What to Read While Social Distancing

We will soon be beginning our sixth week(!) of sheltering in place with no definitive end in sight. I thought I would have gotten through my spring cleaning and buckled down to serious writing, but I’m not getting as much done as I intended to. What I am doing is reading and missing our library, but making use of my Kindle and the local bookstore (who will run books out to your car for you). Here are a couple of suggestions to read while you’re confined at home.


It’s been years, okay decades, since I’ve read Walden by Henry David Thoreau and this is a perfect time to pick it up.  An ode to solitude, he found joy in living a simple existence, free of the distractions of ordinary life. This was in 1854, but certainly sounds familiar today. He built his own cabin and raised his own food, while relishing introspection. He called it his personal experiment, observing the seasons and nature around Walden Pond.


The Martian by Andy Weir is about an astronaut stranded on Mars during a giant sandstorm who must use his ingenuity to survive. You would think he was a goner when he gets knocked out, his spacesuit is punctured…. and he is presumed dead. Highly intelligent, he perseveres by thinking creatively how to grow food and obtain water. I‘ll give away no more – it is good read about imaginative solitary confinement! The Martian was made into a movie starring Matt Damon.

Or maybe you’re ready to tackle those long novels on your to-read list by the likes of Tolstoy or Follett? If you are in to fantasy… I leave it to you dear readers to make suggestions below for everyone.

6 thoughts on “What to Read While Social Distancing

  1. In between finishing the second novel in the Alfie Goes to Thailand series, I’ve read Hermann Hesse – Journey to the East – which I must read again to get it all. I love his writing. And I am half-way through a Wilbur Smith novel – War Cry – which I’m really enjoying. Never read him before. Stay safe. james


    • Hi James – I’ve read both authors( Siddhartha and River God) long ago, but haven’t read Journey nor War Cry. Thanks for the reminder about these writers. Are you sheltering in place in Thailand?


  2. Hello Thanks. Do you believe what is going on? I feel like i am part of a science fiction movie. I have written 3 children’s story picture books and have been consulting with 2 editors. I have sent it out to some publishers. So far i have had only one offer to publish. I was excited at first until i learned this company had a terrible reputation. I was warned to stay away from them.  The manuscript was checked out in a class room and with other young children. Apparently the kids loved it.I really don’t want to self publish but may have to. I will have to hire an illustrator, but first I will do some revisions. Keep safe and practice social distancing.Virtual hugsElaine 


    • Yes I’ve had the same thought – that this is a sci-fi movie and we will wake up in the morning to our normal lives.
      Elaine I’m so pleased to hear from you and learn you are still writing! Please inspire me. I was working until now so that was my excuse for my glacial pace – working on a memoir about my family. Now I have no excuse.


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