Top 10 Quarantine Reads

Aaron Jiang ’23

          For your benefit, it is recommended that you should read a novel once in a while. However, while the pandemic ain’t going anywhere just yet, your time home shall entail a longer and more frequent reading schedule(that’s the ideal anyways). While not many people tend to follow ideals, it is still apparent that reading is not only great for the health of your brain, but also enlightening on various aspects of life. Now, please do behold my top 10 list of decent if not exotic novels you can possibly read during this fall:

1.Ender’s Game

          While some of you may know about the 2013 Sci-Fi movie, that obviously was a cinematic adaptation of a Sci-Fi novel of the same name by Orson Scott Hall. As you begin the story and adventure with a boy named Ender, who was exemplified and destined to be a great military leader, Colonel Graff sees the talents and grabs him out of his daily life. Leaving his family, he embarks on a fantastic adventure as he battles against the buggers, an alien race who are supposedly a threat to humanity. However, as Ender learns more circumstances, he began to have a change of heart toward his enemy.


2.And Then There Were None

          When it comes to murder mystery novels, this is one of the novels that takes the spotlight. Written by Agatha Christie back in the early 20th century, this book sets a great mood for mysteries to transpire. From a group of 10 people being trapped on a private island in an even creepier mansion to them being killed mysteriously one by one. The plot is already as good as a mystery can get. If these descriptions that I made above still doesn’t screem to your ears “READ ME”, and fulfill its duty as a great murder mystery novel, then I don’t know what will. 

3.Station Eleven 

          This dystopian novel was written by Emily St. John Mendel, and explores the depth of the world, society, and humanity after a pandemic that wiped out, more or less, 99% of the population. Sounds finilar? Of course it does ring a bell! That’s due to the fact that we are living in one right now: let’s all hope and pray that Emily’s novel isn’t a foreshadow of our near future. But, in all seriousness, this novel definitely holds relevance especially during Covid-19. The author, however, does tell the story in a unique nonlinear and non chronological manner. Which means, it is very sophisticated when it comes to figuring out the timeline. Nonetheless, we still get to explore themes like sticking to community and society is key even in a post pandemic world. It also tends to remind the reader of the luxurious goods we take for granted in modern days such as our 5G…or 4G LTE for some.

4.The Haunting of Hill House

           This is a horror fiction(thank god it’s fiction)novel written by Shirley Jackson. Although it might be chilling, as a reader, you are eager to discover more about the Hill House that Eleanor was invited to live in by Dr. Montague, who is studying and attempts to uncover supernatural secrets. Strange sounds and words referencing Eleanors’ name starts to appear as the plot progresses throughout the house. The readers are often Eleanor’s head, whose question about her sanity and reality as the plot continues. This aspect of the novel creates a doubt for the reader regarding the reliability of the narrating source, Eleanor. The ending, fair warning, does end rather tragically and offers no adequate explanations to the strange happenings making it even more suspenseful and ambiguous.

5.Pride and Prejudice

          This romance novel was written by Jane Austen and arguably the best novel to ever impact the literary world. It talks about a world where social class disparity is undeniably. To the point where marriage and love is conditioned by one’s wealth(that’s just so old fashion thinking). The story opens up with the Bennet daughters’ family. Read on to find out the dramatic adventure of love and marriage of theirs. One intriguing aspect of this novel includes the reality that due to the reputation factors that conditions marriage. Marriage becomes a new reality where love comes second, thus separating the two’s definition in the world of Pride and Prejudice.

6.The Handmaid’s Tale 

          This dystopian novel written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood in 1985 sets the story in a near future where the totalitarian government of New England ruled the United States as it’s overthrew. Through the lense of our protagonist, Ofglen, you are able to find out the unfair exercise of power in this new cruel regime that especially denies women’s freedom, rights, and identity. Atwood wrote this novel almost as a response and counter movement to the second wave feminine movement in the 1980s. Ofglen was once a middle class woman with an average lifestyle along with her child and husband. However, this new regime has strip her of her identity and now only view her as a walking machine that gives birth to children for the future of this regime. While it restricts all theoretically, read on to find out more about the unjust nature of woman’s fundamental right in this novel that Atwood had imagined, which carries ever relevancy.

7.The Left Hand of Darkness 

          This Sci-Fi novel was the work that gained Ursula K. Le Guin her status as a major Sci-Fi author. In this crazy Sci-Fi adventure novel with full of imaginary existence, Ursula writes about the story of Genly AI, who goes around the universe and attempts to convince and persuade planets in joining the ecumene, a united nation type of group only that in this case for the whole Universe instead of just earth. Well, the plot is already getting out of the ordinary for sure. Later on, you’ll find our good old friend Genly AI arriving into this planet with fake leaders that sets him up and welcomes him into a death camp sort of prison. Read on to find out about the salvation and continued adventure of Genly AI, or maybe not if you aren’t so pleasant with frying your brain cells over making sense of everything in the story. Well, it’s not supposed to when you consider the Sci-Fi genre. That’s besides the point anyways.

8.The Silent Patient 

          This psychological thriller by Alex Michaelides conveys the story of the silent patient, Alicia, of the psychotherapist Theo. Alicia was charged with murdering her husband after all evidence points toward her at the crime scene. However, she has not spoken a single word ever since nor expressed any emotions toward anything. At the sign of these, she was decided to be sent to a psychotherapist instead of prison. As the story progresses, our friend Theo is depicted as being impacted by this silent patient of his. His own life began to take effects due to this case.


9. A Fish In A Tree

          This fiction novel written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt tells the story of a girl named Ally Nickerson. She was shown as a girl who couldn’t read, and all her teachers and classmates think bad of her as useless, troublemaker, and avoiding her works. This makes her really feel that she is useless and dumb. She tried and tried, but was all in vain. Until she meets her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, who helped her see a different way of learning. He taught her that smarts can be exemplified in various aspects. Ally starts to finally gain confidence in herself. She made friends for the very first time in her life with Albert and Keisha. Mr. Daniels helped her to see the impossible as possible. She eventually was even elected as class president. Overall it’s a heartwarming story that depicts how a girl went from zero to hero. It centers around Einstein’s quote that everybody is smart in their own ways. Thus, the book generally carries and conveys the positive message that nothing is impossible.  Join in with Ally on her story of success by reading on!

10. The Invention of Hugo Cabret

          This historical fiction novel by Brian Selznick takes place in the “roof under Paris” just like how the book introduced it. In here, we meet a boy by the name of Hugo Cabret in search of his purpose in life as he had lost his dad. Throughout the story he attempts to uncover the potential secrets that his dad left behind. By collecting or, actually, excuse me, more like stealing the toys, he finds various parts to finish the still work in progress invention his dad left behind. This novel is full of adventures and comedy as well. With literally roughly around 50% of the novel in pictures and fewer words. I believe that this novel will even be friendly to those who get dizzy when reading a page full of words. Overall, I do highly suggest this amazing book, if you haven’t read that is.


          Alright! Phew, that was a lot to go through. I want to emphasize that all of these books are truly worth your time. From horror and thriller to comedy and reading romance novels, this list covers it all. Do me a favor and expand your knowledge by allowing these fine books to enlighten you as a human being. Enjoy!