By: Chloë Williams, Columnist
It’s a strange world out there right now, that’s for sure. Why not let a good book take you somewhere else? Here is a list of five easy reads to send you out on an adventure while you’re stuck inside.
- “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie: Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time, and it’s no surprise. Her murder mysteries will keep you on your toes and keep you turning the pages. Though she is a mid-20th century writer, and you should expect a more proper British writing style, don’t let the language scare you. In Christie’s novel, you follow a famous detective on his luxurious train ride on the Orient Express. While detective Hercule Piorot signs up for a peaceful ride home, he ends up with the case of a lifetime. If you’re looking for an immersive story, this is the tale for you. Expect murder, scandals, secrecy, and deception in this great American tragedy.
- “The Charlotte Holmes” series by Brittany Cavallaro: Cavallaro’s modern take on the famous Sherlock Holmes stories is a great series if you’re looking for fascinating characters and faraway adventures, all wrapped up in an easily digestible writing style. Charlotte Holmes is the great-great-great granddaughter of world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes. She’s been sent to a boarding school where the descendent of Holmes’ partner , Jamie Watson is studying. From the start the two establish a close friendship; they are soon off on their own adventures, rivalling those of their ancestors. Through their crime-solving escapades, the reader learns that the Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty families are not at all the same families that we were left with at the end of the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories. There are four books in this series, starting with “A Study in Charlotte,” and followed by “The Last of August,” “The Case for Jamie,” and finally “A Question of Holmes.”
- “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini: This young adult novel is perhaps one of my favorite tales of all-time. My copy has been dog-eared and highlighted to pieces from the many hands it has been in. This book is a masterfully crafted, yet easy-to-read novel about a boy named Craig. Craig has been checked into a mental institution for suicidal behavior. Before you turn your shoulder to this book, I can assure you that Teen Vogue’s review is right on point when they call it “a book about depression that’s not in the least bit depressing.” While Craig deals with this major shift in his life, he meets several friends who are all vivid and colorful. Throughout this seemingly terrifying change, he maintains a witty sense of humor that keeps the audience laughing while understanding the significance of his situation. Though Craig starts out the novel lost and confused, he comes out the other side having found his own version of happiness, sending hope and light to the reader.
- “Notwithstanding” by Louis de Bernières: Enter the neighbourhood of Notwithstanding, a small fictional English town with lively, diverse residents. Berniéres’ book is a collection of short stories from the lives of the town’s residents. The reader follows a day in the life of a young boy, a music teacher, a gardener, a widow, and a colonel. This is the perfect book to curl up with next to a hot cup of tea. If you’re looking for a feel-good story, “Notwithstanding” is a quaint, humble, enchanting little tale that photographs small moments of each of their lives.
- “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris: In this collection of narrative essays, David Sedaris shares humorous snippets of his own life. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you’re sure to be charmed by Sedaris’ wit. This book recalls moments from his eccentric childhood as well as adulthood, and offers pieces of memory that are every bit moving and heartfelt. Take a trip through Sedaris’ wacky life by recalling his disdain for swimming lessons, his uncanny witnessing of an attempted citizen’s arrest, an uncomfortable trip to Costco, and a British man’s first, frustrating trip to the U.S.. With this collection, you can feel free to pick up and leave off when you please, but you can bet that Sedaris will always call you back with his comical, yet intensely intelligent musings.