Written by: Beth Littlejohn
So, you’ve exhausted every method of curbing lockdown boredom and are finally getting sick tik tok. You are actually thinking that you might read a book. But where to start? Here are some top picks of lockdown reading to get you started:
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
I’m sure you have heard of Normal People by now, whether it is the book or the TV show. This cute romance story really has blown up and is so easy to get lost in during lockdown. While romance is the main attraction to this book there are several other topics that are included which make Normal People that little bit different. It gives an insight into the very real emotions surrounding starting university, relationships and finding your way in the world. I would recommend watching the TV show too. Only once you’ve read the book!
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
This is the easiest of lockdown reading and such a stress reliever. This book follows the story of a crazy living arrangement of two young professionals, avoiding paying extortionate rent in London. The inventive ways they get to know one another while having completely different schedules is so wholesome. Honestly, this book feels like a hug. If lockdown is getting you down this is a guaranteed uplifter.
- My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing.
If love stories aren’t your thing then maybe this psychological thriller will be. This book is a total rush of adrenaline with such a fast pace. There are so many twists and turns, it will keep you reading all night. I don’t want to say too much because anything could be a spoiler. But its definitely not for the faint of heart.
- Taking up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi.
Maybe you’d prefer something non-fiction? With the recent protests about Black Lives Matter this book is relevant now more than ever. Chelsea and Ore share personal hardships they faced as a young black woman in higher education and their effort to make university more accessible and welcoming to minorities. This book empowers black students and is a call for allyship.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
Sticking with the theme of justice. This short novel is usually on those 100 books to read before you die lists. It’s like a fairy tale for adults and says so much by saying so little. This book remains relevant to any circumstance where freedom is under attack as it has such progressive themes such as justice and equality. If your interests are in areas of politics and history then you should definitely give this a go.
- This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
In the midst of the pandemic I can’t think of a better time to read this book. Adam Kay the now comedian relays the struggle of medical school to bring him to his career as a junior doctor and then through the rankings in the hospital. He takes a light-hearted approach to the long hours and overtime, the inadequate wage, and the neglect of any sort of social life. We’ve come to realise that the NHS makes our world go round and this book puts a spotlight on this too.
- Vile bodies by Evelyn Waugh
Not exactly the roaring 20s vibe you pictured for this year? Let’s take a step back to 1920’s London following the lives of the highflying young people of the city. With their cocktail parties, flashy cars, and fast paced lifestyles. If we had influencers in the 1920s this is what their life would be like. A literal British Gatsby and I’m here for it.
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Need something to laugh about? This book will have you crying with laughter. The main character Eleanor’s very literal way of viewing her life and any social interaction makes for some hilarious content. It’s clear this stemmed from some past emotional trauma. However, she eventually starts to open up once she meets an IT guy from her job and their unique friendship is very wholesome.
- Soldier spy by Tom Marcus
This is a true story of a front line MI5 agent, it goes into detail about the kind of work he was doing as an agent revealing many techniques the secret service uses to monitor, trace and track in their counter terrorism operations. It shows how his troubled past led him to being recruited. All round a very interesting read.
Lastly, one thing I would totally recommend for lockdown reading is reliving memories. Was there a series of books everyone was reading when you were at school? What was your favourite book when you were a young adolescent? Dig them back out and read them again. Take yourself back to simpler times.
Where to get these books? If you have a kindle or tablet, I’d recommend downloading e-books its generally cheaper and a more eco-friendly way of reading! But if not, then ask around friends and family if they have the book you are looking for or buy second-hand from amazon or eBay. Also, next time you are doing the food shopping browse the book section if the shop has one. Supermarkets usually do good deals on books such as 2 for £8 etc.
Looking for more inspiration? Now is the perfect time to try new reading material but it none of these books take your fancy, I recommend downloading the ‘Goodreads’ app. You can filter the genres or authors you like the best and make lists of books you’ve read and would like to read. The app will tailor suggestions for your next read based on the stuff you like.