• Kayla

20 Books of Quarantine

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

When the Tiger King part of quarantine ended, I started reading and rediscovered my love of books. Below is a list of the books I read from March 18 - December 31, 2020.


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1. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I picked this book up because I was obsessed with Moriarty's book, Big Little Lies and then the short Hulu TV series.

In Nine Perfect Strangers, nine people meet at an expensive, therapeutic retreat. All visitors are there for unique circumstances and are promised to be "fixed" by the end.

Overall rating: 6


2. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age covers racial issues in the United States from the perspective of a white, working mother and a black, young, single woman.

Overall rating: 8


3. The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

This book discusses a fight between two best friends in a popular vacation town that results in one girl dying and family secrets spilling.

Overall rating: 7


4. Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

A native Long Islander goes to college in California and meets a guy with a ton of red flags. They have an on-again, off-again relationship while the main character tries to find herself.

Overall rating: 6


5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Two work rivals try to unravel their feelings for each other while competing for the company's promotion.

Overall rating: 4


6. Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

An FBI agent travels to her hometown in Long Island to get to the bottom of numerous murders...that her dead father is the primary suspect in.

Overall rating: 9


7. The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg

Nordberg shows readers how Afghan women are resilient and innovative in a society that does not treat them as equals.

Overall rating: 8


8. The Da Vinci Code: Special Illustrated Edition by Dan Brown

A Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon, and a French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, race through Europe to discover codes and hidden meanings in Da Vinci's artwork.

I highly recommend buying the Special Illustrated Edition to better understand the meanings behind each symbol.

Overall rating: 9


9. Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn

The strange unraveling of Charlie Manson's life that leads to Helter Skelter and the Tate and LaBianca murders.

Overall rating: 6


10. I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

A short memoir of Austin Channing Brown's life and how she navigates being female, Christian, and black in the United States.

Overall rating: 9


11. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A perfect wedding takes place on a remote island off of Ireland. As the guests start to learn more about each other, secrets are revealed and one of the guests ends up dead.

Overall rating: 6


12. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

The story of twin sisters who grow up as best friends but become strangers as life becomes more complex. This book discusses racism and classism in the United States.

Overall rating: 10


13. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Susanne Collins

The Prequel to The Hunger Games takes place 64 years before Katniss and Peeta compete with the other districts and focuses on the childhood of Coriolanus Snow.

**I think I would have rated this book much higher if I was younger.

Overall rating: 6


14. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle discusses how she learned to listen to her inner voice and to find herself by overcoming society's expectations of women.

Overall rating: 5


15. The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

A novel exploring the immigrant experience in the United States, a mother-daughter relationship, and the mysterious death of Mina Lee.

Overall rating: 9


16. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

I don't want to spoil the book so here is the summary found on the back of the book:

"We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds."

Overall rating: 10


17. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Although I was a giant history nerd in high school and an international affairs and history major at Lafayette College, I only read excerpts from The Diary of Anne Frank. Over quarantine I finally took the time to dive into this emotional book.

Overall Rating: 10


18. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The main characters, Marie-Laure, a blind, French girl, and Werner Pfenning, a German orphan, grow up during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Doerr gives the reader a unique glimpse of World War II from two children's perspectives.

Overall rating: 9


19. If you Knew Her by Emily Elgar

From the perspective of a nurse, a woman in a coma, and a man that cannot speak, the reader learns how Cassie Jensen arrived in the intensive care ward.

Overall rating: 6


20. Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Changed my Life by Christie Tate

A memoir about how group therapy transformed Christie Tate from someone who wished for her own death, struggled with an eating disorder, and did not have intimate human relationships into someone who started to enjoy her life. Tate discusses her raw and honest emotional rollercoaster during group therapy.

Overall rating: 8

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