What I read in quarantine

At the start of the pandemic I couldn’t read at all. I sat listlessly on the couch, unable to do anything but scroll endlessly through twitter. I was afraid to see what horrible news would come out next, more afraid to miss any of it. As time went on, I ventured back into the world of books, at first slowly and then voraciously. The world of fiction let me retreat, while the world of nonfiction offered some semblance of control through education. Now, as I finally get the chance to reemerge into the world after two weeks of self-quarantine (after returning from Southeast Asia to the United States), three months of self-isolation (like hell I was racing out to crowded bars or beaches), and another two weeks of self-quarantine (after moving to Ireland—right, that also happened recently), and in that time I’ve read 29 books. Here are my favourites of the books that got me through it.

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Old Friends

Yesterday I did something that, according to Goodreads, I haven’t done in at least four years. I re-read a book.

On Friday night, I finished the last of the books I had downloaded to my Kindle via Libby via my local library (The Year of Less by Cait Flanders) and so while I wait for my next hold to come in (will it be The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel or More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth? I can’t wait to find out), I turned to my bookshelf.

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What I read in August

In August I did something I rarely do these days: I read a book I didn’t like. Between Goodreads, friends’ recommendations, and just having a very good sense of what I enjoy, I rarely start a book I’m not pretty certain I’m going to like. Which is good, because I hate to DNF (short for “Did Not Finish”) a book. I did finish this one, but I wish I hadn’t taken the time. Still, it was a great month for reading, with some quiet days and extra free time and a couple of long commutes and travel times meaning I read eight (!) books in August. And the others ranged from good to an absolutely incredible new favourite. Here they are:

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What I read in July

It’s time for my monthly what-I-read post! As always, you can follow me on Goodreads if you want my ongoing thoughts and reviews (sneak preview of next month’s blog: I’m about to finish a book that I’m giving a very poor review), but here’s my roundup of books I read in July. It was another good reading month with four books read, all of which I really enjoyed. I’ve just (as in, one second ago, scrolling through Lithub) found out that August is Women in Translation Month, so I’m going to make a goal to read at least one translated book by a female author (and ideally a female translator) in August—see below for my review of one I read in July!

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What I read in June

June was a great month for reading. Not only because I read quite a few books, but because I also discovered a new favourite book. Now, when I say “favourite” I don’t mean my number 1 favourite of all-time, because I don’t have one. I believe books are like friends, you don’t necessarily have a #1 best friend above all others (although to be fair, I happen to), but they’re more like a tier. Your favourite books can come to you at certain times in your life, and that doesn’t make them better or worse than the ones that come to you at other times. I wouldn’t consider the Harry Potter series the absolute best thing I’ve ever read, but I would still call them a favourite because they are special to me in a way no other books are. In conclusion, read Normal People by Sally Rooney.

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What I Read in April and May

This is going to be a long one as I never made my monthly reading post in April. I’m still working my way through Women’s Prize winners (and added a new one to my list yesterday when An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was awarded the 2019 prize) and reading a lot of other great stories as well. Looking for recommendations if you have them for stories by women of colour, indigenous voices fiction and non-fiction, and also some good narrative non-fiction.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve read over the last few months and as always, please feel free to add me on Goodreads.

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