Love In The Time Of Covid-19: Books To Help You Fall Back In Love With Reading

How cliché of me you might think, but stick with me here. Due to the current crisis, people definitely have more free time on their hands. To help you occupy this time, I have rounded up a few great books that I love and hopefully you will too!

Fancy a challenge?

So you want to challenge yourself, well look no further. Whether it’s with the style of writing or the length of the book, I have you covered.

Ulysses by James Joyce. 730 pages in length, this classic novel has been on the bookshelves of many Irish people. It follows the main character Leopold Bloom as he navigates an ordinary day in Dublin on June 16th, 1904.

Ducks Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann. This Prize-winning 2019 novel is over 1,000 pages long and is sure to satisfy those more interested in a contemporary challenge.

Humour

Ever need a good laugh? I bet you do! Well here you are.

I Feel Bad About My Neck. This collection of essays by the late Nora Ephron is teeming with ‘Ephronite’ humour that we have all grown to love, as seen in her screenplays of ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail’. 

So Lucky by Dawn O’ Porter. Following the success of ‘The Cows’, O’ Porter strikes again with this searingly honest yet funny novel. This follows the lives of three women and analyses a marriage, a maternal relationship, and Instagram fame!

Irish writers

If you want to support and read local, there are several Irish books to choose from. Here are my choices.

Actress is by the Booker Prize winning novelist Anne Enright. This novel is written from the perspective of a young woman who witnesses her mother’s fall from stardom in 1970’s Dublin.

Apeirogon by Colum McCann. This novel, by the Irish writer now living in New York, follows two men, one in Israel and one in Palestine, who both lost their daughters in the conflict. The novel consists of 1,001 individual chapters and dispersed photographs to craft a beautiful novel about love, grief, and peace.

Love

Are you missing your significant other, or are you in the mood for some lovin’? I have chosen two books to help you out of that funk, either way!

Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton is a memoir of her life from her teens to turning thirty. Alderton is a one of the hosts of the highly popular podcast The High Low show. With great insight into 21st century dating, this memoir is sure to entertain you while you’re stuck indoors!

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan. If you have a Sally Rooney shaped hole in your life after binge-watching Normal People last year, this new contemporary novel is sure to fill that gap. It follows the love-triangle of a young Irish woman teaching in Hong Kong.

Page to screen

Why not read a novel, and then compare it to the film? There are many options to choose from, but here are my favourites.

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. The film adaptation of the thriller was released last year and is directed by Joe Wright, known for his Oscar-winning film ‘Darkest Hour’. This literary sensation deserves a read – and is there a better time than now? It tells the story of an agoraphobic woman who befriends her neighbour. When the neighbour goes missing, she suspects foul play.

Emma by Jane Austen.Lucky for you, there are two films that you can watch during quarantine that are based on this classic novel. For a more modern version, Clueless is your go to which was released in 1995. For those who like their films to stick to the text, the recent adaptation hit the cinemas in early 2020, but because of the current pandemic it did not receive the attention it truly deserves. This funny and romantic novel follows the scheming character of Emma who plays the role of matchmaker for her friends – this novel is well worth a read.

Quarantine themed books

Self-explanatory.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. This novel follows the year in the life of a privileged young woman in New York City, who decides she wants to re-gain control of her life by sleeping for a year. Quarantined in her gorgeous NYC apartment of course!

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes is based on a young woman whose parents fly her back to rehab in Ireland to tackle her “supposed” drug addiction. Darkly comic, this novel is the reason why Keyes is universally loved by not only Irish women, but women around the world.

Published by Anna Cullen

Substantial experience in radio, digital and print journalism.

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