Stay at Home and READ! 15 Fantastic Novels to Escape Reality
Are you feeling like you want to be informed about what’s going on with the novel coronavirus, but there’s only so much news you can handle before you get overwhelmed and really stressed out? I'm feeling it, too. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but since we started social distancing back in mid-March, reading has become more of an escape for me.
What do you prefer reading? I normally switch between self-improvement books and historical fiction, romances, and psychological thrillers. Lately, though, lighter fiction has been satisfying that urge. Here is my recommended reading list for these days of social distancing and quarantine. I hope some of these recommendations help you to ‘escape’ reality a bit. Also, let me know in the comments what you’re reading these days!
- Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah
This is a unique take on the psychological thriller that will take you For.A.Ride. It’s one of those books that you stay up reading at all hours of the night because you just HAVE to know what’s going to happen next!
- Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
If you’re a mom and you want to laugh until you pee your pants, then pick up this novel. The main character is a total trip and the reactions she gets from the other classroom parents in this story are just priceless. Bonus: there’s a sequel called You’ve Been Volunteered. I haven’t read that one yet, but I will as soon as I can grab a copy.
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This novel is a really well-written, lighthearted romance. The dynamic between the two main characters is riveting from cover to cover. The humor, both in dialogue and situation, is entertaining with ZERO cheese factor (a difficult feat for most romance novels).
- The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
I love ALL of Elin Hilderbrand’s books because she really can weave a good yarn. The setting may be beach-y (Nantucket, mostly), but the subject matter is anything but. Some of her novels are weightier than others. This one is one of my favorites because the characters are so interesting and in this particular book, the settings are also like the characters. A must-read, IMHO.
- Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
I love most Stephen King novels. However, I wouldn’t recommend most of them during difficult times because they can be stressful to read! This first novel in the trilogy is more of a crime thriller, though, and the characters are really interesting and well-developed. I really enjoyed this one (as did my husband). And if you enjoy it as much as I did, you’ll want to read the second and third novels in this trilogy, too (Finders Keepers and End of Watch).
- Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
This book is simply a riot. But beneath the surface story of a young Indian girl inadvertently helping Punjabi widows learn to write in English via erotic storytelling lies a mystery begging to be solved. This one is a page turner.
- The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough in this psychological thriller set in the suburbs of Connecticut. And the twist towards the end took me by total surprise. Escapist literature at its best.
- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
I have read everything that Liane Moriarty has ever written and will continue to do so until the day she puts down her pen. I love her stories. I love her characters. I love it ALL. That said, most people have read her big hit Big Little Lies, so I didn’t put it on this list. If you haven’t read it, then I highly suggest it. However, one of my other favorites (the first novel of hers I ever read) is What Alice Forgot. What would you do if you woke up one day and realized you had just missed the last ten years of your life?
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I know, I know. Enough with this. But it was just THAT good. So many situations in this novel had me crying with laughter. If you haven’t picked it up, this is a great time to do so!
- The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware writes a solid thriller. However, this newest novel is my favorite one of all. What I love about Ware’s take on the psychological thriller genre is her hint at the supernatural. This particular one is mysterious, creepy, and has loads of twists and turns.
- Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This is a totally different type of romance novel. It’s a bit quirky the main character is male, and you need to suspend a little bit of belief, but it’s totally worth it. The main character is simply endearing. This is a light and cute read.
- City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Like all of Gilbert’s writing, no two books are even close to the same. If you read Eat, Pray, Love then fine. I loved that one like most everybody who read it. City of Girls is no Eat, Pray, Love, though. It’s historical fiction. It’s a statement about feminism and whether we’ve made as much progress over the last century as one would think. It’s a tribute to New York City during the twenties and thirties. It shows the courage it takes to step away from convention and live your truth, no matter what decade you live in. Pure gold.
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Adorable main character, quirky, and different. This isn’t a new novel, but I thought it was worth putting on the list because it’s just so sweet and a great read for escaping reality for a little bit.
- The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
This novel by Moyes is very different from her Me Before You series. It’s a psychological thriller, but very different from a Ruth Ware or a Lisa Jewell type thriller. Again, not a new novel, but I really loved this one and wanted to share.
- The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
This is a new novel that has gotten mixed reviews, mainly because it presents itself as a beach read and then many readers are disappointed when it turns out to be a bit more dour. However, the characters are so quirky that I couldn’t help being endlessly amused by this story. It doesn’t go as deep with character growth and resolution as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
There are SO many more books I could have added to this list, but I wanted to keep my choices amusing, light, riveting, and binge-worthy because I think that’s what we all need a bit more of these days. Stay safe and happy reading!
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