Has the time finally come? Are we expected to leave the shelter of our houses, and enter back into society? Believe it or not, behind your front door is the big wide world, where individuals gather in large groups - outside, of course. Whilst, we may not be quite back to normal, and social distancing is still advised, the time has come to ease back into a more normal way of living. For those, who have been fortunate enough to stay at home during the pandemic, this might come as quite a shocking change. You might not know quite how you feel about it. The thought of re-joining society might fill you with newfound social anxiety, and you wouldn’t be alone in that feeling.
That’s why we thought we’d provide you with a list of books that might help to ease you back into society, or at provide you with an excuse as to why you’re still staying at home. Everyone knows that if you’ve got a good book on the go, you can’t go to the pub garden because you just can’t put this read down! If anyone of your friends questions you, just link them to this article and let it do the talking on your behalf.
The Great Gatsby
How could I not put this book on the list? You’ve probably already read this one, but pick it up again because it is the perfect read. You will find that reading this again, now with the perspective of living through a pandemic, you have a newfound appreciation for the roaring twenties. In 1918, the Spanish Flu spread through society taking with it a lot of young people, as their immune systems were not as developed as the older population – the Edward Cullen and Twilight fans out there know what I’m talking about. Anyway, the roaring twenties were roaring because it was the world escaping from experiencing a pandemic after a war, just like us (not the war part, thankfully).
Hopefully, our return to society will be more gradual, but if you are not ready for any of that then live it vicariously through The Great Gatsby. You can expect grand parties, where there is certainly no alcohol budget, a tragic unrequited love story, and characters surrounded in mystery. If anything you’ll definitely empathise with Nick Carraway – the narrator of the whole story – who isn’t quite sure what to think when he is experiencing this lifestyle for the first time. If you do go out there, back into society, perhaps you could write about it. You never know, you might have a bestselling novel on your hands.
Life of Pi
Okay, you might ask what a young Indian boy, a tiger, and a small boat in the middle of the ocean have in common with your situation right now. Stay with me here. You’ve decided you’re not okay with big groups of people, you’d like to stay in your germ-free bubble of isolation thank you very much. Although Pi does not quite share your desire to see absolutely no one, he is very much isolated. On a boat. With a tiger… who is probably very hungry. What could go wrong? I won’t spoil anymore of the book for you, but Pi does have a lot of time on his hands to contemplate the larger theories in life, so you might empathise with his brain going on a tangent about pretty much anything because he has absolutely nothing to look at but miles and miles of blue ocean. Be thankful that you at least have Netflix to keep your mind occupied.
Where the Crawdads Sing
(Penguin Random House, 2018)
This is a relatively new book in comparison to the ones on the list so far, but definitely worth the read. If this lockdown has reconnected you with the natural world around you, but you’re still not too sure about re-entering into society, then you will definitely empathise with the main character in this book. Kyra lives in a swamp on the outskirts of town. She is an outcast, and takes a fascination with the place she calls her home. She spends her days amongst the birds, and plants, definitely preferring them to actual people. Well, almost. Don’t get us wrong, she has a fairly good reason as to why she doesn’t like people, especially the people in her town. That doesn’t stop her from getting into a spot of trouble, but luckily some of the towns people aren’t so bad, and some even come around to her way of living amongst the swamp creatures. Also, if you’ve taken up your pen, and are using poetry as an outlet, you will resonate with this tale.
(Faber Classics, 2017)
Jane Eyre didn’t quite live through a global pandemic, but she isn’t a stranger to life on her own. In fact, she likes to take long walks, just like you do, except, she takes them across the treacherous and wild moorlands. No matter how stuck inside you think you are, definitely do not do this. You might get where Jane is coming from though. In all seriousness, she’s been through a lot. She knows what it means to lose someone you’re close to, and she knows how it can feel to be alone in a difficult household – she has been through a fair few different households. That is, until she reaches one. Jane has her art to keep her company, and though she might be stuck in a physical place by her situation in life, that doesn’t mean that she can’t travel through the stories she reads and the places she goes to in her mind. Yes, the household she’s stuck in might be haunted just a little bit, and things definitely go bump in the night, but does that not just add to the fun of it all?