My Quarantine Reading List

Reading is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world, so when the world as we knew it came to a stand-still in March 2020, it was the first thing I turned to.

I don’t think my reading habits changed very much, truly, apart from the fact that the first few weeks were dedicated to gaining some mental stability and just coming to terms with everything.

In 4 months, I’ve made my way through ~25 books. There are searchable, thought-provoking fiction, some regular every day works, including re-reading some of my favorite authors’ works, and the ones that I could’ve skipped but got through anyway.

The general rule I follow is a 1:5 ratio of non-fiction to fiction books; it’s a healthy balance for me because non-fiction reading goes beyond just the books I pick — articles, essays, and opinion pieces form a huge part of it — and I need my escapade into creativity and curiosity from the hold of reality.

The s indicate my Goodreads rating for each book. Follow me on Goodreads for real-time updates!

Currently Reading

Read

Thought-Provoking

  • A Perfect Spy by John le Carre (⭐⭐⭐⭐️) — I love le Carre’s writing style and era his books are set in. This one is about loyalties and what you’d switch them for. Magnus Pym is perfect and yet so far from it which is what makes this narrative so compelling. And the fact that it is semi-autobiographical.
  • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (⭐⭐⭐) — A follow-up to Sapiens, this is only almost as good. The author, in my opinion, got carried away in predicting the future in the latter part of the book, but he sets up a good enough premise that kickstarts your thinking of what’s next for humans.
  • Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) — Learning new things when reading a book is what makes it fun, and Mr. Fry delivers, with witty comments, how we came to be beginning from Chaos to mortals. It’s legend, myth, and history rolled into one and I can’t wait to read Heroes.

Regular Reading

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (⭐⭐⭐⭐) — My first standalone book by Mr. Gaiman. It’s a strange story about a boy called ‘Nobody Owens’ whose parents are ghosts. It’s a deep narrative and I thought it ended too quickly.
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (⭐⭐⭐) — The first of 4 books exploring the relationship and friendship of two girls growing up in post-war Italy. It’s an immersed reading experience, almost like walking through life with Lila and Elena.
  • The Garderobe of Death by Howard of Warwick (⭐⭐⭐) — The 2nd book of a series recommended to me by fellow Pratchetteers, follows Brother Hermitage and Wat the Weaver through solving murders in medieval times. It’s quite hilarious, with the main plot and interesting spin-offs within it.
  • Ginger Gold Mysteries by Lee Strauss (⭐⭐⭐) — I breezed through the 10 books of the series currently available. A cozy 1920’s murder mystery series with just enough attention to detail on fashion and culture of the time, I enjoyed the character development and storylines. Probably also because the protagonist is an independent female with an equally supportive cast.

Comfort Reading

  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) — Every time I want solace and comfort, I read one of the Harry Potter books. This time, I read the whole series in one sitting, i.e. continuously. It’s fascinating to me how every time feels different, in that I pay attention to different traits of the story and characters. I have my favorite parts of every book, my favorite book, characters, and I will always enjoy visiting them.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐) — It came as a surprise to me that I hadn’t read this one novel by Miss Austen because I know the story so well. It is one of her more serious novels and renders characters with a wide range of emotions and growth — the older wiser Colonel Brandon, impetuous Marianne, sometimes spineless yet honorable Edward and the nearly perfect Elinor. The social commentary is a faithful reflection of the time and cultural sensibilities of the age.

Could’ve Skipped but Powered Through Anyway

  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer (⭐⭐) —A Pulitzer winner comes with a lot of expectations in every aspect of the storytelling process, and I knew what I was getting into. But, I still didn’t really enjoy this book. For me, it simply lacked depth. It was a lack-luster and I really couldn’t identify with Arthur Less in any form.
  • Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey (⭐⭐) — This book I picked up on the heels of some Pride & Prejudice spin-offs because I just wanted to stay within the light-hearted time period. But, while the writing is good, it felt like a pale reflection of Georgette Heyer. The story was just a tad bit confusing and it had too much going on.

Coming Up

These are books currently on my to-read shelf, and I hope to pick them up by the end of the year. This list is probably going to change depending on my mood.

City-dweller, swimmer, logophile, expeditioner, metal/classical music junkie, tea snob & career-technologist