Books to Read While Social Isolating Part 2

One of the pros of being at home during this weird time we are living, is that we can do things like read more. A few weeks ago, I wrote a list with some book suggestions. The first part of this list was posted last week (check out here), and today I’m sharing the second half.

Conversation with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversation with Friends follows three main characters: Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa. Frances and Bobbi are ex-girlfriends, best friends and artistic partners. Melissa, who is a famous journalist, decides to write an article about the friends. As time passes, these four characters becomes friends and their relationship a bit more complicated because 1) Melissa and Bobbi have feelings for each other and 2) Frances and Nick have an affair. If you want to know more about this book check out (here) the review where I also compare the characters to dog breeds.

In general, this is a very light book and perfect if you want something fast and that can distract you from the news.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopic novel that has firefighter Guy Montag as its main character. It happens in a future in which the society is hedonistic and anti-intellectual, and the job of the firefighters is to burn books. Besides being a classic of the genre, this book is perfect for those who like dystopias but don’t want something triggering at this moment.

 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic worth reading. It was first published in 1890, and was considered very polemic at the time, many people thinking it was something that violated public morality and offended the moral sensibilities.

This masterpiece tells the story of the breathtakingly beautiful aristocrat Dorian Gray, who was the subject of a portrait by Basil Howard. While posing for the picture, Dorian meets the hedonistic Lord Henry Wotton, with whom he becomes close friends. Afraid of future wrinkles, Dorian makes a pact with… only Oscar Wilde knows whom (this part is very sci-fi) that makes only his portrait grow old and show his sins. With the aging problem solved, Dorian goes on to live a life based on pleasure, offending moral sensibilities and violating the public morality.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is another classic worth reading. It tells the story of Holden Caulfield (also known as the original bad boy) a sixteen-year-old who runs away after being expelled from boarding school. The boy decides to go back to his hometown of New York, where he does a bunch of teenager-who-thinks-is-an-adult stuff (like hiring prostitutes in the heat of the moment, drinking way too much and spending all his money on silly things).

Warning: you’ll want to buy a red hat when you finish this book.

Educated by Tara Westover

Different from all the other books on this list, Educated is a non-fiction. More is specifically a memoir. Tara Westover was born in a survivalist Mormon family that was very suspicious of the federal government, doctors, hospitals and public schools. As a result, she was technically home-schooled, but in practice she self learned everything. At the age of 17 she enrolled in university and entered a classroom for the first time; as of today, Tara is a graduate of Brigham Young college, and has gotten a master’s degree and doctorate from Cambridge. This book is very moving and beautifully written, and everybody should read it if they have a chance.


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