Since the COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared, a lot of us have been spending more time at home. To cope with the stress, the long stretches of time in one place, and sheer boredom, many have turned to books as a way not only to pass the time but as a way to escape reality, learn something new, or make the everyday less mundane. 

I spoke to nine women (okay eight, but then also myself) about what we are reading while we’re stuck at home. This is a weird world we’re living in. I know that I am not listening to my usual books on my commute because I don’t have a commute. We’re returning to old favorites and exploring new loves and we’re here to talk to you about what we’ve been reading and make some recommendations about what you should read!

I hope you find something here that inspires you to keep reading even in times of pandemic and to lean into our love of literature and discover new books!

Amanda O

The more I make it through my TBR during social distancing, the more it grows, but I have enjoyed the little bit of extra time I have available to read. I am drawn to historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and thrillers with an occasional memoir or biography! While I prefer hardback physical copies, I have also adapted during this time to reading more e-books. I have been utilizing my library’s digital catalog and taking advantage of kindle e-book sales on Amazon. In addition, I have subscribed to Book of the Month and it’s like happy mail every month it shows up on my doorstep. Some standout reads that I have read during stay at home orders include: The Girl With The Louding Voice, And They Called It Camelot, Daisy Jones and The Six, Beach Read, First: Sandra Day O’Connor, When We Left Cuba and The Woman in the Window

Recommendation: The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Georgia

I’ve always loved classics but I feel like there are a ton that I never had the chance to read for high school and college English classes, so I’ve taken it upon myself to read as many classics as I can while social distancing right now! Unfortunately, my library is closed but they have a digital library I can use to borrow e-books and audio books, so I’ve been taking full advantage of that. I work for DoorDash so I’ve been making use of all the time alone in my car by listening to audio-books while I’m driving to and from restaurants and delivery locations. So far I’ve read Gone With The Wind, Catcher In The Rye, Song of the Lark (I read O! Pioneers in college and loved it, so I’m finishing Willa Cather’s books), and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Recommendation: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Syliva

I love biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, so I decided to use some of the free time I have in self-isolation to read some memoirs and biographies of women across the political spectrum in all different types of positions–politicians, activists, journalists, and former First Ladies. I’ve read “With All Due Respect” by Nikki Haley and “Settle for More” by Megyn Kelly, and I just recently finished “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem. The next books on my shelf include “And the Good News Is…” by Dana Perino, “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “The Matriarch” by Susan Page, and “Living History” by Hillary Clinton. 

Recommendation: American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Aryssa

Like many others, I am trying to focus on reading a lot of the books I already own during quarantine so that I don’t feel as bad when I inevitably start checking out books again when the library where I work re-opens. However, I’ve also been revisiting some childhood favorites. I like to balance my reading–listen to a nonfiction audio-book, read a fiction book, and read a career based book or personal development book. I’ve loved reading fun romances like Beach Read by Emily Henry as well as visiting childhood favorites like The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman and Avalon High by Meg Cabot. I also love to unwind at night with a personal development book–the best one I’ve read so far was a book on mindfulness and meditation by a monk. I try and keep mixing it up so I don’t FEEL the “stay at home” as much. 

Recommendation: The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Hailey

I am currently re-reading the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers and the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson.  It’s been over a year since I’ve read either series, and with my efforts to grow closer to God and grow my faith, I figured I’d pull out some old favorites!

Recommendation: The Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts

LC

Usually I am working at school 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., doing most of my reading in the evening (unless I sneak away during planning or lunch when I just MUST find out what happens next!). You would think I’d have all the time in the world to read now.  There is no shortage of books – both digital and hard copy.  But I’ve become addicted to working on genealogy.  I spend HOURS on the computer researching and scanning, but reading is my “stretch break” during the day and my “reward” in the evening.  I really enjoy historical fiction.  So, I have read a lot of WWII/concentration camp books during this “Happy at Home” time, but I have also really enjoyed City of Girls, Call Your Daughter Home, American Royals, Beartown, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She Was Sorry and A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)

Recommendation: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She Was Sorry by Frederik Backman

Kellie

I decided that with this pandemic taking the world by storm, it might serve me well if I began to read more. I invested in a small kindle e-reader, which has evolved into using  my parents’ nook and my old iPad, which has now evolved into starting my free trial of Kindle Unlimited! Reading has quickly turned into the only activity that is keeping me sane! I have been reading mostly romance fiction, which a splash of historical fiction as well. During this time, I am taking a lot of suggestions from friends via social media and have started a list that I am keeping on my refrigerator. I have not read a series quite yet but I hope that I will find one soon that I thoroughly enjoy! Now, I hope to give audio-books a try fairly soon as well to expand how many books I can work on at once! I’m grateful that this pandemic has caused me to redevelop this hobby of mine! My favorite book has definitely been Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’m very excited for the film to come out next year! Happy reading y’all!

Recommendation: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Amanda H

I’m drawn the time period based books – American Revolution or WW2. I’ll even curl up and read Jane Austen or Brontë for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, law school never ends, not even for quarantine, so my stay home has been full of reading Explanation & Examples of *insert law class here* Nutshells, or any other supplement to go with my law school classes.  Once finals are over, I hope to back to reading my period based books, and any of the FFL book club choices. I plan on finishing Margret Atwood’s Madaddam Series as well. 

Recommendation: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Caroline

I used this time to jump back into my love of reading. I do prefer a physical copy so I have to admit, my online shopping of books has skyrocketed since this all started.  I’m currently on a cutesy feel-good romance novel trend. I recently just finished One Day in December, Get A Life Chloe Brown, and In Five Years, but I have also read Daisy Jones and the Six and it was SO GOOD. In this time, I am also trying new genres and reading books I would have never read.

Recommendation: One Day in December by Josie Silver

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member