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Coronavirus: 7 Feel-Good Books to Get You Through Self-Isolation



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For many of us, the last few months have been a lot to take in.

We’re being flooded with coronavirus headlines on television, radio, and social media – only to be further reminded of it all through conversations with friends and family.

So, how about a break from all the heavy stuff?

We’re pointing out 7 literary gems that focus on the light-hearted, cheerful escapism you might be looking for right now.




1. The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha

This book is a quick read – but a must-read – for when things are feeling bleak.  

Based on the award-winning blog, 1000 Awesome Things, Neil Pasricha’s The Book of Awesome allows you to reflect on the little things that make you smile in each passing day.

Popping bubble wrap, the smell of bakery air, snow days, opening a new jar of peanut butter, and sheets fresh out of the dryer are among the many ‘awesome’ things Pasricha lists throughout his book. 

Perhaps the best thing about this book, however, is that it’s a gentle reminder that if you enjoy the simple moments in your life, you will be happier for it.




2. The Chaos Cure: Clean Your House and Calm Your Soul in 15 Minutes by Marla Cilley

A book for those of you who feel uneasy about your messy and unorganised homes, especially now that you’ll be spending a considerable amount of extra time in them.

Bestselling author and housekeeping guru, Marla Cilley, will help you cure your household ‘CHAOS’ (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) by changing your untidy home into a calm and comfortable place to live in.

She makes housecleaning more meaningful and makes life easier with her guidance, tactical advice, quick fixes, and innovative uses for sticky notes.

Cilley teaches you to embrace household maintenance as an act of self-care and enjoy the satisfaction and serenity that comes with keeping things organised.

While you still can’t have anyone over during social distancing, she’ll have you looking forward to when you finally can.




3. I Really Didn’t Think This Through: Tales from My So-Called Adult Life by Beth Evans

This one is like the big warm hug you need.  

Tackling a range of topics from whimsical reflections to deeply personal struggles, popular Instagram artist Beth Evans’ book is a collection of wisdom and stories throughout her life, interlaced with her beloved illustrations.

The result is a great mix of fun, compelling, and thoughtful insights delivered with a simple candour that anyone can relate to.

Whether it be shedding light on her international pen pals or her personal history with obsessive compulsive disorder, Evans extracts valuable lessons from her experiences, turning them into friendly advice about caring for yourself and embracing what makes you happy.

I Really Didn’t Think This Through gets at the heart of what makes life both challenging and joyful, and how it feels trying to navigate through it all.




4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice follows the dynamic Elizabeth Bennet and her budding yet complicated relationship with the wealthy Mr. Darcy.

Throughout the book, they come to realize the repercussions of their hasty judgements and incorrect assumptions of each other and those around them.

Without giving too much away, this is a romantic story full of wit, charm, manners, and dancing that focuses on the importance of marrying for love over money, despite expectations.  

Pride and Prejudice has been a consistent fan favourite for over a century, inspiring dramatic adaptations, reprints, films, and television shows.

So, if you want a genuinely delightful escape – as proven time and again by readers and audiences alike – this one’s for you.




5. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half first started out as Allie Brosh's online blog, full of ridiculous sketches and exaggerated rants about things like dogs, cake, spelling, and the pressures of adulthood.

Brosh’s blog-turned-book also holds a more serious tone, however, with candid, insightful, and heartfelt stories about her struggle with depression.

A funny, smart, and brutally honest memoir, this book will make you laugh out loud as it demonstrates Brosh’s unique voice and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceivingly simple illustrations.

Sometimes a little comic relief is all the emotional medicine you need.




6. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Ove is the stereotypical grumpy old man next door.

An isolated retiree with firm principles and a short fuse, he cares only for enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave.

But when a boisterous family moves in next door, instead of turning inward, Ove is forced to engage with them, forming unlikely friendships and a renewed sense of self.

Backman’s novel is a beautiful story of love, connection, and leaning towards one another instead of away.

It’s sweet, funny, and surprising – and exactly what you need during a time when we’re meant to rely on one another.




7. The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu (with Douglas Abrams)

In 2015, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu met in India for an entire week to write The Book of Joy.

While both men come from different backgrounds and religions, they share very similar views of joy and believe that to live a fulfilled life, you ‘absolutely must’ live a joyful one.

They argue that if humans create their own suffering, they can create their own joy as well. And the easiest way to create happiness for yourself is to create it for others.

They believe that joy is a by-product of compassionate living and, in their book, outline eight ‘Pillars of Joy’ – or qualities – a person can cultivate to experience more joy in their life.


While you may be limited in where you can physically go right now, books have the power to take you anywhere.

Keep yourself busy with a feel-good book and take the break from reality you need to power through self-isolation and social distancing.

Sometimes, we all need a little escape.


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