Bored while practicing social distancing? Tired of refreshing your Twitter and Instagram feeds incessantly? Books can be a great alternative to entertainment, here’s a list of my top five books to read while in quarantine. Crack one open and enjoy a reality different than ours.

5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

I’m starting off a little bit dark here, but everyone loves a murder mystery. This book is phenomenal. Capote’s best novel, in my opinion. In this book, he reconstructs the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kan., in 1959 and the investigation of the crime. The book is entirely based on a true story of a murder, but Capote fabricates much of the conversations of the investigation as well as the murder itself. It makes for a good read if you like mind-bending insights into crime in America. 

4. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

This book follows the story of a young boy named Reuben Land who, with his father and younger sister, goes on a cross-country search for his older brother who has been charged with murder and has fled from home. This is a story about family, first and foremost. The bond between these characters is unshakable and admirable. Enger’s novel has a lot for every type of audience. There is romance, tragedy, comedy, a heroic quest, mystery and miracles. It is one of my all-time favorite stories and one that I would highly recommend even if we weren’t in quarantine right now. Give it a read; I promise you won’t be disappointed.

3. The Martian by Andy Weir

Although this story of astronaut Mark Watney being stranded alone on Mars is entirely fiction, it could be a nice read at a time like this. If you are practicing social distancing (as you should be) and feeling particularly alone, you can be grateful for those that you do have around you. Remember, no matter how awful it may feel not having actual contact with your friends or family, at least you’re not stranded alone on another planet, although sometimes it can really feel like you are. If you like drama or sci-fi, this is the book for you!

4. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Dickens’ writing is so fun, and so much happens on this journey through the life of David Copperfield from a young boy to grown man. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better coming-of-age story than this one. There are so many characters and storylines, it really feels like you are going through life and maturing right along with Copperfield. There are trials and triumphs in Copperfield’s life, but overall this is a story of growth and finding true happiness in life. If you like literature and character development and reading about the struggle that is growing up, give this book a read, also, it’s simply a classic.

5. The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Listen, I know Rowling is a nut, but these books are just so good. I don’t care how old you are. There’s so much in these books for everyone to enjoy. There’s humor, action, drama, romance, horror, mystery and suspense just to name a few. There are wizards and witches and magical creatures and villains and so much more. Harry Potter is iconic, and his life story should be enjoyed by everyone. If you have never read about The Boy Who Lived or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, now is the time. If you have read them before, read them again. Relive the magic and transport yourself somewhere other than the reality we are living in today. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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