What I've Read Since the Pandemic Began

Monday, July 27, 2020


You'd think that a pandemic would be the perfect time to hunker down & do nothing but read books. Lots & lots & lots of books.

But here I am, nearly five months into the pandemic, & I have read... 11 books. Total. In sum. I used to read 11 books in a month, man.

And look, I know that 11 books in five months is still plenty. And I've been up to plenty of other things that aren't reading - cooking, for starters, & a variety of other newfound hobbies, atop trying to, like, keep sane. It's a weird world out there, & things have changed, including productivity levels. And my reading output.

The good news, though, is that everything I've read has been pretty damn good - including the first four Harry Potter books, which I listened to on audiobook for the first time. Here's what else I've read since all this began. 

Good Girls Lie by JT Ellison
This frivolous thrilled was exactly what I needed in the midst of full-scale lockdown: juicy, gossipy, unpredictable. The end result wasn't my favorite - it played into an old thriller trope that, frankly, feels played-out - but the story itself was juicy, dramatic, & compulsively readable. It doesn't hurt that it takes place at an all-girls boarding school, an inherently spooky setting! ★★★☆☆

The author of The Hunger Games is back with this long-awaited but surprisingly little-hyped prequel to the popular YA series. This installment takes places 64 years pre-Katniss & tells the story of future president Coriolanus Snow, at this point just a struggling high school student & mentor to a Hunger Games competitor from... District 12. I thought this story was fascinating look at the boy who would  the series' primary villain. ★★★★★

I Wish You Were Here by D. Simpson & Essence Caldwell
This children's book, which came out on the anniversary of my dad's death, was written by an Instagram friend. It's about a little boy whose dad has passed away but whose mom loves him very much - & it's exactly the kind of book I wish I'd had as a kid. ★★★☆☆

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 
I wasn’t sure if I’d like this one because it’s written in a sort of prosaic style that isn’t typically my jam, but truly, this book is beautiful. When a plane goes down on its way from New York City to the Dominican Republic, one man’s double lives are exposed, & in losing their father, sisters Yahaira (NYC) & Camino (DR) learn about one another. Theirs is a story of fury & forgiveness, of grief & gratitude, of Spanish & English & the unspoken language of the unbreakable bonds of family. ★★★★☆

I will read anything Colbert writes, & this middle-grade novel was no exception. Twelve-year-old Alberta & her dads are the only Black family in their California beach town until Edie & her mom buy the B&B across the street. This story follows the two girls through middle school drama, family concerns, & even a little bit of a mystery. ★★★★★

One-time teen YouTube star Hayley G. Hoover is the younger sister of one of my childhood best friends, & I've loved following her writing throughout the years. Her first book, assembled & released during quarantine, shares poems from the weird to the wonderful, the everyday to the deep. Some resonated with me more than others, but such is poetry, right? And the ones that did resonate hit me hard. This is some seriously brilliant writing. ★★★★☆

Please laugh at me for reading this one. I deserve it. But long ago, I decided I'd read every Bachelor memoir out there, & the newest release was not exempt. And yes, I sort of hate myself for not hating it. I found Colton fairly unlikable during his season, & this book didn't really change my mind - but it was a surprisingly interesting look into the psyche of the first & only Bachelor to try to game the system. ★★★☆☆

Tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account.

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

1 comment:

Deborah S said...

I recently read "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith and loved it! Her debut novel "White Teeth" is also great. Also, I just picked up a copy of "The Wide Circumference of Love," so I'm only a few pages in but liking it so far.

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