A Few Easy, Engrossing Book Recommendations To Help You Through These Isolated Times


Things are about to get real quiet. On the bright side, it could be the perfect time to learn the guitar, bang out that novel you’ve had kicking around upstairs, make the perfect canned soup dish, etc. I’ve already made grand plans for what I intend to accomplish over the next couple weeks/months/years of isolation. Given that not a single one of these plans will be completed, I figured I might as well offer a few book recs to help divert your mind. These are easy books that shouldn’t require a ton of focus to keep the pages turning. If you want something a little more brain-expanding, head over to the New York Times or talk to Oprah. These are books for the sneezepocalypse.


All the Pretty Horses— Cormac McCarthy

This is my favorite book of all time. #1. If you like cowboys, horses, beautiful descriptions of landscapes, campfires, guns, violence, and Mexico, this is for you. Even if you don’t like any of those things, try it. It takes about 50 pages to get going and then it rips.

The Martian- Andy Weir

Maybe you saw the Matt Damon movie, which was pretty fun. If you didn’t, the book started it all. If McCarthy’s dusty plains of Mexico aren’t enough to transport you from your petri dish apartment, try fucking Mars. This is a quick, fun, light read written by a guy who really geeks out on space shit.

The Woman In Cabin 10- Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware has written a couple books that don’t stray too far from one another, but she nailed the formula with this one. A super fancy yacht voyage through the fjords of Norway turns into a riveting murder mystery. I preferred this to In A Dark, Dark Wood and apparently this will be a movie at some point soon.

The Art of Fielding- Chad Harbach

As a kid, I grew up loving baseball books. Maniac Magee, Painting the Black, Bull Catcher, etc. This is a great baseball novel for adults. It will definitely help to fill the void of college sports. It tells the story of a phenom shortstop who obsesses over the fundamentals of baseball and ends up playing a fictional D3 school, even though he’s incredible. I loved this book. Haven’t thought much about it in a while and now I want to re-read it.





Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS- Joby Warrick

This book is incredible. It details the provenance of ISIS, the radicalization of its leaders, and much more. No, reading this will not make you want to join ISIS. But it will make you understand how and why they were able to attract so many young men (and even women).

Catch and Kill- Ronan Farrow

This is the story of how Harvey Weinstein was brought down. Written by NBC News reporter Ronan Farrow, who is also the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, the book sheds light on how the story was held back at every turn due to the power and influence of Weinstein. It also touches on Matt Lauer and some of the other people who were outed in the MeToo movement. It’s really incredible, and it reads like a detective thriller.

Hellhound On His Trail- Hampton Sides

The story of James Earl Ray, from his assassination of Martin Luther King to the manhunt that ensued. It’s pretty insane how this lunatic tracked MLK across different states with a sniper rifle. Very-well written.

Modern Romance- Aziz Ansari

I resisted reading this when it came out because I thought it would be silly stories in the tone of Aziz’s standup. It’s not. Not even close. Instead, it reads like a witty, thoroughly-sourced doctoral thesis on dating in the 21st century. Don’t get me wrong, it’s light-hearted and funny as hell. But it’s also very informative and utilizes metrics, studies, and all kinds of charts and whatnot to prove that things like texting and dating apps have changed the game in ways we don’t even fully understand yet. If you’re alone in your quarantine and looking for love, try this. It may not provide comfort, but it will help you improve your chances of finding love.




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