregation.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. There is a part where she talks about her miscarriage that really touched me. This book was full of interesting moments, some sweet and some sad.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. She wrote Wild. This is a collection of advice columns that is one of my favorite books ever. I actually gave a student a copy this year and she said she read the whole thing in one night. It will stay with you.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Based on a real-life boy’s reform school, this book reveals a section of the past we should be talking about. It is also a page turner and won a Pulitzer prize.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. A friend recommended this book to me and I was sucked right in. It has environmentalism, romance, family, and asks big questions.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I know many folks have already read this one, but I’m including it in case you missed it. Such an engrossing read; I don’t care one bit about hockey, but the characters kept me enthralled.