Since we all have an indefinite amount of time left in our homes, it’s important to find ways to keep our mind, bodies, and spirits active. Reading is one of the best leisure activities one could do in the middle of a pandemic as it helps us use our brain muscles, stimulates the imagination, and emotionally separates us from the harsh reality that is 2020. So here are some book titles that you may have never heard of before that you can pick up to enjoy for yourself:
Such A Fun Age By Kiley Reid: In this debut novel from Reid, the reader is forced to face the realities of racism in America, both subtle and overt. After a family crisis, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her black babysitter, Emira Tucker, to take her toddler to the local market as a distraction. When at the market, Tucker is accused of kidnapping the child she’s been hired numerous times to babysit, the situation that continues to unfold after exposes the selfish realities of what it actually means to be an ally for the black community.
Untamed By Glennon Doyle: If you’re more of a memoir reader, you’ll love Doyle’s third novel Untamed where she recounts what it was like to reflect on her metamorphosis as a full-grown woman. Throughout the novel she details how she was able to discover herself through independence after being married and a mother for so many years. She discusses ending her marriage, falling in love with a woman unexpectedly, and then going on to marry that woman and build a whole new life with her.
We Ride Upon Sticks By Quan Barry: This fiction novel is an amazing and easy read for those who love adventure with a hefty mix of young adult drama. The book follows a girls field hockey team in Danvers, Massachusetts; the site of the original Salem Witch Trials. Taking place in 1989 the girls are on a major winning streak which they soon discover may be a result of their town’s spooky history. The book is filled with classic 80’s pop culture references and witchcraft, how could you go wrong?
The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires By Grady Hendrix: In this feminist horror novel Patricia Campbell joins a neighborhood book club to keep herself entertained and away from her mundane nuclear life at home. This 90’s-set thriller isn’t your average tale of mom best friends reading a book and drinking wine while discovering something much deeper about themselves…it also has vampires and a bunch of cool fight scenes.
All Adults Here By Emma Straub: If your family has been driving you a little crazy after 4+ months of quarantining together this book may be the one for you. Straub writes a layered love story that also celebrates what it is to live in a modern multigenerational family. The Strick family in the novel has a lot of expectations brought on by matriarch Astrid, who will need to reexamine past traditional values and new modern ways of thinking to keep her family together.
The Island of Sea Women: By Lisa See: Best friends Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends who are about to begin their long careers on an all-female diving collective in an island off Korea. The book not only follows the two on their journey, but discusses decades of Korean history in relation to female sports and diving, while also following the personal coming of age stories of the two.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.