My game plan includes spending some much needed quality time with my family and my cat, catching up on some series and of course reading, reading and more reading. I always have a long list of books I recommend to others, and am now using this new “lifestyle” of self-isolation and quarantine to encourage everyone to read more.
The great escape
I will not get into the many benefits of reading because I think we can all agree it is just a good thing. But reading also serves as an escape from this crazy and scary time we are living in right now.
So, whether you are an avid reader and have a bookshelf spilling over with all the books you want to read or if your idea of recreational reading is glancing at the ingredient list on the back of the air-freshener when you forgot to bring your phone with you into the loo, the following list of books will have a book for everyone.
Inspirational female characters
Something that I feel we all need more of in this world is strong female characters and having their voices heard. These books were chosen with that in mind as they are all written by talented female writers and they all contain inspirational female characters.
Happy reading everyone and please remember to use this time to rest and enjoy your nearest and dearest (and wash your hands, obviously).
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood
This is a dystopian novel that follows the story of a handmaid, Offred, in the Republic of Gilead, a futuristic United States (US) in which fertility is low. Her only function is to reproduce, otherwise she will be killed.
We follow her everyday life and her resistance against a repressive state. This story is profoundly disturbing but necessary in our current political climate. All the characters are incredibly written, but the female ones leave a lasting impression.
‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte
This book has been considered a classic for many years and with good reason. It is a beautifully written historical fiction set in the 19th-century England. It follows the story of an orphan, Jane Eyre, her life as a governess and her struggle fighting a sexist and classist system. Need I say more?
‘The Herbalist’ by Niamh Boyce
Set in 1940s Ireland, this book follows the lives of three women and how their lives change when a dangerously charming herbalist arrives in their small town. This book had me in tears at many points just because it is heartrendingly beautiful and sad. It contains incredible characters, wonderful instances of women supporting women and so much more.
‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens
For those of us who like a bit of murder mystery, this book is for you. Set in Barkley Cove, a small town on the North Carolina coast, it follows a social outcast dubbed the “Marsh Girl”. It deals with her childhood, her life as a social reject as well as her sexual awakening and her heartbreaks.
The way this book is written makes you fall in love with all the characters and the setting. One of my all-time favourites.
‘City of Girls’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book was written by the same person who wrote the amazing autobiography Eat Pray Love. This book is set in 1940s New York City and follows Vivian Morris, a seamstress who begins working in her aunt’s theatre.
Not only is this book wickedly funny and beautifully written, it takes the reader through Vivian’s life as she finds herself through the many ups and downs of life.
What I loved the most about this book is how it deals with passion, love and friendship. It explores these topics through a lens of reality which makes it both hilarious and relatable.