Quarantine reads

Elizabeth Meade discusses the perfect books to keep us entertained during lockdown.

Elizabeth Meade
13th April 2020
When stuck in your home, you will often want a good book to take your mind off of things. As an avid reader, I have come up with a list of several books that provide happiness, humor, escapism, and, most importantly, hope in a time of great uncertainty.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This modern science fiction classic has it all--adventure, weird space creatures, and a lot of clever wordplay. Great for fans of "Doctor Who," Hitchhiker's Guide follows the path of an average guy who ends up going on a journey through space when the Earth is destroyed by aliens. Adams also wrote a number of sequels to the book and a movie adaptation was made in 2005.
  • The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. Although fans disagree about where to start in Pratchett's "Discworld" series, his first book is a humorous parody of typical fantasy novels, similar to The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The book follows an inhabitant of a fantasy kingdom who is hired to guide a many-eyed tourist with a magic trunk around said kingdom. Of course, everything goes wrong...hilariously wrong, that is. The sequel, The Light Fantastic, is equally action-packed and witty, and Pratchett wrote dozens of other books taking place in the same universe as well.
  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher. The first book in Butcher's famous "Dresden Files" series, which has been adapted into a TV series, follows professional wizard Harry Dresden as he solves paranormal mysteries in Chicago. This first novel is a bit violent at points but the sequel Fool Moon is somewhat less gory, so you may want to start with that one. Nevertheless, Butcher weaves an engaging story with equal parts drama and humor. Recommended for fans of Harry Potter who want something a bit more "dark and gritty," but not too dark and gritty.
  • A Prickly Affair: My Life with Hedgehogs by Hugh Warwick. One man's journey through the world of hedgehogs. I am reading this book right now and it is completely adorable. It has also made me want to go outside and search for cute little hedgehogs, which, I will admit, is not terribly practical at the moment! We do not have many hedgehogs in the US where I live, and I have grown to love them since coming here for school given their ubiquity in the popular imagination. If you have ever wanted to know about hedgehog anatomy or how people study these elusive spiky balls of cuteness, look no further. Great for fans of nature documentaries.

Hopefully these suggestions will provide you with a good range of books to pick from during lockdown. Most of them are available from online library ebook services and can be purchased as ebooks online. They are also available as audiobooks if you would like to listen to a book instead of reading, which can be quite relaxing, especially if you are studying or just want to gaze out your window daydreaming about spaceships, fantasy worlds, wizards, and hedgehogs.

Image credit: Instagram @cassandracalin

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AUTHOR: Elizabeth Meade
(she/her) Head of Current Affairs (News, Campus Comment, Comment, Science). Chemistry major. Avid reader. Chaos theorist. Amateur batrachologist and historian. Rock fan. Likes cybersecurity and cooking. Wrote the first article for Puzzles. Probably the first Courier writer to have work featured in one of Justin Whang's videos.

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