During the quarantine we have all tried to take up hobbies or devoted more of our time to pre-existing ones. Since I have been reading so much, I decided to compose a reading list. Some of the books are directly about pandemics/epidemics, others induce feelings akin to quarantine and some are in there just because I like them.
The books will be followed by a short description. Directly below the work the word/page count, average rating and point of view will be stated.
Louisa May Alcott: Little women /283 pages, 4.6 rating, 3rd person
Summary: “Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy.
The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?”
Michael Crichton: The Andromeda strain / 304 pages, 4.4 rating, 3rd person
Summary: The United States government is forced to mobilize Project Wildfire, a top-secret emergency response protocol.
Four of the nation’s most elite biophysicists are summoned to a clandestine underground laboratory located five stories beneath the desert and fitted with an automated atomic self-destruction mechanism for cases of irremediable contamination.
Under conditions of total news blackout and the utmost urgency, the scientists race to understand and contain the crisis. But the Andromeda Strain proves different from anything they’ve ever seen—and what they don’t know could not only hurt them, but lead to unprecedented worldwide catastrophe.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the time of Cholera / 368 pages, 4.4 rating, 3rd person
Summary: “In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic.
As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral.
Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.”
Geoff Ryman: The child garden /388 pages, 3.9 rating,
Summary:“In a future London, humans photosynthesize, organics have replaced electronics, viruses educate people, and very few live past forty. But Milena is resistant to the viruses. She’s alone until she meets Rolfa, a huge, hirsute Genetically Engineered Polar Woman, and Milena realizes she might, just might, be able to find a place for herself after all.”
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Good omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch / 512 pages, 4.7 rating, 3rd person
Summary: “According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist … ”
Ling Ma: Severance/304 pages, 4.3 rating, 3rd person
Summary: “Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend.
So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York…
A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.”
Pete Wentz: Grey / 240 pages, 4.6 rating, 1st person
Summary: “Sometimes, late at night in the hotel room, after the lights have gone out and the mistakes have already been made, when it is heavy and silent and still, I lie awake and listen to my pulse on the pillow…
Imagine you are on a tour bus, the miles whistling away beneath you as you sleep. Tomorrow you will wake up in downtown Somewhere. It doesn’t matter. All the skylines look the same. Time is only marked by events. The world is on a first-name basis with you.
But you…you barely even know yourself. There are those who give in completely to the idea of what it means to be famous. And those who can’t ever seem to leave the past behind. Life is a deep and contemplative story stuck on repeat—love, loss, self-destruction, self-discovery.
If you could go back to the way things were before you made it…would everything still be gray? ”