Escape From Quarantine: Book Recommendations!

Bored of the break yet? Run out of Netflix series to binge? Try reading some of these books that have helped Webmaster Claire Rooney break out of her cabin fever.


Photos by Lainey Holland

The teacher that runs the duPont Manual Book Club said it best: “For readers like [the Manual Book Club], there is a silver lining to a full stop to the world as we get time to read.” So far, as we enter into the third week of quarantine, I’ve read two books. It’s been heaven, especially when the days are nice and I can sit outside on my porch or in my backyard and just sit with a good book. If fellow readers are looking for some new (Good)reads, or if non-readers are wanting something to do that isn’t watching Tik-Toks, here’s a list of some nice books to chill out and socially distance with!


Red, White, and Royal Blue: First off is my soap-box book. This 2019 novel by author Casey McQuiston is the pinnacle of new, young-adult LGBTQ+ literature in my opinion. The first son of the United States falls for the Prince of England. What’s not to love? If you want to hear more of my take on why it’s a great book,  my friend EP and I wrote an article about how important it is in our lives and for other queer creators. 


City of Thieves: This is a book I read for book club freshman year (about two years ago) and I still cite this book as one of my favorites. It’s about wartime Russia and our two heroes must go on a quest to find a dozen eggs. Seems easy, but nothing is easy in Russia in the wintertime. This is a wonderful adventure book that I highly recommended people read. 


Red Queen: This is the first in a series of YA Dystopian novels that manages to mix Divergent, The Hunger Games, AND princes and princesses into a wonderful little package. If you’ve missed that 2012 dystopian craze and want to get back into it, I strongly suggest picking up the Red Queen series. As a bonus, it has a strong female protagonist that narrates the books. 


Night Circus: Another book club favorite, this historical fantasy romance period piece (omg the best genre) combines the mystical magic of a French circus with the infamous enemies to lovers trope as the two main characters battle in a series of great magical feats. This book switches setting, point of view, and jumps time as well to keep the book moving at a fast pace while still not becoming too muddled. A perfect book to bring you out of your social isolation and make you feel like you’re actually attending a magical circus in the 1800s. 


I was Born for This: The most recent book from one of my personal favorite authors, Alice Oseman. This book examines fame and what it means to be a superfan, and it makes you question: How much do I really know about my favorite artist? This book is narrated by Angel, a major fan of the band The Ark, and Jimmy, the frontman of said band. As with all Oseman novels, it predominantly features LGBTQ+ characters and is in the same universe as her other novels. However, all her novels (this one especially) can stand alone as their own books. I read this one in less than 24 hours, so I can vouch for its amazingness. 


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtues: If you wanted some more historical fantasy romance period pieces, this book will definitely satisfy that. This is sort of a mix of “Night Circus” and “City of Thieves” but it also features an LGBTQ+ main character on his journey of finding who he is. Monty is a witty and sarcastic narrator who finds time to joke in even the darkest of times. It’s a bit like a queer Disney tale, which is absolutely everything I could ever hope for: romance, adventure, and 501 pages. Perfect for curling up in social isolation with a cup of tea and a fuzzy blanket.


Radio Silence: Another of my Oseman favorites, this book follows Frances, a brainy teenager who’s quietly obsessed with the wonderfully strange and equally ominous podcast “Universe City.” She manages to garner the attention of the creator, who turns out to be none other than Aled, a boy who graduated her school the year before. While this book lacks a romance, it makes up for it in a complex friendship and complicated discussions of mental health and scholarly success. This book has such a strong aesthetic, and I very highly recommend finding time to read it.