How To Travel Without Leaving Your Room: The Quarantine Reading List You Need Right Now
If you want to know what you can do to feel less trapped in your own home and also how to get away from the current world crisis for a few hours, keep reading. Literally.
We live in panic-filled times now. As the novel coronavirus spreads more and more around the world, most of us are forced to stay at home to protect ourselves and the people around us.
If you’ve already been working remote for a while now, this self-isolation period won’t seem like too much of a deal to you. Other people might, however, be quite uncomfortable with this change of routine that has come overnight to turn their life upside down.
Nonetheless, I think that it’s our social responsibility to do the most we can to help slow down and eventually stop the spread of the virus. Staying inside is a small price to pay if you think of all the healthcare workers that are on the front line of this fight day and night.
Still, with all this in mind, you probably can’t help feeling a bit melancholic when thinking of all the beautiful places you’ve visited during your last holiday or the great trip you had with your friends a few months ago.
You might even feel restless just like you did when you were a child and you had to stay inside because of the bad weather.
I get you, and I’m here to tell you this one important secret: there is a way in which you can travel to far-off places (and even in time!) without having to leave your home.
How can one do that? Is it magic?
It’s better than magic.
There’s one thing that grants your mind endless freedom to tread through yet unexplored territories at any time: reading a book.
I have lived countless lives in different places and different time periods while reading, and yet I never needed to book a plane ticket or invent the time machine.
Whatever you do never underestimate the power of fiction
Every reader knows just how easily words in a book can lure you into a world that feels just as real as the one you’ve left behind.
That being said, I want to share with you a list of books that I’ve read recently and that offered me the possibility to explore amazing worlds without moving an inch away from my bed.
Every book comes with a few essential instructions for every interested traveller.
Without further ado, here is my collection of worlds:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. You stand at its gates and wonder what those tents hide inside.
I’d ask you if you know the difference between illusions and real magic but, in the fading light of dusk, any such difference disappears as you enter Le Cirque Des Rêves.
This is a wonderful story that you won’t want to leave. You might even become lost in its magic just like in a winding labyrinth of mirrors.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
If you were to live more than one life, what would you do differently?
Let me put it another way: what would do with your extended time on Earth — travel the whole globe, learn every language, become a secret spy, go to every rock concert there is or maybe try to make time travel work?
Either way, if you’re more like Harry, you’ll see that it sometimes takes you at least 11 lives to find life’s true meaning.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
How many secrets does one’s past hold? What about one’s family?
Prepare for a captivating story that tells of mysteries yet unsolved, narratives long-forgotten and a secret garden that has witnessed more than three generations of a cursed aristocratic family.
Did I also mention that it includes a couple of magical dark fairy tales which will steal your heart forever?
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
This is your chance to visit Barcelona in 1945, a couple of years after the Spanish Civil War. Not a very friendly place, I’ll admit.
However, you’ll get to sneak for a few seconds into the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, learn what it means to adopt a book and discover all of its darkest secrets.
Your adventure will lead you to find out how murder, obsession, and doomed love look like. Also, you’ll get to meet and be guided by Fermín Romero de Torres, a funny character that will keep your spirits up wherever the story takes you.
**This book is one of my all-time favourites. It’s a modern gothic story and so much more, it lingers in your soul long after you’ve finished it. A definite must-read.
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
What if someone were to tell you that one of your parents is a god — more exactly, Anansi the trickster spider-god — and that you also have a long-lost brother that is the total opposite of what you represent and stand for?
You’d probably call them mad and employ a four-letter word that I’m not going to add here. But that’s literally what happened to Fat Charlie Nancy and what changed his life forever.
The humour in this modern fantasy world is on point. Neil Gaiman’s humour is usually that way, fans can confirm this.
I hope these books will help you escape — even just for a couple of hours — the chaos that the coronavirus brought upon us.
Right now, I’m preparing to sail for another fictional world, a world found within the pages of This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
Don’t hesitate to make some book recommendation of your own.
Keep safe, everyone!