5 Books To Read During Lockdown

Some books to keep you company during isolation

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Now that we have more time on our hands, we can read and read. Reading is good for the mind and soul. We may not be able to physically travel but we can travel with our minds.

I don’t see how you can survive any lockdown without opening a book.

Here are some ideas.

1. The Flatshare — by Beth O’Leary

This is a book about sharing spaces. A book that suits the current times. If you think sharing a flat with someone during these times is tough, try sharing a bed with someone. Someone that is not your partner or romantic interest.

Tiffy works during the day and Leon works during the night. Leon has a flat that he only uses during the evenings and doesn’t need it on weekends. He needs some extra cash so he advertises his bed online. Tiffy is in need of cheap rent. The situation seems ideal or does it?

This is a light-hearted book that will entertain and delight you. It is pure fun and fiction and a good distraction from any COVID-19 related thoughts.

2. The House by the Lake- by Thomas Harding

For those who like non-fiction historical books, this one is for you. It is a story of one family’s house and how they lost it during the Nazi occupation of Germany.

It is also a story of Berlin and the many wars and hardships it has been through in the last 100 years. It is a fascinating read told by the Author who is attempting to regain what was lost by his family.

The book starts before the First World War and ends with the collapse of communism and the fall of Berlin. During this span of history, the house is occupied by many different families. First, the Jewish family, the Author’s family, who built the house, then a Nazi supporting music producer, and finally a Stasi-informant and his family during the Cold War. The house sees many family histories and survives to tell the tale.

It is also a story of hope. Even after all the wars and hardships, the house prevailed. It is a reminder that humans have been through a lot and will continue to survive.

3. A long Petal of the Sea— by Isabelle Allende

Fans of Pablo Neruda’s poetry should read this book. Isabelle Allende’s most recent book tells the story of a ship that embarked from Spain shortly after the civil war to Chile. On the ship, paid for by Pablo Neruda, were refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Neruda saved the refugees from Franco’s cruelty and concentration camps in France.

It is a story of the horrors of living under a dictator. The book follows, Victor. He escapes the terrors of Franco’s dictatorship to land in Chile and then lives under Pinochet.

It is a history of a being refugee and finding home in unlikely places. As Allende says at the beginning of the book, “ I am have been a foreigner all my life… Maybe that's why a sense of place is so important in all my writing.

It is a reminder that life can go horribly wrong. Our lives can change in an instant and we are at the mercy of those that govern us or a deadly virus as we are currently living under. Allende reminds us there is hope to be found in the most unlikely places.

4. Let’s hope for the best- by Carolina Setterwall

This is a book about finding hope and peace after the tragedy. The author, Carolina lives in Sweden with her infant son and partner. She wakes one morning to find her partner has died in his sleep suddenly and without prior warning.

She is devastated. The book is one long love letter to him. A letter of coping and finding herself again after the tragedy of losing someone you love dearly. Her world is thrown upside down and in the aftermath, she attempts to piece her life back together. She writes of her raw experience with grief and loss.

We are living out a tragedy currently. In the end, we will be ok albeit shaken and possibly traumatized.

5. The Choice- Edith Eger

The book cover says it all, “Even in hell, hope can flower.”

This book is not for the faint-hearted. And for fans of Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel. Edith is a holocaust survivor. An Auschwitz survivor. This is her story of finding life again after her immense tragedy. It is a book about the terrible choice she was forced to make and the burden she carries with her. But it is also a book about choosing hope.

I leave you with a quote from her book:

And here you are. Here you are! In the sacred present. I can’t heal you-or anyone-but I can celebrate your choice to dismantle the prison brick by brick. You can’t change what happened, you can’t change what you did or what was done to you. But you can choose how you live now. My precious, you can choose to be free- The Choice- Edith Eger.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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