It’s nice, and perhaps even more needed for some of us right now, to lose ourselves a little in a make believe world. A book I can get lost in is always welcome at the best of times. But right now, as I find myself consciously limiting my news-time and social media time because it can get overwhelming, I’m constantly searching for my next read.
I love to read, and fiction books in particular are my go-to. Usually, and more so during these uncertain times, reading is the last thing I do before I finally fall asleep. In fact, I drift off with my Kindle in hand pretty often!
If you’ve been looking for something new to read, I’ve put together some of my favourite books for you to consider (listed below in no particular order of course). These are books that you can immerse yourself in, or ones that leave you thinking, or reads that make you wish the story would go on and on, or stories that are simply entertaining!
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I first read this probably 13 years ago now, and it’s always my first thought when anyone asks for a book recommendation. It’s a multi-layered story about a boy, a book, and a library (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books) entwined with secrets and set in 1945 Barcelona. There’s much mystery, and every page brings you closer to its unravelling. You’ll undoubtedly end the book wanting to more, but don’t worry – this is the first of a quartet so you have three more waiting.
- The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeleine Miller
I couldn’t decide which of Madeleine Miller’s novels I enjoyed more so I’ve listed both. The Song of Achilles is inspired by the Iliad, and explores the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Circe, on the other hand, focuses on this really intriguing character from the Odyssey. I’ve also just seen Circe is being turned into a TV mini-series, so if you want to be one of those people that go, “The book’s so much better,” then now’s the time to get reading! I read The Song of Achilles first and then Circe simply because that’s the order they came out, but the stories can stand alone so you don’t have to read them in that order.
- Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
You’ll know Sherlock Holmes, I’m sure. Perhaps seen one or more TV shows, enjoyed the films, read some of the stories. But did you know there are a total of 56 short stories plus four novels? The writing is so engaging and you can’t help (at least I couldn’t!) but guess all throughout who did it! The short stories in particular are absolutely perfect if you want a quick but highly entertaining read. I get it, a few hundred pages long story can be a commitment. And because the copyright has lapsed, there’s no need to actually buy the book. Just do a quick search and you’ll find a website or a downloadable pdf. Enjoy!
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This was a book I purchased in an airport terminal, started reading on a plane, and didn’t put down until I finished. (It’s only about 300 pages long, so it isn’t a long one!) I shed actual tears reading this book; who knows what the stranger next to me thought I was so upset about. But I remember looking out at the clouds in my window seat, trying to make sense of my thoughts. This story truly leaves you thinking and questioning. It has a film that I suggest you watch as well, but I definitely recommend waiting until after you’ve read the book!
- All Souls Series by Deborah Harkness
I met this book by chance, like most of the books I come across, and it did not disappoint. The best way I can describe it is that it’s a mix of historical fiction, magic and the binge-worthiness of a young adult novel. There are four instalments in the series, all of which are currently out meaning there’s no need to wait months and months in between for the new book to be published! The book to start with is “A Discovery of Witches”.
So take your pick from the list above and if you’re not sure whether you can commit, don’t forget you can download sample e-books through Amazon (if you don’t have a Kindle e-reader, you can download the app on your computer and/or mobile devices). And, like I said above, the Sherlock Holmes stories (like many older ones) are freely available online. (The copyright expired 70 years after the author’s death.) Plus, if you’re looking for more options, Scribd is currently give free access to their collection for a limited time.
Now grab yourself a beverage (I’ve been enjoying an iced coffee myself), cozy up, and lose yourself in a story.