A way to escape the stress of quarantine: A few book suggestions to pass the time

Samantha Shaffer

As the days of quarantine drag on, it feels as though the number of activities left to keep us entertained is dwindling. However, time has seemed to slow down a bit. We are no longer rushing to different commitments or exhausted from school and work. This provides the perfect opportunity to pick up a good book, something many of us claim to never have the time for anymore. 

As many people search for a way to escape the fear and anxiety of our current world, a book provides perfect solace and some time away from the chaos.

One book that should be considered for quarantine reading is Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  This timeless classic is a poignant illustration of life in the Deep South through the eyes of a young girl. It is impossible not to fall in love with Scout, the young narrator, as she navigates the confusing world molded by Jim Crow in the early 1930s.

Reading this book transports you back to your own childhood, filled with naivety and innocence, as well as the life changing event that opens your eyes to the real world. “To Kill a Mockingbird” will bring tears, laughter, anger, and joy as Lee allows you to grow up again during a different time. 

If you are looking for more of a nonfiction read that is completely unrelated to the pandemic, pick up “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry. This novel tells the horrifying story of the Manson Murders. Bugliosi was one of the prosecutors on the case, so he provides a particularly in-depth look into Manson’s twisted mind and his seemingly brainwashed followers. 

The novel is quite long and the recounting of the trial is a bit slow, but the book is worth reading. Bugliosi and Gentry’s account will send shivers down your spine and reveal absurd details about the case that are almost unbelievable. The writing is vivid extensive, pulling you into a world of cults, murder, and exhaustive investigation. 

If you are in need of a light-hearted read, pick up “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle. This short but sweet novel is Mayle’s story of moving to a small town in the Provence region of France with his wife. The couple purchases a beautiful home in the Lubéron to escape their monotonous lives in Great Britain. They expect a peaceful, leisurely new way of living but are sorely mistaken as one problem after another occurs. Mayle tells his story month by month in a humorous and charming tone. “A Year in Provence” can make you laugh out loud and gives an intimate look into the culture of the southern French countryside. 

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These are just three of the millions of incredible books available to read. During this time of uncertainty, it is difficult to focus on anything other than the news and current events, which can become quite overwhelming. As the days of quarantine stretch on, pick up a book once in a while to fall into a different world and escape the anxieties of our current situation, even just for a little while.