Books in the time of quarantine

Stories follow us wherever we are, wherever we go – in the mornings, late at night, threading through a slow afternoon, in books, on the phone, from a television screen in a stuffy waiting room. They weave a subtle magic, making us forget, making us remember; an escape pod to four destinations contained in the space between syllables strung together.

In these troubled times of sudden quarantine and social distancing, diving headlong into a book or two might provide much-needed reprieve from alternating cycles of anxiety and uncertainty. Armed with classics, fantasy, nostalgia, non-fiction and positivity, we bring you five book suggestions that we are sure will be the silver lining you’ve been looking for. Even if you’ve already read them, you’re bound to find yourself excited while flipping their pages again!

Set aside everything, make yourself comfortable, and read away!

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Alcott’s depiction of the March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – has managed to hold the attention of people 188 years since it was published. The book — initially published in two parts – follows the lives of the four sisters, their mother, and neighbour Laurie, as they navigate friendships, familial bonds, love and heartbreak. You’ll love this timeless classic for sure.

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The Help, Kathryn Stockett

Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the late 1960s against the backdrop of segregation and racism, this is the story of three women and how their lives intersect and tangle inexorably when they set out to do something that might upend their lives as they know it. Filled with warmth, love, fear and determination, this book will tell you why giving up is not an option and why despite its rockiness, it’s the most rewarding road you will ever take.

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The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino

While whodunits generally keep you hooked with the thrill of the chase that invariably culminates in knowing who the perpetrator of the crime is, Higashino takes a different route and tells you who did it in the first few pages. But worry not! This thriller moves at breakneck speed to reveal the motive, and will leave you wanting more. Set in Tokyo, this story follows a woman, her daughter and a detective who doesn’t know how to quit. Your perfect escape comes wrapped in 352 pages of intrigue.

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The Harry Potter series, J K Rowling

There’s magic, there’s good versus evil, there’s a sport played on broomsticks, there are narrow escapes and a sentient castle that houses a school, a forbidden forest and a range of creatures both magical and non-magical; Harry Potter’s story is one of making lasting friendships, overcoming hurdles and finding fierce joy along the way. A favourite across age groups, this series enthralls with its imagery, plotlines and characters that you will never give up on.

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Swift and Her Musings on Life, Aditi Maithreya

How could one leave out Swift? A simple, short read for the difficult times. Swift is a girl who feels many things all at once, and when she does, she ponders the meaning of them instead of pushing them away. Be it anger, happiness, sadness, jealousy or joy, Swift gives a positive spin to it all. Based on prompts from Inktober 2017, this book has replicas of 25 illustrations, originally hand-drawn using the medium of ink. Pick this book up to remind yourself why rays of sunlight are necessary on a cloudy day. A little positivity hurt no one, right? Right.

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Shop for Swift and Her Musings on Life at http://www.tinyurl.com/swift-book

– Maya Nandhini

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