Reading a good book solely for leisure is something most college students would argue they normally wouldn’t have time for during the semester. Given the unexpected circumstances, reading seems to be the perfect pastime to disconnect from social media and escape reality, while also reaping the positive benefits of the activity. Here are some raved-about books to consider adding to your quarantine reading list.
“Oona Out of Order” – Margarita Montimore
This lighthearted, charming and magical book brings you through the ever-changing world of Oona’s life. The story begins on New Year’s Eve in 1982 and when the clock strikes 12, Oona will be turning 19. As the countdown to New Years starts, Oona faints and wakes up as her 51-year-old future self. She then learns that each year she will leap to another random age, living her life out of order. The story is surprising and quirky and teaches about self-discovery, the barriers of time, and the power of love and family. Shop “Oona Out of Order” here.
“The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Success in Work and Life” – Jen Gotch
Jen Gotch shares the inspiring story of her unlikely path to becoming the founder and chief creative officer of multimillion dollar lifestyle brand, ban.do. Through early childhood struggles and misdiagnoses, to heartbreak, mental illness and various winding career paths, Gotch opens up and tells how embracing her flaws and understanding her mental illness helped lead her to success, both in life and business. Her inspiring story is told with optimism and humor and is a must read. Shop it here.
“Little Fires Everywhere” – Celeste Ng
This New York Times bestseller tells the story of family relationships and mysteries of the past. The novel takes place in Shaker Heights, a suburb in Cleveland that is progressive, well-planned and filled with residents who follow the rules. The Richardsons, especially matriarch Elena, are a typical Shaker Heights family that embody these principles. Mia Warren, artist and single mother, and her teenage daughter Pearl move into an apartment owned by the Richardsons, and Pearl quickly becomes close with the Richardson children. When questions about Mia’s past are brought up, Elena is determined to find out what she is hiding. Read the book before binge-watching the newly released Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Shop it here.
“The First Time: Finding Myself and Finding Love on Reality TV” – Colton Underwood
For lovers of the “Bachelor” franchise, this one is for you. In “The First Time,” ex-Bachelor Colton Underwood opens up about finding love on the hit reality TV show and shares behind the scenes details of his journey on “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and his season of “The Bachelor.” He shares his experience being broken up with by ex-Bachelorette Becca, becoming the world’s most famous virgin and all the drama of his season both on and off camera. He also spills the details of how his relationship with Cassie Randolph has been since his season ended. Shop Underwood’s memoir here.
“The Gift of Forgiveness: Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable” – Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
This powerful book contains a blend of more than 20 in-depth interviews, as well as personal stories and reflections from the author on how to forgive and find peace. The book shares stories from those who are well-known and those who are not. One of the stories featured is told by Sue Klebold, mother to Dylan Klebold — who was one of the Columbine shooters — and details her journey to learning how to forgive herself. Another story in the book is by Chris Williams, who learned to forgive the drunken teenager who killed his wife and child. The New York Times bestseller is full of wisdom and helps readers tackle one of the most difficult things in life: learning how to let go and live with greater acceptance and grace. Shop it here.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” – Delia Owens
This New York Times bestselling novel takes place in 1969 in Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. When Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately turn to Catherine “Kya” Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl, who symbolizes a figure of mystery and prejudice in Barkley Cove in the 1950s and ’60s, though there’s much more to Kya than what people say. With more than 6 million copies sold, Owens opens the reader’s eyes to the beautiful and violent secrets nature keeps in this surprising coming-of-age novel. Shop “Where The Crawdads Sing” here.
“Normal People” – Sally Rooney
“Normal People” explores class dynamics, young friendship and love. The novel revolves around Connell, who is popular and well-liked, and Marianne, who is more of a loner. The two have nothing in common despite growing up in the same town, yet when they spark conversation with each other it seems to be electrifying. A year later, while attending the same college, they find that their social identities flipped: Connell is shy and uncertain while Marianne is in a new social world. Throughout the years, they are irresistibly drawn to each other even when they try to stay apart. Shop the novel that is soon-to-be a Hulu original series here.
“Girl, Wash Your Face” – Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis, founder of TheChicSite.com and CEO of her media company, Chic Media, shares her wisdom and advice with humor, honesty and the kindness of a friend in this NYT bestseller. Each chapter of “Girl, Wash Your Face” begins with a specific lie that Hollis once believed that made her feel less than she was worth. She then unpacks these limiting mindsets that cause one to feel unworthy and keep them from moving forward. Hollis helps readers break free from their insecurities to be able to live their best lives. Shop it here.