What Books To Read During Quarantine



As we roll into yet another week of social isolation, working from home, and having no recollection of what day it is, it's almost innevitable that we feel a heightened sense of obscurity and unease. Providing a pacifying retreat of escapism, books prove to be a great way to relieve your mind from the incessant and disheartening news cycle. Here, I compile a list of the most absorbing, engaging and non-pandemic related fiction to get lost in during this challenging time. Enjoy, and stay safe.




THE GIVER OF STARS
by Jojo Moyes



          


Based on the true story of The Pack Horse Library initiative, Moyes transports us back to the 1930's, following the life of Alice Wright, who makes the spontaneous decision to marry the wealthy American Bennett Van Cleve, move to Kentucky, and leave her home and family behind. With her husband prioritising work over his wife, Alice realises the escape was not the one that she had yearned for. Yet, when she meets Margery O'Hare - daughter of a notoroius felon - they trek through the wild mountain forests and embark on a mission to establish the travelling library, spreading the wonder of reading to the poor - and ultimately end up discovering freedom, freindship and carving out a life of their own.


      







Brief thoughts

This is the first historical based novel by Moyes that I've read, and (although I didn't think this would be possible) I prefered it to any of her other books. The Giver of Stars is a heartwarming, engaging and emotional story, but more than that, it embodies an encouraging and hopeful message. Alice breaks free from the cage of her home life and escapes the belitting of her father-in-law. This may be one of the best examples of an empowing and historical feminist novel.  






Buy this book





ONE DAY IN DECEMBER
by Josie Silver



Laurie is certain that love at first sight doesn't exist, but one snowy day, through the misted up window of a bus, she spots the man who she instantly knows is 'the one'. Their eyes meet, and just like that. They're in love. But, then the bus drives away...

Laurie assumes she'll never see the bus boy again. However, a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life - who, of course, is the boy from the bus.

Laurie, determined to let him go, moves on with her life.

But what if fate has other plans?

Brief thoughts
December may be in the title, but I'd read this book any time of the year. One Day in December is as nostalgic, feel good and cozy as it gets. I'd read it over and over again. The perfect quarantine read. 


Buy this book


PARIS LETTERS
by Janice MacLeod




If you're a regular reader of mine then you woud've likely read my interview with Janice Macleod, all about her exciting and romantic memoir, Paris Letters. There is no better time than in quarantine to delve into Paris Letters, the joy of a read that will remind you of the adventure and excitement of travelling and get you reminiscing over French patisseries and discovering new places. I'd urge you to read the full interview for a more comprehensive review, otherwise here is the basic storyline:


"How much money does it take to quit your job?

Exhausted and on the verge of burnout, Janice poses this question to herself as she doodles on a notepad at her desk. Surprisingly, the answer isn't as daunting as she expected. With a little math and a lot of determination, Janice cuts back, saves up, and buys herself two years of freedom in Europe.

A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street - who doesn't speak English. Through a combination of sign language and franglais, they embark on a whirlwind Paris romance. She soon realizes that she can never return to the world of twelve-hour workdays and greasy corporate lingo. But her dwindling savings force her to fund her dreams again. So Janice turns to her three loves - words, art, and Christophe - to figure out a way to make her
happily- ever- after in Paris last forever."





I OWE YOU ONE
by Sophie Kinsela




"Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all. 
So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.
That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.
Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves. 
Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?"

Brief thoughts
Sophie Kinsella is just one of those authors who gets it right every single time. I don't know if it's the way that her writing flows so cohesively, or how scaringly relatable and hilaroius each chapter is, but either way, she's managed to convince me to read over five of her books. Saying this, it's no surprise that I also fell in with I Owe You One. I'd also seriously reccomend reading some of her other books, in particular, The Undomesticated Goddess and My Not So Perfect Life.



Thanks for reading! If you've read any of these books or have some reccommendations of your own, I'd love to know in the comments!












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How to detox your wardrobe: A step by step guide

*This is a repost from 2018 (ahhh...to think of a year that wasn't 2020...) but I figured whilst we're in quarantine and have more time on our hands, some of you might find this post useful! Also, the original post has had nearly 2000 reads so I figured that it must have helped some of you guys previously! Enjoy :)


If I had a pound for every item of clothing I've hoarded then I'd for sure be rollin' in the money. 

But let's face it.  That doesn't happen. 

Instead, we're left with a huge wedge of clothes we no longer reach for and...(you ready?) Less. Wardrobe. Space. Uh-huh. I said it. The dreaded lack of room that disables your ever-growing clothing addiction...

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Your wardrobe's probably crying out for a closet cleanse.

So, here's how to detox your wardrobe this summer:



1.Everything Out                             
 Sort all your clothes into separate categories: shorts, tops, trousers, etc. Although it may seem terrifyingly time-consuming it will actually end up saving time in the long run. You want to be able to see everything you're dealing with here.

2. Decision Making
Take a cold, stern look at the clothes that lay before you... If you haven't worn an item in the past year, you'll probably never wear it again; the chuck pile it is.
We don't want any "but what if one day I'll desperately need those ugly trousers that are three sizes too small for me?"

3. And More Deciding
In the same way, don't get too carried away either.  If a piece brings you excessive joy but only sporadically migrates from your wardrobe, just keep it! 

4. Get Advice
Those pieces that you're not totally convinced on, simply ask a friend. Ask them to be brutally honest: does it fit like a glove? Suit my body type? Have a strange print? Two voices are usually better than one. They'll let you know if it's worthy of the gram or better off in another home.

5. If All Else Fails
To reach a wider spectrum of people: meet Instagram polls. Take a photo of your outfit, attach a yes/no poll, sit back, and let Instagram decide!

6. Sell And Share
How about turning your boring wardrobe cleansing process into an exciting, profitable one? Sell your most worthy clothes on a Depop or eBay account.  It's nice to get a little reward for a day's hard labour!
All the remaining clothes can be donated to charity or gifted to a worshipping friend.

Thanks for reading! Are you clothing collector or more of a minimalist? Would love to hear in the comments!




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40 (worthwhile) Things To Do In Quarantine

Are you bored of scrolling incessantly through your phone, annoying all of your housemates out of pure boredom or staring aimlessly at the ceiling? Well, now more! Here are 40 (actually worthwhile) things to do in quarantine:



Download an online app, such as DuoLingo and learn a new language (separate blog post on this coming soon!)

Start a blog

Read a book

Tidy/ give your room a makeover

Bake something new

Start a journal

Donate to a charity

Acquire a new skill (painting, drawing, sewing etc.)

Put on a face mask (the skincare kind!) Or even indulge in a 10 step skincare routine!!

Become Tik Tok famous

Learn/ practice a musical instrument

Create an original 'quarantine' song (who knows, it may go viral!)

Create a scrapbook

Deep condition your hair

Facetime your friends and family

Set up an online quiz night with friends/family

Play a board game

Complete a puzzle

Do a closet clearout

Sell unwanted clothes on Depop

Try at-home workout classes (I've been loving Pamela Reif)

Throw out your out-of-date make-up products (I know you have them...)

Write a short story or novel

Learn to cook healthy dishes that you love

Experiment with some Tik Tok food and drink trends!

Practice embroidery

Sort out your sock drawer. Yes, really.

Download the free trial of a streaming service,  Netflix, Disneyplus, etc.

Start a bullet journal


Water your plants

Give yourself a manicure

Plan yourself a future trip for after lockdown

Create your own real-life  'Come dine with me' with your house/flatmates (if you have any)

Compile unworn clothes to later donate charity

Binge-watch your favourite series (okay, maybe this isn't 'worthwhile' - but you deserve a break, after all this language learning and cooking!)

Start a Youtube Channel

Discover new music

Plan your perfect day after quarantine
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