If you need to find a silver lining in this current situation, now is a great time to catch up on some reading — after all, social distancing probably means you've got a little more time on your hands. And if, like many of the editors at The Zoe Report, you've committed yourself to finally checking off a few texts from your literary wish list, you'll at least emerge from quarantine having cultivated a little more culture or having learned a thing or two. But if you're not quite sure what to read next, don't worry: The team here is sharing the books they're reading while self-isolating (and explaining the reason why they picked them in the first place) to offer you some ideas for your next literary adventure.
While some people regularly tear through texts at a rapid rate, many others struggle to find the time — which can often seem like a luxury in itself — to sit down and relish reading material without distractions. But now is an ideal season to do just that. When you're not working from home, leveling up your kitchen skills, squeezing in a quickie Instagram workout in your living room, or entertaining yourself in other self-soothing ways, picking up a good book can be a productive way to escape stressful and anxious thoughts for a bit by briefly immersing yourself into another world, whether by way of a fictional narrative, the memoir of someone you admire, or an informative non-fiction book that lets you dig deeper into a subject you're dying to know more about (food, fashion, or self-help, for example).
It's also important to note that now is a crucial time for small businesses, so if you're able to still shop smaller, independent bookstore safely (online, delivery, or curbside pickup), see if you can find what you're looking for there first, or ask if they're able to order it for you. You can also try using IndieBound or Book Of The Month if you're seeking something specific. If that doesn't work, there's always Amazon or Ebay to help you snag the hard-to-find items. And for those of you who could use a suggestion or two, see ahead for seven selections, straight from the TZR editorial team.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Talking to Stangers by Malcom Gladwell
"I've been re-reading Malcom Gladwell's Talking to Strangers this week," says Site Director Lauren Caruso. "During particularly emotional times, I always turn to non-fiction to distract myself, and Gladwell's books are equal parts illuminating and educational. If you haven't read Outliers, start with that — and I also highly recommend the first season of Revisionist History if you're looking for a podcast during this time, too."
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid
"Although known for her other historical fiction story Daisy Jones & The Six (which will be made into a TV series soon, I hear), this novel is my fave from Reid," says Angela Melero, Deputy Editor. "Inspired by the lives and memoirs of Old Hollywood actors like Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn, this story gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the entertainment industry in the 1940s and 1950s. Scandal, sexism, publicity-stunt marriages, and a plot twist at the end that you never saw coming — it's a total must-read."
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
"I've finished a few books this week, but the latest one I read was Alex Michaelides' The Silent Patient," shares Anna Buckman, TZR's Shopping News Editor. "I always turn to thrillers like this when I'm feeling stressed, because I get so sucked into them that I'm able to completely distract myself from what's happening in the real world."
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
"I'm re-reading The Omnivore's Dilemma," Aemilia Madden, TZR's Senior Fashion Editor says. "Michael Pollan is one of my favorite authors and when I first read this book going into college, it completely changed my life and perspective on food. Pollan is a master of making the matter-of-fact feel intimate and actionable. If you're looking to learn more about our food systems in the U.S. I highly recommend!"
Create the Future + The Innovation Handbook: Tactics for Disruptive Thinking by Jeremy Gutsche
"During a (not so recent) trip to the airport, I picked up Create the Future + The Innovation Handbook: Tactics for Disruptive Thinking by Jeremy Gutsche," says Shopping News Editor, Shelby Hyde. "I'm always so interested in innovation and accessing different parts of my mind so this felt like an obvious choice. I can't think of a better time to crack it open."
Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem: A Memoir by Daniel R. Day
"I've been reading this book for some time now, and it honestly is so inspiring," says Mecca James-Williams, Contributing Senior Style Editor. "During rough times, I appreciate reading memoirs, because it shows how people have handled adversity and come out on the other side."
Weather by Jenny Offill
"Offill's last book, Dept. of Speculation, has stuck with me for years — you can tear through it easily and the story itself is so quietly moving," explains Staff Writer Ashley Tibbits. "So, when she recently released her new novel, Weather, I was incredibly psyched to pick it up. It's the story of a librarian who gets a gig answering emails for a politically charged podcast, so it feels very timely, too."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.