Books

9 Books to Cheer You Up During Lockdown

E-books weren’t ever my first preference. Besides not holding a book and turning page after page, the concept of paying for e-books bothers me (the part where you don’t get anything tangible). Not that I hadn’t read e-books before the lockdown, but they could never become my first choice. It was the laggard (in everything, not just technology adoption) in me that never really gave e-books or audio-books a chance over physical books. But it’s not that bad, you know.

I’ll stop my ranting, and share a list of nine books you can read to take your mind away from the lockdown, and instead focus your attention on something sweet, savory, funny and feel-good.

1. Wallbanger

romance books

So, my list begins with a chick-lit and I will make it a point to end with a chick-lit too. If you are one of those people who can’t  wrap their head around this genre, well, what were you expecting? While you are at home, waiting for this situation to end, you didn’t expect me to recommend you to read a sad, psychologically stimulating book or a dark thriller, now, did you? 

Welcome to the world of sweet silliness which is heart warming and feel-good. The mellow conversations of two people falling in love, the throbbing emotions, the funny coincidences and the rising sexual tension is all that you need right now, to give you a nice, tingly feeling.

Though Caroline and Simon are not my favorite couples of all times, I had a good time reading Wallbanger. Oh, if you are wondering whether the book’s name is a reference to “banging”, yes it is!

2. Can You Keep a Secret?

chicklit books

OMG. Sophie Kinsella is my fairy godmother whether she knows it or not. I love all her female protagonists even if I am not able to identify myself with them. Emma is a funny, likable, smart and talented young woman. And, Jack, oh boy  (sigh, sigh), is a  young, successful, kind and handsome, in short, a perfect man. The Girl and the boy have the most hilarious first encounter. They are adorable together. The novel may sound like a cliche chick-lit but err not. It offers many laugh out loud moments and a promising love story.

3. The Rosie Project

romance books

Can I unread it, and read afresh, so that I can once again feel the endorphin and adrenaline rush that I got while I was reading it for the first time. This is my first story of love authored by a man. It feels as if something in my mind has been re-wired for the rest of my life. The characters, Don and Rosie have been written really well. The story is from Don’s perspective, who is a professor of genetics and who thinks he is not cut out for anything romance. He sets out to find a wife for himself, in the most scientific way possible. And guess what, bumps into a woman, who is the most unlikely match on papers. The story is really funny and touching. I was all smiles when I completed the book.

4. Eat, Pray, Love

If you want to travel around the world vicariously, do read this one. It takes us to places when in real life we are not supposed to even get out of our homes. (Okay, I apologize for bringing this up, again.) This is Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir. I always read autobiographies with a pinch of salt as if they too are works of fiction. And it doesn’t really bother me if they really are, as long as they end up entertaining me. There’s a lot of meeting new people, food, travel, self-discovery, learning new things and much more all through the book. The story is upbeat and gives us enough food for thought to ponder on our own lives. By the end of it, you will definitely end up several notches higher on the happiness scale.

5. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I love love love this one. 100% on happiness and feel-good scale. I’ve read several young adult books in my post young-adulthood days too, and this is hands down one of my favorite YA books. 16 year old Simon is not openly gay, but his “secret” is at the risk of getting revealed. He is an extremely fun and relatable character and I enjoyed every second of reading from his POV.  I loved the teenage gay romance, Simon’s interactions with friends and family and his coming to terms with handling the “being gay” situation socially. In short, this coming of age book is hilarious and exceptionally well written. I am glad that I read it despite the initial reluctance about reading this book.

6. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

It doesn’t happen very often, that you meet a book, that makes you lose touch with your immediate surroundings and everything real. It makes you high, even ecstatic, and you snap out of the real world. Now, please don’t think I am trying to pass off some other illegal experience for reading a book. This is what this book actually did to me.  A.J. Fikry is an exceptional character created with ingenuity, pristiness and insight such that he will become an actual person from your past in your memory. The book is a story about his life after his wife dies. Everything starts falling apart, including the sorely declining sales from his bookstore, that is until he receives a mysterious package. The book is simply incredible!

7. Little Women

At these times, when some of us are locked down with our families and others without them, I think this is a perfect book to read. Little Women is about love, kindness, sacrifice and togetherness. The characters in the book are unique, strong and moving. The four sisters are all very different in the way they look at life and how they want their lives to be and yet, are closely knit by the love they have for each other and for their parents. Though the story is set in a different era, circumstances and cultural setup, it is quite relatable. It is really heart warming to see the March Family go though challenging times together and get to a happy ending. In short, the book is everything familial.

8. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Well, the night sky never seems to stop amazing us, every time we look up  at the stars, right? This book, about what lies beyond our Earth, is a perfect read to understand everything you need to know about the cosmos. But you can’t rush through the book, contrary to what the title suggests. There’s way too much knowledge in mere 200 pages that has been explained in the most simple yet captivating fashion. Be assured, the book is going to leave you flabbergasted and in wonder. To add to it, there is no dearth of humor and punches that will help you sail through the complexities of universe. The part about dark energy and dark matter caught my attention the most. 

Reading this book makes one realize how small we and our “problems” are in the larger scheme of things. Don’t think that I am emo, but my eyes glazed with stardust tears, when I read that the humans, our solar system and the farthest of stars are made up of same material.

9. Tangled

romance books

Tangled will lift your spirits and make you happy. It’s not self help book as you can see from the cover of the book, unless self-help means floating an image of a striking, sexy man with divine abs in your mind.

Handsome, successful Drew is a womanizer. He meets his match in Katherine, who joins his father’s investment banking firm. Katherine is smart and attractive, and it doesn’t take much time for Drew to be charmed by her competitiveness, disposition and magnetism. Now, he is not the type of guy who falls in love with women, or so he believes. For heaven’s sake, don’t roll your eyes thinking it’s no different than a typical boy-girl love story. You know, the best part about this book is Drew’s POV. It’s an absolute delight and fun to read the progression of his feelings and how he deals with love-flu.

I really hope you pick up at least one of these books, if you haven’t read them already, and add some colors of joy to your life. Books are indeed our best friends! No social distancing required from them. No way I was writing this post without using social distancing at least once.

To meet other interesting books listed genre wise, check out the Book Shelf.

Keep Reading. Chao!

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