Books to read under quarantine


Photo by Yasmin Haq

COVID-19 has caused people to adapt to a lifestyle where activities aren’t as accessible as they were previously. Practicing social distancing has been difficult and being under quarantine has provided an abundance of free time. A great way to deal with our current monotony is to pick up a book. 


  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 


“A Little Life” follows the lives of four college students and their struggles to achieve success without ruining their tight bond through ambition, addiction, and pride. Despite having different personalities and career paths, the one thing the men have in common is their loyalty to the enigmatic Jude St. Francis, whose injuries and insecurities are a mystery to all. Childhood trauma continues to haunt Jude and will test his relationships and follow him throughout his life. 

This novel has complex characters and unpredictable storylines that will keep readers entertained through the predictability of quarantine life. The book is a whopping 814 pages, but with all our newfound free time, what better time to read it than now? 


  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 


A lot of people are currently missing their significant others because quarantine has forced them to be apart. Romantic novels can soothe aching hearts for the time being, and “Me Before You” is my favorite romance book. Quirky Lousia Clark lives an ordinary life until she takes up the job as caregiver for Will Traynor, a moody and bossy quadriplegic who used to live a life of adventure and excitement. After countless time spent together, Lousia soon realizes Will’s happiness and wellbeing means a lot to her, and she tries to show him that life is worth living


  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

In their fourth year attending the Dellecher Classical Conservatory, seven young actors immerse themselves in Shakesphere, leather-bound books and poetry. They take on the roles of hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue and extra on stage and off stage. Ambition and competition causes the murderous rages and violence of Shakesphere’s plays to follow them offstage, causing the group to slowly deteriorate. The students are used to living and breathing Shakespeare, but they find themselves stuck inside their own tragedy as they dodge the police and their own demons. 

The characters are so immersed in their roles that a majority of the dialogue between the characters is repartee and quotes from Shakesphere’s works, which is unlike any book I’ve ever read. The author’s vivid description of an unknown conservatory education will provide escapism from being stuck inside all day. 


  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

In the roaring twenties, Radium was advertised in the media as a new wonder drug/material. It was said to cure ailments and its glowing, sparkling properties attracted people to use it in beauty products. This novel shares the stories of the young women who obtained the coveted jobs of working in the Radium-dial factories but soon after gained tumors, rotting bones, and other mysterious ailments. The women found themselves embroiled in one of the century’s biggest battles for workers’ compensation and rights when the factories and corporations refuse to listen to their pleas for help. 

The novel has real pictures of the Radium girls and really focuses on the girls’ lives and the pain they endured from Radium. Moore’s retelling of the story is super descriptive and makes you feel like you are living in that time period. 


  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan 

Pino Lella is just a normal Italian teenager living an average life until his neighborhood in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs. Forced to grow up, Pino joins an underground railroad dedicated to helping Jews escape over the Alps. Soon after, Pino is enlisted to become the per­son­al dri­ver for Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man in Italy: Gen­er­al Hans Ley­ersm. In order to relay information back to the Allies, he endures countless horrors, but his love for Anna, a woman six years his senior, and his loyalty towards his cause keeps him fighting. 

The fact that this novel is based on a true story is amazing to me. It’s an emotional novel with a charismatic protagonist. You’ll laugh, cry and fear for Pino on his journey to adulthood.