During quarantine, we have been finding lots of ways to occupy ourselves, indoors and outdoors. Now that the weather is getting colder and a new stay-at-home order is in place, we might find ourselves wanting to curl up in front of the fire (or the heater!) with a good book. If you have no idea what you want to read, look no further than this article, as I have a few choice recommendations for you.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: If you think dealing with your own family amidst COVID-19 is bad, imagine how it would be to hide from the Nazis in a “Secret Annexe” with eight other people, never allowed to leave your own house. While not the most cheerful of true stories, The Diary is fascinating and still shockingly relevant nearly 70 years later. Anne has a unique sense of humor that she still manages to keep even as her life situation gets worse and worse. Keep in mind: The Diary is appropriate for high schoolers, but there are a few detailed descriptions of bodily functions and brief violence. If either of these subjects is a trigger for you, skip this book or proceed with caution.
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis: 25 years after this book was published and 57 years after the year it was set in, racial injustice is unfortunately still as prevalent. However, if you are not up to date on the horrific events of 1963, this novel centered around an Afro-American family will certainly fill you in. September 15, 1963 was the date four little girls were brutally murdered in a church fire, simply because they were Black. This event is a critical aspect of The Watsons’ plot, and I will not spoil it for you, but it is a very moving scene. Keep in mind: There are several slurs in The Watsons, including c****** and N****. There are also a couple graphic depictions of violent illness and fighting. If any of these subjects are triggers for you, skip this book or proceed with caution.
- 1,001 Ways to Relax—An Ilustrated Guide to Reducing Stress by Mike George: This book is definitely more lighthearted than the previous two books. The guide is divided into 10 sections covering ways to de-stress in virtually any scenario (among these sections: the peaceful home, people, and creativity and play). A few attainable suggestions? Watching the sunrise on the shortest day of the year (which is fast approaching), wearing a colorful shirt, writing your worries down, breathing more slowly, drinking a little more water each day, and hugging a close friend or family member (who, in this case, should already be within your COVID bubble). In addition to providing respite from the sometimes overwhelming outside world, you will have no shortage of things to do if you look through this book for ideas.
- The Book of Doing—Everyday Activities to Unlock Your Creativity and Joy by Allison Arden: Maybe you are not as stressed while most parts, if not every part of your life is conducted remotely, as you are plain bored. That is not only completely valid and understandable, but able to be remedied. Enter The Book of Doing: chock-full of quotes, recipes, and plenty of blank space to keep track of your activities. From writing your name in bubble letters, to pickling something, to inventing a new tradition, to making your own holiday gifts, to tasting a slice of pizza from every shop in town, the list goes on and on. The best part is that most of the activities in this book are built for doing in the comfort of your own home, so there is no need to run around and get extra materials—chances are you will already have everything you need.
I hope you enjoy any or all of these books and that they improve your spirits while having to be stuck at home. If you like them, be sure to share them with a loved one, because the only thing better than reading a wonderful book yourself is seeing someone else appreciate it too. Happy reading and happy holidays!
Categories: Arts & Entertainment