Briana Alberghini ‘21
Associate Social Media Director
Is the screen time on your phone drastically going up week by week? Yeah, same. It is time to pick up a good book and put down our phones! If you think books are boring, chances are you just haven’t found the right one. Good books are out there, and they are right here on this list.
P.S.: Did you know how many benefits reading has? It strengthens the brain, builds vocabulary, aids in sleep, reduces stress, and increases empathy! Who wouldn’t want that?
Here are 10 must-read books to make your time in quarantine a little bit better:
- Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
“From before her mother’s first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing—but also often funny—details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom’s closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the “I’ve got to tell Mom about this” instinct and not being able to act on it.”**
- The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan
“Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy trio in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.”
- Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
“Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.”
- wow, no thank you by Samantha Irby
“Irby is turning forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and is courted by Hollywood. She left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife and two step-children in a small white, Republican town in Michigan where she now hosts book clubs. This is the bourgeois life of her dreams. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with “skinny, luminous peoples” while being a “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,” “with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,” and hides Entenmann’s cookies under her bed and unopened bills under her pillow.”
- Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
“For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold. Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.”
- It’s Not All Downhill From Here: A Novel by Terry McMillan
“Loretha Curry’s life is full. A little crowded sometimes, but full indeed. On the eve of her sixty-eighth birthday, she has a booming beauty supply empire, a gaggle of lifelong friends, and a husband who’s still got moves that surprise. True, she’s carrying a few more pounds than she should be, but she’s not one of those women who thinks her best days are behind her, and she’s determined to prove her mother, her twin sister, and everyone else with that outdated view of aging wrong—it’s not all downhill from here.”
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
“Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.”
- The Herd: A Novel by Andrea Bartz
“Why did the founder of a glamorous coworking space for women disappear? Her best friends will risk everything to uncover the truth. Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suggest foul play, everyone is a suspect: Eleanor’s husband, other Herders, the men’s rights groups that have had it out for the Herd since its launch—even Eleanor’s closest friends.”
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… and Maybe the World by William H. McRaven
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
- Self-Care for the Real World by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips
“Wellness pioneers Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips have spent decades helping others to feel their best. But it took them a bit longer to learn to care for themselves. Here they share the small, achievable steps they picked up on a lifetime’s journey towards self-care, and how you can apply them to your life, wherever you are.”
If you cannot find these in e-book or audiobook form from McQuade or your local libraries (or if you just like owning your own copy), I highly recommend using BookShop.org because your purchases help support local, independent booksellers.
** The synopsis of each book comes directly from goodreads.