There are plenty of recommendations on what TV Shows, Movies, Podcasts etc to get you through the COVID-19 self-isolation period and there’s very little I can add to those extensive lists. If you fancy something more old school, like reading, here are some of my recommendations to get you through the self-isolation period. No matter how quickly you read, I think there will be plenty to get you through this difficult time.
In no particular order:
Image from The Verge
Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
Most people will have read these already, but they are a fun and easy read to get your mind off the current situation. And easy to pick up and put down again, if you are juggling kids or pets that are stuck at home.
Image from LOTR Wiki Fandom
Depending how extensively you want to get into this series, you can start at the Hobbit and end with the Lord of the Rings, or you can get into the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales. The lore in this series is extensive and detailed and you can choose how deeply you want to delve into it.
Image from Smithsonian
The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
A series of 4 books that recently ended with the last book release, Labyrinth of Spirits, these books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a Gothic mystery series set in Barcelona in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Supposedly, you can read them in any order, but I read them in the order of release (The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven and Labyrinth of Spirits) and have been hooked since the first book. Given that its about bookshops and a book cemetery, it’s a must for any book lover.
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The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
So far, there have been 3 book releases in this historical series by Ken Follett (The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, A Column of Fire) this series focuses on the Kingbridge Priory over different periods of time from the 12th Century to the 16th Century. Each book Is near 1000 pages long and is packed with tragedy and adventure. These books do not give their characters a break and are all captivating. I finished the first book in 3 days on very little sleep (which I don’t recommend) and can’t recommend them enough.
Image from Amazon
Shardlake series (C.S. Sansom)
A series of 7 books so far (set in the Tudor age, England) these are a set of historical crime mysteries, set around intrigues usually involving Tudor royalty with a political backdrop. I think some of the associations around the Tudor royal family might be a little unrealistic on hindsight, but if you enjoy mysteries and histories, it’s a great series to get into.
Image from Amazon
Inspector Perez/Vera Stanhope (Ann Cleeves)
I got into both of these series of books by having watched the Shetland TV series. The books are somewhat different to the show, even if you have watched them, so don’t worry about doubling up if you have seen the show. I enjoyed the Inspector Perez series much more than Vera, but I think its because I really enjoyed the show and the Perez character more. The crimes aren’t too gruesome or graphic if you’re concerned. There are 8 books in the Perez (Shetland) series, and 9 in the Vera Stanhope series.
Image from Amazon
Harry Hole (Jo Nesbo)
I consider the Harry Hole books to be the bees nees of crime fiction. Let me be blunt though, these are gruesome Scandinavian crime books and the series only gets more gruesome as it goes on. I’ll admit for some of the books I woke up in the middle of the night scared. Having said that, I think these are the best crime books I’ve read so far and I’m looking forward to re-reading them again soon. There are 12 books so far in this series.
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