9 Great Books to Read While Social-Distancing


With the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) causing lock-downs across the globe, social-distancing continues to be a key practice in slowing the spread of sickness, or “flattening the curve” as they say. So, to all the bookworms out there, with this newfound time at home, are you searching for your next great read? Maybe you want to start a remote book club with a group of friends, or just curl up on the couch with your pet. Perhaps you are one of the essential workers in healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, trash collection, childcare, postal service and beyond (we appreciate all that you do!) and you just want a good book to relax with at the end of the day. Well, our staff put together some pretty stellar recommendations for just that. With a mix of fantasy, contemporary romance, mystery, graphic novels, and more, there truly is something for everyone.

1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012) by Benjamin Alire Sáenz 

“I will always recommend Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It’s the story of two boys, Aristotle and Dante, who becomes friends and eventually boyfriends. It’s a smart and emotional story that shows genuine characters as they discover their sexual identities. It’s the perfect book for readers looking for a LGBT coming-of-age story.”

PRR Writer, Christopher Lee

2. The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second, 2018) by Jen Wang

“A whimsical and heart-warming young adult graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker is an instant classic. Basically, it’s a queer fairy tale full of adorable characters, colorful illustrations, and countless gorgeous dresses. I will literally re-read this story until the end of time.”  

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller 

3. The Folk of the Air series (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) by Holly Black 

“The world-building and enemies-to-lovers tension is addictive from the start.”

PRR Writer, Caroline Ross

(Check out our reaction to the final book in the series, The Queen of Nothing, here. And don’t miss our review of the first book, The Cruel Prince, here.) 

4. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Rick Riordan Presents, 2019) by Kwame Mbalia 

Tristan Strong is a knock-out middle-grade fantasy novel inspired by West African mythology and African-American folk legends. It’s got everything you’d want in a great adventure: heart-pounding action, grade-A comedy, and a little bit of magic. Okay, maybe a whole lot of magic. Mbalia is not only a hilarious writer— seriously, this book will make you cry with laughter— but a singularly talented storyteller.”

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller

(Check out our review of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky here.) 

5. Beware the Wild (Harper Teen, 2014) by Natalie C. Parker

Beware the Wild is the first in its own series full of mystery, danger and magic. For fans of Beautiful Creatures and anything goth, look here!”

PRR Writer, Christopher Lee

6. The Diviners (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012) by Libba Bray 

“If you’re looking for something spooky and atmospheric, I highly recommend The Diviners by Libba Bray. Set in 1920s New York City with a supernatural twist, it’s the perfect midnight read. The audiobook is hands down the best I’ve ever listened to. Plus, there’s three more books in the series for when you get hooked.”

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller

7. Simon Snow series (Wednesday Books) by Rainbow Rowell 

“The world, the conflicts, the characters, and the writing style all suck you in from the get-go.”  

PRR Writer, Caroline Ross

(Check out our blog on the second book in the series, Wayward Son, here.)

8. Front Desk (Scholastic Gold, 2018) by Kelly Yang

“A heartfelt and poignant tale, Front Desk is a middle-grade novel that follows the life of 10-year-old Mia Tang as she helps her parents run a motel in Southern California. This story will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face.” 

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller

(Check out our review of Front Desk here.) 

9. Darius the Great is Not Okay (Dial Books, 2018) by Adib Khorram

“As one of the few books that I’ve read in one sitting, Darius The Great is Not Okay may just be one of the best YA books written in the last decade—at least in my opinion. Follow awkward half-Persian teen, Darius Kellner, as he visits his mother’s family in Iran for the first time. It’s a story full of heart, humor, and humanity.”

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller

Stay healthy and keep reading, folks! 

For more information on the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization

PRR Writer, Hannah Miller (with quotes from Christopher Lee and Caroline Ross)   

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1 thought on “9 Great Books to Read While Social-Distancing”

  1. Sally Miller says:

    Wow! I need to get started on this list!

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