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Books To Read While You’re Social Distancing

Books To Read While You’re Social Distancing

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Here’s a list of books to read while you’re social distancing.

Life has changed. People are working at home (if they’re able to), schools, gyms, restaurants (other than takeout orders) have closed down. We must adhere by the recommendations of health officials and do the right and smart thing by staying at home. We’re all in this together. 

I really encourage you all to pick up books during this time. It’s truly not healthy to be on Twitter 24/7 and watching cable news at the same time. You have to take breaks from it all—it’s so important for your mental health. 

And for book clubs out there, you all still can meet—just take your book club online

The books I recommend below include contemporary fiction, historical fiction, thriller and nonfiction genres. It’s a combination of newly released books and novels from the past few years. Let’s get to it!

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore is a new take on the time travel genre. They say it’s perfect for fans of What Alice Forgot and Life After Life. I’ve started this one and already love it and plan to pick it back up once I finish this post!

Here’s the synopsis: 

It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order

Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.

You can order the book on Amazon here

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

I read Less by Andrew Sean Greer when I first started Book Club Chat in 2018 and I loved this novel!! It’s funny, random and has heart too. 

Here’s the synopsis:

Who says you can’t run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.

You can order the book on Amazon here. You can find my book club questions here

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan 

I read The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan a couple years ago and so enjoyed it! I’m a big fan of their site Go Fug Yourself, especially all their Royal Family coverage. The Royal We was inspired by the romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton but it’s definitely an original story. Read it before the sequel, The Heir Affair, comes out this summer. Here’s the synopsis:

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall – and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne.

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

You can order the book on Amazon here

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is such a fantastic novel! A rom-com full of depth with scenes that will no doubt hit you right in the feels. Abby is back with another story, The Happy Ever After Playlist in April. So read The Friend Zone before it comes out! Here’s the synopsis: 

Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing is hugely popular – I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I’m 100% reading this while social distancing. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the book. So read it before the film comes out. Here’s the synopsis:

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have our secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Book club questions coming soon!

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré sounds like such an impactful read—and it has one of the most beautiful and vivid covers I’ve seen. It’s also a Read with Jenna from the Today Show book club pick! This is another book I plan to read while social distancing. Here’s the synopsis: 

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni’s father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.

When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.

But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Book club questions coming soon!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

If you’re looking for top-notch historical fiction, The Alice Network is it. I read a lot of historical fiction and this is one of the best I’ve read. I love that it covered both WWI and WWII and it does so in such an interesting way. Here’s the synopsis: 

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth…no matter where it leads.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here

Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow 

I highly recommend you all read Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow—especially now that Harvey Weinstein was just sentenced to 23 years in prison. This book is both an investigative piece and reads like a spy thriller. I thought I knew the story but there’s SO much more to it. Here’s the synopsis:

In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family.

All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain — until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond.

This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.

Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture.

You can order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here

Receiving Your Books

Many libraries and bookstores are closed for the time being. As I write this, some bookstores are sending books to readers so be sure to check out if your local bookstore is. 

If you have a Kindle, now is a great time to use it! I’m planning to read more ebooks while I’m social distancing. While printed books are my first love, the Kindle does make it very convenient to read any book you want at any time. I personally like the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader—you can check it out here

So not sure if you know but audiobooks are having a moment!! And I was thinking with everyone home a bit more that an audiobook could be a really fun entertainment outlet for you and your whole family. If you sign up for Audible, you get one free audiobook and two Audible Originals. After that, it’s $14.99/month after 30 days. Click here for more information about Audible.  

Happy reading, stay safe and be healthy!