So here we are social distancing, on lockdown, in quarantine or isolation. You are not alone, the whole world is experiencing one form of loneliness. And as they say, misery loves company and I thought I would make a list of books that *mostly* take place in one location. I say mostly because I will include books that begin or end in a different location, and they will sound – don’t come for me, I’m not strict on this! I will even include small towns or other claustrophobic places or tendencies. It’s basically a list of any book I thought about reading in quarantine where the book has the same playing field as I do! Let’s have a look….
Room by Emma Donoghue!
This was the most claustrophobic book I could think of! (It’s also a movie if you wanna check that out.) I found this book claustrophobic for two reasons, first of all they are literally trapped in a room and have been there for seven years, and two, it is told entirely in the language of a five year old that has grown up in that room. If they can live through seven years of that hell, you can get through this quarantine!
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
One of those “this doesn’t count” books, but it does to me. Most of the story takes place on a boat where “Pi” a tamil boy is shipwrecked for 227 days with a Bengal Tiger. If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie for that matter, I recommend both!
Everything, everything by Nicola Yoon
Maddy has a form of Severe Combined Immunodifisciency – she’s bubble girl basically and everything can kill her. But one day Olly movies in across the street and Maddy’s little world is about to change. Also available as a movie on netflix! Warning: this is a romcom for the younger ones!
And then there were none by Agatha Christie
This one is a classic, and if you haven’t read it, it is genius! Ten strangers are summoned to a mansion on an exclusive island, but as soon as they arrive they start noticing that it’s not going to be what they first assumed. One by one they are killed off as by the lyrics of a nursery rhyme. Who is the killer then? It must be one of them! (Bonus: also check out Murder on the orient express!)
Turtles all the way down by John Green
John Green is my guilty pleasure, I love all his books and I salivate when I read them. His latest is no exception. And while it differs from the others in the way that they move about quite a lot, the “prison” in this book is the mind of Aza and her OCD. It’s paralyzing sometimes, even if you are able to go anywhere you might not want to.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A plane crashes on an island and a group of schoolboys are stranded. This book is a classic, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet! It should be perfect for today when society is locked down and you have to adapt to a new normal.
Lincoln in the bardo by George Saunders
This one is for the specially interested and should not be attempted without preparation. But if you fall into the category it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. Set in the span of a night in the graveyard after Lincoln loses his son. It’s so beautiful sad.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
At a birthday party at a mansion with many important people, terrorist attack and take them all hostage. It’s a hostage and some may feel corona is taking us all hostage. The difference of course being that they are in a mansion surrounded by people. And the people and the music will heal us all. Made into a movie in 2018 if you would rather watch, (but who would rather watch than read??)
Gerald’s game by Stephen King
Stephen King is my absolute favorite writer, but my least favorite finisher! I can’t explain it! But if there’s one thing he is expert at, it’s setting up a plot that sucks you in. A married couple has a kinky little sexy time and the husband falls dead in the middle of the act and the wife is handcuffed to the bed. Don’t try this at home kids! (Also a movie currently on Netflix!)
Last night at the lobster by Stewart O’Nan
I hadn’t heard about this book before, but I am intrigued – A red lobster restaurant is closing down and the staff refuses to show up for the last shift. The manager then spends the last night trying to make it all go through without any problems and at the same time deals with some personal reflections.