Some great reads to get stuck into during lockdown.
As the coronavirus lockdown continues, we’re all finding our own ways of coping and managing. For me, reading has played a big part, helping to lift me out of reality for a while and transporting me to new and different worlds.
If you’re looking for some ideas, the Henpicked Book Club is bursting with brilliant reads, with a really diverse selection of books. They’ve divided opinion, created debate and opened out some new styles of writing to us all. I’m as guilty as anyone of having a favourite genre (crime) and the book club has got me reading some stuff that I would never normally choose.
Because we do all judge a book by its cover. And its title. And its reputation. But just jumping freefall into a book from right outside your comfort zone is actually pretty liberating.
Here’s a small selection of some of our favourites, but please add any others into the comments. If we haven’t already read them I’ll add recommendations to our list for future reads.
Auggie’s facial disfigurement and many surgeries means he’s been home schooled for years. But as he finally starts at school, how will he cope? In this uplifting story, we hear from Auggie, as well as his friends and family, with their take on life.
Wonder is our latest choice, for April, and is already attracting some lovely reviews. I read it in about half a day – unheard of – and it’s a brilliant, uplifting story. Our book champions so far have given it rave reviews.
Douglas Petersen’s wife has announced she’s leaving him now their son is leaving home. But first, they take a last family holiday together. Can Douglas save his marriage?
Famous for his story ‘One Day’, in Us David Nicholls takes a deep dive into the unravelling of a long marriage. It may sound a bit gloomy, but it’s also funny and witty, as he takes us on a journey around Europe with Douglas, Connie and their son Albie.
Joey’s home from abroad, with a new husband in tow and crashing with her brother. She develops a dark obsession with the man next door, the headteacher of the local school. But she’s not the only one watching him… and is she also being watched?
Watching You seemed to take our book champions by surprise, as she was a new author for many. But lots said they’d look out for her other books, which is always a good sign. She’s a personal favourite of mine, and I read this on holiday so it takes me back to sunny days by the pool.
Eleanor Oliphant wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. She’s happy. But desperately unhappy.
Eleanor Oliphant got under everyone’s skin. A quirky central character, desperately lonely and with few social skills, she had us completely rooting for her as the book went on, as her touchingly tragic story unfolded.
Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Running out of time, he leaves his house and its treasures to his assistant Laura, to fulfil his legacy and reunite the objects with their rightful owners.
The Keeper Of Lost Things was described as very enjoyable and easy to read, gripping at the same time. And a perfect summer book – so one for the garden maybe?
Take a trip to Manderley, the home of Max De Winter and his new bride. But forever haunting the new Mrs De Winter is the ghost of his first wife, Rebecca, who even in death seems to overshadow all around her.
Rebecca is another personal favourite, it’s a perfect 10 of a book for me. Our book champions loved the beautiful descriptive details, the well-drawn characters and the gorgeous setting. And one asked: would you marry Max De Winter?
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, this book explores the racial tensions of the time, where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver…
Funny, poignant, evocative, sad… The Help had all the emotions in one very powerful punch of a book. Universally loved.
These are just a few of our favourites. If you’d like to join our Book Club we’d love to have you with us, and you’ll get early notification of the next month’s choice and the chance to be a book champion and receive a copy of the book to review.