As I am writing this my county is on lockdown. I know many people across the world are living under similar orders, whether they are official or not.
We are dealing with empty grocery stores. Worrying for the first time in our lives, if we will be able to get milk for our babies. We are not allowed to leave our homes, except for groceries, medicine and daily outside exercise. We must maintain a social distance and not spend time with anyone outside our household.
It is a real-life nightmare.
A Twitter friend asked me to find gentle reads for her kids and I thought I should do the same for adults. I am limiting my entertainment to light comedies as much as possible right now and I figure lots of other people are doing the same.
Here are some options from a variety of genres that will hopefully help you relax.
I have included a summary excerpt from Goodreads followed by my thoughts on the books.
Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen
Historical Mystery. Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings.
This is the perfect time to read something by Rhys Bowen. She writes cozy historical mysteries that are thoroughly enjoyable and completely engaging. No Spoiler Book Review of Above the Bay of Angels.
Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Fiction. An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.
This short novel has the feel of a folk tale or parable. It’s comforting, affirming, and inspirational. This is an older book, so there is a good chance you can check out the ebook from your library with no wait.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Memoir. Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.
If you are a fan of Tina Fey or 30 Rock and somehow never read this memoir, now is the time. A laugh-out-loud choice that is probably available as a library ebook right away.
Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Non-Fiction. On a cool June evening in 2009, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History (Tring). The Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier–and escaped into the darkness.
I know what you’re thinking, how can this possibly be good? There are like three people who are interested in this subject. But I am telling you this book is wild! Also, probably available for check out with no wait online!
Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Contemporary Romance. Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. They’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
I just finished this book, but I wish I could read it again for the first time, right now. Even if you do not love romance, you will love this outlandish and adorable book. No Spoiler Book Review of Flatshare.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened