Last-minute quarantine reads

Aug. 21, 2020, 5:06 p.m.

As the end of corona-cation looms near, the looming presence of the fall semester approaches. Below is a wide array of literature that is diverse enough to speak to a wide audience of readers. Kick back and open those books!

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a particularly timely read, Coates writes to his teenage son about the realities of being Black in America. Coates invites the reader into an intimate space to reflect on his own experiences facing discrimination and racism. Coupled with these powerful narratives, his direct connections between the racism of the Jim Crow era to that of the modern age make for an eye-opening read. 

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera

A lewd read, this book explores Kundera’s philosophy of the “lightness of being” through the eyes of his fictional characters. The protagonist Tomas grapples with his womanizing lifestyle that is in direct conflict with his profound love for his wife. Kundera explores what living “light” means through the consequences of Tomas’ choices, which drive the plot forward. Though his characters tend to come off as impersonal, Kundera’s lasting message necessitates a second read. 

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

While the 2019 movie adaptation had fans pining for Timothee Chalamet, Alcott’s book evokes empathy from the reader for every character she molds. The book follows the lives of the March girls — Jo, Amy, Meg and Beth — as they grow into womanhood during the Civil War. Alcott’s subversion of the patriarchy through Jo’s independence and Amy’s vanity made “Little Women” into the classic it is. 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson

Yes, he wrote a book of the same name, but it’s hardly worth the 150 pages when a concise article can do the job. Manson explains in jocular prose how “not giving a fuck” means not giving up in the face of adversity.  Even if his ideology doesn’t convince you, his humorous writing style makes for a worthwhile read. 

“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman

With the craziness of the pandemic, take a break from reality and slip into a simpler time. Eastman’s classic bedtime story follows a baby bird seeking his mother, with each candidate more absurd than the last. Take a minute to wind down before the frenzy of an online school year hits. 

“Quarry’s Choice” by Max Allan Collins

This read encapsulates every element needed for an good, authentic crime fiction novel: gruesome deaths, elaborate plots and racy scenes. Follow Quarry, a hired hitman, as he finds himself tangled in a complex consortium of greedy men and money, a recipe for disaster. 

Contact Julie Ham at julieham03 ‘at’

Julie Ham is a high schooler writing as part of The Daily’s Summer Journalism Workshop.

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