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Everything sucks so let’s talk about books

Choosing a book can be the hardest part of reading, so here I am to help out

Josie Laur, Junior Copy Editor
Originally published April 29th, 2020

Cartoon by Sam Rainville

You know what we have in abundance right now? Time. You know what you should do with that time? Read. 

But why would I do that, Josie, you whine. I wanna play Animal Crossing and avoid impending doom.

Pick up a book.

Dude, reading is good. Reading is fun. Reading is relaxing and good for your brain and just a good skill to have.

The libraries are closed right now, which is Not Fun, but the magic of the internet means you don’t have to be cut off from literature. Ebooks and audio books are still available, and there are many free apps—such as Libby, Kindle, Nook, and Audible—that can help you access them right in the palm of your hand (if you aren’t among the elite like myself and you don’t own an e-reader).

But there’s nothing good to read, you say.

This is where I come in. Let’s talk quarantine books.

Feeling meta? “Fever 1793” by Laurie Halse Anderson is based on the yellow fever pandemic that hit Philadelphia in 1793 and killed around 5,000 people. The protagonist of the book, Mattie Cook, is a 14-year-old living in Philadelphia at the time, and readers follow her story of strength and horror as she lives through the fever.

In a similar vein of the past rewritten, “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows is a favorite of mine. The story focuses on 16-year old King Edward of England, his cousin Jane and Gifford, who’s a horse—but not really. The plot tumbles from court politics to conspiracies to romance, and the authors are deft at keeping readers laughingly confused but enjoying the story nonetheless through to the end.

Twisting in a different direction but now appropriately focusing on an apocalypse, “Angelfall” by Susan Ee has angels and vague insanity in spades. 17-year-old Penryn is on a mission to rescue her little sister after warrior angels up and capture her, and she enlists the reluctant help of Raffe the angel, who has a lot of drama going on in his life. This book is the first in a trilogy, and I think the next two are even better than this one, but I think “Angelfall” is definitely an entertaining—if alarming, at times—read.

Finally, Kate Daniels. “Magic Bites,” which is the first in the “Kate Daniels” series by husband-wife duo Ilona Andrews, focuses on badass mercenary Kate Daniels who goes around an urban fantasy Atlanta kicking butt and being generally grouchy. After her guardian is killed, Kate is determined to find out by whom and why—and gets dragged into a lot of other messes for her trouble. 

Keeping busy with things that aren’t stressful homework and/or work is important for all of us during this already stressful time. Go on a walk, call a family member, play a game—and, every once in a while, take a break from binging Netflix to read a book.

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Everything sucks so let’s talk about books