I don’t know about you all, but I have about had it with the quarantine. I did my time: almost 8 weeks of staying home like a good citizen (I started early because I’m a paranoid preggo).
Even though things are starting to open up, it is still looking like most of us will keep laying low for the most part.
Unlike many of the ambitious individuals I follow on Instagram, I haven’t really picked up a new hobby during the quarantine per se. I am pretty much at capacity trying to keep up with a busy toddler with a getting-rounder-by-the-day baby bump in tow.
However, I am trying to embrace our simpler lifestyle by tackling my TBR list. I do my best to set aside time every night, and sometimes during naptime, to read.
I thought I’d put together a list of inspo for anyone who might be trying to give their eyes a break from blue light and tackle a few books before life goes back to “normal.”
As I wasn’t totally sure which direction to take this list, I decided to go the “choose your own adventure” route. There’s something for everyone here.
1. If you could use some help embracing this time:
I’ve written about this before, and we are really big on Ryan Holiday in this house. I wanted to begin this list with this book because it is SO relevant.
Stillness is the Key is about the value–the necessity, rather–of slowing down. If you find yourself frustrated by the monotony of this strange time we are in, this read will lend you an entirely new perspective.
(I am also reading through Holiday’s The Daily Stoic again this year and continue to love it).
2. When you need a can’t-put-it-down thriller
This was my book club’s pick last month, and I blew through it in two days. I have a close friend who is a bit of a thriller connoisseur, and she told me that this was better than Gone Girl. I honestly didn’t think she would be right, but SHE WAS.
No one in my book club was able to predict the twist. This book is perfect for if you are detoxing from Netflix but still need something that will hold your attention from start to finish (and keep your heart rate high the entire time, too).
3. In the mood for a heart-wrenching family drama?
This book centers around two families whose paths intersect over multiple generations. I loved the characters and the story and the ending. And yes, it made me cry, but what doesn’t these days?
4. Check this American classic off your book bucket list
Apparently this is a classic, but it was a blind spot for me up until last month. I truly enjoyed every page of this novel about a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, so much that I was sad when it was over.
The writing is amazing, and the narrator is ridiculously likeable.
5. Who doesn’t love a hilarious and adorable book about mental health?
Eleanor is a highly particular and very quirky–but very relatable–young woman who takes readers on her journey of mental health. It is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it definitely lives up to the hype.
6. Give your creative side a kick in the butt
This book is so important! I found so much inspiration in Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing on creativity and feel like this book really does apply to everyone. She boldly debunks the myth that many of us believe–that if you aren’t a painter or a songwriter that you aren’t creative.
Big Magic is empowering and will light a fire under you to go tackle your craft, whatever that may be.
7. In case you are thinking about shipping your kids to boarding school
I know I’m a brand new parent, so I won’t have hurt feelings if you don’t take my parenting book recommendations. However, this book has been very, very helpful to me already as Tyler and I begin to think about how we want to raise our kids.
The authors’ intentional and practical approach to raising integrated, independent children really resounded with us.
I’m also loving No Drama Discipline, by the same authors. I’m halfway through it so far and already feel way more calm about tackling the “terrible twos” that are breathing down my household’s neck.
8. Something to consider after you can’t even look at a slice of banana bread anymore
Like many, I have definitely become extremely lax with my clean eating during quarantine. It’s just difficult to be home night after night and not want to bake some fresh cookies, you know?
Add in the factor of my inevitable pregnancy weight gain, and I’ve found myself struggling to make great choices in the kitchen each day. Sigh.
I ordered Genius Foods by Max Lugavere to help get myself back on track. I will probably order his second book, The Genius Life, too. I follow Max on Instagram and love his podcast, so I already trust his facts-based approach to clean eating.
9. Just a pleasant, pleasant post-WWII book
Don’t be fooled by my seemingly contradictory title for this one. It is about the isle of Guernsey in the time immediately following World War II which of course was a horrible time, but this book is so delightful. It was one of my favorites I read in 2019, and almost everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it too.
10. Baby on the way?
Yes, another parenting book recommendation from a novice. But this is another good one, I promise.
Tyler and I have always noticed how well-behaved the kids in Europe, especially in France, are when we travel. Pamela Druckerman noticed the same thing, so she made it her mission to research why French parents seem to have it all together. And fortunately for all of us, she compiled her findings into an easily digestible book.
I quickly devoured this book when I became pregnant with Charlotte and have even found myself referring back to it from time to time as she’s gotten older.
I would love to hear what you all have been reading, too! Let me know in the comments or in my DM’s if you have any recommendations!